If you are already running Firefox, you can check your version by starting the browser on your system, tapping on the Alt-key once it is open, and selecting Help > About Firefox from the menu.
Firefox 3 final has been uploaded to the Mozilla ftp site just a minute ago and everyone can already download the client if they do not want to wait for the official announcement on the Mozilla website and the "world-record" website. As usual it is available for all supported operating systems and languages which means everyone should find his version in the ftp.
We have covered earlier that Mozilla is trying to create a world-record for the most software downloads in 24 hours. More than 1.4 million users have already pledged to download Firefox 3 today and we can expect to see a (much) higher number in the end because not everyone knows about the world record and not everyone obviously entered his email address for the pledge.
Firefox 3 major changes
And a lot more.
Shortly after releasing version Firefox 22.214.171.124 the Firefox development team released another update this time for Firefox 3. The update fixes three security updates that have a critical rating making this a security update. It is recommended to update Firefox 3 as soon as possible to close the security holes.
Two of my add-ons stopped working and I had to manually edit them so that they I could continue using them. Two of the three vulnerabilities have been the same that were fixed in Firefox 2 while one is a Gif rendering vulnerability on Mac OS X that could crash the browser.
The other two just for those who have not read the update post are a remote code execution vulnerability and the launching of multiple tabs when Firefox is not running.
Mozilla started distributing the final version of Firefox 3.02 to various major and minor mirror sites. This is the usual process before they release the notification on the homepage about the new version. The Check for Updates feature will show the new version usually 0-24 hours later.
The release notes are still mentioning changes of the beta version of Firefox 3.02 but will surely be updated soon with the release information which should not be that different. Some interesting changes are several security and stability fixes, minor layout issues and hangs & crashes when using screen readers.
What a surprise. Only two days after releasing Firefox 3.02 the Mozilla Firefox team released the new version Firefox 3.03 which is usually a sign of a serious bug in the previous version. Firefox 3.03 fixes only one bug that affected some users of the previous version.
The bug made it impossible for some users to retrieve saved passwords or to save new passwords. A serious problem for everyone who used the Firefox Password Manager to store passwords in the web browser.
The release is a security and stability update. A total of nine security vulnerabilities have been fixed in the update including four critical vulnerabilities. You can access the list of security fixes at the Security Advisories page for Firefox 3. The release notes do not contain information about the stability updates but the full list of bug fixes mentions a few fixes that stop browser crashes.
Lastly language support and language related additions seem to have been a priority. Firefox 3.04 adds support for Thai and Icelandic as well as beta test releases for Bulgarian, Esperanto, Estonian, Latvian, Occitan, and Welsh.
There have also been several important bug fixes for the following annoying problems:
The Mozilla Firefox development team released version 3.05 of the popular web browser a day after the Opera team updated their browser. The latest update - like the Opera update - is considered a security update and therefor recommended to install as soon as possible to patch the security vulnerabilities.
A total of eight security vulnerabilities are patched in Firefox 3.05 including three critical vulnerabilities. Critical vulnerabilities are described as vulnerabilities that require "no user interaction beyond normal browsing" to be exploited.
The other security vulnerabilities are rated as high, moderate and low. Most Firefox users should already be able to check for a new update directly in their web browser by clicking on the Help > Check For Updates link in the main Firefox menu.
Five new languages (Bengali, Esperanto, Galicia, Hindi, and Latvian) have been added in this release as well. This is also the first release without an EULA during setup.
Firefox 3.0.6 fixes several security and stability issues of Firefox 3.0.5. One critical, two high, one moderate and two low rated security issues have been fixed in the web browser. The bug list contains dozens of issues that have been fixed in Firefox 3.0.6 but the main reason for the update were the security and stability issues.
A new update to the popular Firefox web browser is currently distributed to mirror sites across the world. The release is already available at selected mirror sites and raises the version of the Firefox web browser to 3.0.7. The beta release notes which have been published in the end of February are mentioning that Firefox 3.0.7 fixes several issues including security and stability issues found in versions prior to Firefox 3.0.7.
Other notable changes to the new version of the web browser include several bug fixes.
The Mozilla Firefox development team had to react quickly after a working vulnerability was discovered affecting all the latest versions of the Firefox web browser. (read Latest Firefox Web Browser Vulnerable to 0-Day Exploit). After news about the vulnerability spread like wildfire on the Internet a first official statement was released that was suggesting an early release of Firefox 3.0.8 on March 30, 2009. Many users felt that the Mozilla team should release the new version earlier than that after fixes for the vulnerabilities had been confirmed to close the security hole for every Firefox user.
It is a security update that is fixing one critical security vulnerability and one major stability issue. Critical security vulnerabilities are classified as those that require no user interaction to be exploited and allow the attacker to run code and install software on the attacked computer system.
The release notes only list the two fixes mentioned in the first paragraph.
Two additional fixes have made their way into the Firefox update.
A full list of all 50 bug fixes is available at the Bugzilla website. Cautious users might want to wait until the update has been distributed to all mirror sites so that it can be downloaded either from the official Mozilla website or through Firefox's check for update functionality. The public release is expected soon.
The following major issues have been fixed in Firefox 3.0.11:
In addition, security issues have been resolved in Firefox 3.0.11. A total of eight different security issues have been resolved, of which four have received a severity rating of critical, the highest rating available:
Mozilla has announced plans to update the Firefox 3.0.x and Firefox 3.5.x branch today earlier this week. The updates are currently distributed to the official mirror server network to be prepared for the increased traffic after the official release announcement. Both releases are security and stability updates and therefor recommended to be installed by Firefox 3.0.x and 3.5.x users immediately after release to protect the browser and computer system from exploits targeting the vulnerabilities.
Only the beta changelogs of both new web browser versions are available at the Mozilla website which usually only list some of the updates of the new releases.
Interested users can access the Firefox 3.5.8 and 3.0.18 beta changelogs which do link to the Bugzilla page that lists all the updates in both releases.
Bugzilla lists three critical, three major and 13 normal bug fixes in Firefox 3.0.18 and nine critical, six major and 48 normal or minor bug fixes in Firefox 3.5.8. Both Firefox 3.5.8. and Firefox 3.0.18 will be offered for download at the Mozilla website and from within the web browser after performing a check for browser updates.
Firefox 3.0.19 is the final update for the 3.0.x branch of Firefox, there will be no more updates after this one. The final update is a security and stability upgrade for the web browser which makes it an recommended update for all users who are still using the browser.
The complete list of changes over at Bugzilla lists 55 bugs in total that have been fixed in Firefox 3.0.19. Of those 55 bugs 14 have been rated critical and 6 as major.
Firefox 3.1 Alpha 1 has been released and it introduces several new features and improvements to already existing ones. The buzz feature of Firefox 3.1 will definitely be tab previews which opens up a small overlay whenever the user presses CTRL TAB. It looks similar to Windows Vista's Alt Tab behavior by displaying the tabs as visual thumbnails that the user can flip through.
Three tab thumbnails are shown by default but the value can be changed in the about:config settings by changing the parameter browser.ctrlTab.previewsCount. Users who prefer the old way and do not need or like this new tab thumbnails preview feature can turn it off completely by setting the parameter browser.ctrlTab.mostRecentlyUsed to false.
Firefox 3.1 also introduces several changes to the Firefox location bar. Users will finally be able to define the Firefox 3 auto complete feature. The first noticeable change is the addition of five characters that, when entered in the location bar, will restrict the search. The characters can be entered anywhere in the location bar.
That's however confusing and a feature that only a few Firefox users will really take advantage of. The default characters can be changed in about:config as well.
Far more interesting is the possibility to change the default search, that is the search when no special char is entered. The special chars can be changed which includes their removal. Now if you want that the normal search is only searching your History then you would simply remove the ^ char in the about:config settings of the History parameter. Here are the five parameters:
Removing the special char will apply the restriction by default which will help all the users who complain about the Firefox 3 location bar.
Firefox 3.5 Final
No changelog has been posted yet to verify this statement. We took the liberty to upload Firefox 3.5 final US for Windows users to a free file host from where it can be downloaded. Users who need other language or operating system installers of the web browser might need to wait until the release becomes officially announced or uploaded to download sites.
You might be interested in the Firefox 3.5 feature set if you have not been using Firefox 3.5 yet (as you might have been waiting for a final release before doing so). You can take a look at the features at the Mozilla Wiki.
Firefox 3.5 Portable
The long awaited new version of the Firefox web browser has been released in the last days. Users who have been using version 3.0x of the web browser are now facing the decision if they should upgrade to that new version or wait until they are sure that all their add-ons, websites and settings are working under Firefox 3.5 as well. Probably the easiest way of finding out if they can upgrade to Firefox 3.5 is by testing the Firefox 3.5 portable release.
Portable in this case means that it will not interfere with the Firefox installation on the computer system. It is possible to migrate add-ons and settings to the portable version by using Firefox add-ons like the Firefox Environment Backup Extension (FEBE).
This turns the portable version of Firefox into a 1:1 copy of the installed version; Ideal for testing and analyzing the new web browser. Firefox 3.5 portable has been published at the portable apps website from where it can be downloaded. The portable version is only compatible with the Windows operating system although it has been reported that it will work in Wine on the Linux operating system as well.
The portable version can simply be extracted to a folder on the local computer system from where it can be started afterwards. Everything else in the portable version of Firefox works like in the installed version including the installation of add-ons.
Mozilla Firefox 3.5.1
Users who have applied the temporary workaround to Firefox 3.5 should undo the changes by doing the following:
The beta release notes of Firefox 3.5.2 mention several security and stability issues that have been fixed in the new version. This makes it a recommend update for all Firefox 3.5x users. A issue with images with ICC profiles has been fixed as well which now render properly on all computer monitors. The full list of bug fixes and issues can be accessed at Bugzilla.
The beta release notes which are currently publicly available mention several security and stability fixes making the update a recommended update for every Firefox user currently working with the 3.5x branch. The bug list lists 43 bugs that have been fixed in this version of Firefox with nine bugs being rated as critical.
Interested users can check the bug list that was fixed in Firefox 3.5.3.
The Firefox 3.5.4. release notes classify the update as a security and stability update making it an recommended update for every Firefox user. The full list of fixes and changes lists a total of 124 items with seven marked as critical and 13 as major. The Firefox 3.0.15 release notes list fewer items but still mention several security and stability fixes for that version of the web browser making it a recommended update as well.
It should also be noted that Firefox 2.x is no longer supported by the developers who ask users to update to the Firefox 3.x branch as the older branch contains known security and stability issues that are not (and will not be) fixed.
The release notes are - as usual - not up yet and the fixed bugs list at Bugzilla shows only four fixes in this latest version. One of the bugs that has been fixed was rated critical on the other hand with the other three rated as normal.
The description of the release on the Mozilla website states that it is a "short-cycle security and sustained engineering release to fix several top crashing bugs". In other words a stability update for the web browser.
Mozilla has also released Firefox 3.0.16 which is in the same mirror distribution process right now. Several stability and security problems have been fixed in this version of Firefox as well and it is likely that those are the same that have been fixed in Firefox 3.5.6.
Interested users can take a look at the Bugzilla bug list for Firefox 3.5.6 and Firefox 3.0.16. to read up on all the fixes that have been applied to both versions.
A total of 24 bugs (including 7 critical, 3 major) have been fixed in Firefox 3.0.16. 62 bug fixes have been applied to Firefox 3.5.6 of including 11 critical and 6 major ones.
The beta release notes classify the upgrade as a performance and stability update. It fixes three bugs of which one has been classified as critical and two as major.
Fixed a common stability issue.
Fixed a problem with how updates were being presented to users.
The release notes are accessible here. They link to the bugzilla listing of bugs that have been fixed in this version of Firefox.
A release of Firefox 3.0.17 is also expected to hit the Firefox ftp servers soon as it has been scheduled for release today as well.
Firefox 3.5.x was also updated to Firefox 3.5.9 which has also been a security and stability update, likely with many updates that have also been made to Firefox 3.0.19. Bugzilla lists the same amount of bugs that have been fixed. It is here again recommended to update the Firefox browser as soon as possible to improve the browser's stability and security.
Customizations have always been a core aspect of the Firefox web browser. Up until now it was possible to drag and drop some user interface elements, like bookmarks or search bars into other toolbars. It was furthermore possible to use CSS styling to change other elements (like font sizes for instance) as well. But then there were also elements that could not be moved at all. The tabbar for instance was such an element.
The latest Firefox 3.7 nightlies (called firefox-3.7a5pre) enables customizations for additional elements that could not be moved at all previously. It is now for instance possible to move the new tab and list tabs buttons from the Firefox tabbar into another toolbar.
More interesting than this, especially in situations where screen estate is a premium is the ability to move elements into the tabbar which actually makes it possible to place all visible navigational elements into one toolbar in the Firefox web browser.
Moving all elements into the tabbar has consequences on the other hand, especially in situations where many tabs are opened at the same time as they reduce the width of forms to a minimum making it extremely difficulty to enter new urls or perform searches.
Mozilla Links has information about the other changes in this new release:
On Windows, you can also notice the slightly updated tabs style: more separated and rounded and more contrast for the active tab.
Important changes are still to come for tabs including nice animations when adding, closing and moving tabs, and Aero Glass for all toolbars on Windows Vista and 7.
Which brings us to an interesting question. How would your browser look like if all browser toolbars and elements were customizable?
I for one would love to see an option to integrate the titlebar into one of the bars, maybe make it fixed to a toolbars background or something like that.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.