Firefox 59: security info and address bar suggestion changes
While Mozilla focuses much of its development resources on releasing Firefox 58 next week, work on the next Firefox version Firefox 59 continues as well.
Firefox users who run Nightly, the cutting edge version of Firefox that is updated very frequently, are already on version 59.
While some features are not enabled yet, Tab Warming needs to be mentioned in this regard; others are readily available already.
Firefox 59 will be released on March 13, 2018, if there are not any last minute changes to the release schedule.
We will take a look at two of the upcoming features that Mozilla plans to launch in Firefox 59.
Firefox's about:support page offers a wealth of information. It links to the user profile, lists whether multi-process Firefox is enabled, and lists significant Firefox preference changes as well.
Firefox 59 features the new Security Software section. I don't know whether this is a Windows-specific feature or available on all supported operating systems.
Firefox lists the installed antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall solution on the page. You don't get any control over the listed programs from within Firefox, but it may be useful in some edge cases, for instance, if downloads are blocked, and you need to troubleshoot the issue.
Firefox address bar search suggestions
Mozilla removed the Firefox search bar in the toolbar for new installations in Firefox 57 by default. Firefox users may still enable it, but it is off by default.
Starting in Firefox 59 -- if the schedule holds -- Firefox will display search suggestions before the browsing history suggestions in the address bar by default. Browsing history refers to open tabs, the history and bookmarks.
This change won't affect existing installations of the Firefox web browser before Firefox 57. Long-time Firefox users won't notice a change while the change is visible on new installs only.
Mozilla added a switch to the preferences that give Firefox users control over the order of suggestions.
- Load about:preferences#search in the Firefox address bar.
- The preference "Show search suggestions ahead of browsing history in address bar results" determines the order of suggestions. Uncheck it to return to the previous status quo.
Why is Mozilla doing this?
Javaun Moradi, product manager at Mozilla, who created the bug on Mozilla's Bugzilla site, provides an explanation:
In 57 we unified the address and search bars for new users. Some users may have a search-first workflow (we believe many Chrome users fall into this workflow) and some users have a history-first workflow (we believe most long-time Fx users fall into this workflow).
The feature is controlled by the String preference browser.urlbar.matchBuckets. It does not exist if the default value is set (default is to prioritize search before browsing history).
The value is set to general:5,suggestion:Infinity if you turn the feature off.
The order change won't affect existing Firefox installations according to Mozilla, and the preference ensures that Firefox users have full control over the feature.
Now You: Do you use Firefox with a separate search bar?