Firefox 128: big feature release and new ESR-base

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 9, 2024
Firefox
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Mozilla plans to release Firefox 128 and Firefox 128 ESR today. The new browser version introduces plenty of new features and improvements, including new translate functionality, a unified user data clearing dialog, and more.

All other Firefox editions will also be updated. Firefox for Android to version 128, Firefox Beta and Dev to version 129, and Firefox Nightly to version 130.

Note: This overview of Firefox 128 is released before the official release of the browser. It may take a few hours before it becomes available.

Executive Summary

  • Firefox 128.0 is a security, bug-fix, and new feature release.
  • Firefox 128 ESR is the new ESR base. Firefox 115 ESR will be supported until October 1, 2024.
  • Mozilla plans to extend support for Firefox on Windows 7 and 8/8.1 (which uses Firefox 115 ESR).

Firefox 128.0 download and update

Most unmanaged versions of Firefox are updated automatically. This happens hours or even days after release. Firefox users who want to install the new version immediately may do so in the following way:

  1. Select Menu > Help > About Firefox.

Firefox displays the current version and runs a check for update. It should pick up Firefox 128.0 at this point to download and install the new version of the browser.

You can also download the latest version of Firefox by following these links:

Firefox 128.0 changes

Translation improvements

Firefox translate selection
New Firefox translate feature to translate text parts

Firefox Translate is now capable of translating text and hyperlink text selections.

Do the following to use the new functionality:

  • Select text in Firefox.
  • Right-click on the selection.
  • Pick "Translate selection to" from the context menu.

Firefox opens a small overlay window. Translation may take a moment to become available.

Changed Clear browsing data and cookies dialog

Firefox's new Clear Cookies and Site Data dialog
The new clear browsing data and cookies window

Mozilla changed the "Clear browsing data and cookies" dialog in the Firefox web browser. You can access this by going to Menu > Settings > Privacy & Security > Cookies and Site Data > Clear Data.

Firefox displayed just two options there previously:

  • Cookies and Site Data.
  • Cached Web Content.

The new version has four options:

  • History.
  • Cookies and site data.
  • Temporary cached files and pages.
  • Site settings.

Firefox users may now also select a time range, e.g., the last hour or today, for the cleaning.

Other changes and fixes

Firefox Website Advertising Preferences
Disable or enable Firefox's new advertising feature
  • Firefox users in the United States and Canada will see their "recent searches or currently trending searches" when they open the address bar of the browser. Mozilla says that this helps users to back to their previous search sessions or get inspiration for new searches.
  • Firefox users may play protected content (DRM) in Private Browsing mode now. Mozilla mentions Netflix specifically, but it should work with other streaming sites as well.
  • Firefox supports the experimental Privacy Preserving Attribution API now. This is an "alternative to user tracking for ad attribution" according to Mozilla. Firefox users may disable the feature by loading about:preferences#privacy in the browser's address bar and disabling "Allow websites to perform privacy-preserving ad measurement" on the page that opens.
  • Mac OS only: microphone capture "through getUserMedia" uses the system-provided voice processing to improve audio quality, when possible.
  • Firefox can display more text file types inline instead of showing a download dialog.

Developer changes

  • When hovering over a CSS rule selecting in the Developer Tools, CSS rules specificity is now displayed.
  • The Inspector panel now flags a custom property declaration as invalid when the value does not match the registered custom property definition.
  • Enabled by default: Relative color syntax
  • Resizeable ArrayBuffer and growable SharedArrayBuffer are now supported
  • The RFC 9218: Extensible Prioritization Scheme for HTTP is now supported,
  • The content property supports alternative text for content that contains an image.
  • The HTTP Accept header in default requests and image requests now includes the image/svg+xml MIME type.
  • Several API changes, check the release notes here.

Enterprise changes

  • Some options in the SanitizeOnShutdown policy have been combined as a result of the redesigning of the "Clear browsing data and cookies" dialog.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause SPNEGO authentication to fail.
  • Firefox 115 ESR will receive two additional releases in the coming months.

Security updates / fixes

Will be published after the official release. Check back later.

Outlook

Firefox 129, Firefox 128.1 ESR, and Firefox 115.14 ESR will be released on August 6th, 2024.

Recent Firefox news and tips

Additional information / resources

Closing Words

Firefox 128.0 adds a couple of interesting features. The main one is support for translating text selections. It is a bit slower than comparable solutions, but the processing happens on the local device, which is much better for privacy.

All existing ESR installations will be upgraded to the new ESR base in the coming months.

Have you tried the new Firefox already? What is your take on the new features and changes?

Summary
Firefox 128: big feature release and new ESR-base
Article Name
Firefox 128: big feature release and new ESR-base
Description
Mozilla Firefox 128 and Firefox 128 ESR are out. Our overview highlights the new features and changes of the web browser release.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. chesscanoe said on July 21, 2024 at 9:55 pm
    Reply

    I use the latest US stable Firefox 128 just for backup. Trying to use about:preferences#privacy is complicated to say the least.

  2. Noia said on July 12, 2024 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    How about Noia? Is it compatible with new Firefox? Noia was updated four months ago.

    https://github.com/Aris-t2/NoiaButtons

  3. Ken Saunders said on July 11, 2024 at 9:05 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been with you since 2005, especially due to your endless support and loyalty to Firefox, but this is not a “big feature release”.
    The updates have become nag screens that rarely apply to me.

    “Back in the day”, we got actual big feature releases with new and innovative, one of a kind features.
    We don’t get that any longer.

    I’ll use Firefox and Thunderbird until one of us is dead, but it, and the Internet in general is quite stale, stagnant, and quite frankly, boring.
    Although it is far more toxic.

  4. Michael Kaiser said on July 11, 2024 at 3:02 am
    Reply

    It sucks. For some reason, at least using Bing as a browser, the first time I enter a search the first time I will get some bizarre web address-type thing in the tab and just a blank screen. I have to repeat the search a second time, and every time, to get where I want to be.

    1. Guest said on July 11, 2024 at 1:15 pm
      Reply

      What has this got to do with the article? Do you mean using Bing in Firefox?

  5. Tim said on July 10, 2024 at 10:29 pm
    Reply

    Martin did not include detail on “PPA API”, so allow me to include a bit since this is actually a big thing.
    It is time firefox user educate themselves about what ‘Privacy Preserving Attribution’ API is.
    The following URL can serve as a starting point, as it is really a Google project that Firefox/Mozilla is also tainting itself with now, that Chrome users have been subject to for a while.
    https://developers.google.com/privacy-sandbox/relevance/attribution-reporting
    This is essentially about “going cookieless and switching to browser API” on advertising tracking – at least as far as Googles advertsing business side is concerned. Like cookies it can be used for tracking a lot more than just ads and unlike cookies you can’t do much about it. Eventually some sites will begin to block you if they detect that you have disabled this.

    There is of course very little privacy in that, other than what advertisers and webshops (in fact all websites) decide to not take from you. It gets sidelined/defeated by various deanonymization tricks and visitor-unique advert-IDs.
    So, do remember to turn that thing off before you go looking at adult content etc. since this is of course not limited to advertising and can be used on any element the page loads.

    1. Karl said on July 18, 2024 at 12:35 am
      Reply

      “Privacy-Preserving” Attribution: Mozilla Disappoints Us Yet Again
      https://blog.privacyguides.org/2024/07/14/mozilla-disappoints-us-yet-again-2/

    2. anonymous said on July 11, 2024 at 5:20 pm
      Reply

      I don’t want to click on a link to Google. Got anything else?

  6. David said on July 10, 2024 at 2:01 pm
    Reply

    Still no PWA / SSB support

    1. Anonymous said on July 10, 2024 at 5:37 pm
      Reply

      And will hopefully never come. PWA is a nightmare from a security point of view. I know that the average web app dev doesn’t care about (or even understands) this issue, but NOT supporting PWAs is BIG plus and massively enhances security.

      There is absolutely no reason, why any website in a browser should be able to perfectly emulate the look and feel of a local application, thus further blurring the difference between local and remote.

      1. David said on July 11, 2024 at 1:07 am
        Reply

        And we will keep ignoring Firefox and using Brave with PWA / SSB support without any security issue.

      2. Anonymous said on July 11, 2024 at 12:09 pm
        Reply

        Who are “we”? The crypto miners like you?

      3. Anonymous said on July 11, 2024 at 7:43 am
        Reply

        You really, intellectually do not understand the problem, do you ?

      4. David said on July 11, 2024 at 4:10 pm
        Reply

        I fully understand that you don’t know what you are talking about. Now excuse me but I have run out of my daily time to talk to “special” people.

      5. Anonymous said on July 13, 2024 at 2:15 pm
        Reply

        @David seethe more my dear, the only special one here is you.

  7. Anonymous said on July 10, 2024 at 3:10 am
    Reply

    Still using Firefox on my Windows 7 machine. No issues, no Windows 11 BS. :)

    1. Tipsy4Life said on July 10, 2024 at 9:59 am
      Reply

      r3dfox with the latest v128 exists, you know! no need to stay on the abandonware Firefox ESR v115.

      https://github.com/Eclipse-Community/r3dfox/releases/tag/v128.0-hotfix

      1. bruh said on July 10, 2024 at 5:24 pm
        Reply

        ESR 115 is not abandonware yet… besides, how is theming going with r3dfox? ESR 115 has themes such as Echelon.

        I love the idea of a W7/8 fork of Firefox, however they say their main goal is to have a stock experience as possible, and I wouldn’t wish a stock firefox experience on my worst enemy.

  8. DirCompUser said on July 10, 2024 at 2:45 am
    Reply

    ” * … Firefox 115 ESR will be supported until October 1, 2024.

    * Mozilla plans to extend support for Firefox on Windows 7 and 8/8.1 (which uses Firefox 115 ESR).”

    Seems somewhat self-contradictory. Is Mozilla going to maintain 115 ESR on Windows 7 and 8/8.1 (bit not for later e.g. W10?) after 1 October then?

    1. NeonRobot said on July 10, 2024 at 8:57 am
      Reply

      From above mentioned statements we can extrapolate that this will be one more month of support, but looks quite weird

  9. bruh said on July 9, 2024 at 5:03 pm
    Reply

    Recently got Firefox 115 ESR with the Echelon theme: wow, a nice browsing experience like the good old days. Extended support is nice, but I’ve no doubt the community will provide for when even Mozilla stops support.

  10. John G. said on July 9, 2024 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    Very good privacy enhancements imho. Thanks for the article! :]

    1. ran-sama said on July 9, 2024 at 11:46 pm
      Reply

      Good but incomplete, also have to stop the machine learning in Firefox:

      [https://github.com/ran-sama/firefox-preferences/blob/master/user.js#L472]
      [https://github.com/ran-sama/firefox-preferences]

      Ticking one box off is not pulling the plug to all endpoints.
      Martin will be very busy in the future to report about many issues with fox, sadly :(

      1. John G. said on July 10, 2024 at 5:59 pm
        Reply

        @ran-sama > “Martin will be very busy in the future to report about many issues with fox, sadly :(”

        Sad about that! :[

  11. Jörg Barth said on July 9, 2024 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    Boaaah! I’m going to be crazy right away. What great news. Do I soon need a diploma to operate Firefox?

    These many innovations. I lose the overview. Can Firefox bake a cake soon?

    1. Anonymous said on July 10, 2024 at 7:38 pm
      Reply

      The average Brave user has spoken.

  12. westernscumbag said on July 10, 2024 at 2:32 am
    Reply

    “At least use some Chrinese, Vietnamese or Russian software so to not give your data to the filthy western scumbags. I’d rather give my data to China and Russia, at least they are the good guys.”???

    If you are expecting your post to be taken as a rational arguement, this is probably not a great way to finish it.

  13. traeh nori said on July 10, 2024 at 2:19 am
    Reply

    “China and Russia, at least they are the good guys”

    People against communism and dictatorships would disagree with you.

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