Firefox 3.6 released

[tweetmeme source=”franscomputerservices” only_single=false]On January 21, 2010, Firefox 3.6 was released.

Full release notes and what’s new in Firefox 3.6 here.

Firefox now has what is called Personas. Some folks may enjoy them. I am not all that thrilled with that but maybe that’s because I don’t generally use alternate themes which is very similar.

Notable Firefox 3.6 features include:

  • Available in more than 70 languages – get your local version.
  • Support for a new type of theme called Personas, which allow users to change Firefox’s appearance with a single click.
  • Protection from out-of-date plugins to keep users safer as they browse.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen and supports poster frames.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness, and startup time.
  • The ability for web developers to indicate that scripts should run asynchronously to speed up page load times.
  • Continued support for downloadable web fonts using the new WOFF font format.
  • Support for new CSS attributes such as gradients, background sizing, and pointer events.
  • Support for new DOM and HTML5 specifications including the Drag & Drop API and the File API, which allow for more interactive web pages.
  • Changes to how third-party software can integrate with Firefox in order to prevent crashes.

Personally, I think that the biggest news is the HTML5 support.

Although there will be some growing pains, it will be very welcome news when the dust settles as it does with all major changes to HTML.

One of the lofty aims of HTML5 specifications is:

HTML5 aims to reduce the need for proprietary plug-in-based rich Internet application (RIA) technologies such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and Sun JavaFX.

Although these technologies are free for users to view Flash content, etc., the cost to companies to make use of them can be very expensive indeed. If you have ever noted how expensive the Adobe Suite(s) are then you may already know what I mean.

Technologies like Flash, Silverlight and Java can be considered a combination of a container and delivery mechanism for presenting various types of file such as video and audio, etc. in a browser environment.

The video and audio codecs themselves used to present these files can vary. You can see audio files in mp3, m4a, wma, ogg, etc. audio formats, or video files in H.264, Windows Media, Ogg Theora, etc., video formats.

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