As FavBrowser recently reported, there are ways to get around memory leaks in Firefox. Nevertheless, the problem appears to be serious enough for Mozilla itself to finally want to get it out of the way.
It’s become increasingly clear over the last several months that we have a pretty pressing need to deal with increases in memory usage in Firefox. Since we released Firefox 4 (and before, too), we’ve seen lots of reports about Firefox memory usage being higher than in older versions, and that Firefox memory usage is growing over time. – Johnny Stenback, a developer who works for Mozilla.
With Chrome OS notebooks already shipping, Firefox has also decided to join the party with the web browser based interface called Webian Shell, which is based on Mozilla Chromeless project.
As this is just an early and experimental release, the upcoming versions are set to incorporate more advanced features, such as: multiple home screens, split screen view, onscreen keyboard for touch based devices and more.
If you would like to try it out, here is a download link.
Going by what Mozilla has to say, the channel switcher will be removed from Firefox. Why? While the channel switcher seemed like a good idea at first, it was only really useful as a springboard it appears. This conclusion came to light due to the fact that the feature was rarely utilized once users made the switch to a particular channel.
As it turns out, users of Firefox are much more interested in running different versions of the browser alongside each other, and so Mozilla has declared that its efforts are best directed elsewhere. You will still be able to switch back and forth between the Aurora and Beta channels, of course. Simply visit the Future of Firefox page to obtain them.
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The nightly builds of Firefox have received a new tool in the form of about:permissions. Typing about:permissions into the address bar welcomes one with a dashboard that lets you configure cookies, geolocation, pop ups, password keeping, and offline storage access on a per site basis.
If passwords have previously been set for a specific site, about:permissions will permit the viewing and removal of these passwords. One can also administer and get rid of cookies that sites have cached on the system or forget a site completely, eradicating it from Firefox’s memory.
With Google allowing users to hide the address bar in canary builds of Chrome 13, Mozilla has decided to release the LessChrome HD extension which pretty much does the same thing. This has seemingly sparked a bit of a debate in the browser industry, as the address bar has always been an integral part of the web browser.
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Firefox 3.5, currently boasting 12 million users according to Mozilla, will be updated to a newer version next month through an automatic upgrade. Makes sense that Mozilla wants to upgrade its users, for Firefox 3.5 received its last security patch approximately three weeks ago.
Mozilla started offering an upgrade to Firefox 4 to people running Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3.6 last week. According to Christian Legnitto, the Firefox release manager, Mozilla will force 3.6 on 3.5 stragglers not choosing to update to Firefox 4 or 3.6. However, Legnitto later said that his choice of the word “force” was poor, and noted that only Firefox 3.5 users who had left the default automatic updates setting enabled would be moved to Firefox 3.6 automatically.