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23 May 2011, 10:15

Beta of Firefox 5 with CSS animations

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Firefox After adopting a version model similar to that used by Google for its Chrome browser, the Mozilla Project developers have released a public beta of Firefox 5. The first production version is expected to follow in less than 4 weeks.

The new version's most important advancement is its CSS animation support, a feature that other browsers such as Safari have offered for some time. Released simultaneously, the beta of Firefox 5 for Android is now capable of sending the Do-Not-Track (DNT) header – the developers say that it is "the first mobile web browser" to offer such a feature.

Zoom The Firefox 5 beta channel on Mac OS X.
When creating a CSS animation, a developer specifies the animation's duration and name in the CSS rules for the HTML element in question. The @keyframes selector associated with this name is followed by the rules that describe the element's beginning and end points as well as optional intermediate stages. As with the WebKit browser engine, all attributes are preceded by-moz-, which means that they are not final. Although the examples on the Mozilla Project's web site are also supposed to work with a WebKit browser, a mistake prevents them from functioning: instead of -webkit-animation-duration: slidein;, the code should read -webkit-animation-name: slidein;. Update: The examples for Webkit browsers are now fixed.

Those who use a Beta or Aurora channel release will now find it easier to switch to the other version. The Do-Not-Track header header preference has also been moved "to increase discoverability". For example, on Windows, it can be found under "Tools->Options->Privacy", while on Mac OS X, it is under "Firefox->Preferences->Privacy". This header allows users to signal to web sites that they don't wish to have their browsing behaviour tracked. Whether a site respects this header is up to its developers.

Zoom The Beta of Firefox 5 for Android enables users to send a Do-Not-Track header.
Source: Mozilla
Other changes affect the speed of the JSON parser and the support for the click method for all HTML elements. This support is part of the HTML5 specification. One other modification potentially affects extension authors: the navigator.language property now contains the same value as the Accept-Language HTTP header. Previously, the two entries were allowed to be different, with the property determining the language of the browser GUI and the header specifying the preferred localised version of a web page.

More details about the release, including a list of bug fixes, can be found in the release notes and in a post on the Future Releases blog – the project's newest blog. Users can download the beta of Firefox 5.0 from the project's Firefox Future Releases web page. The latest stable release is Firefox 4.0.1 from late April, a maintenance and security update that addressed a total of three vulnerabilities in the browser.

Firefox binaries are released under the Mozilla Firefox End-User Software License Agreement and the source code is released under disjunctive tri-licensing that includes the Mozilla Public Licence, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1.

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