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31 January 2012, 17:44

Firefox 10 arrives bringing CSS 3D transformations - Update

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Firefox 10's hidden forward button The latest release of Mozilla's Firefox, now at version 10, brings support for CSS 3D Transforms, which allow web page designers to position elements in three dimensional space on the page. CSS 3D Transforms – previously only supported on WebKit-based browsers – also allow a web developer to animate page elements. Some examples are given in a Mozilla hacks blog posting.

WebGL graphics will look smoother in Firefox 10 with the addition of anti-aliasing, but a more obviously visible change is the forward button on the navigation bar which now only appears when a user navigates back. The forward button hiding only works with normal sized toolbar icons though – selecting small icons makes the forward button always visible as before. Firefox 10 also sees the introduction of a FullScreen API, which allows web application developers to take over the display for games or other graphically immersive applications.

HTML5 support in Firefox 10 has an added new <bdi> element for bi-directional text and the IndexedDB support is, according to the developers, a closer match to the specification. Developers will find that the Inspect tool now highlights content and includes a CSS Style Inspector. A crash when moving bookmarks is among the bugs that have been fixed.

Mozilla's plans for silent updates are still in the works, so the user will still need to interact with the browser to update. One change with updates is that add-ons and themes are assumed to function, rather than not function as assumed by previous Firefox versions, meaning that the update process won't leave a user with familiar extensions disabled and needing updates. Silent updates are currently expected to arrive mid-year with Firefox 13.

The known issues for Firefox 10 include one related to it being a two-digit version number. Some sites check the user-agent string to "sniff" for browser versions and there are old scripts in existence which assume single digit browser versions. Mozilla developers are hunting down sites that make this assumption and offering advice for web developers to help them check their sites.

Further information on other known issues is available in the release notes. Firefox 10 can be downloaded from its main download page where the OS and language are automatically selected, or from the complete list of localised versions where the user can select the operating system and language.

Update: Mozilla has detailed the security fixes included in the current 10.0 release of Firefox. In total, the update closes eight security holes, five of which are rated as critical.


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