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17 May 2013, 15:25

Firefox 22 beta delivers WebRTC and more

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Firefox Beta Where the most recent Firefox release was somewhat light on features, the next release, Firefox 22, which has just gone into beta, will be offering some more substantial enhancement. Foremost of those is full WebRTC support, which will allow web developers to integrate real-time audio and video connections between browsers with all the required components – DataChannels, PeerConnection and GetUserMedia – included. WebRTC can be orchestrated with JavaScript-based applications and can potentially be used for anything from simple user-to-user chatting with video calls and file sharing to interactive multiplayer games on the web. The WebRTC features are now enabled by default.

Boosting JavaScript performance in the longer term, Firefox 22 beta sees the inclusion of OdinMonkey, a JavaScript JIT engine which has been specifically optimised for the sub-set of JavaScript that makes up Asm.js. Asm.js is a development from Mozilla designed for code-generating applications like EmScripten so that C and C++ code can be compiled into a particular subset of JavaScript and run in the browser. The technology was recently shown in action with the port of the Unreal 3 browser engine to the browser.

Other enhancements in Firefox 22 beta include first support for the Web Notifications API, which lets web apps alert users to events outside the browser, HiDPI support on Windows for better display scaling, and a new Font Inspector for discovering information about the fonts in use on a page, such as whether it is a system or remote font. According to the release notes, other changes include download progress now being shown in the Mac OS X dock, plain text files being wrapped in the browser, better touchpad scrolling, CSS3 Flexbox implemented and turned on, and added support for the HTML5 <data> and <time> elements.

Firefox 22 Beta is available to download from the Firefox Beta Channel download page.



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