In association with heise online

25 June 2013, 17:09

Firefox 22 offers real-time video communications and faster JavaScript

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Firefox Firefox 22 has been released by Mozilla and, unlike recent updates to Firefox which have been feature-light, the new release offers some important enhancements for future web development. Leading the feature list is full WebRTC support, which will allow web developers to integrate real-time audio and video connections between browsers. Working with JavaScript-based applications, WebRTC can potentially be used for anything from multiplayer interactive games on the web, like Mozilla's own BananaBread game or Google's Cube Slam demo, to simple user-to-user chatting with video calls and file sharing. More information on WebRTC can be found in a post on the Mozilla Hacks blog.

To get the best from the web, Mozilla has been focusing on improving JavaScript performance and Firefox 22 brings the latest of those performance boosters, OdinMonkey. Mozilla has been pushing Asm.js, a subset of JavaScript selected for faster execution, and OdinMonkey is a specialised JavaScript JIT engine which just deals with that subset. Asm.js is 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 has allowed a port of the Unreal 3 engine to run in the browser, though the demonstration shows that there is some way to go before reaching native performance.

Firefox 22 also includes HiDPI support on Windows for better display scaling and first support for the Web Notifications API, which lets web apps alert users to events outside the browser. For those who want to examine their web pages in more detail, a new Font Inspector is included 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 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 is available to download either from the platform detecting download page or from the comprehensive all languages and systems download page for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.



  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit