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09 February 2011, 10:29

Firefox 4 Beta 11 adds "Do Not Track" capabilities

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Firefox Logo Less than two weeks after Firefox 4 Beta 10 arrived, the Mozilla Project has released an 11th beta for version 4.0 of its open source Firefox web browser. Firefox 4 is the non-profit organisation's next-generation web browser based on version 2.0 of the Gecko rendering platform (the Firefox 3.6 branch uses Gecko 1.9.2) and features a new Add-ons Manager and extension management API, as well as a new 'tabs on top' layout.

Zoom Firefox 4 Beta 11 adds support for the proposed "Do Not Track" header.
Firefox 4 Beta 11 features the addition of support for the proposed "Do Not Track" (DNT) header – users can enable the DNT option via a check box under the "Advanced" tab in Firefox's Preferences. Once enabled, a header will signal websites that support DNT that the user wishes to opt-out of online behavioural tracking. However, at this time, no web sites currently support the feature. The default homepage, the Firefox Start Page (about:home), has also had its design refreshed.

A small overlay is now used to show connection status messages and Firefox no longer switches into offline mode automatically. Additionally, support for WebGL, a royalty free specification that is essentially a JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 (Open Graphics Library for Embedded Systems) that allows browsers to display hardware-accelerated 3D graphics without the need for a plug-in, has been re-enabled on Linux.

Zoom The new Firefox Start Page (about:home) on Mac OS X.
As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter. Firefox 4 Beta 11 will be followed by an additional beta version, as well as the planned release candidate – specific release dates for these have yet to be confirmed. Following a number of delays, the final release of Firefox 4 is expected to arrive "before the end of February".

Further information about the 11th beta can be found in the release notes and in the change log – a list of known issues is also provided. Firefox 4 Beta 11 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Alternatively, existing Firefox 4.0 Beta users can upgrade to the new version, either by waiting for the automated update notification or by manually selecting "Check for updates" from the Help Menu.

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. The latest stable release is version 3.6.13, a security update that addressed a critical vulnerability, from early December.

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