Firefox 6 available, version 8 to offer add-on control - Update
The latest version of Firefox is available to download from the Mozilla.org FTP server. The versions seem complete with translations available in a range of languages and with versions for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Firefox 6 will be officially released to the world on Tuesday when it will appear in the automatic update system integrated into the Mozilla browser.
Update - Mozilla contacted The H to say that the Firefox 6 builds on their FTP servers "are currently not final and are still going through QA testing".
In Firefox version 8, which will soon enter the alpha level "Aurora" phase of development, Mozilla is planning to block the ability to install add-ons automatically and silently. Add-ons installed by third party applications, for example, will now need to be activated in the browser by the user who will be prompted when an unapproved add-on is detected. Users will no longer be left wondering where mystery toolbars (installed by other programs) have come from. When installed, Firefox 8 will also display a list of add-ons from previous versions and require users to select which add-ons are to be retained; to help them decide, the list will tell users which add-ons they have installed and which have been installed automatically by other programs.
The problem of unapproved add-ons goes back to when Microsoft was found to be installing various add-ons without telling the user. In 2009, Mozilla took the step of blocking (and later unblocking) one Microsoft add-on through Mozilla's blocklist and security experts warned of the dangers of add-ons.