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08 November 2011, 17:15

Firefox 8 arrives with improved add-on control

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Firefox logo As expected, the Mozilla Project has officially announced the release of version 8.0 of its open source Firefox web browser. Based on the Gecko 8 engine, Firefox 8 adds Twitter as a new default search option for select locales (more locales will be added in the future) and improves how add-ons are controlled.

From version 8, when Firefox launches and detects that a new third-party add-on has been installed, the add-on will be disabled by default until approved by the user. When users upgrade to Firefox 8, they will be presented with a one-time dialog for approving previously installed add-ons.

Zoom Users upgrading from a previous version of Firefox will be asked to confirm third-party add-ons
The "restore tabs on demand" feature allows users to choose to load the content of tabs only when they are selected, improving overall start-up times when loading windows with many tabs. This option can be found in the Firefox Menu > Options > General under Windows, and in the Firefox Menu > Preferences > General on Mac OS X. Other changes include the addition of Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) for WebGL textures, support for HTML5 context menus, updates to WebSockets and fixes for hundreds of bugs.

The update addresses a total of 6 security vulnerabilities, three of which are rated as critical. Holes closed include a code execution bug, a memory corruption issue and miscellaneous memory safety hazards. The remaining fixes, rated as high risk, include two cross-origin problems and a potential cross-site scripting (XSS) bug. Mozilla has also upgraded its 3.6.x legacy branch to version Firefox 3.6.24. The new version improves the browser's overall stability and fixes three of the same security holes found in Firefox 8.

Version 8.0 of Mozilla's mobile browser, Firefox for Android, is also expected to arrive soon. With the update, users will be able to add any bookmarked site to the Android Home Screen. Password security has also been enhanced with the inclusion of master password support, allowing users to encrypt saved usernames and passwords with a single master password for increased security.

Further information about the browser update can be found in the version 8.0 release notes. Firefox 8 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Alternatively, existing users can upgrade to the new versions, either by waiting for the automated update notification or by manually checking.

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 License, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1.

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