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28 June 2013, 13:19

Universal "share" button for Firefox

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Firefox Beta Arriving hot on the heels of the release of Firefox 22, the beta of version 23 opens up the social API originally introduced in November 2012 for Facebook to all developers. It also includes a Share API that social networks can use to add their share buttons to a common panel. The browser itself displays the panel, which users can initiate using the share button in the toolbar or a context menu. Details and documentation on this new feature are still fairly incomplete.

The Mixed Content Blocker should improve security in the new beta. The tool stops secure HTTPS pages from loading additional content via unencrypted HTTP and denotes such "mixed content" with a gray shield in the address bar. Web developers should test their pages in the beta version as soon as possible and replace any HTTP URLs in their code with HTTPS URLs or use relative URLs. Chrome and Internet Explorer also include similar blockers.

The developers have removed several options from the settings panel that could make the internet look "broken", like deactivation of automatic image loading, JavaScript and SSL/TLS. Alex Limi, in charge of product design at Mozilla, has written a blog post discussing other examples, like turning off the navigation toolbar, New Firefox Logo
More solid colours, less details and a lower contrast globe in the new Firefox icon
which can render the browser completely unusable – and hasn't been changed yet in the current beta. Firefox users who want to turn off JavaScript in future will have to use an add-on like NoScript or set the value of javascript.enabled to false in about:config.

For the first time, developers can use "range" as an input type – but they will also have to find a way to live without the often ridiculed blink text effect. The release notes list all of the changes in Firefox 23.

The current beta, available for download for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, also features a new icon for Firefox, with a more stylised and less detailed fox and a lower-contrast, reflectionless globe. The new icon is part of a redesign which will be rolling out over the coming weeks and months.


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