The Mozilla Foundation has released the second beta of Mozilla Firefox 1.5 which is due out in a final release later this year. This release features several improvements to the new automated update system, improved website rendering and performance, and closing several security issues. Mozilla Firefox 1.5 also comes with the previous improvements of 1.5 Beta 1, which include the fast caching system, the new options window, a faster way to delete private information and inline error pages (instead of dialogs).
The question if Mozilla Firefox 1.5 is a big improvement, most, if not all of the new features for end-users are already known to Opera users. 1.5 is a good improvement for existing Firefox users, but new users might not be attracted by these features.
With the recent debate on the many security issues that Firefox is facing, this release comes as a bitter after taste. Fixing several severe security bugs, you can say that the time that The Mozilla Foundation or Corporation takes to resolve is less than that of Microsoft. But it still remains a fact that these security issues were severe, not even including what extensions can do to your security, and the question remains if Firefox' security architecture or developers are partially responsible for the many issues that arise. Considering they say it's caused by the big adoption of Firefox, it still doesn't explain why Internet Explorer had less security issues, which a far larger usage?
Macromedia has released the final version of their Macromedia Flash Player 8. This release features all the new stuff that got into and is available to Flash 8 developers, like graphical effects such as shadow, glow and blur and enhanced readability for PDF-alike display of text. As expected from Macromedia, the plug-in is available for all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera.
CNET News.com has a news article about cybercops, who have to learn about alternative browsers, besides Internet Explorer. Cybercops have to learn where certain data of browsers like Opera and Firefox is stored, and how to decypher them, as it's often stored in a different way than Internet Explorer does. Also it's important to know how to distinct what are typed and clicked links, which for instance are stored in several different files.
Chris Long eyes up the contenders for the new browser wars, featuring RSS, tabbed browsing and improved security. Besides the audio report (Windows Media or Real), there's also a very short interview on the same page. Christen Krogh, VP Engineering for Opera Software, talks about why Opera is more secure and their latest addition, Opera Mini for mobiles.
Asa Dotzler gives word on Spread Firefox that they've recorded 80 million downloads in 9 months since the 1.0 release. This count gives a remarkable note of a change in the worldwide web browser usage. Congrats to the Mozilla Community!
A new round of extension updates for Mozilla Firefox.
Forecastfox, the weather extension, has received a minor update to version 0.8.1.2. This is a maintenance release, and does not contain any noticable changes for the user.
The Mozilla Foundation is in the process of reorganizing, creating a commercial entity called the Mozilla Corporation. This decision was made to accommodate the non-profit public software development entity known as the Mozilla Foundation. The Mozilla Corporation will consist of 36 employees, with Mitchell Baker and other well known Mozilla Foundation employees at the top. This corporation will be responsible for product development, marketing and distribution of the Mozilla products. By forming a commercial entity, the revenue-generating activities can provide funds to support development, testing, and productization of the various Mozilla open-source technologies. This should benefit end-users, developers and others who want to use the Mozilla open-source code.
A new round of my favorite Firefox extensions!
First there is a minor update for Forecastfox, bringing your daily weather forecasts. This release is labeled 0.8.1.1 and is available through the Firefox Update program (Tools -> Extensions -> Select the extension and hit the [Update] button).
Also updated is the Gmail Notifier, bringing the version up to 0.5.0 it features several enhancements and fixes. Be sure to read the changelog. Like Forecastfox, this extension is also available through the Firefox Update program.