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Firefox 8.0 Released 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the almost-caught-up-to-ie's-version-number dept.
Today Mozilla announced the launch of Firefox 8.0. The headline features this time around include adding Twitter as a search bar option, tab loading tweaks, and the default disabling of addons installed by third-parties. "Sometimes you download third-party software and are surprised to discover that an add-on has also installed itself in your browser without asking permission. At Mozilla, we think you should be in control, so we are disabling add-ons installed by third parties without your permission and letting you pick the ones you want to keep." Here are the release notes and download links.
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Firefox 8.0 Released

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  • You mean... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:16PM (#37990626)

    Firefox 4.04

    • by Xanny (2500844)
      I'd call 5.0 a pretty big deal, since that was when they got the browser CSS 3 / HTML 5 compliant in full. I'd also consider 9.0 to be a big deal, since its a pretty big speedup to jagermonkey. But yeah, 6 and 7 haven't been much of anything but a few tweaks like greying the non-domain address and such. I have no idea why Mozilla thought doing the Chrome name scheme was a good idea. I have no idea why Chrome thinks it is a good idea. All it does is make every release irrelevant and makes it so you can'
      • by Hadlock (143607)

        At this point I don't really see the version of numbering it anymore. It's a stable product (...line) that isn't going to be replaced by a better, newer technology in the next few years. I hate to make a car analogy but you might as well call it firefox 11. as in, the 2011 model of firefox. just keep releasing small updates throughout the year and when you're ready to introduce some major plugin breaking features, then go ahead and announce firefox 12. I'm a windows user and can't be arsed to figure out wha

        • But at least that would make sense. You get an idea on how current or out of date your browser is.
          Firefox 8 does that mean your firefox 5 is 3 years old or dangerously out of date?

        • by Moryath (553296)

          I don't care what it's called in version number. But for the love of god would they build in SOME form of enterprise level control options?

          When your internal training websites break on this crap, but you can't lock out the updates and you have some ditz PHB in a corner office who insists "durr I gotta use Firefox 4 eberything bcuz my 18 year old son sez its tha best", you've got issues. And yes, I know the PHB is the issue, but HIM we can't fix. Firefox could easily allow for some simple group policy-level

          • by vlm (69642)

            When your internal training websites break on this crap,

            Ahh theres the flaw in your logic. IF your internal training websites break because twitter is now a drop down search option, you've got big problems.

      • The way Chrome updates makes sense for Chrome because Chrome isn't really identified with its version number. It's silently kept up to date when a new version comes out. It's pretty easy to forget what version you're even using. Chrome has pretty much set standards on how the browser works in the front end and changes to the browser do not generally effect these things. Addons developed for Chrome back to extremely early versions of Chrome still almost always work fine.

        The opposite is true for Firefox. The

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Exactly.

          With Chrome, the updates happen silently whenever you close and reopen it. With Firefox, the updates nag you to install them, and break stuff. Even worse is when UI behaviours change so now all of a sudden, muscle memory is broken. You then have to spend the next hour googling for a way to revert the behaviour.

          I suppose the reason in Firefox it's hated so much is the releases keep breaking stuff, while in Chrome things just seem to continue - if you like the UI, it won't change on you suddenly. User

      • Re:You mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:57PM (#37991436)

        I have no idea why Mozilla thought doing the Chrome name scheme was a good idea. I have no idea why Chrome thinks it is a good idea.

        Chrome doesn't think it's a good idea, which is why Chrome doesn't do it. Try this: find a bunch of Chrome users, and ask them which version of Chrome they're using. Most of them probably won't know. That's because Chrome doesn't advertise its release numbers, they just push everyone to use the latest. It's only Firefox that's running around screaming about their version numbers.

        All it does is make every release irrelevant and makes it so you can't hype new tech in the browser because to every user it is just "oh, another version".

        Releases should be irrelevant for a stable product; users should just be downloading the updates and using them when offered so they have all the latest security fixes, but there's nothing to get excited about. I don't see Google screaming about every new Chrome release that comes out. If there's a big change in the tech somewhere, they might trumpet that, but they don't make a new version that's not obviously different from the previous version, then make some giant new press event out of it.

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      I was going to post the same thing! Only I would have said 3.8. Close enough: They need to stop this before we get to Firefox 27, sometime in mid December.

  • I have Firefox fatigue.
  • I liked it better in the old days when all we had to deal with was huge memory leakage
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:19PM (#37990698) Homepage Journal

    Firefox 9.0 will be out next week.

  • Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.23) Gecko/20110920 Firefox/3.6.23 - Enough said. The latest version/series that actually matters.
    • Is Firefox 3.6 the new IE6 that people refuse to upgrade from?

    • Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.23) Gecko/20110920 Firefox/3.6.23 - Enough said.

      It could be that enough has been said, but it's unclear what you're saying. The latest version of Firefox runs faster and is more capable than Firefox 3.6. There's no downside. You really should try Firefox 8. If you're still too fearful of Firefox 8, then wait until Firefox 9 is released and try it. Firefox 9 brings big improvements to the JavaScript engine.

      • by Desler (1608317)

        Firefox 9 brings big improvements to the JavaScript engine.

        Yeah! It'll run that synthetic benchmark 5 nanoseconds faster! Rock on!

        • Yeah! It'll run that synthetic benchmark 5 nanoseconds faster! Rock on!

          No. Comparing Firefox 9 to Firefox 7.0.1 on my system the SunSpider benchmark isn't much changed but Firefox 9 runs the V8 benchmark about 40% faster and the Kraken benchmark about 100% faster. Very much more than 5 nanoseconds. Broadway.js [github.com] (an H.264 video decoder implemented in JavaScript) runs about 130% faster on my system in Firefox 9. Try the Broadway.js demo [github.com]. It's interesting to consider that implementing video codecs in JavaScript may be practical sooner rather than later.

          • Very much more than 5 nanoseconds.

            I think you're focusing on the wrong part of the GP's post. Those sound like impressive improvements for synthetic benchmarks, but unless they translate into similarly impressive improvements for UI responsiveness for real sites, it doesn't matter to the average user.

            It's interesting to consider that implementing video codecs in JavaScript may be practical sooner rather than later.

            True, but that's not an argument for updating your web browser today.

      • by RCL (891376) <rcl DOT rs DOT vvg AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:38PM (#37992078) Homepage
        I personally will not upgrade from 3.6 (on my Windows machines at least) just because of plain stubbornness. I strongly feel that Mozilla as a whole and Asa Dotzler in particular need to be somehow punished for ignoring "LTS" (including corporate and academics) users altogether. I am all for "spread the Firefox hate" campaign.

        Call me a troll, but I was a loyal Firefox user since late 2003 (it was called "Firebird" then)... until they started to push versions upon me, destroying binary plugins and losing their identity as a stable browser in the process. Now I'm a Firefox hater.
  • What's with all the negative comments ?
    My initial impression seems to be, this is very fast as compared to 7.0.1. Good work Firefox team, some of us still appreciate your hard work.

    Now only if my company would switch from the horrible HP Quality Center to Jira, I would be set.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PRMan (959735)

      Easy, we are tired of our add-ons being disabled with every new "major" release even though they work just fine, thanks. Also, FF is so needy with all it's "update me, update me" nonsense. Leave me alone and let me do something other than attend to you.

      I switched to Chrome with NotScript and haven't looked back.

    • Re:Negative comments (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bobcat7677 (561727) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:33PM (#37990982) Homepage
      The instability and other issues mentioned by others have spoiled many people's opinions about Firefox. For many of us, a new version just doesn't matter because any improvement would be too late to matter. Ironically, just this morning I personally reached my final level of frustration and decided to quit using Firefox for good. Having a new version to play with is not enough to make me try it again...mostly because I have completely lost faith in the ff dev team in general. Chrome has been my primary browser of choice for some time (not because of any love for Google, but because it works fast and reliably for me). Safari is my new secondary browser now that FF is going in the rubbish bin.
    • by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:39PM (#37991078) Homepage

      The sanity of the Firefox team is under question as of late. From what I can remember:

      * Incrementing the major version number with every slight tweak is annoying.
      * Worse yet, the reasoning behind it is stupid. They just want their version number to be big, like IE.
      * Major feature creep: they keep talking about the browser as an OS, and 3D acceleration, and stuff that has no purpose in a browser.
      * The long-standing issues about Firefox are being ignored: primarily memory and performance.

      • Re:Negative comments (Score:5, Informative)

        by kripkenstein (913150) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @07:49PM (#37992934) Homepage
        Hi there, I'm a developer at Mozilla. Some responses to your comments:

        The sanity of the Firefox team is under question as of late. From what I can remember:

        * Incrementing the major version number with every slight tweak is annoying.

        I understand that this annoys some people. But both Chrome and Firefox do it now, and benefits and detriments are well known. It's not a perfect approach, but it does have its advantages. I don't think both Google and Mozilla are 'insane' ;)

        * Worse yet, the reasoning behind it is stupid. They just want their version number to be big, like IE.

        The main reason for Chrome and Firefox doing this is to get improvements faster to users. Rapid releases allow that.

        Mozilla also has the reason that it is following Google's lead. Google started with this version numbering scheme, and not inventing a new one is better for everyone - less confusion.

        * Major feature creep: they keep talking about the browser as an OS, and 3D acceleration, and stuff that has no purpose in a browser.

        That is a long discussion, for sure! But this is nothing to do with Firefox. All browsers are including 3D acceleration (well, except for IE) and other OS-like features. Google is even pushing native code in the browser (which I think is taking things too far).

        * The long-standing issues about Firefox are being ignored: primarily memory and performance.

        We are working very hard on those issues. If you try this release, I think you'll see significant improvements on both issues, and there are even more in the pipeline for the versions coming up afterwards.

        • by bigtrike (904535) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @09:11PM (#37993704)

          From what I can tell, your plugin interface is still using version number to determine plugin compatibility, causing plugin authors to do a lot of extra work. The plugin interface should be frozen and versioned and changed infrequently, so plugins could go more than a month without updates. Yes, Chrome updates frequently, but it never disables half of my plugins on update every month and declares that they don't work like firefox did before I ditched it.

          Why not stabilize the plugin interface for some long time period (more than a month) and version it?

          • That is where we are headed with 'jetpack' addons. Those have an API like you said. But most addons today use the older interface, which doesn't work that way - and it will be a long time until most addons are rewritten to the new API.
        • by RoLi (141856)

          I understand that this annoys some people. But both Chrome and Firefox do it now, and benefits and detriments are well known. It's not a perfect approach, but it does have its advantages. I don't think both Google and Mozilla are 'insane' ;)

          If I wanted Firefox to be like Chrome, I would use Chrome.

          If you try to get 100% of users you will end up getting nobody. In other words: Do things differently than Chrome when it is about things that "are not perfect, but have some advantages".

          The main reason for Chrome and Firefox doing this is to get improvements faster to users. Rapid releases allow that.

          Breaking extensions is not an improvement. I understand that they have to be broken sometime, but that should be maybe very 5 years or so, not 5 times a year.

          We are working very hard on those issues. If you try this release, I think you'll see significant improvements on both issues, and there are even more in the pipeline for the versions coming up afterwards.

          I will wait for a LTS-version.

        • by Tom (822) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @07:34AM (#37997486) Homepage Journal

          Mozilla also has the reason that it is following Google's lead. Google started with this version numbering scheme, and not inventing a new one is better for everyone - less confusion.

          What was wrong with the old one? You know, major and minor numbers, increase the major number only on significant, major changes? Add a third number for bugfixes and cosmetic updates?

          They've thrown out a perfectly good numbering scheme because some dofus in marketing has read a psychology book too many and convinced himself that "bigger == better" will convince the minds of more consumers.

          I understand that this annoys some people.

          No, you don't. This doesn't annoy people, it actively pushes them to change the default browser that they've been using for a decade. You are losing your most loyal users. I hope you remembered to list that under "detriments", and you have something more valuable under "benefits", though I can't imagine what that would be.

          As little as a year ago, I'd be telling anyone who uses anything else that I'd recommend Firefox. Today, I shut up unless they use IE, in which case I tell them to use any other browser of their choice.

  • I finally bit the bullet. After making probably 50 tweets complaining about various firefox crashes over the years.... I switched to Chrome even though they don't have a zoom plugin as good as NoSquint. (I compute exclusively on a 52-inch HDTV that I sit 5 feet away from, so my font needs are comparable to a visually disabled person {which I am not}).

    I use Greasemonkey every day. Greasemonkey is built into chrome. Not firefox. And when they auto-upgrade-without-permission to a new version that doesn't sup

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      Yes, switch from Firefox because of the 6 week release schedule, and go to Chrome ... who started the 6 week release schedule. Only they rarely ship new features, unlike Firefox, that the user can actually see.

      Chrome now uses *substantially* more memory than Firefox, as of FF 7.

      I would say you most likely have some bad FF extensions and/or a corrupted profile.

      FF8 was the smoothest upgrade for me yet. Lazy tab loading is a godsend.

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        with the exception of DownloadHelper and NoSquint, I'm running the excact same set of extensions here. Firefox has been known to leak memory like a sieve. Just because your instance of something doesn't demonstrate a bug doesn't mean it's bug free. Now on to the crashing - Chrome has only crashed once in the past week, a crash tied to my explorer.exe crashing. Firefox never, even in it's good (3-4) versions, lasted that long, ever, regardless of extensions. Not on any of the 5+ computers running 3 different
        • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

          What version of FF are you using? FF7's memory use is outstanding - WAY better than Chrome. I use the latest version of all the browsers and check these things out with every new release. Chrome uses 2-3x more memory on my work and home machines than FF does (as of FF7). Neither browser crashes for me on either machine I use. My work and home machines use 1920x1200 monitors (work machine has a secondary 1680x1050), and I have no weird problems about displaying large jpegs.

          • by ClintJCL (264898)
            I never got to use FF7 long enough to notice. Too little, too late. Not crashing is way more important to me than memory use. Memory use was just an example of memory leaks and such. Anytime I had my browser open (no porn!) for 2 days it would be 1.5G, at any point in my 5 yrs or so of using Firefox. That they fixed it around the time that I finally switched is just a case of too little too late.
            • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

              I never got to use FF7 long enough to notice. Too little, too late. Not crashing is way more important to me than memory use. Memory use was just an example of memory leaks and such. Anytime I had my browser open (no porn!) for 2 days it would be 1.5G, at any point in my 5 yrs or so of using Firefox. That they fixed it around the time that I finally switched is just a case of too little too late.

              Hey, if you're happy with what you have, and you use a browser that supports modern standards and doesn't force web developers like myself to have to use obsolete standards, then more power to you. Use what works. I vaguely recall I had some crashing issues with 7.0 that were fixed quickly by 7.0.1, but YMMV.

    • by ewieling (90662)
      I switched to Chrome when Firefox "dropped support" for 3.x, or whatever the last version is which removed the "traditional" interface and replaced it with one that minimal interface which looks like Chrome. I had to give up a few plugins, but nothing I can't live without. My biggest issues with Chrome is that Flash doesn't seem to work. As I don't do much of anything which requires Flash, it isn't a big deal.
      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        i think the current day "install_flash_player.exe" successfully installs it in current day Chrome, i.e. if you're starting from a fresh chrome install like I did. I'm not sure though. Flash can be a fucking bitch some/all of teh time. But when stuff is out there, I want to be able to view it, regardless of my opinion of the format, so...
      • by BZ (40346)

        You do realize that Mozilla hasn't dropped support for 3.6 yet, right?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Crashes every 10 minutes huh... You've got to be doing something wrong. I leave a firefox browser open for weeks on end. Occasionally, when I reboot for a software update, firefox gets shut down. I don't remember rebooting last week, and I only shut down firefox today because of the update.

      How much porn does it take to crash firefox in 10 minutes?

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        I actually view my porn in another browser, only an ameteur would view porn in his primary browser! The other browser can manage 300+ tabs with less memory than firefox with 20 tabs. No, I won't say which one it is. ;)

        Remember: A bug not manifesting in your instance of a program is not the same as the program being bug free. Firefox craps out at 1920x1080, failing to display JPGs at a JPG-ending URL if the system is distressed certain ways. Ways that don't affect the other 4 browsers I tested it on. But

    • I use Greasemonkey every day. Greasemonkey is built into chrome. Not firefox.

      Not to worry. Greasemonkey might not be built-in, but at least you can search Twitter without the hassle of installing an extension or actually going to Twitter.

    • by anss123 (985305)

      But it was the crashing every 10 minutes that finally did me in.

      Yeah. I haven't seen Firefox crash in years, until v7.0.1 that is. Now it's crashing regularly... so I'm in IE right now. Well, I'm going to give v.8 a try at least.

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        Yup, v7 was what finally forced me to take a decision I'd been considering for a long long time - to leave Firefox. I'm glad Chrome came along, though, or else I'd be using IE right now too. IE's come a long way. The problem is, nobody who's opinion really matters on that cares anymore. People are still trying to remove it from their computer and then bragging about taking functionality out of a computer in some kind of "rebellion" from Microsoft that does little to affect anything. Me? I want as many brows
    • by knarf (34928)

      Odd, isn't it? Some software works for some people, while the same software does anything but for others. Take Firefox as an example. I generally run the Minefield version, and it generally works fine. It hardly every crashes anymore - a marked change from a few years ago when running Mozilla betas was tiring at best.

      Now take Chromium. It just does not work around here, on several computers by several manufactureres with several different distributions (Debian and some Ubuntu). Chromium will start renderin

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        I credit your success to you not running Windows like I do! :) I used Minefield for a long time, but I stopped when I realized there seemed to be a high correlation between Minefield + flash + computer spontaneously rebooting.
    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      I am also getting crashes since version 6, never really got them before. Apart from that, I'm typically having to kill plugin-container.exe at least once a day to unfreeze Firefox. I wonder if I screwed up my profile somehow to deserve all this. The problem is that I don't want to lose all the saved passwords in my old profile. Is there a way to import just those into a new profile and start clean?
    • by guanxi (216397)

      Firefox works great for me. It runs for days with dozens of tabs, no crashes; efficient memory use. You report problems on your computer with,
        - 1920x2100 resolution
        - crashing every 10 minutes
        - Flash causing spontaneous reboots
        - Huge memory problems

      It's a little hard to believe the problem isn't the rest of your computer. Certainly not every, or even many Firefox users have these incredible problems.

  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:30PM (#37990902)
    The even numbered firefoxes are the best!
    • by idontgno (624372)

      WRONG!

      The even numbered firefoxes are good.

      The irrationally numbered firefoxes are the best.

  • By the time I compile 8, 12 will be out and that's the one I'm really waiting for.
  • 8.0, the one that is supposed to finally be available in a 64-bit compile for Windows? Come on, even Flash player beat you to it!
  • best FF upgrade yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:40PM (#37991100)

    Completely smooth upgrade, no incompatible plugins, and lazy tab loading is the best feature ever for tab-crazy people like myself. Since they got the memory use under control in v7, life is good. With Chrome taking up 2-3x more memory than FF, I just can't deal with that anymore. Plus lazy tab loading is now my killer browser feature. Gotta have it. I think FF9 (Dec 20) or FF10 is supposed to have even more substantial memory reduction applied.

    • I'm looking forward to the JavaScript engine improvements in Firefox 9. I tried the Broadway.js H.264 video decoder (github page [github.com], demo page [github.com]) in Firefox 7.0.1 and Firefox 9 Aurora. On my system it ran about two and a half times faster in Firefox 9.
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:41PM (#37991114)

    I know FF is multi-platform but you cannot even make GPOs an add-on. (It kinda defeats the purpose if the user can uninstall the add-on!)

    Meanwhile in bug 267888 (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=267888 [mozilla.org]) there are still talking about creating ADM files.
    ADM files are for Windows XP, when this bug was created 7 years ago!!!)
    Windows 7 uses ADMX files.

    But it doesn't matter now.
    The people that need MSI/GPO cannot handle Full versions of FF coming out every 2 months.
    They have enough trouble keeping up with "patch Tuesday" from MS.

  • I'm still on 6, what happened to 7?
    I can only imagine how pissed off add-on developers are with this batshit insane update schedule.
  • two completely different behaviors.

    I very happily run FF 7.01 on Ubuntu (11.04). It's snappy, fairly light - well, in comparison with previous releases.

    On W7, however, it's dog slow, eventually becoming unresponsive enough that I have to open task manager and kill it. I've eased the problem lately by running Chrome. It runs much faster than FF (on W7, not on Ubuntu, curiously), but I sure would like to be able to have the same responsiveness of FF on both platforms.

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @05:58PM (#37991466)
    On an old machine (8.5 years) running Windows XP 32-bit, this version is significantly faster than its predecessor. I don't care what version number they use; this is an upgrade.
  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:04PM (#37991560)
    I'm panicking right now. Why a new version number? I'm just not sure I can deal with this. It's just too much. Goodbye cruel world!
  • When I use Firefox, memory usage is still a big problem. After running it for days on end, with lots and lots of tabs open, it eventually starts using 2 gigs of RAM.
    Then there's problems where Flash Player just stops working after an upgrade. That stopped me from using Aurora and Nightly, because Flash will work for a while, then it breaks after a new Aurora/Nightly version. Whenever there's Flash problems, YouTube often crashes at the end of a video.
    I really don't mind the "Extension upgrading situation

  • Since I have a lot of tabs loaded, being able to have tabs load only when I select them after (re)start is great. A browser restart now takes only a few seconds, which mitigates the need to do this for addons.

    For extra points, get the Restartless Restart addon (no restarts to install, oh the irony) to quickly restart Firefox.

    Firefox also feels really fast now - apparently Firefox 8 is as fast as Chrome, it certainly feels like it. And it runs all the addons I like too...

  • Flash runs too slow. It's fine for some things but a Facebook game I play Castle Age Heart of Darkness it runs in slow motion. Load it in Chrome without changing anything and it runs fine. So because of that I got used to Chrome and use it under Windows now too.
  • > we are disabling add-ons installed by third parties without your permission

    how will they do this, technically? from what I understand, on windows, as long as the program installer can write to your firefox directory (unfortunately this is highly probable), it can put what it wants there, even modify the firefox binary. The only solution I can think of is some kind of hash-based solution where modified files are detected, but that stinks of a flawed DRM-style approach. How will they mitigate ill-beha

  • The Mozilla team is committed to user control over their browsers: we are proud to announce in Firefox 9 the ability to change version numbers on the fly.

    Firefox 9 will be released this Friday for both of you not playing Skyrim on that day.
  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:40PM (#37992100) Homepage Journal

    ... watching old music videos.

    Thumbs up if you're still running Firefox 3.6 in 2011!

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