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Firefox 16 Released: More HTML5 Support 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
Today Mozilla released the final version of Firefox 16, which includes a number of new tools for developers. "A number of HTML5 code has been 'unprefixed,' which means that Mozilla has decided it has matured enough to run in the browser without causing instability. The newly unshackled HTML5 includes CSS3 Animations, Transforms, Transitions, Image Values, Values and Units, and IndexedDB. Two Web APIs that Mozilla helped to create, Battery API and Vibration API, are also now unprefixed. These changes help keep Firefox competitive, but it also sends a signal to developers that Mozilla thinks these are good enough to begin baking into their sites. It's a strong endorsement of the 'future-Web' tech." Here's the complete change list and the download page.
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Firefox 16 Released: More HTML5 Support

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  • Why CNET? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:54PM (#41598631)
    What information does the CNET article contribute on this matter, exactly? Why not at least link to Google News? Why contribute to the Web becoming a pile of ads and sharing buttons? Why, Slashdot, why?
  • by aero2600-5 (797736) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:57PM (#41598657)

    "Today Mozilla released the final version of Firefox 16"

    They're calling it quits? Or did you mean the "latest" version of Firefox?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe it's the final version of Firefox 16. Next one will be version 17
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The change in air pressure caused by the speed at which that joke flew past your head did not make the traditional "Woosh" noise but rather caused a huge sonic bang which caused thirteen kittens in the area to become deaf. I hope you're happy.

    • by dhalsim2 (626618)

      They're calling it quits on Firefox 16. No more Firefox 16s.

      Oh how I was looking forward to another Firefox 16. Too bad.

      • by jo42 (227475)

        I'm waiting for Firefox 42.0 -- that should be here, what, next spring give the proclivity to versionNumber++ so often...

        • Re:Final Version? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:07PM (#41599521) Homepage Journal

          I've been wondering how the iceweasel fork is doing in Debian. It could be the thing that makes me switch back from Ubuntu.

          Debian actually distinguishes between security fixes and UI changes. That's sounding better to me all the time.

          • um you can simply install iceweasel on ubuntu its in the repo if memory serves me. last i looked at debian (in a vm) it had some odd behavior with gksudo, and no easy way to get all of the media codex installed and the proprietary drivers. While ubuntu has its problems (the break psychological breaks with reality which spawned unity) the sudden surge of interest in new areas that are just as suddenly forgotten, (android on ubuntu, ubuntu netbook, ubuntu tv and soon ubuntu for android) but it is overall stil

        • by EMR (13768)

          I'm waiting for Firefox 42.0 -- that should be here, what, next spring give the proclivity to versionNumber++ so often...

          You do realize Google Chrome is at version 22.0?

          • No. Google is actually pretty silent about this unlike Mozilla trumpeting every version number inflation.

            • You're confusing Mozilla with Slashdot.
            • by EMR (13768)

              Google has a whole blog dedicated to pumping announcements about chrome releases. What are seeing here is some noisy slashdot users who feel the need to pump slashdot full of news about the next silent update in firefox.. (oh and there is the whole huge buzz about the lasts PATCH level for Chrome today). In reality both Google and Mozilla are all about creating stir around their releases.. And the stir is mostly focused around "here's the cool new standards we are supporting for you developers". T

        • No, they will only get to Firefox 41. Firefox 42 is scheduled for end of December, however a Vogon construction fleet will come and destroy the world.

    • Re:Final Version? (Score:5, Informative)

      by American AC in Paris (230456) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:07PM (#41598771) Homepage

      "Today Mozilla released the final version of Firefox 16"

      They're calling it quits? Or did you mean the "latest" version of Firefox?

      "Final" and "Latest" both have specific, though different, meanings. "Final" indicates that a particular build is considered the official release for a specific version of a piece of software; contrast "final" with "alpha", "beta", and "release candidate". "Latest" indicates that there is no more recent version of the software available.

      Thus, while a mature software package can have many "final" versions, there is only ever one "latest" version of that piece of software (discounting programs with multiple release vectors and channels, where each release vector will typically have its own "latest" version--i.e., you can have a "latest" nightly build and a "latest" official release for the same project.)

      • "Final" and "Latest" both have specific, though different, meanings. "Final" indicates that a particular build is considered the official release for a specific version of a piece of software; contrast "final" with "alpha", "beta", and "release candidate". "Latest" indicates that there is no more recent version of the software available.

        "Final" is a modifier on "Firefox 16". "16" is a modifier on Firefox. The phrase you interpreted this as would have another comma ala: "Today Mozilla released the final version of Firefox, 16". The gods know there is plenty of crappy grammar in tech release notes and news articles about them, but this seems to be a case of proper punctuation misinterpreted by those who don't know it well enough.

    • by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:58PM (#41599415)

      "Today Mozilla released the final version of Firefox 16"

      They're calling it quits? Or did you mean the "latest" version of Firefox?

      This is Firefox 16 v1.0. The first bugfix release will be Firefox 16 v2.0.

      • by kat_skan (5219)

        Oh so that's what "final" means. They're switching to the Final Fantasy versioning scheme.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:58PM (#41598665)

    Cue the whine brigade complaining that firefox is "Bloated". These are the same people that complain that firefox is behind the curve for not adding new features all the time.

    Whatever your complaints, I still find myself coming back to firefox because of the addons. Chrome is getting better and many of the most popular ones are there - But it's still not there. Some addons have reduced functionality because of the more restrictive API, or they're not well developed enough yet for Chrome. The more obscure, but damn useful ones are pretty much firefox only.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      Yup this is exactly how I feel. I use Firefox because of the addons and I install Chrome on everyone else's computer.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're whining too. The people who think firefox is not bloat whine about the whiners. It's irritating both ways. One side won't admit there were problems and the other side won't admit progress has been made. I think anyone who actually looks at the source code for firefox will admit there is bloat and it's nasty. It's also not friendly for porting to new operating systems.

      Firefox is lacking many features that other browsers have. Developer tools come to mind. Everyone else ships them. With firefox

      • by doom (14564)

        Second, many popular combinations are never tested.

        Are you sure that that's really it? Or could it be that the plugins are never tested, period, let alone in combination with each other?

        I'm thinking about the case of the perl ecosystem, where CPAN packages all have automated test suites, and in effect make up an extended set of tests for the perl core.

        To my knowledge, there isn't a lot of work put in on testing different permutations of package installations, but perl is still way ahead of most other

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      I stopped using Chrome when I couldn't install it on my D: drive without hacking.
    • why is it that I can't uninstall a plugin? Once installed, plugins are forever? Like diamonds?

      Yes I know you can disabled it, but that's not the same thing.

      • What version are you on?

        When I go to my add-ons page, every single plugin has at least two buttons beside it: Disable, Remove.

    • by neminem (561346)

      We are? As far as I've seen, far more people complain about the former, and people complaining about the latter are rarely the same people? Mostly I've just seen people complaining that new Firefox versions the past couple years rarely if ever contain exciting new features, and that as a result it's ridiculous that every minor version update is claimed to be a major version update. The issue is not that it doesn't contain exciting new features, but that its numbering scheme claims that it -does-.

      I'm still o

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:58PM (#41598667)

    I think there's something wrong with this version of Firefox. I just updated, and not a single one of my plugins was disabled because of incompatibility!

    Maybe someone should make a "Firefox Nostalgia" plugin. It detects when firefox is updated, and generates a random "The following plugins have been disabled..." alert window.

    • Something is wrong.. because meanwhile, in the real world, you have to keep up the the Joneses IE6's habits, still can't use even CSS2, tables all the way, minimal js, but better avoid JS altogether to let in no-script visitors.
    • by doom (14564)

      I think there's something wrong with this version of Firefox. I just updated, and not a single one of my plugins was disabled because of incompatibility!

      Well, the behavior that I'm seeing is every third time I power up my laptop, firefox keeps me waiting while it wants to phones home to check my "addons", and my preferred theme keeps getting automatically disabled, so I have to manually re-enable it and re-start firefox again. To their credit, they haven't *completely broken* the theme, which they used

  • by c0l0 (826165) * on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:08PM (#41598779) Homepage

    "A number of HTML5 code has been 'unprefixed,' which means that Mozilla has decided it has matured enough to run in the browser without causing instability." - come on, how dumb is that? If there were a vendor-sanctioned CSS attribute or "HTML5 code" (or whatever, really) that was known to cause "instability" in one of the world's most widely-deployed and -used applications, trolls and/or crackers would make ABUNDANT use of that inherent weakness, prefixed or not.

    Now, I don't know for sure how HTML5 "standardization" (if you can stomach calling it that...) actually works, but what I happen to have picked up is this: In reality, that kind of "prefixing" (extending the name of a soon-to-be-"standardized" identifier with a vendor-specific keyword) takes place because the vendor probably still works out implementation details, or isn't 100% sure if he wants to really do whatever the feature/thing is doing right now the way it is doing right now forever. It's some kind of "this is just a draft"-hint, like, for example, "X-"-prefixed HTTP and SMTP header data (used to be - they're abused for other, this-aint-in-the-official-standard-but-we-need-it-anyway-things today, of course). If using any of this causes the browser that implements it to crash or be otherwise unstable (and therefore potentially exploitable), that's a _grave_ bug, and certainly not something that any of the industry heavyweights (well, except for Apple and Microsoft maybe... hehe) would tolerate to occur in the wild for more than a few hours, until an appropriate patch is released.

    • If using any of this causes the browser that implements it to crash or be otherwise unstable (and therefore potentially exploitable), that's a _grave_ bug, and certainly not something that any of the industry heavyweights (well, except for Apple and Microsoft maybe... hehe) would tolerate to occur in the wild for more than a few hours, until an appropriate patch is released.

      You're aware that Chrome uses the same rendering engine as Safari, aren't you?

    • by game kid (805301)

      Yeah, my favorite part was the "These changes help keep Firefox competitive, but it also sends a signal to developers that Mozilla thinks these are good enough to begin baking into their sites. It's a strong endorsement of the 'future-Web' tech."

      I guess we get the best summaries money can buy.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:28PM (#41598969) Homepage

      Not all instability leads to crashes. If something is unstable, it means it isn't stable. "Stable" means it's not changing. A feature whose exact implementation is expected to change in the near future. This might mean that a few edge cases are known that will render funny, or maybe the code just isn't clean enough for the devs' preference (as though that would ever stop a release...).

      Prefixed features are a warning to developers. They say "This is coming, but it might still be screwy". Someone using the prefixed feature shouldn't complain when their masterpiece website suddenly looks different in the next release of the browser because they were abusing a flaw in the implementation.

      As a concrete (hypothetical) example, consider animating the rotation effect on a square image. If the browser is built to compute the layout before applying rotation, nothing else on the page will move. If the layout comes after the rotation, blocks could move around as the rectangular dimensions of the image's block change. Regardless of what behavior is standard, a developer could rely on the other. Having a prefix warns him that it's not quite finished.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        Bad form to reply to myself, but also bad proofreading:

        . A feature whose exact implementation is expected to change in the near future.

        A feature whose exact implementation is expected to change in the near future should be prefixed.

        FTFM

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It isn't really a case of it being unstable, that part IS bullshit.

      What is really the problem is whether or not the spec is finished as is and ready to implement.
      For all intents and purposes, I can't see what else they could really do to some of these things to extend on them.
      Transform is one thing they had a case of keeping measurement units for the transformation matrix last 2 values.
      But from what I understand, these values NEED to be pixel values anyway, so making it redundant. (I could be wrong, but I

    • What I find really irritating is that the web font printing bug was finally marked as fixed in Bugzilla two weeks ago.

      It didn't make it into Firefox 16.

      What is the point of having a 6-week release cycle if you're not including bugs you've fixed during that period?

  • Command line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:13PM (#41598837) Homepage Journal

    The command line [youtube.com] feature looks very cool. It'd be even better if that could be controlled from outside Firefox, basically making Firefox scriptable -- for automated Firefox testing, Website testing, taking screenshots, etc.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      Try Selenium for that: http://seleniumhq.org/ [seleniumhq.org] -- it works on a few browsers.

      (I've used it for some basic web testing, but the testing was more about verifying the flow of the process than checking lots of nifty AJAX, so I don't know how good Selenium is at the latter.)

      http://seleniumhq.org/docs/03_webdriver.html#introducing-the-selenium-webdriver-api-by-example [seleniumhq.org]

    • by SpzToid (869795)

      That is pretty neat. My favorite take-home feature from that particular video is the command-line driven screen shot tool. Just give it an HTML ID and voila! (even if that html element extends offscreen, I get a 'perfectly cropped' image of the element. Noted for future reference. Thanks!

      Hmmm, and scripting that. oh my, the mind wanders. (BTW I've tried my darndest to use Selenium but Selenium never worked out given my feeble brain, but maybe I could have tried harder with more time commited).

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:19PM (#41598883)

    I know WebSQL got scrubbed from the HTML5 spec a couple years ago, but during that time it got adopted in a usable way by webkit and opera. In the spec or not it's become the defacto standard for anyone doing HTML5 development for mobile devices, especially for use in off-line apps. Not only that, but at this point it's proven and reliable. I have a feeling it's going to be like H.264 vs WebM. The technical gurus will support one over the other due to ideological reasons, meanwhile the rest of us who are being paid to write things that work will continue going on using what works for us and our clients.

    Right now WebSQL is supported on basically 99% of the mobile devices we see in our clients' hands. That includes iOS, Android, Blackberry, hell even Kindle and Nook. On the desktop it works on Safari, Chrome, and hell even FireFox with an extension.

  • The most important part of the summary. Discuss...
    • by rjstanford (69735)

      Let's just say that there's a reason the Firefox logo on the story is shown facing away from the camera, and leave it at that.

    • by afidel (530433)

      The vibration API could be useful for making web apps with notifications, I have no idea why a website or web app would need access to battery information. Since we already have location API's camera, video, and microphone API's, and WebGL (although most mobile browsers don't yet support it) webapps will soon be first class citizens thus breaking the walled garden (at least for online content, offline use is still a bit rough).

      • by narcc (412956)

        webapps will soon be first class citizens thus breaking the walled garden

        Apple has all but killed their initial commitment to web apps. They have one of the weakest mobile browsers on the market now. Worse, it inexplicably refuses to support things like WebGL (excepting in iAds, of course!)

        It's a real shame.

        I'd love to see a standard package type for web apps (something like a zip file with resources and a config file) with support across the mobile landscape. It would be great for both developers and users. I can see RIM, MS, and Google on-board, but it's unlikely that we'd

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Apple ... They have one of the weakest mobile browsers on the market now.

          Sure they have room to grow, but weakest? Honestly?

  • There is still no HTML5 form support worth mentioning. Even IE10 is better at that now. They've added a bit of support for validators but the rendering still sucks.

    Please fix it.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Seriously. How hard is it to make <input type="datetime"> or <input type="color"> or <input type="number"> work?
      • by narcc (412956)

        Apparently it's a low priority. Chrome's date, for example, is awful. Why can't a select a year independent of a month?! To get to 2008, I need to keep selecting the first item in the drop-down and open the drop-down again to get older month/date pairs -- over and over and over -- until it finally appears.

        Color isn't all that great either, now that I'm thinking about it, just an ugly button with a colored rectangle.

        I could style them, but there aren't exactly a ton of options there. Even if you could mak

  • has one browser supporting something ever made it an option for web developpers. As a web developper, the only time I can bake functionality in is if 95% of users can use it. The only exception is IE 5-6-7, those users deserve to be see broken webpages.
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      20% of a market share is a big enough chunk to help move things along. Combine that with Chrome's 30% market share and HTML5 support....

  • From the mozilla javascript blog:

    Firefox 16 will be the first version to support incremental garbage collection. This is a major feature, over a year in the making, that makes Firefox smoother and less laggy. With incremental GC, Firefox responds more quickly to mouse clicks and key presses. Animations and games will also draw more smoothly.

  • and you'll get the new Ionmonkey engine. Or just switch to the nightly.

  • I've noticed Firefox having more and more problems rendering sites that Safari and Chrome have no trouble with. Version 16 has been especially bad.

    Take a look at Panic's Coda site [panic.com] in Firefox 16. Those headers should not look like that; see Safari for proper rendering. If you look at the css for those headers:
    #pitch h3 {
    font-family: "Chrono Regular", sans-serif;
    font-size: 34px;
    color: #436fa2;
    te

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:48PM (#41601441)

    Chrome's built in flash player uses 80% cpu on a quadcore where as IE and Firefox use 30% via adobe's on plugin.

    I welcome Firefox 16. I'm sorry I ever left you.

    On the upside, pages with background colors will no longer flash white like they do in chrome. YAY.

    Chrome is bad.

  • When it comes to web browsers, I am quite reactionary (look it up on Wikipedia) - or cautious, as I like to call it. For my part, I am not going to upgrade beyond version 3.5 until there is a plugin that allows me complete control over what animated and other intrusive crap I am willing to allow.

    Experience has taught me not to trust content providers at all. Which is why I use AdBlock, NoScript, AniDisable and other plugins - I have too often come across web pages designed by idiots that feel entitled to ra

  • I painfully remember the time, just months ago it seems, where I'd have come here barking about my use of iCab on macintosh, aka the browser that invented adblocking (years before Mozilla just existed).
    At the time being, all I am left with is this feeling that either you are on tablets, or you are dead.
    And as tablets are all walled gardens for now...
    (O Linux, when ô when will you come to tablets?)
    Let's get back to my Blackberry Playbook now. At least I still steer outside the duopoly world. And there i

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