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Firefox Mozilla Upgrades Technology

Firefox 25 Arrives With Web Audio API Support, Guest Browsing On Android 144

Posted by timothy
from the glad-the-browser-wars-continue dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 25 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Additions include Web Audio API support, as well as guest browsing and mixed content blocking on Android. Firefox 25 can be downloaded from Firefox.com and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play. The release notes are here: desktop, mobile."
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Firefox 25 Arrives With Web Audio API Support, Guest Browsing On Android

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  • I can't remember (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:20PM (#45271673) Homepage Journal

    I can't actually recall the last time I was actually enthusiastic about a Firefox release. Nowadays it seems like a chore that rewards my expenditure of effort with features I will never use.

    I mean... I get that mature software doesn't necessarily deliver awe-inspiring features all the time, but in that case, why is it news?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      'Cause it's 25 man. 25 mostly meaningless releases.

    • Re:I can't remember (Score:5, Informative)

      by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:42PM (#45271921)

      Web Audio API actually is an interesting feature.

      See some of it in action: http://mohayonao.github.io/timbre.js/ [github.io]

    • by eepok (545733) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:45PM (#45271951) Homepage

      A chore? How do YOU install new Firefox releases? All I do is go to Help->About Firefox->Check for Updates->Install.

      It's not exactly spring cleaning.

      • No, it was hyperbole, chill.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cOldhandle (1555485)
        It's a chore to find how to re-enable core features that have been removed and disable terrible additions (like the recent giant green arrow animations every single time a file is downloaded)
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          It's a chore to find how to re-enable core features that have been removed and disable terrible additions (like the recent giant green arrow animations every single time a file is downloaded)

          Even then there are some that just don't have a way to re-enable. Like autocompleting URL bars that autocomplete entire URLs, and not just domains or partial URLs. Even more annoyingly, Firefox refuses to autocomplete ports - so if you visit http://localhost8080/ [localhost8080] Firefox oh-so-helpfully autocompletes just "http://localh

          • by Arker (91948)

            "Even then there are some that just don't have a way to re-enable. Like autocompleting URL bars that autocomplete entire URLs, and not just domains or partial URLs."

            Or like the status bar. WTF was wrong with the status bar? If you didnt like it you could turn it off like all the other bars. They killed it all the way back @ firefox 4 (when the whole train seems to have gone off the tracks) and made it impossible for it to be fully reconstructed even through an extension. And, btw, that extension is now bein

          • by cffrost (885375)

            Even then there are some that just don't have a way to re-enable. Like autocompleting URL bars that autocomplete entire URLs, and not just domains or partial URLs. Even more annoyingly, Firefox refuses to autocomplete ports - so if you visit http://localhost8080/ [localhost8080] Firefox oh-so-helpfully autocompletes just "http://localhost".

            But I go to direct deep URLs on a lot of things.

            FF plugin "Calomel SSL Validation" [calomel.org] has a checkbox on its Optimizations tab* to toggle the behavior you described. The prefs dialog must be accessed via the Tools menu; the toolbar button's sole functions are: 1) Changing color to indicate a weighted, aggregate measure of the security quality of an encrypted connection, and 2) when clicked, displaying score-points and the details from which they were derived (cert match,cyphers, key lengths, hash algo).

            TLS 1.1 & 1.2 were added a couple versions back, b

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        The chore comes from having to spend minutes to hours to some cases days researching how to unfuck yet another UI snafu that mozilla's designers pushed in the update.

      • A chore? How do YOU install new Firefox releases? All I do is go to Help->About Firefox->Check for Updates->Install.

        It's not exactly spring cleaning.

        su
        [root password]
        zypper update

        Unfortunately, there is a delay between official release and openSUSE repository binary package, but it's relatively short. I think the "chore" part of it that he's referring to is that there's no longer any real reward: Firefox has become old and boring, and new updates (if anything) cause more trouble than anything in terms of fucking stupid design and GUI decisions, as well as extension hell (although the extension problem has been solved for while now it seems). Not to me

    • by ultranova (717540)

      I mean... I get that mature software doesn't necessarily deliver awe-inspiring features all the time, but

      But we're talking about Firefox. It's not mature by any stretch of imagination.

      why is it news?

      Hype. The whole purpose of ditching major.minor.build versioning was to get the hype of a major release for every single new build. Well, that and it makes it less convenient to maintain old branches in bugfix state, thus forcing everyone to buy into every new feature and feature removal unless they want to be

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I don't understand why everyone complains about the Firefox release cycle when it is nearly identical to the Chrome/Chromium release cycle. And unlike with Chrome, if you want a stable version with just bugfixes, you can use ESR releases [wikipedia.org] which are supported for 54 weeks.
        • by Arker (91948)

          "I don't understand why everyone complains about the Firefox release cycle when it is nearly identical to the Chrome/Chromium release cycle."

          We laughed at the Chrome brain damage and the fools that used it, secure in the knowledge at least our browser wasnt THAT stupid - and then it started doing the same thing. That's kind of it in a nutshell.

          I do use ESR but I would be much happier with a fork going back to version 3 or earlier and maybe fixing some of the more annoying ancient bugs instead of trying to c

          • Yeah... 2.x IMO was the last truly great release, and after that it went downhill. For 3.x I was forced to start bookmarks, because of that god damn [anything-but] "awesome" bar, and I refused to use it until 3.6 (which added a few notable features that made it worth it). The problem is, 2.x is now obviously horrible out of date, lacks things like out-of-process plugins, leaks like a sieve, and is just unstable. Backport the rendering engine, security fixes, memory leak plugs, and maybe some of the better (

        • by Rakarra (112805)

          I don't understand why everyone complains about the Firefox release cycle when it is nearly identical to the Chrome/Chromium release cycle.

          Because most people thought the Chrome way was damned silly, and there was a lot of eye-rolling when that "infection" spread to other projects.

    • by Xest (935314)

      It's not even mature, or at least, stable-mature.

      I had it crash randomly earlier (yes I reported to Mozilla) and I was doing some stuff with dynamically showing/hiding table rows with Javascript where the first row was full of th tags, bordered, 1px and the rest of the table cells had no border. When I showed the third row, and hid it again the whole table got vertical borders on table cells.

      No other browser did this, and even inspecting the computed values showed no border set so a rendering bug I guess.

      Bu

  • Unfortunately it's a Javascript API.

    You can't actually write a web page in HTML with some kind of HTML-A audio inline, like you can put SVG or MATHML inline.

    • by tuffy (10202) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:32PM (#45271815) Homepage Journal
      What's wrong with the HTML5 audio tag [w3schools.com] for simple playback of static audio files?
      • Nothing is wrong with the HTML5 audio tag.
        What I hate it the PERLesque - There's more than one way to do it. You know there will be 15 billion ugly, unreadable javascript hacks the the API interface where the HTML interface would have been just fine, as with all other areas of overlap between HTML and javascript.

        • by robmv (855035)

          How do you think someone will write a relatively good web game without some kind of programming language API for sound?, Web Audio API is more than simple play and stop calls

          • They could write a program instead. A web browser is just about the worst container for an application.

            • Sure but this is Mozilla we're talking about. Their whole modus operandi now is to augment the browser for their Firefox OS project in which there are no 'native' programs.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just use the html5 <audio> tag, no js required.

      The api is for playback control and advanced processing & effects.

    • by Hsien-Ko (1090623)
      So it's next-gen embedded MIDIs. Netscape always needed plugins for that (Crescendo! etc.)
  • I'd care but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:34PM (#45271841)

    The developers refuse to release a 64-bit browser, fix bugs, keep breaking 3rd party plugins between releases, like Citrix/Xen apps for example, or create a Metro option for the kiosk market. That would be news worthy instead of this rapid release schedule of major version releases.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Calm down, version 26 will be out tomorrow and it will include new playback options for flash encoded video.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      They're not major version releases. They're more like 0.21, 0.22, 0.23. Small increments of new features.
    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      $ file -L /usr/bin/firefox
      /usr/bin/firefox: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.26, BuildID[sha1]=0x351721d7eba5940fb79872c01865bfcf86eda51d, stripped

      Looks 64-bit to me.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The developers refuse to release a 64-bit browser

      64-bit is available in the nightly builds. It's not in the main tree because more people would have problems with it (most plugins, like flash, are 32-bit only)

      It's why the default browser even on 64-bit OSes is 32-bit - plugin compatibility. Unless you're Google which ships Flash with every version of Chrome and can thus ship a 64-bit version with the 64-bit version.

      Doing so in Firefox would just lead to a bunch of support tickets on why Flash refuses to wor

      • At least on Linux, Adobe provides a 64-bit flash player which runs fine in 64-bit Firefox. That's the only plugin most people care about.

        • And on Linux 64 bit firefox is available by default, usually packaged by your distro.
          And it isn't the only plugin people care about. At least over here, the ones people care about seem to be Adobe PDF, Adobe Flash, Oracle Java.

    • Same here. I'm really tired of the almost-daily random crashes. And why is it that when I start after a crash or reboot, it tells me it can't restore my session, but then when I click the button it does so without fail?

      • by NoMaster (142776)

        And why is it that when I start after a crash or reboot, it tells me it can't restore my session, but then when I click the button it does so without fail?

        Because it's not actually restoring your session - it's reaching across the void between dimensions, piercing the paper-thin veil that separates this from that, and stealing the session from another reality.

        The reality Firefox has reached in may differ only in the angular momentum of a single sub-atomic particle. Ever notice that sometimes the session you

    • by dskoll (99328)

      I'm running the 64-bit version now. I grabbed it from ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/25.0/linux-x86_64/en-US/ [mozilla.org]

      Nobody cares about 64-bit Windows because Windows is a legacy OS.

    • What's the alternative? With the power consumption (laptop) getting worse and worse lately, I'm looking to switch to something... sleeker.

  • Its had too many features removed and freezes for up to 20 seconds if you stop a page load, pages screw their formatting up, it has no solution for popup boxes that center themselves offscreen. gmail.com, mail.com both pretty unusable. (galaxy note 2). no undo close tab. most options removed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How about support for TLS 1.2? Or even 1.1?

    That's the main feature I'm looking at for most browsers.

  • Funny - I switched on my computer, intending to look up whether Firefox has the audio API implemented so that I can use it for my next project, and the first thing I saw was this update which added exactly that :P

    The things I'm hoping to see soon from Firefox are CSS3 grids and support for multiple cookie jars.

  • I found it went from version 40 to version 45 for both the 32 and 64 bit versions that work as Firefox plugins when the Firefox patch was added.

  • I find browsing on the vendor built in browsers to be TERRIBLE. All the adds and crap flying around is twice as bad on a little tablet or phone because it is too easy to misclick. And browsing is already slower b/c of all the ads loading, it just ruins the experience for me.

    Thank GOD for Firefox and the tweaks you can apply with 3rd party pieces. LOVE IT and I will NEVER change to something else.

    • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @03:56PM (#45273139)

      Recommended. Firefox on Android still has many issues, but recent stable versions are much, much better than the first beta versions. There aren't that many add-ons available, but the ones that are available make the Android tablet browsing experience much more pleasant. The ones to look for: Adblock Plus, Self-Destructing Cookies, Ghostery and NO Google Analytics. Visit your favorite sites with the stock/vendor browsers, compare with Firefox+addons and decide for yourself.

      • by yenic (2679649)
        I wasn't aware of Ghostery. Do you really need No Google Analytics if you have Ghostery installed though? It seems redundant.
        • by c0d3g33k (102699)

          Ghostery was added fairly recently. I just never got around to removing the other one. Doesn't seem to hurt anything in any case.

      • Does Firefox on Android now implement fine-grained cookie control, or is it still limited to the same thing as Chrome and the Android Browser (accept all, deny all)?
        • by c0d3g33k (102699)

          No fine-grained control. Available settings are: Enabled, Enabled, excluding 3rd party, Disabled

  • The release notes do not mention Australis or any major UI changes. Are they keeping mum, or was the Chrome-alike change pushed back?

  • Why is Mozilla taking so long to fully implement Flexbox? Even IE11 supports it: http://caniuse.com/#search=flexbox [caniuse.com]

    It feels weird to say it but Firefox is holding back the web. This is probably one of the most important changes to layout since designers/developers abandoned tables and moved to pure CSS based layouts.

    • by BZ (40346)

      Mozilla fully supports single-line flexbox (that is, flexbox in which the child flex items are all layed out in a single row or column), which is what most flexbox use cases want, and has for a while.

      What's missing is support for multiline flexbox.

  • Every stinking time I go to upgrade Firefox I have a laundry list of incompatible extensions and add-ons. So I get to wait a month or two and try again. Hey Mozilla, why not incorporate a little backward compatibility to allow the add-ons and extensions to work? That way we can accept a new update without losing functionality we had with the old version!

    • Just install the add-on compatibility reporter (it's an add-on itself)... that wlil allow you to use all the add-ons regardless of official compatibility. They pretty much all work even if they're "incompatible".

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        I've tried that in the past but my lament is the fact that ever since Mozilla went on the rapid version upgrade they keep changing things sufficiently to force the add on folks to do an about face nearly every time they push out a new release. Right now for example my AV add-ons for malware sites etc. don't work even with the compatibility reporter, so Firefox gets pushed to the side until that gets fixed and back to using Chrome or IE for now.

        • Weird... I have like 20 add-ons and they all work in FF25 :S

          I'm not nuts enough to run an AV add-on in a browser though, so maybe it's just you xD ;)

  • ... instead of adding new features. FF22 (or 23?) brought with it WebRTC and a bunch of other crap that sent my installation's power usage skyrocketing. My laptop's battery life with Firefox running has dropped by about 30% (!!!!) - so much that I've stopped using GMail online and switched to Thunderbird so that I don't have to constantly have Firefox open.

    And nobody seems to give a fuck.

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=887129 [mozilla.org]
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=925629 [mozilla.org]

    Chrome is not much

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