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Firefox 28 Arrives With VP9 Video Decoding, HTML5 Volume Controls 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Additions include VP9 video decoding, Web notifications on OS X, and volume controls for HTML5 video and audio. Firefox 28 has been released over on Firefox.com and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. The full release notes are available. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play (Android release notes)." Mozilla also announced tools to bring the Unity game engine to WebGL and asm.js.
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Firefox 28 Arrives With VP9 Video Decoding, HTML5 Volume Controls

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  • by kheldan (1460303) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @05:33PM (#46519709) Journal
    Installed the update and it didn't turn my laptop into a smoking crater on my desk; so far, so good..
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Try the same test with Windows 8.1....

      • by kheldan (1460303)
        Why would I want to do that? I'd sooner take a hammer to the thing and smash it to bits.
        • by causality (777677)

          Why would I want to do that? I'd sooner take a hammer to the thing and smash it to bits.

          I know someone who actually did that ... with a sledgehammer.

          I asked him if that was an expensive outburst. He said yes. I asked him if it was gratifying. He said "you have no idea".

      • Try the same test with Windows 8.1....

        Windows 8.1 with the newly leaked "Update 1" un-does many of the mistakes Microsoft made with Windows 8. After a bit of tweaking and wrangling, I was able to get a system that was actually usable and very similar to Windows 7, other than:

        (a) An ugly, shitty color scheme
        (b) A "Start Screen" that is cluttered and less useful that the old "Start Menu" and
        (c) Windows Explorer (now called "File Explorer") uses the Godawful "ribbon" which makes things more cluttered, confusing and overall less useful.

        Windows 8 s

        • by edibobb (113989)
          >Windows 8 still sucks and is pointless, but with the addition of the new Update 1 it's a lot closer to what Windows 8 should have been in the first place. Closer to Windows 7, in other words.
      • by plover (150551)

        I'm reading this on Firefox 28 running on Windows 8.1. No issues so far, but to be fair, this is the only page I've surfed to so far.

        Windows 8.1 doesn't have stability problems. It has UX problems, but the OS beneath has been fine.

    • You should see what happens to websites when you upgrade IE then?

      There is a reason corps are afraid of change when it comes to a new IE flavored browser.

    • by nmb3000 (741169)

      Installed the update and it didn't turn my laptop into a smoking crater on my desk; so far, so good..

      Are you on Windows 7 with IE 10 installed? Or Windows 8.1?

      It boggles my mind that they released the browser with this bug unresolved. Almost 500 comments on the Bugzilla entry and the end result was "ship it!" I mean, look at some of these screenshots:

      https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=682682 [mozilla.org]
      https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=735090 [mozilla.org]
      https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=797936 [mozilla.org]
      https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=720401 [mozilla.org]

      Who g

    • Installed the update and it didn't turn my laptop into a smoking crater on my desk; so far, so good..

      Just wait till Firefox 29, aka Australisaurus (assuming they stick to their release schedule).

      If you haven't had the displeasure yet, check out one of the recent beta builds. It is a marvel of stupidity and in one fell swoop Mozilla has managed to destroy almost everything that made Firefox popular in the first place.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm not partial to Australis either, but overreact much? You make it sound like everything's changed. It hasn't. Australis is a GUI change that only really breaks some stuff for really uptight people like me and people using addons that were destined to break as Firefox modernized their code anyway.

        Besides, if you're THAT offended by change, there's an addon to revert the most "offensive" changes, a planned ESR release that will buy you 9 weeks of extra non-Australis Firefox, AND you always have the option

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          Try making arguments without ad-hominem. Just because someone objects to change doesn't mean it's due to fear.

  • Automatically? (Score:4, Informative)

    by agm (467017) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @05:54PM (#46519827)

    ...and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically

    Not for those of us running Gentoo linux.

    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @05:55PM (#46519839)

      Not for those of us running Gentoo linux.

      Then you're in luck! You get to do it the hard way, which should please you since you're using Gentoo.

      • by danomac (1032160) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @06:12PM (#46519977)

        Gentoo users probably get more entertainment watching the game compile rather than actually playing the game. Go figure.

      • by agm (467017)

        Not for those of us running Gentoo linux.

        Then you're in luck! You get to do it the hard way, which should please you since you're using Gentoo.

        Typing emerge --sync && emerge -uDNvt world is hardly what I would call "hard". The point of my post is that not all users can automatically update as the article summary suggested.

        • by danomac (1032160)

          Have you actually used portage lately? There's so many circular dependencies that it usually breaks and it can't work them out; it's up to the user to sort it out. You used to update world, then rebuild dependencies - now portage tries to do that beforehand (which takes forever) and in most cases barfs because it can't figure it out.

          • by sirlark (1676276)
            I use Gentoo on my primary machine and on my home media centre. I sync and update weekly. I've not had any circular dependencies portage couldn't work out (except in the enlightenment overlay) for months. Yes, using a high backtrace value (which is the default) means it takes a long time to calculate dependencies, but honestly, that's not time *I* have to spend figuring crap out. I can go and get a cup of tea, and gosh, since I have a multi-core machine, I can even get work done while it compiles in the bac
          • by agm (467017)

            I update at least once every two days and I very rarely experience problems caused by portage. It pulls in all requred dependencies for me automatically and I can stop it from installing crap I don't want via USE flags. I've run a number of linux distributions and gentoo is my favourite.

      • by epyT-R (613989)

        Yes.. adding >=www-client/firefox-28 to /etc/portage/package.mask/firefox is extremely difficult, especially for the people who post here. Installing it is even harder as 'emerge firefox' must be typed into the console.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @06:02PM (#46519891)

    We have come full circle. The rationale for 'puting x in the browser' is so that I wouldn't need x software for y platform...just a browser.

    Nowadays browsers have so much functionality built-in they weigh a ton[in memory]. I don't want all that shit. Just show me the static content. Keep the spinning rims for the simpletons.

    TLDR; I long for the days when all my browser could do display static content. All I ever wanted was standardized media formats[without DRM]

    • by etash (1907284) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @06:31PM (#46520093)
      We have come full circle. The rationale for 'putting x in the pc' so that i wouldn't need to write code for y platform...just a pc nowadays pcs have so much functionaly built-in they weigh a ton. I don't want all that shit, just show me a 320x240 screen with asci chars. Keep the UI and mice and soundcards and network cards for the simpletons. TLDR; I long for the days when all my computer could do was display characters on a black and white screen. All I ever wanted was to show off my idiocy on slashdot.
      • by epyT-R (613989)

        I think his point was that what browsers offer is redundant while modern improvements brought benefits to pcs. Browsers were simply meant to show static content. Making them scriptable is what killed the original point of http: platform independent documents. It also brought a slew of security problems that are still dealt with today... Oh, and it encourages hostile user/developer relationships a la SaaS.

    • I would rather have X in a browser than to use an insecure DRM plugin with security holes to make up for a lack of functionality in ancient browsers. Cough Java cough Adobe flash cough Adobe reader.

      I like where the web is heading. No I do not think a chromebook with html5 apps is the equivalent of a real os but to use basic logic in javascript, use hardware accelerated media with css 3 and html 5 inside an app like an applet or even in a browser is great.

      Look at the internethistory project or whatever it is

      • by epyT-R (613989)

        Statically linked or dynamically linked, it'll be insecure.

        Compared with today's 'designs', loaded with useless whitespace, content barren marketing speak, and tons of video ads? I'll take 1998's www any day.

    • Then use dillo.
      I would use it much more often if it could open tabs in background and the tab bar was less thin, but it works. (within those limits. can't log in to a particular forum which is mostly "web 1.0")

    • I feel the same way. However note that all we have really needed the entire time is a way to position and display sets of graphic primitives. Curves, lines, gradients, polygons, rasters, audio, input, etc. and a bytecode language to control it all. Essentially a general purpose media player / platform for a game engine. We could then compile our web pages down from whatever markup language we wanted into a cross platform display system.

      Instead we fixated on the high level constructs and wrote many redun

    • There IS no static content, everything is laced with JS and cross site dependencies

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @06:09PM (#46519943) Journal

    I've had a love / hate relationship with Firefox for many years - but for about the past 18 months it's been mostly stable.
    I'm an extremely heavy browser, ranging from 20 to 150 tabs open at a time.
    This latest build (27.0.1) has been utter shite for stability, so I sure hope that was a priority for them. It would be nice if a single tab crashed it would just take out that tab. If that means more processes or memory, so be it. Also please copy chrome ASAP with the little microphone representing the noisy tab.

    • by Chas (5144)

      No. Seriously?

      I can see 20-40 tabs. But 150?

      • No. Seriously?
        I can see 20-40 tabs. But 150?

        GP thinks # open tabs == manliness *or* has IMAX screen for monitor and really tiny font.

      • by antdude (79039)

        I had 150 before too. Basically, I had a bunch of web page with data forms intact.

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        People use computers differently to other people, more news at 11.

      • by aliquis (678370)

        Tab outliner say 280 for me currently..

        It happens all the time.

      • Obviously you have a job where you can focus on one project at a time (maybe two) and work without constant interruptions.

        Right now, I have half a dozen Firefox windows open:

        #1 is the corporate intranet applications (task tracking, project tracking and a bunch of other things). This window typically has anywhere from 6-30 tabs open.

        #2 is currently open to a wiki with technical documentation for the software I am working with. That has at least a few tabs and sometimes as many as 10-15 because the ve
    • There's got to be a point where open tabs are treated like temporary bookmarks. Trying to keep all of those tabs alive and ready to click on is a huge waste of resources.
    • I have had issues with this for quite some time... I try chrome every now and again, only to be disgusted with the lack of decent addons. heh
      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        I don't like the UI for chrome, some of the decisions Google have made are quite gross, they really are becoming Apple with their "our way or the highway" approach.
        No question chrome is fast, won't deny that for a second - but I just prefer FF - I can customise it to my needs.

        (Disable tabs on top, add "tabs menu" addon, use tab mix plus - with very specific open / close / foreground and background ruleset) - stuff like that.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      I've had a love / hate relationship with Firefox for many years - but for about the past 18 months it's been mostly stable.

      Unless you're going to be submitting bug reports about the browser, or need bleeding-edge features (like VP9), you should just stay on the ESR branch:

      https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/... [mozilla.org]

      They make it hard to find, but I wouldn't use anything else... Those are the REAL stable releases, while their numbered releases are just betas.

      With distros like CentOS/RHEL, the ESR version is in the yum

    • by HatofPig (904660)
      I use the Tree Style Tab [mozilla.org] plugin and usually have over a hundred tabs open as well. I'll keep the session open for days, too. It's easier than searching through your history to find that thing you saw a few days ago and the page is intact from when you loaded it last which is useful for dynamic content. Plus, everything is automatically hierarchically sorted, so it's easy to push and pop my browsing stack! Since I no longer own a a 4:3 monitor it's the perfect way to fill up the extra vertical space. It's an
      • Ghostery collects and sells data from the plugin. Disconnect is equally functional, without the data collection.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      Right now I have Chrome running and tab outliner say 280 tabs.

      This machine only have 8 GB of RAM but the idea was to get a new one with 32 GB and as such I have 16 GB of swap allocated on the HDD. Once it reach 5-6 GB the machine get awfully slow though so the 50% recommendation (Linux partitioning) is likely good.

      I like Firefox but I use to kill -9 it to free up RAM and if necessary be able to go back later by using restore (eventually it will stop saving such info though, I have no idea why.)

      The thing wit

      • Killing -9 is not nice, I suggest you install a "restart firefox" extension like I used to have.
        Or may be you do that too for getting the start up dialog that allows to clear the junk by unticking tabs.. Sucks that Firefox doesn't allow that without force killing it!, and there's no command line argument for that. There's probably an extension but it should be part of the default software. Or I need a "Crash" menu item.

  • by NapalmV (1934294) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @06:34PM (#46520103)
    So what's the use for VP9, I just tried youtube and it still wants adobe flash...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's for Google to get everyone to spend a lot of time supporting a promising new codec to replace h264, so they can then never replace h264 in Chrome and waste everyone's collective time. But it's ok! It'll be useful for WebRTC! They promise!

    • I long for the day when websites will stop asking me to install Flash. I thought we had this debate already and Steve Jobs won?
      • by Trongy (64652)

        I have flash installed but disabled in Firefox on my work machine (because it made Firerox lock up). It's surprising how little I miss it. Embedded videos on most sites play just fine.

        I often find an embedded Youtube video will play fine, but if I try to watch the same video on Youtube (because I want a higher resolution), it won't play without flash because Google wants to display advertising.

      • Good luck watching vector animated short films on Newgrounds or Albino Blacksheep or Dagobah without Flash. Rendering them to video (such as for YouTube) just makes them ten times bigger in my experience.
    • Re:VP9 (Score:4, Informative)

      by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @07:09PM (#46520357) Journal
      You have to enable HTML5. https://www.youtube.com/html5
      • I was under the impression that Partner videos and videos with music in them didn't play in HTML5 mode.
        • Change your user agent to iPad, a lot of those will work anyway.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Change your user agent to iPad, a lot of those will work anyway.

            And a lot of others will say "The content owner has not made this video available on mobile. Add to playlist to watch it later on a PC."

    • Re:VP9 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lennie (16154) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @07:14PM (#46520411) Homepage

      Have you tried enabling it ?:

      http://youtube.com/html5 [youtube.com]

      It has been improving, but only very slowly.

      • by RR (64484)

        Have you tried enabling it ?:

        http://youtube.com/html5 [youtube.com]

        It has been improving, but only very slowly.

        Yes, I tried it.

        Actually, I tried it in extreme form. I no longer install the Flash player plugin. I'm fed up with the updater.

        And what I found was that most YouTube videos don't work in HTML5. So I use Firefox for my main browsing and Google Chrome for interacting with Google web sites.

        If Google ends up with a distorted view of browser use statistics, that's their fault.

  • If you currently have automatic updates on, this release of Firefox is the one where you probably want to turn them off.

    • Is it supposed to be obvious why?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      If you currently have automatic updates on, this release of Firefox is the one where you probably want to turn them off.

      You would be INSANE TO DO THIS. Ask any security guru about holes. Firefox 3.6 has +100 exploits! Think about that one when tempted to go back to the old good old days?

      Here is what I use aka ESR release which gets updated only once a year [mozilla.org]. But for regular viewing I have upgraded to Chrome. FF is for corporate sites these days and firebug. Though it has improved vastly and plugins do not break as much like they used too.

      Chrome and IE 9+ (no you did not misread that), both have multiprocess models and lowrigh

      • by bolek_b (246528)
        I'm writing this on Firefox 22.0 / WinXP. Updates disabled for both. No antivirus, unless Sysinternals tools and system debugger count as one. Running it this way for more than ~3 years. Would you point out how exactly is a virus going to infect this machine, if I strictly adhere to a couple of basic information hygiene rules?
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The moment someone hacks a site you trust, which exploits an old browser vulnerability? The moment that an un-updated XP box is attacked by a machine through some ancient vulnerability you haven't patched? Maybe you'll open some attachment by accident that likewise ruins your day?

          These kinds of things DO happen. Just because it hasn't happened to you yet doesn't mean you're safe. Do revel in your luck, but don't revel in false security. For all you know your PC is already part of a botnet.

        • Go to anywebsite and you get infected. Done.

          Just last week I did a fresh re-image I installed plugins and installed java (needed eclipse). I launched IE before I disabled the java plugin to download software. My webcam instantly came on!! MSN.com had a rogue adserver that launched a java based attack.

          I had to get my image stick and start over again.

          Flash ads can get in through buffer overflows, sandbox errors, exception handling techniques, and privledge escalation bugs. I had this debate without another sl

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        The problem is that sometimes the update break things horribly and they don't do an emergency fix for it, you just have to wait until the next release cycle. Insufficient testing and an insanely short release cycle are major issues for Firefox. Chrome has some similar problems but they seem to be better at testing because so far I have not had any that make the browser actually unusable.

        • The reason why is design.

          Chrome is designed to be updated from the gecko (no pun intended). It's plugin is seperate with the api designed to be indepdent of constant updating. Webkit is designed to be embedded into things which is not only why Google uses it but Steam uses it as well. They tried with Firefox first but had problems as everything is kludged together browser style.

          This is what I mean by modern design. IE is like a new browser after version 9 and it too can be updated more frequently where chan

  • What happened to that new, easier method of Firefox Sync device pairing that was supposed to come out in Firefox 27?

    The big issue with the current method is to add a new Firefox instance to the group, it pretty much requires you to have access to both your new device and an existing device simultaneously. Unless you save the authentication key file it's impossible to sync different Firefox installs on a dual/multi-boot computer or recover your saved passwords and bookmarks if a device is non-usable from dam

    • by Dagger2 (1177377)

      It's in 29.0. Just be aware that your data will be encrypted using the password you use to login to Sync, so ideally your password needs to have the same amount of entropy as your current sync key (meaning you'll need to get it from your existing browser anyway.)

      Also, I can't quite get my head around how you can do authentication with a password, use the same password as an encryption key, and keep that key a secret from the party doing the authentication. There's a document describing the protocol here [github.com] if

  • by Piata (927858) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:47AM (#46523727)
    At long last Firefox has full Flexbox support. Even Interent Explorer beat them to full support of this standard. If you regularly work with CSS + HTML, Flexbox is a god send and now we can finally start using it.

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