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Firefox 20 Arrives With Per-Window Private Browsing, New Download Manager 181

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla on Tuesday officially launched Firefox 20 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The improvements include per-window private browsing, a new download manager in the Firefox toolbar, and the ability to close hanging plugins without the browser hanging. The new desktop version was available as of yesterday on the organization's FTP servers, but that was just the initial release of the installers. Firefox 20 has now officially been made available over on and all users of old Firefox versions should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on the official Google Play Store. The changelogs are here: desktop and Android."
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Firefox 20 Arrives With Per-Window Private Browsing, New Download Manager

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Firefox still needs better privacy controls on android. Instead of necessitating an extra step for a private browsing experience, why not make it that way by default? Or at least, have that as an option? Firefox still won't let me choose a homepage of my own, and instead displays a 'top sites' page everytime I startup. I don't want my history tracked, ever, for any reason -- and yet there is no way to turn this off (in the v20 beta at least).

  • Version 23 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @07:14PM (#43343213)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Every time I upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, there's always some unwelcome surprise lurking in the shadows. From past experience:

    - Butt-ugly default skin
    - Fucking with the location bar icon
    -"Tabs on top" option gone
    - Outright refusal to run an outdated plugin on Flash (for various reasons, 11.2 is the last version that will work on portable Firefox)
    - Broken extensions, always broken extensions
    - Removal of status bar
    - Default zaniness with hiding and showing the back/forward button

    So what did they tak

    • The ability to stop the animation of an irritating animated image by pressing Esc.
    • I notice that they retained the "I'll just randomly decide to hide the browser window you're looking at under all the other windows on your desktop" 'feature', though...

  • Embarrasing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @07:48PM (#43343513)

    seriously ?, the new download "manager" is nothing of the sort, it manages nothing, as soon as i click the downloads button it opens the entire library (and the cpu sucking waiting time for it to open), which is asking to show me ALL my history, bookmarks AND downloads in a whole another window, not a little onobtrusive window like before, and no that terrible chromeless!!? overlay doesn't count, good job iam not disabled egh ? what a total waste of time

    as for information, it wastes space like nothing else, 200px tall rows for 1 line of 12px text ? (the name of the downloaded file whoo), no extra info or details about the download at all other than apparently its on my hard drive, no exact link, speed, time completed, size, referer, server details etc etc

    absolute garbage, an embarrasment to mention it other than WTF have you done ?, and iam looking for a replacement addon as we speak HALP

    • Re:Embarrasing (Score:5, Informative)

      by TypoNAM ( 695420 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:23PM (#43343759)
      I've found that by going into about:config and changing to true will restore the original download manager. There is one bug I've noticed by using the old download manager is that the title of its window will clear out leaving it a titleless window after all downloads are completed. Closing and reopening the downloads window will cause the title to be restored. A warning though that this key might fail to work in the next release or so. Just like the status bar fiasco.

      You'll also need to customize the toolbar in order to remove the new downloads icon though. Also the "new" download manager is still accessible via History menu &> Show All History after making the above configuration change.
    • The rows are huge because they also have to accommodate the status bar and status info on active downloads, and somebody decided that rows shouldn't change height based on whether a download is active or not. I fixed it by doing "#downloadsRichListBox > { height: 0em !important; }" which makes the rows for inactive downloads take up the same amount of space as they did in the previous download UI.

      Of course, the design is still poor for space usage. Most users will prefer to have the

  • ...I'll wait for version 20.0.1 which will be released, if history is any indicator, on Thursday.
  • I wonder how long for the first 'Firefox doesn't have $x feeture' poast :)
  • DownThemAll (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZeroNullVoid ( 886675 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:05PM (#43343663)
    I don't understand why they don't natively incorporate download managers like DownThemAll into Firefox.  Segmented transfers, speed limiting, link catchers...
    • Added bloat for people who don't want it? Seriously these are whole dedicated programs which already integrate with every popular browser. Why would you re-invent the wheel and at the same time screw up something that has beauty in its simplicity. ... Or rather had beauty in its simplicity, the new download manager is atrocious.

      • Adding support for segmented transfers is not bloat... I don't want the full downthemall, but I want people with cross-atlantic connections to be able to just download and get their max speed they are capable of without having to get a third party plugin or application. Since there are download managers out there, it just proves that the download manager built in is broken....

        The external download managers do other things also that do not need to like manage logins or have smart captcha support, etc.

        • Since there are download managers out there, it just proves that the download manager built in is broken....

          What a ridiculous assertion. Just because Ferraris exist doesn't mean a Toyota Corolla is broken just because it's slower.

          Hell the whole existence from Chrome was a godsend as it focused Mozilla on improving the speed and resource hogging that Firefox 3 was horrendously known for. Yet here we are requesting yet another feature that you may only *think* everyone wants. Contrary to popular belief some of us don't care for fancy crap. Some of us run versions of uTorrent from back when it lived up to it's names

    • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Wednesday April 03, 2013 @04:30AM (#43345737) Homepage
      They should put an email client in there too! That'd be sweet!
  • I still can't stand the way FF mobile handles tabs. I want to see all my tabs without having to press a button yo open the tabs menu.

    It might be an appropriate means of dealing with low-res or small screens, but not on tablets 7" and up. Until that changes, I can't see FFm being my regular mobile browser.

  • Download Manager (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WedgeTalon ( 823522 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @08:10PM (#43343681)

    I don't understand why Mozilla never just worked with the author of Download Statusbar [] to integrate it. That extension has been one of the most popular addons since it was released in 2004. In fact, the addons site show it is currently the 7th most-used plugin with 1,930,345 current users.

  • Firefox 20? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They're up to Firefox 21 already? I wonder what features this new Firefox 22 contains, and whether it's worth getting this Firefox 23.

    Has anyone downloaded Firefox 24 yet? I want to know if Firefox 25 is any good.

    (Hope I'm not falling too far behind in my version numbers since starting this post).

    • by Skapare ( 16644 )

      Has anyone downloaded Firefox 24 yet? I want to know if Firefox 25 is any good.

      Next week!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    hey guys...I've had that for several years now. Just keep looking to me for what "new" features to "innovate."
    • by Skapare ( 16644 )

      Hell, I've been doing it in Firefox since I can't remember. It's called the -no-remote option. With a little scripting around it, every Firefox window is its own process in its own home directory. I can make permanent ones (I have one for Slashdot, for example) or temporary ones.

  • by Myria ( 562655 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @10:21PM (#43344341)

    Unlike Chrome and Internet Explorer on Vista/7/8, Firefox doesn't run a child process in a sandbox to better protect the browser against exploits. Firefox runs entirely as a normal user process, and thus can access anything that regular processes can. An exploit running as an ordinary user can steal your bank account passwords and act as a zombie almost as effectively as an exploit running with root access.

    I stay with Firefox only because I dislike tabs. Unlike Chrome, Firefox still has an option to open links in new windows instead of tabs.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @10:31PM (#43344399) Homepage

    Time to close all your browser windows.

    • Huh?

      Firefox restarts bringing up all the old windows and tabs.

    • It's fucking annoying isn't it. I leave Firefox open for, well, until I have to restart it due to updates. I have a modern computer, running a modern OS, and the only time I restart my computer is for kernel updates. But, I still have to restart Firefox every few weeks because they insist on making a new version.

      I used to think that the people complaining about Firefox switching to a Chrome-like quick update were just complaining for the sake of it. Now I can see a major disadvantage to it.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @10:59PM (#43344549)

    What I want is private browsing a on a per-site basis. So when I am on the NYTimes, there is one cookie store for the NYTimes (and all the embedded stuff on the NYTimes pages) and when I am on ESPN it is a completely seperate cookie store for ESPN and embeds. That way if both NYTimes and ESPN use some of the same trackers, each tracker gets a different cookie from me based on the site the tracker was embedded in.

    • You can turn off third party cookies and, even better, apply some NoScript action to stop the tracking sites from monitoring your browsing habits.

      • I use Request Policy which gives even better control than NoScript. The problem with both of them is that you still have to know what 3rd party sites are trackers and whcih are necessary for the site to work correctly. Sometimes those 3rd party sites are both - like With per-site private-browsing you wouldn't have to think about it - and the trackers would get their cookies so they wouldn't know to try ever more sneaky ways to track you.

      • by alexo ( 9335 )

        You can turn off third party cookies and, even better, apply some NoScript action to stop the tracking sites from monitoring your browsing habits.

        A long time ago (before the FF days), when I was using IE6, it had an option to disable third-party cookies as well.
        However, when it blocked cookies, it would display an icon on the statusbar which, when clicked, showed what cookies were blocked and allowed whitelisting them on a case-by-case basis.

        I really miss that functionality. Is there something like that in FF?

    • Per-site would also allow me to have one Google profile for, and another for, and a third for This would fight attempts by Google to merge all of my activity under one profile.

    • Wiredlogic offered some advice on turning off third-party cookies. I'll go one step further and suggest you install CookieMonster (or another cookie manager addon), NoScript, and RequestPolicy, and block almost all tracking by default. OK, so RequestPolicy isn't the easiest addon to use, and a lot of sites are hosted at but have their own domains, so you still have to whitelist the CDNs a lot, but still.

      As well, learn to use and browse with different profiles. It's not as convenient, bu

    • by Yer Mum ( 570034 )
      Try the Self-Destructing Cookies [] add-on.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hey, Mozilla. Fix your craptastic PDF viewer. I just spent the greater part of today trying to undo the S-storm the Firefox built-in PDF viewer did to a slew of network printers when users in my company's tax department tried to print PDF documents from investment sites - using the native PDF viewer. It magically caused a 5 page document to clog up the print queue with over 20000 pages of garbage on over half the printers in that department and it completely vapor locked the printers until I was able to get

  • I could have sworn they said 19 would have one-private, one-not as a feature so I had a ton of Windows open and ctrl-alt-p, NOPE! Closed, lol. So this will finally be nice!
  • Glad I'm still using Firefox 14 and have disabled updates. Looking at the UI for Firefox 20, I see an awful looking theme almost identical to Chrome, and an inferior download manager. It looks wholly inferior to what I have now (I have the Firefox 3 theme enabled so no nasty monochrome interface).

  • Starting in Firefox 20 private browser #1. Log into my Dev server using login ID DEVuser. Open a new private browser #2. Log into Prod server using login ID PRODuser. Now my private browser #1 is no longer DEVuser on the Dev box - it's the Prod login to the Prod server. In either Private browser window, logout. The other Private browser window is also logged out of whichever server it was logged into. So the "Private" browser windows are sharing (at the very least) cookie info.
  • Chrome can teleport many goats per second, firefox not even one.

  • Is it just me? I updated to 20 as soon as I saw this article (from (Win7 64 bit) and Firefox immediately stopped working. No matter where I go, example: or, Firefox will sit there not responding and will eventually pop up that a script is misbehaving. Clicking on either "continue" or "stop script" and the results are the same -- it'll go back to "not responding" and eventually the popup will return. Chrome and IE work fine going to the same sites. (Or as fine as IE ev

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