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Firefox 24: Find out what is new


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Mozilla will push out an update of the popular Firefox web browser later today that brings the stable channel to version 24. As always, it is available early on the official Mozilla ftp server and on third party download portals.

The other channels, beta, aurora and nightly, will also receive an update in the coming days raising their version count by 1 as well.

Firefox users who have automatic updates configured in the browser - it is the default setting - will receive notifications of the update later today so that they can update to the new version.

Users who have disabled the feature need to download it manually instead, either from the ftp server directly or from Mozilla's official website to install it manually in the browser instead.

Firefox 24 What’s New


The final release notes have not been published yet. Mozilla does however publish beta release notes which we can use to find out what is new in the latest version of Firefox.

We are also using other official sources, information for developers for example, in this overview to provide you with detailed information about the changes in Firefox 24.

Close Tabs to the right


Mozilla has added a new menu item to the context menu when you right-click a tab in the browser's tab bar. Here you find the usual options to pin a tab, close tabs, undo close, and the new close tab to the right item.

It closes all tabs to the right of the selected tab on selection. The feature can be quite useful in situations where you have opened - some - tabs for a short period of time. This may reflect your browsing habit on sites such as Reddit for example, especially the picture section there.

Instead of closing all tabs manually, you simply invoke the close tabs to the right action and be done with that with two clicks.

Social chat tear-off option


If you are using Firefox's social feature you may have noticed that all of the information it makes available are attached to the browser window in a fixed fashion. That's not always what you want, especially when it comes to chat.

Starting in Firefox 24, it is possible to drag and drop chat windows from the main browser into their own window so that you can use them independently from it.

To do so, hold down the left-mouse button on the chat interface and drag & drop it to another location before you release the mouse button. It is alternatively possible to click on the small arrow next to the minimize and close icons in the window's title to do the same thing.

You can then control the window just like any other, resize it for instance if you want or move it around.

Java changes


As mentioned earlier, Java is considered insecure by Mozilla. That's why the organization made the decision to remove the "always activate" option from the plugin.

As you may know, plugins can have three states in Firefox:

  • Always activate means it is enabled on all websites by default.
  • Never activate means it is disabled.
  • Ask to activate means that click to play is used to turn on the plugin on a per-page basis.

Java can only be set to the never activate or ask to activate state from Firefox 24 on.

Note that Mozilla will apply the change to all plugins but the latest Flash version from Firefox 26 onwards.

Mp3, AAC and H.264 support

I was not able to test this so take this with a grain of salt. Linux users may play Mp3, AAC and H.264 contents in the web browser without plugins from Firefox 24 on.

The preference gstreamer.enabled determines whether the feature is enabled or not. To change it do the following:

  1. Type about:config into the browser's address bar and hit enter.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if this is your first time.
  3. Search for gstreamer.enabled
  4. Make sure it is set to to true (which means enabled).

Other changes

  • Support for new scrollbar style in Mac OS X 10.7 and newer

Developer changes

Additional information about these changes are available in the source links section below.

  • The two values -moz-zoom-in and -moz-zoom-out of the cursor property have been unprefixed to zoom-in and zoom-out.
  • The <track> element has been implemented behind the media.webvtt.enabled property.
  • Arrow functions are no longer automatically in strict mode unless explicitly requested with "use strict".
  • The String.prototype.repeat JS method has been implemented.
  • Support the Range(), Text(), Comment(), DocumentFragment() constructor has been added.
  • The FocusEvent interface has been implemented.
  • Support for the ChildNode.remove() method has been added.
  • TextTrack, TextTrackCue, TextTrackList and TextTrackCueList have been implemented.
  • Navigator.getGamepads has been implemented but set to false by default.
  • mozLoadFrom() of HTMLMediaElement has been removed.
  • HTMLCanvasElement.getContext() can now take the webg1 value on Firefox desktop.
  • The Network Inspector can now filter by content type, e.g. CSS, image).
  • JavaScript can now be temporarily disabled or enabled in the Devtools options panel.
  • Browser Console implemented which replaces the Error Console.
  • Support for W3C touch events has been disabled.

Security updates / fixes

MFSA 2013-92 GC hazard with default compartments and frame chain restoration
MFSA 2013-91 User-defined properties on DOM proxies get the wrong "this" object
MFSA 2013-90 Memory corruption involving scrolling
MFSA 2013-89 Buffer overflow with multi-column, lists, and floats
MFSA 2013-88 compartment mismatch re-attaching XBL-backed nodes
MFSA 2013-87 Shared object library loading from writable location
MFSA 2013-86 WebGL Information disclosure through OS X NVIDIA graphic drivers
MFSA 2013-85 Uninitialized data in IonMonkey
MFSA 2013-84 Same-origin bypass through symbolic links
MFSA 2013-83 Mozilla Updater does not lock MAR file after signature verification
MFSA 2013-82 Calling scope for new Javascript objects can lead to memory corruption
MFSA 2013-81 Use-after-free with select element
MFSA 2013-80 NativeKey continues handling key messages after widget is destroyed
MFSA 2013-79 Use-after-free in Animation Manager during stylesheet cloning
MFSA 2013-78 Integer overflow in ANGLE library
MFSA 2013-77 Improper state in HTML5 Tree Builder with templates
MFSA 2013-76 Miscellaneous memory safety hazards (rv:24.0 / rv:17.0.9)

Additional information / sources

The following links point to official sources that provide you with additional information about the release. Note that some may not have been updated yet.

  1. Add-on Compatibility for Firefox 24
  2. Firefox 24 for Developers
  3. Firefox 24 release notes
  4. Security advisories for Firefox 24

Source: ghacks.net

Edited by shamu726
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