Building the perfect ad-blocker is a complex business, not least because your users can have very different ideas on how it should work.
Some developers try to address this with layer after layer of features. You’ll be able to whitelist this, blacklist that, and add custom filters for just about everything else. Sounds great, until you have to spend an age learning how everything works, and start to notice how all these layers are slowing you down.
Emerging from what it describes as an "unexpected leadership transition", Mozilla announces its new CEO, albeit an interim replacement. The vacancy opened up a couple of weeks ago after the departure of Bendan Eich following outrage from developers that someone opposed to gay marriage should be placed at the head of a company. The pitchfork wielding and flaming torch brandishing mob, got their way as Eich "stepped down".
It's not really clear whether he jumped or whether he was pushed -- what is publicly announced is not necessarily representative of what has taken place behind boardroom doors -- but there's now a new man at the top. Announced with the Mozilla Blog, Chris Beard's appointment is apparently something that had been under consideration for some time: "we began exploring the idea of Chris joining the Board of Directors some months ago." Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker described Beard as someone who has "been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s".
Brendan Eich is no longer the CEO of Mozilla. Effective today, he has stepped down. This news is rather bittersweet for me. While I disagree with Eich's perceived stance on marriage equality, I defend his right to express it. However, I also support the rights of others to boycott and call for his removal.
Today, showed, in some measure, that the Internet and freedom of speech still work as intended. In other words, one person expressed a view, others expressed an opposite view. Brendan Eich's stepping down was not the result of violence or negativity, it was the result of shared ideas and communication. But was his leaving necessary? Mozilla thinks so. Do you?
Gay marriage is not a gay issue, nor is it liberal or conservative. It is an equality issue, since basic rights of Americans, who happen to be gay, are threatened. As more and more people wake up from the slumber of ignorance and see the light in supporting gay marriage, there are still people that refuse to evolve. You can hate anyone you want, and if you hate gay people, that hate is your burden to live with. Quite frankly, gay people do not need your love or approval, although I'm sure it would be appreciated. What they do need though, is to be treated equally by the government that they live under and pay taxes to.
When people donate money to anti-gay causes, they can sometimes fuel hatred and anti-American values. After all, equal rights are the foundation of the USA. Sadly, the new CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, who was appointed today, allegedly donated $1,000 to support a ban on gay marriage. Two developers, Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael, are boycotting Mozilla as a result.
Although not due to be officially unveiled until tomorrow, we’ve installed the latest version and checked it out to see what new features could be making their debut in the next stable build, and the early signs suggest Firefox 29 could be a landmark release.
The most notable feature in version 28 is a missing one, with Mozilla pulling the planned Firefox for Metro release for Windows 8/RT shortly before shipping. The end result is an underwhelming desktop update overshadowed by the new Android release.
Just a few days ago, Mozilla announced that it would not bother releasing a modern version of Firefox for Windows 8.x -- this in spite of the fact that a team of developers have been working on it for over a year. It seems that the company behind the famous foxy browser regards the modern interface with just about as much disdain as everyone else. So much contempt, in fact, that it can't even bring itself to use the proper terminology: "I know [Metro is] not what Microsoft calls it anymore, but it remains how we talk about it in Mozilla", sneers Johnathan Nightingale, Vice President of Firefox.
Despite acknowledging that Mozilla is no longer "tiny" (far from it, really), Nightingale says that the company needs to focus its attention on those projects that will have the most impact. According to StatCounter, Firefox still manages to grab over 20 percent of the desktop browser market, dropping very slightly to just over 19 percent once tablets are factored in. But moving forward, there will simply be no more work carried out on the modern version of the browser. It is being abandoned like the runt of a litter.
The hatred of Modern UI and its associated Start Screen is well documented. Many users dislike the full-screen Windows apps, stating they are less productive with them. There can be truth to that -- working with multiple open programs and apps simultaneously can be problematic. Not to mention, there are very few apps compared to legacy programs. Some users may feel that if they cannot go "all in" on Modern UI, they don't want to use it at all.
It is hard to blame developers for not embracing Modern UI -- Microsoft hasn't even done so with Office. One notable app that has been conspicuously absent, is Firefox. Mozilla developers have been working on it, but a final, stable version never came to fruition. Sadly, Mozilla announces that it is cancelling the project, dealing Microsoft's Windows 8.x a significant blow.
As the world trends toward Google's Chrome, it is easy to forget about trusty old Firefox. After all, Google's browser has more features and is arguably faster. However, while Google Chrome is based on the open-source Chromium project, it is not fully open-source. Conversely, Firefox remains open and well maintained. It is reliable and trustworthy.
However, Firefox shouldn't just be relegated to the role of stagnation -- quite the contrary. Mozilla is still pushing along and improving the speed and experience. To drive that message home, today it is revealed that the Unreal Engine 4 is running in Firefox without plugins. Wow.
Firefox is my favorite browser, but I don't use it. While that sounds crazy, and it sort of is, there is a method to my madness. You see, Google Chrome utilizes Google accounts, which makes my life easier.
By utilizing Google accounts, Chrome can sync across multiple devices -- that includes things like bookmarks and passwords. And so, the convenience of Chrome caused me to abandon my trusty Firefox. Luckily, Mozilla is looking to bring parity with all-new Firefox Accounts.
Hot on the heels of the underwhelming appearance of Firefox 27.0 FINAL, Mozilla has released Firefox 28.0 Beta 1 and Firefox Aurora 29.0a2, both of which come with the promise of significant new features and changes.
First up is the debut of Firefox for Windows 8 touch, which has migrated across to the beta channel for the first time, while Aurora ships with a brand new user interface (Australis) and revamped tool for syncing settings between multiple computers and devices.
If you’re not happy with the performance of Firefox on your PC then you could try tuning the browser manually. This isn’t difficult, but could take a while, as there are many possibilities to consider.
If you’re in a hurry, then, you might prefer to grab a copy of Light, a Firefox fork where many components (developer tools, less common APIs) have been "slimmed down" or removed entirely to improve its speed.
There’s only one major new feature of note in this latest release -- the SocialAPI, which allows providers to provide social networking updates directly from within the browser, can now handle multiple providers simultaneously.
Firefox is a great browser in many ways, but malware protection isn’t one of them. The program tries to keep you away from dangerous sites, but isn’t particularly effective, and in our tests both Internet Explorer and Chrome do a much better job of keeping you safe.
This isn’t a major issue, of course, because you should also have an antivirus package to monitor your downloads, but if you’d like to add an extra layer of protection then a free Firefox add-on may be able to help.
YouTube, like many other websites, undergoes changes, and it has taken on a number of guises over the years. Some looks have lasted for a long time, while others have been shorter lived. There are also experimental looks, not all of which end up being released, but even when a redesign is rolled out, it can take a while to make its way around the world. Currently in the experimental stage is a center-aligned layout which includes a cleaned up interface a new menu and a few other tweaks.
In the new design, a top navigation bar is now locked to the top of the screen, remaining in place while the rest of the page scrolls. There is a customizable carousel and a new Upload button encourages visitors into sharing. It's not yet clear quite when this new interface will be officially released to a waiting world, but it's something you can enable now; all it takes is a quick cookie tweak.