Network monitor debuts in latest Firefox beta

The next Firefox beta is out and again it includes a new tool in its ever-growing developer toolbox. This time it comes with a new and long awaited network monitor that allows you to see network activity in the current tab, from html and style files, to ongoing AJAX requests for updated content.


And as developer tools pile up it now makes sense to have a way for showing and hiding different elements from the developer panel. A gear button has been added for this purpose. Continue reading Network monitor debuts in latest Firefox beta

Top performance and better social interaction in latest Firefox update

The latest Firefox update, released today brings several important improvements. Among them, support for asm.js is without the most relevant as it lowers the bar for hundreds of potential applications to run inside the browser enjoying performance only thought for desktop applications until today.

To put it simple: if a developer has a desktop application today, say written on C++, he can today compile it to JavaScript instead of lower level code. Since it is JavaScript it can now be run on the web. The trick is that instead of compiling the C++ code into “full” JavaScript it is into asm.js, a subset that is deeply optimized within Firefox (IonMonkey), resulting in very important performance improvements with minimum time required: Epic was able to port its ubiquitous Unreal 3D engine to the web in four days! Continue reading Top performance and better social interaction in latest Firefox update

Firefox update adds click-to-play, location bar autocomplete

A new Firefox update is now available for download featuring a few UI improvements, web development features, and important security fixes.

First thing you may notice is something missing: the site button no longer features a favicon for security concerns: it helps malicious sites spoof some other site’s identity. By removing it, Firefox developers expect users to focus on the meaning of the new icons. Also, as it was redundant with the tab icon,

For regular sites, you get a generic gray world icon.

Firefox 14 site button for regular sites screenshot

Sites offering encrypted communication are presented with a gray lock icon. Continue reading Firefox update adds click-to-play, location bar autocomplete

Firefox update refreshes new tab and start pages, adds SPDY support

As part of Firefox’s rapid release cycle, which delivers a major update every six weeks, Mozilla is updating the new tab page with a helpful selection of thumbnails of the most frequently and recently visited web pages, ready for you to click and go.

New tab page screenshot

While the collection is dynamic, and meant to adapt to your browsing behavior, you can also pin a thumbnail clicking on a thumbnail’s pin button.

To add a specific page, you can drag a bookmark from the bookmarks toolbar o menu, you can then drag thumbnails around to set it to your needs.

Firefox’s Start page now features icons to access the most frequently used preferences: Add-ons, downloads, bookmarks, history, Sync, and options.

Firefox new start page screenshot

In the background, Firefox now features SPDY support, on by default. SPDY is a new internet protocol that aims for faster delivery of web pages through compression, prioritization, and multiplexing. Originally proposed by Google, and now under standardization efforts and implementation by Apache, node.js, nginx, other web server makers, as well as content providers including Google, Twitter and a few others.

Reliability also gets an important improvement, thanks to a new Reset Firefox button. If you find yourself stuck with a non responding Firefox, you may want to try resetting it. Firefox will make a new profile for you keeping your bookmarks, history, forms, passwords, and cookies, giving you a quick way to get back to work.

Firefox resent button screenshot

Finally, in the performance department, if you choose to restore you previous session every time Firefox starts, only the currently visible tab is loaded during startup. The other tabs are restored as you click on them, making it faster to get to the content you want.

To get the previous behavior (to load all tabs when restoring a session), go to Options and uncheck Don’t load tabs until selected in the General tab.

Firefox don't load tabs until selected option screenshot

And that’s for this period. Firefox 14 is due in 6 weeks, and I will comment on the upcoming features in the next post.


More dev tools, Chrome import, and more in latest Firefox update

Mozilla has released a new update for Firefox, identified as version 11 for those counting, which introduces a few important new features.

You can now import cookies, bookmarks and history from Chrome. Considering Chrome’s growing market share (even surpassing Firefox by some accounts) it makes sense to make it easier it for Chrome users to move (back) to Firefox. You will be prompted when doing a first install, or you can opt later from the Library window.

Import settings from Chrome in Firefox 11 screenshto

Continue reading More dev tools, Chrome import, and more in latest Firefox update