Firefox Updates (4.0B11)
Frankly speaking its been a long time since I switched to Firefox since my primary default browser is set to Chrome (oh yes! I am a chrome fan and supporter). But today, I decided to spent some time on Firefox bleeding edge version (4.0b11, latest till date). I am surprised that Firefox is trying to improve upon the browsing speeds, rendering, memory usage, and new features to give it the required push. Here is a latest trend report from NETMARKETSHARE, and it shows the rise in Chrome percentage, and drop in Firefox wherein needless to say but IE is always dropping (it’s the default Windows OS installation that is keeping it alive).
So, knowing these statistics, what is Firefox up to? Firefox is actually looking forward for better features, user interactions, and speeds. But, the tug of war is actually between Chrome and Firefox. Firefox share has gone down from 24% to 22% approx. whereas the Chrome for the first time passed 10% market share value. IE has gone down from 60% to 56% and as per the trend it’s a continuous downhill run for IE. Okay cutting the chase here are some attractive assets that Firefox has considered into its development plan (many in beta already).
In addition to this, they have WebGL supporting 3D graphics’ content right at your desktop which will enable developers to create next generation games, experiences and visualization techniques – breaking all barriers.
Firefox will also be handling CSS3 supporting better display and awesomeness of transformations and transitions to the web content.
HSTS :: HTTP Strict Transport Security
HSTS is a measure to force the browser to deliver the content on HTTPS rather than on insecure HTTP. The content can be any sensitive information, login credentials, PII etc. which a portal may need for registration or for individual details. Firefox has already shifted to SSL3, and TLS1 after flaws were reported in SSL2 protocol. So, the websites which are even running SSL version 2 will first be queried on SSL3 before popping an error if the site doesn’t support any of the allowed SSL versions.
This was in continuation of the Firefox plugin – ForceHTTPS, which enabled Firefox versions 2 and 3 to load certain pre-defined sites like Gmail, PayPal to switch to HTTPS even if the user has requested the same over HTTP. This enabled the use of a new header field "Strict-Transport-Security" which commits the use of HTTPS for a period of time, e.g. Header set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=200" which means the web server commits using HTTPS for 200 seconds.
DNT :: Do Not Track
DNT made its debut in some forums, and blogs and its need aroused from the fact that user doesn’t want to be tracked by the websites. This header (DNT for now) is still under process at CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology). Initially add-ons like UBAO (Universal Behavioral Advertising Opt-out), AdBlock, NoScript have this support but since Firefox v4.0b11 this is built in by default in the browser. Here is a showcase of the same in action,
The same can be adjusted and opted in "Advanced Options –> General –> Browsing". There tick the "Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked".
The original header proposed was "X-Do-Not-Track" and this is perhaps shorter acronym part of it. Is it because it’s under Beta testing or is it really going to be the final version release? The question is yet to be answered.
Now, the point is whether the webservers/websites will entertain this header and how long will they take to understand this part.
The details on this concept are mentioned on the website – Do Not Track. This will help to protect user rights and privacy.
Anyways, with all these advancements in the Firefox, the only thing that is desirable is fast loading time, and less memory usage. Firefox still takes 4 times more than Chrome if clicked at the same time (at least on my system). But looking forward for a better Firefox and its always enjoyable for a consumer to see two browsers in close tug of war. And may the best browser wins.