Wednesday, June 13, 2012

13.0.1 not planned

Mozilla is issuing a 13.0.1 for release probably by Friday to address bug 733614 and bug 756850. Allegedly bug 736731 (MS Messenger and Hotmail bustage) is also being addressed, but there is no code attached to that bug. Neither of these issues I consider heavy enough hitters to respin for unstable, and both of them will be picked up in 14 anyway, the port of which will start when "beta 8" (really beta 3 by any other name) comes out sometime next week.

13 has turned out to be another problematic release for our friends in Mountain View. Besides these issues above forcing a chemspill, which is never desirable, the highly hyped New Tab page is really unpopular in SUMO. Even considering the fact that the displeased are usually the most visible, New Tab comments are 76% negative. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to turn off with the cube icon at the top right, or by a dive into about:config (browser.newtabpage.enabled to false, or browser.newtab.url to about:blank), but someone apparently forgot to tell the peanut gallery. There are also sporadic reports of issues with SPDY on Gmail and Twitter.

With regard to 14, the changes are largely at the UI level. 14 introduces the first support for plugin click-to-play, but this isn't enabled by default, and it doesn't change the fact we don't support plugins anyhow (this just guards against drive-by attacks, not errant clicks, so I don't consider it to be enough of a satisfactory security solution with the state of PowerPC plugins). It also does some more rearranging of the deck chairs by changing the address bar iconography for secure sites, again, but the Awesome Bar is now smarter about hostnames and domains, and that is a welcome change; there is also initial support for the Pointer-Lock API for games, and some performance improvements. Note that those of you who have used the AuroraFox build on 10.5 will have probably seen this already. The big improvements are still not scheduled until Fx15, and Tobias' early work indicates we have some compatibility issues we will need to work out with the JIT plus bustage from the libvpx upgrade in that release, so I might start that port early to see how much damage there is.

In the meantime, the optimization in issue 160 for JavaScript has performed very well on the 7450 10.0.5 test build, so it will be rolled out for 14 and 10.0.6. Watch for 14 probably in about two weeks.


  1. I'd like to understand the relationship between TenFourFox and AuroraFox, which I recently found via this post:

    I read that it's supposed to combine innovations from TenFourFox and others? I'm also puzzled that the post (and the browser I downloaded from the link) are called Aurora, not AuroraFox.

  2. Aurorafox is the PPC version of the Intel Mac Aurora. The PPC version is made possible with the technology and experience gained from the TenFourFox project. It's G4/G5 and 10.5 only.

    Aurora is Mozilla's "alpha" (unstable, maybe not yet feature complete) version of the next Firefox. It's actally not meant for a large audience, it's for testing purposes. Mozilla has a tradition to name Firefox alpha versions differently (Dear Park, Minefield etc.), and with the new rapid release cycle the browser is called Aurora.

  3. What Chris said. I don't have anything official personally to do with AuroraFox, primarily because it requires 10.5 and I require Classic, but it does originate from our community (Tobias Netzel and commenter/spmjns are the primary part of that work) and uses TenFourFox code as part of its foundation. It is based on Mozilla Aurora, and therefore the executable is also called Aurora.

    You can think of it like Tenfourbird; it too uses TenFourFox foundations, but adds additional new code for the Thunderbird component.

    There are probably other smaller spinoffs we haven't heard about yet.

  4. I should also add I don't have any plans currently to move porting work to Aurora, mostly because that branch still has too much churn for my tastes. So if you want to try an Aurora build and get closer to that "Firefox nightly feel," and have 10.5, then use AuroraFox. Some of the observations from AuroraFox in turn are used when the beta port starts for our unstable branch, so there is cross-pollination.

  5. And as it is a spinoff, debaters should remember that using AuroraFox is in fact using TenFourFox as well.

  6. You should still enable click-to-play by default for those fools who enable plugins.

  7. It will be; I just have to see how it behaves in the default. If it shows "click to play" icons when plugins are already off, that would just be annoying, so I may connect the two prefs together.

  8. While I was initially on the same page, I must disagree. Click-to-play is still very rudimentary in 14 (breaks VDH, one click activates every Flash instance, etc.). It stands to reason that they will improve upon it in future versions but Tobias was completely correct to leave it disabled in 14.

  9. This concerns us, too: Newtab screenshots may reveal secure info from https sites:


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