Nine Things to Check Out On the Fresh Face of Firefox 3.5

firefox3.5For Firefox fans, there are many things to look forward to when Firefox 3.5 debuts at any time soon. The much awaited browser was first available in Alpha type during July, 2008, and fans are itching to see what Foxfire 3.5 will offer this time round. Later on, two Release Candidates were made public by Mozilla giving a nice preview of what the final and absolute edition of Firefox might look like. Now many are expecting great changes to feed their technical and surf-hungry minds!

Due to improvements in the code of Firefox, the release of 3.5 is proving to be the grandest update that Mozilla has done to Firefox. In competition with other big browsers like Internet Explorer (developed by Microsoft) in grabbing hold of a big chunk of the market, Mozilla aims to please with several extra (and extra nifty) features.  Check out what Mozilla has in store for its surfing public with the release of Firefox 3.5.

Browsing Made Personal and Private. Unfortunately nickname Porn Mode, this mode allows personal and private browsing by users and delivers more than it might connote. Despite its strange nickname, it is foreseen to be a success since this new function will give Firefox 3.5 users the privacy they need, especially when users share computer units. Basically it is simple function – this private browsing mode erases all your surfing history (and its traces) once the browser is exited (for the private session) or when the browser itself is closed.

Firefox 3.5 will have a selection on its Tools menu called “Start Private Browsing (or the manual key combo is CTRL + Shift + P). By doing this, the open browser windows will all close and a discrete window will be launched. Upon leaving the private browsing mode, all history of your internet trail will be eradicated. What’s more is the windows previously open before you switched to private browsing mode will open again (including tabs) and reloads as if you had never left at all. So whether you are choosing a special gift for your kids on the family computer, or whether you are checking out lingerie for your significant other’s birthday, you needn’t worry too much about them finding out! One thing to note though is that the private mode window and the normal mode windows cannot be displayed and open on the screen simultaneously. Google Chrome, though, offers this feature.

In the instances when you forget to switch to private browsing mode while you are surfing the internet and suddenly regret doing this, there are some possible solutions. First, you may go into the history part of your Firefox browser and manually erase the history of your internet surfing in the past hours or days. Or second, you can enter the history on Firefox, select and right-click on the website that you don’t want to be seen and choose “Forget about this site” option. It’s rather neat to delete all traces of the site, especially when you are surfing for surprise gifts for loved ones.

Checking on Website Security and I.D. Whenever you enter a website where you find the one thing you have been looking for all these years to complete your collection and are willing to buy it then and there, it is always a good habit to know what site you are about to make an order from or make payments to. Nowadays, all websites have an identity which allows users immediate admission to identity data so that they can look at the website’s security certificate. When you click on the “More Information” button, details about the site will appear, including the number of times you have visited the website before, the stored cookies, and the saved passwords you have saved there from your unit.

Resurrecting Tabs and Windows that have just been Closed. With multiple windows open, many online multi-taskers may try to organize by closing windows they do not need, and end up mistakenly closing the browser that they were actually using. This mistaken exit can be undone by Firefox 3.5 through the feature called “Recently Closed Windows” which is under the History button. This is located beneath the “Recently Closed Tabs” area on your Firefox browser.

Improved Support for Video. Unlike past releases of the Firefox browser, especially for Open Video, Firefox 3.5 manages videos better this time around. Firefox 3.5 now uses Ogg Theora codec, which is still additional to the video tag of HTML 5. What this all means is that if you don’t have a certain plug-in (which seems to happen a lot when you surf different sites with great videos), with Ogg Theora in Firefox 3.5, any encoded video can be watched in Firefox. How this works is file (specifically Theora files) are embedded into web pages directly. This gives the users and viewers the ability to use standard controls (e.g. pause, play, volume adjust). Further, depending on the source of the video, by right-clicking on it the menu provides you a “Save” option to save the video clip onto your hard drive.

But this isn’t all, Firefox 3.5 now allows the viewer to interact with videos. These videos, however, need to have been developed using open standards. One neat feature is the Dubbed Dynamic Content Injection which allows the user to choose certain parts of the video and to insert other videos, or images, into it. This is a similar feature of Flash, the difference being Flash manipulation is far more complicated since it uses code that is typically and entirely Flash-coded.

A Geographically-aware Firefox. Some websites on the internet usually customize their pages and data founded on the geographic location of the user or viewer. This is called location-aware browsing. Firefox 3.5 has a built-in capability for this type of browsing, which was only available as a plug-in before. Although this has raised concerns about privacy issues, users are typically allowed to decide whether or not to reveal, or share, their actual location when there is a request for it. Upon the user’s permission, the IP address is analyzed and the location is approximated through wireless access points that are in close proximity to the consenting user.  It is only then that the website making the request will be given the information it is asking.

For those who still feel it is an invasion of their privacy, one may permanently disable this feature by typing “about:config” in the URL bar, then typing “geo.enabled” within the Filter bar, and finally double-clicking on “geo.enabled preference”. By doing this, the user modifies the value from ‘true’ to ‘false’ which will ultimately render inoperative the location-aware browsing capability of Firefox 3.5 for that computer unit.

Cascading Style Sheets Capability. This is a benefit that all web developers will surely appreciate from Mozilla. The usual case has been that upon entering a site there may be fonts that are not recognizable by different PCs. Therefore, developers have resorted to just complying to universally available fonts, or by embedding fonts as image files so that the website look and style is not compromised. Firefox 3.5 solves this problem for developers by integrating downloadable fonts for the user. If a website is opened on Firefox 3.5, it will download and install the missing fonts automatically so that the websites look exactly how their developers intended. This is a cascading style sheets capability worth checking out in Firefox.

Add-on Management Improved. Firefox 3.5 allows for smoother streamlining in terms of adding extensions. With the newly incorporated Add-ons Manager, Firefox now allows the user to search for add-ons, install them, and all without having to open up a new tab or new window when visiting the sites where the add-ons are located. Firefox has always been a premiere browser featuring Mozilla’s practical extensions. Mozilla offers thousands of extensions which are available online and of the 771 add-ons (making up 95 percent usage of add-ons), 81 percent of them are compatible with the new Firefox 3.5.

Dragging and dropping Tabs. The management of tabs in the browser, which have been a Mozilla Firefox strength for years, is enhanced further with Firefox 3.5. When a tab is dragged around the screen, a thumbnail preview of the website it opened to also appears. Now the user can drag tabs away from one window and drop it into another. This can be done by dragging and dropping this translucent tab at any point outside the tab bar.

Firefox Corrects Color. Color correction has always been a recurrent problem in Firefox as it has been in any other browser. After a long waiting period, the key to correcting this problem lies in the “about:config” sector of Firefox 3.5 to enable the feature. Images, by means of International Color Consortium (ICC) tags, have color correction by default in Firefox 3.5. This was done as a consequence of fine-tuning the technology and making the process approximately five times faster than it used to be. Gone are the days when there was (as discovered by Mozilla) between a 10 to 15 percent performance success rate. PNG and JPG images support color profiles, and once one utilizes the Firefox 3.5 tool, the user should be able to view an image exactly how the photographer viewed it originally, which also does not depend on the device the user is employing, whether LCD or CRT  screen.

Download firefox 3.5 release candidate by clicking this link.

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