Saturday, December 06, 2008

Browser Bullets: #2

That last post took a bit longer to compose than I expected.  I’ve got a number more waiting in the wings and I really want to shove them out so I can turn my attention to a series of posts on a subject near and dear to my heart: WinPE boot disk building.

So with no more delay, here are this week’s browser-related links of note:

This is interesting only as it applies to the older 2.0 version of Firefox. In my old post Firefox 3 Security Blocker: Going In Deep I looked at how the anti-phishing/attack-site protection features worked and how they got their data from Google.  It was heady stuff.

Now because of a protocol being discontinued, this feature will be stripped from the very last Firefox 2.0 build; version to be released in a few weeks.

Firefox 2.x users should make the jump to the 3.0 versions now out for a number of reasons, including performance, security, and GUI enhancements. It’s too bad it this security feature couldn’t have been preserved for the few folks who haven’t decided to make the jump.

The ffextensionguru and I have been all over this before.  However, there was a new tidbit of info in that article I had not known about as it concerns Firefox 3.1 releases:

One big change in the 3.1b2 is the addition of "Web workers," a feature that lets the browser process tasks in the background. That feature, part of the still-evolving HTML 5 specification, adds another level of sophistication for programmers writing Web applications and gives multicore computers a better way to use their processors' abilities.

He gave one illustration of Web workers in action running a JavaScript program that emulates a decades-old processor design, the 8080. One thread emulates the processor in the background while another handles user interaction such as checking for typing on the keyboard.

This sounds interesting and might help with system and web-application performance for supported pages/applications.

Though I am remain a staunch Firefox fan (with Chromium closely second) Opera remains near and dear to my heart.  The 9.x builds are a major step forward both in terms of speed and rendering.  Now we are at 10.x alphas in the Opera line.

Granted, this initial 10.0 alpha 1 release primarily introduces the Presto 2.2 JavaScript engine and other performance gains.  It also packs in auto-updating and inline spell checking.  Things that many other browsers already have folded in to their currently released versions.  For those who care, Presto brings with it a 100/100 pixel-perfect score on the Acid3 test.   I think it is something to be proud of and nice to know, but certainly isn’t a deciding factor to me in browser choices (Firefox 3.1b1 gets a slowly earned 84/100 right now and Chromium rips through it with a 100/100 but fails the link test.)

It will install alongside your existing Opera build without interference and seems to be able to share the same profile settings so you can jump between them with no issues.

Certainly worth looking into if you are a browser junkie.

Check out the Lifehacker link for pictures and the ARS post has better technical description of the under-the-hood improvements.

Only for the hard-core Mozilla junkies, the Mozilla Web Development blog announces that they are working a new deployment of the crash-reporting system (Socorro).

The current page design works, but isn’t particularly easy to navigate or hunt up information in.

Database and form-junkies won’t have any trouble, but for non-technical fans, it is a bit daunting to drill down to the information you want.

The new design takes on a “dashboard” approach that pre-loads the top crashers.

The filter is also much more user intuitive to create your target set.

Hard-core junkies shouldn’t feel abandoned.  Advanced filters will be available and should further refine searches for pin-point searches.

Also curious, while poking around I see that the crash-reporter has already been collecting information on the following 3.1 (beta) builds along with some 3.2 action as well:

Like I said, only browser freaks like a few of us (who don’t even code) really would waste their time looking into these reports and stats, but it is fun and curious for the brave few.

--Claus V.

1 comment:

ffextensionguru said...

I do recall seeing something about Firefox not having the anti-phising but didn't think much of it as I thought it didn't already. I'll have to take a look at that as well.

Just updated to 3.1b3pre so I guess that confirms there is going to be a 3rd beta for Firefox 3.1. But if that were the case why are there crash reports for 3.2a1pre? Oh wait I guess 3.2 is going to be the next branch as the next version for 3.1 would be something like 3.1.1? All this funky numbering is enough to give me a migraine!