If you use Firefox as your browser you have probably updated to Version 6 which was released yesterday. What you might not have noticed is that it has some new features for developers, in particular Scratchpad.
When you run code in Scratchpad, it runs in a sandbox that has access to everything on your page, but keeps you from accidentally leaking variables onto your page and if you’re doing development work on Firefox itself or on Firefox add-ons, you can set Scratchpad up so that it has access to all of the browser’s internals.
Introducing the new text editor on the Mozilla blog, Kevin Dangoor explains:
He adds "an interesting historical aside"
Scratchpad was heavily inspired by the Workspaces feature of Smalltalk environments. Thirty years in, we're still reinventing Smalltalk :-)
Click above for a video demo, produced by Rob Campbell, which explores using Scratchpad. (Only works with WebM compatible browsers).
For developers who prefer the Web Console, Mozilla has also updated it, improving the auto-complete tool and letting you change its location - the options are now top or bottom of the browser window or in a separate window.
A Window.matchMedia API has been added to help developers optimize their site or web app across disparate platforms. Two other new APIs, WebSockets and server-sent event facilitate communication between Firefox and back-end web servers.
At the same time as Firefox 6, Mozilla also released a new version of Firefox for Android, which is available from the Google Andriod Market. For users, it features a new welcome page, its interface is streamlined to be consistent with the Android look and feel while fonts and buttons have been optimized for tablets and enhanced image rendering give faster zooming, crisp text and reduced pixelation.
For developers it adds single touch events API, for detecting touch events and gesture and an IndexedDB API which provides local database storage for increasing performance, reducing data usage and offline browsing.
Download Firefox 6
Release notes for Firefox for Android
If you would like to be informed about new articles on I Programmer you can either follow us on Twitter or Facebook or you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter.