Firefox 23, which features a new Share button, mixed content blocker and network monitor is on general release. The next version Firefox 24, for desktop and Android, is now in beta.
If you have looked in vain for the Share button, which gives you yet another opportunity to post links to social media sites, in the new Firefox you first need to enable the Social API.
The easy way to do this is via Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/about/messenger-for-firefox. Once you have done this you'll find a new icon at the far right of the Firefox browser toolbar which you can use to share web pages with your Facebook contacts.
The new mixed content blocker is one of Firefox 23's security enhancements. When a webpage contains a combination of both secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) content, it blocks the non-secure content and its new Network Monitor tool will be welcome by developers as it reveals how long it takes for the individual website components to load, helping you in pinpointing problems.
One minor change has caused a bit if a stir among developers. The HTML blink tag that, reasonably enough, made text blink on and off has finally been removed. It might have been assumed that this would a welcome change that simply ensured compliance with a W3C requirement. Instead there's already several add-ons to restore this facility.
The Hacks.Mozilla blog gives details of "a slew of new features" to developer tools in Firefox 24 for Windows, Mac and Linux:
Less Console Clutter
- The console will now clear all of the existing logs when you refresh the page. If you need logs to persist across reloads, this behavior is toggle-able in the options panel.
- To resolve issues with Internet Explorer, the source map specification has been updated so that you link a source map to its script with
//# sourceMappingURL=... rather than the deprecated
- The text of a source mapped source will now be loaded from its source map’s
sourcesContent property, if it exists.
- Frozen, sealed, and non-extensible objects are now visually distinguished in the debugger’s variables view:
- When stepping out of a stack frame in the debugger, you will now see either the return value or the exception thrown (depending on why you are exiting the frame) in the variables view labeled
- The ability to filter by types of requests in the network monitor has been improved. Also the total number of requests, file sizes, and response times are now listed and update with your filters, so you can see just how many KBs you are requesting on every page load.
- You can now control the profiler from your web app’s code base via
console.profile() to start a new profile, and
console.profileEnd() to end it.
The Firefox 24 for Android beta has features to help users share content. Extending the support for WebRTC it now includes the WebRTC components DataChannels, PeerConnection and GetUserMedia to enable developers to integrate real-time communications across the Web.It also provides NFC (Near Field Communications) Bump to share Firefox tabs with another NFC-enabled Android phone by “bumping” them together; and Quickshare which creates a space in the Share menu from a list of sharing services, such as email, SMS and social media, available on the user’s device. There are also improvements to Reader and Reading List.
Finally, as we pointed out when Firefox 23 beta was first announced, Mozilla has redesigned the Firefox logo, optimizing it for small screens and lower resolution devices.