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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Firefox 61 is available for Windows, Linux and Mac

With performance, security and user interface improvements Firefox 61 is available for download for Windows, Linux and Mac. In this new version, performance improvements are still visible, as has always been the case since the launch of Firefox Quantum. These performance gains come in part from improvements to the new CSS (Quantum CSS) engine, which enables faster page rendering. It is also, according to Mozilla, faster to switch between different tabs under Windows and Linux. On macOS, we must add that the WebExtensions now run in their own process.

In addition to performance, Firefox 61 offers convenient access to more search engines. You can now add search engines to the "Find with" tool in the address bar from the "Actions for Page" menu when you are on a Web page that provides an OpenSearch plugin. For information, OpenSearch is a technique to integrate a search engine present on a site directly in a browser, if it is equipped with a suitable area.
As another novelty of the Mozilla browser, it should be noted that it is now easier to share links from Firefox for macOS. You can now share the URL of an active tab from the "Actions for Page" menu in the address bar. Mozilla also highlights improved synchronization of favorites and a more consistent user experience with improvements to support dark themes across the entire Firefox user interface.
The security component has not been omitted in this version either. For example, the default support for the last draft of the TLS 1.3 specification (draft 28 dated March 20, 2018). By the way, let's mention that the TLS 1.3 protocol was approved at the end of March by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet standards development organization. And it promises more robust security and better performance. Remember also that Firefox 60 had already activated by default the support of draft 23 of TLS 1.3 dated January 5, 2018.
Starting from Firefox 61, Mozilla will also block access to FTP sub-resources in HTTP (S) pages. This measure had been announced since April. In general, Firefox 61 will block sub-resource loadings that rely on the FTP protocol unless the document itself is an FTP document.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows the exchange of files between computers on a network. Although this standard protocol is supported by all major browsers and allows convenient file sharing within a network, it is one of the oldest protocols currently in use and has a number of problems of security. As Mozilla explained, the underlying underlying problem with FTP is that not all transferred data will be encrypted and will therefore be sent over clear text networks. This allows attackers to steal, spoof, and even modify transmitted data. And Mozilla notes that so far, many malware distribution campaigns rely on the compromise of FTP servers.
In the list of the main changes in this new version of Firefox, we can also mention the support of a WebExtensions API to hide the tabs. Mask concealment was one of the major goals last November in the browser update project, where the issue is the absolute protection of tabs.
Although already present in version 59 in experimental form, the tabHide API (which allows you to hide tabs) is now an integral part of Firefox and no longer needs to be activated manually. When one or more tabs are hidden, a drop-down icon appears to the right of the tab bar to indicate it. A click on the icon then allows to scroll the list of hidden tabs. When a tab that is playing audio or video is hidden, an audio icon will also appear at the top of the tab hide icon.

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