My contributions to today’s Firefox release

28 August, 2012 § 10 Comments

Today marks a new release for Firefox, version 15. For this release I spent most of my time working on two larger areas along with some other bugs in various places. The new plugin click-to-play setting continued to gain features and stability, and there was also some follow-up site identity work to take care of.

Work on our plugin click-to-play continues to this day, as it will be the ground work for soft-blocking malicious plugins in the future. If you’d like to help test out the feature, you can go to about:config and enable the plugins.click_to_play preference.

Enabling the feature will disable plugins by default, increasing your security and reducing memory usage while you browse the web. For more information about click-to-play plugins, see my two previous blog posts about the initial rollout as well as site-specific permissions.

Firefox 14 introduced a refresh to our site-identity area of the location bar. Most of the changes to the site-identity got “uplifted” to our Firefox 14 release so as to not introduce back-to-back changes. The most notable change in the site-identity area between Firefox 14 and Firefox 15 is higher contrast security icons in the location bar. The locks are now darker and should be easier to differentiate from the globe.

Two smaller changes that are worthy of note for Firefox 15 are related to Windows integration and our standalone image styling.

Firefox 15 brings with it unique icons for the three jumplist tasks that are associated with Firefox. I blogged previously about them, so you can read more if you are interested.

Since we released our new styling for standalone images, we got a lot of feedback from people who had trouble with the way that we rendered transparent images. Starting with Firefox 15 we have reverted to showing transparent images on a white background.

We took special care to bring the best experience that we could to this situation. Images that are slow to load or need to be re-decoded will not have the white background flash in to view. This new white background is only applied after the image has finished decoding, so if you are loading an opaque image you should never see the white background. Try it out with this image.

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§ 10 Responses to My contributions to today’s Firefox release

  • Manoj Mehta says:

    How does this new design prevent a website from having a lock as its favicon?

    • msujaws says:

      The new design doesn’t prevent sites from using a lock for their favicon, but it does reduce the spoofing ability of the site. In previous versions the favicon appeared in the address bar, where many users were trained to look for a lock.

      Since the favicon will no longer appear in the address bar, users who are trained to look for a lock there will only see legitimate lock icons and not fraudulent ones.

  • greyhood says:

    Glad you posted this!

    Personally, I want to see the transparency. How do I change the settings so I can see standalone images how they are supposed to be?


  • Joe says:

    The new lack of transparency is a HUGE issue for me, can anything be done to display as they were pre-update?

  • greyhood says:

    Hey Jared,

    Appreciate you taking the time for your work and to make that add-on.

    I’ve posted on a mozilla support here:

    a user suggests this:
    you can also experiment with code like this in the userContent.css file.

    html > body > img:only-child {
    background-color: #FFF !important;
    box-shadow: none !important;
    margin: auto !important;

    what would one have to do to get that to work ?

  • greyhood says:

    Hey Jared, as far as some feedback goes on this change for you..

    Being an “average” and unbiased user of Firefox, I think there should be an option in the tools > options menu to select if you want to show transparency on stand alone images or not.

    Also, I really liked when Mozilla added that “lightly noised grey background” when you view stand alone images, as it currently is. It sets apart Firefox from other browsers.

    PS. you can delete this comment, as I sound like a huge nerd…

  • […] haven’t written up one of these blog posts in a while. The previous one was in August 2012 for Firefox 15. Coincidentally, that post mentioned a subtle change to the site […]

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