Firefox 22.0: Find Out What’s New

Here’s a quick summary of what to expect from the upcoming Firefox 22.0 update …

Mozilla is currently preparing to upgrade all versions of the Firefox web browser starting with the stable version of it tomorrow. Firefox 21 will be upgraded to version 22 on Tuesday, while Beta, Aurora and Nightly users of the browser will have to wait a day or so longer before their version of the browser is updated as well.

Mozilla is currently preparing to distribute the newest version of Firefox to its ftp server and from there to its mirror distribution system. Once that is out of the way, the official release announcement will be made on the website.

Firefox users can use the automatic update feature of the browser to upgrade to Firefox 22, or download the latest version of the browser from the Mozilla website instead and install it from there.

Firefox 22 What’s New

The official release notes have not been made available yet which is why I rely on the beta change log as the main source of information. You find all sources that I have used at the bottom of the article.

Mozilla may pull features from the final version of the browser. If that is the case, I’ll update the article with the additional information as soon as the official change log goes live.

Note that the much awaited new third-party cookie policy will not be available in Firefox 22 as outlined here.

Operating system specific

Firefox on Windows is now following display scaling options which may render text larger on high resolution displays. Some users may notice that web pages and the browser UI appear magnified in Firefox 22.

firefox layout css devPixelsPerPx

The layout.css.devPixelsPerPx preference handles this and lets you fine tune the size of all fonts and other elements in the browser. To reduce the font size, use values between 0.05 and 1.0, to increase the size of fonts, use values greater than 1.0.

The default value of the preference is -1.0.

To modify it do the following:

  1. Type about:config into the browser’s address bar and tap on the enter key.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if the warning appears.
  3. Filter for layout.css.devPixelsPerPx.
  4. Double-click the entry and change its value.
  5. Note that changes take effect immediately. You can right-click the preference and select Reset to set it to its default value again.

Mac users who work with Firefox will now see the progress of downloads in the Dock icon.

WebRTC is now enabled by default

Web Real-Time Communication support has been integrated partially in previous versions of the Firefox web browser. The first component that was integrated into Firefox was getUserMedia, a component that allowed the capturing of camera and microphone streams.

Now, PeerConnection and DataChannels are turned on by default as well paving the way for real-time audio and video calls as well as the sharing of data and reduced latency in real-time communications and applications.

HTML5 Audio and Video Playback Speed modifications

HTML5 audio video playback speed

Firefox 22 users can modify the playback speed of HTML5 audio or video contents. This only works if the native player is used, and not if the website is using its own media player.

This means that it won’t work on YouTube even if you signed up for the HTML5 beta as Google is using its own player. YouTube on the other hand makes this option available as well in its player.

Performance improvements

Performance is always a hot topic. Firefox 22 should give users of the browser a nice performance boost thanks to the integration of asm.js in that version of the browser.

You can expect that – some – JavaScript code will execute a lot faster once you have upgraded to or installed Firefox 22. Additional information about asm.js are available here. Note that they are mostly useful for developers.

That’s however not the only performance improvement in Firefox 22.  The WebGL rendering performance has been improved thanks to asynchronous canvas updates. So, instead of having to wait for sync transactions, this is now handled asynchronously speeding up the process. Check out this bug report if you are interested in finding out more.

Social Services

firefox services

Management of social services implemented in the browser’s add-ons manager. Firefox notifies you about the possibility when you first install a new service in the browser.

You can open the add-ons manager and select Services here to disable or remove any service that you have installed in the browser.

firefox facebook messenger

Other changes

Developer changes

  • The CSS3 Flexible Box has been enabled by default (introduced in Firefox 18)
  • The initial value for min-width and min-height is 0.
  • Node.getUserData, Note.setUserData, Node.isSupported and Note.attributes have been removed (DOM).
  • HTMLMediaElement.crossorigin and HTMLInputElement.inputmode have been renamed to HTMLMediaElement.crossOrigin and HTMLInputElement.inputMode.
  • XHR multipart response support has been removed.
  • HTML elements with tag names no longer use the HTMLSpanElement.
  • LSProgressEvent, ProgressEvent.initProgressEvent and SVGEvent have been removed.
  • Unknown SVG Elements will be SVGElement and not SVGUnknownElement.
  • NoteIterator.detach does nothing.
  • ParallelArray is now disabled in Beta, Release and ESR channels but not in Aurora and Nightly channels.
  • HTML5 data element has been added to the browser.
  • The range state of the input element has been implemented.
  • ASM.js optimizations are enabled.
  • ES6 Arrow Function syntax has been implemented.
  • The new Object.is function has been added.
  • Pointer Lock API can now be used outside of full screen.
  • New Web Notifications API implemented.

Firefox Developer Tools

  • Font Inspector now shows which fonts on your computer are applied to the page.
  • Dev tools can now be docked to the right side and not just the bottom of the screen.
  • Visual paint feedback mode shows when and where a page is repainted.

Security updates

  1. The | Components | object is no longer accessible from web content.

Additional information / sources

Link to Original Content

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