Mozilla Hurrying Firefox 3.5 Security Patches

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Mozilla plans to release a patched version of its latest browser, to be named Firefox 3.5.1, in response to bugs that were revealed following the latest release.

Mozilla will rush out a patch to its Firefox 3.5 browser to correct a number of bugs that users have cited as causing them issues. The patch, if it proceeds on schedule, will be released later in July.

The patched version will be named Firefox 3.5.1 and include a fix to the browser’s JavaScript engine, TraceMonkey, and another to how the browser runs in Windows XP. Mozilla has scheduled a Firefox BugDay for its community to tackle “major 3.5 bugs” on 7 July .

According to the real-time counter on the Mozilla site, over 8 million copies of Firefox 3.5 have been downloaded worldwide since the browser’s general release on June 30. Mozilla had released Firefox 3.5 beta 4 on 27 April, allowing users to test-drive the new features, including support for JSON and web worker threads.

Firefox 3.5 addressed many of the reliability and performance issues of its previous versions, according to eWEEK Labs, notably with regard to slowdowns after long sessions and crashing. In multiple tests, Firefox 3.5 also doubled the speed of Firefox 3.0, while coming closer to matching the speed of “performance leaders” Safari 4 and Chrome 2.0.

The browser also features more extensive support for HTML 5, which allows it to handle video in much the same way that a browser displays images or text — that is to say, directly, so that video is integrated seamlessly with other web content. Standards support in Firefox 3.5 has also been increased, an improvement over its previous versions.

Firefox 3.5 offers a Private Browsing mode and Location Aware browsing , the latter of which utilises geolocation application programming interfaces (APIs) to (optionally) share the user’s location with a website.

Although Microsoft’s Internet Explorer continues to dominate the enterprise with regard to browser usage, Firefox saw gains in its enterprise market share in 2008, increasing from 16.9 percent in July to 18.2 percent in December, while Chrome and Apple Safari stayed relatively steady.