Firefox 6 quietly released ahead of official launch

By on August 15, 2011, 11:30 AM

While Firefox 6 is slated for an official release on Tuesday Mozilla has already thrown up the installation files on its FTP server for those who want to get their hands on the final code early. The next version of the popular open source browser doesn't bring major UI changes, but it is reportedly 20% faster than Firefox 5 and adds a few tweaks to improve plug-in management as well as site-specific permissions tool -- both of which were available since the beta.

The latter is accessible by typing "about:permissions" in the browser's address bar and will let users determine on a site per site basis whether to store passwords, cookies, enable location sharing, allow pop-ups, among other things.

Startup times have also been improved for users with a ton of tabs and groups: you can now choose whether to load your tab groups when launching Firefox or load them within the Panorama grouping tool. Another subtle change that Firefox users will notice is that the address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting, just to make it easier to identify on a quick glance.

Mozilla hasn't posted the final release notes yet but it should be pretty close -- if not the same -- as the latest beta:

  • The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting
  • Streamlined the look of the site identity block
  • Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
  • Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
  • Added support for window.matchMedia
  • Added Scratchpad, an interactive JavaScript prototyping environment
  • Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
  • Improved usability of the Web Console
  • Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
  • Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama

As usual, Firefox 6 is available to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

User Comments: 13

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bchen88c said:

New (small) IE cake? :P

1977TA said:

I really wish they'd stop with the quick releases. Several essential add-ons I use for work haven't been supported since 5.0, and my IT says they aren't going to redevelop them until 7 is out. Damn you firefox.

Guest said:

WTH?? FF 5 was released to virtually no fanfare, and very recently at that! It's like they're scrambling to get something out that's better than what's already there, but FireFox is already one of the best browsers. Maybe they should slow down and concentrate their efforts on building a totally new, from the ground up, browser and let FF5 mature a little. With all the addons and about :config console tweaks, 5 can stay viable for years.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Okay I downloaded FF6, and only difference I noticed so far is that notification for the site being opened is slightly above the bottom of the window + it is consuming 20+ mb less with 6 or so tabs I usually have open at any given time. So all in all, I'd say it is just a change of number.

Guest said:

I hated 5 so much with the stupid font rendering with hardware acceleration on and the huge cold loading times that I went ahead and got Aurora (7.0 a2). It's great, it's fast, font rendering is fixed, all my addons work (granted, I only use 4 of them).

But still, people are right. Enough with the silly release schedule already, this is not Chrome. This new update cycle only serves to alienate people that love their addons and "getting up to Chrome's numbers to look more advanced" is ill motivation indeed.

Addon compatibility is the main reason I switched to Chrome for a while and I assume many have followed a similar path. Mozilla should stop this silly practice before it does even more damage to its reputation.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

what ever happend to 5.0.1 or anything like that? is this really a major overhaul?

bakape said:

Firefox adopted Chrome's development cycle, as it has proven to be more efficient.

...and has bigger numbers, which, ping aside, is always a good thing. Right?

nismo91 said:

i got it yesterday from lifehacker. it's pretty faster than FF5 in terms of startup. memory usage? remains at 200mb with 3 tabs opened.

Guest said:

Nothing wrong I guess,

If everyone keep complaining about the new releases, doesn't that provide feedback for them instead?

New release>Bugs Found>People not happy>Complains> Feedback obtained > Work on solutions

Guest said:

**** me! by new year we'll celebrate the 47th version of firefox.. what's going on?!?!

Guest said:

This isn't Firefox 6, it's Firefox 4.2. Pathetic and insecure attempt to emulate Chrome's stupid versioning system.

Guest said:

*The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting

IE team beat them to that with IE8.... 2 years ago :D

facebookpage said:

No doubt Firefox 6 will be more advanced and with extra added features in it............................

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