Mozilla Releases Firefox 12 With Silent Updates, Enhanced Developer Tools
Mozilla released the latest version of its open source browser on Tuesday, Firefox 12, which offers a streamlined update process, improved developer tools and includes patches to 14 known security bugs.
While most Firefox users will likely see the release as a minor upgrade, since it introduces only few small changes, developers may find Firefox 12 more interesting given the 85 improvements to the browser’s built-in developer tools.
“For example, developers no longer need to reload the page to see messages in the Web Console, and Scratchpad adds Find and Jump to Line commands to the editor. Our improvements touched on every one of the built-in tools,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post.
Firefox 12 is the latest in a series of updates Mozilla has rolled out every six weeks since mid-2011. Some Firefox users have criticized the company’s rapid release development. Firefox 12 doesn’t change any of this, but it does at least move the entire process to the background on Windows machines, where most users will no longer notice it.
“Firefox simplifies the update process for Windows users by removing the user account control dialog (UAC) pop-up while maintaining the security of your system,” Mozilla said.
“Once a user gives explicit permission to Firefox on their first installation, they will not be prompted again for subsequent releases.”
Mozilla had previously said these silent updates would be included in Firefox 13, but the feature has made its way into the current update.
Firefox 12 also fixes seven “critical” vulnerabilities — the highest threat ranking in Mozilla’s four-point scoring – as well as four “high” vulnerabilities and three “moderate” bugs.
The update patches 19 other bugs, all critical, in the mobile edition of Firefox, which runs on Google’s Android platform.