firefox-lite-2.0-for-android-is-out-now-[apk-download]

Mozilla Taiwan’s Firefox Lite — previously Firefox Rocket, then Lite, then Rocket again — is pleasingly snappy to use, with a focus on light browsing and privacy. The Chromium-based app blocks ads and trackers by default, allowing for lightning-fast browsing under the decreased bandwidth. After having its name changed four times, Firefox Lite has been updated to version 2.0.

Lite’s new update comes with some fun and handy features, my personal favorite of which is built-in, full-page screenshots. On the home page you’ll have access to a number of games (fun) as well as a very pared-down news page (handy). Both pages load quickly and the games launch right away within the browser.  Also on the homepage is a search bar specifically for comparing product pricing, which may come in especially handy considering the upcoming holidays.

Firefox Lite does have a few minor shopping-related features region-locked to Asia, but in all the 2.0 update is worth checking out if you’re mindful of your privacy and are on the prowl for a light, airy browser. If you’re outside of Asia and looking for a download, you can snag your copy from APK Mirror.

Firefox Lite — Fast Web Browser, Free Games, News

Firefox Lite — Fast Web Browser, Free Games, News

firefox-web-browser-turns-15-years-old-today

Even if you don’t use Firefox as your web browser of choice, there’s no denying that it has profoundly impacted the Web over its lifetime. Just how long has its lifetime been, you ask? Well, as of today, Firefox is 15 years old.

Firefox 1.0 was released on this day (November 9th) in 2004, two years after the first public builds became available under the name “Phoenix.” The browser’s lineage actually dates back much farther than that, as Firefox was an open-source continuation of Netscape Navigator, which had its first initial release in 1994.

A lot has changed in the last 15 years.

What hasn’t is our commitment to creating an open, diverse and secure internet. https://t.co/OMfzKZ509W

— Firefox 🔥 (@firefox) November 8, 2019

🎊 Happy 15h birthday @firefox 🎊

Firefox 1.0 was released on November 9th, 2004. The scrappy alternative to Internet Explorer 6 (☠️) had revolutionary features such as tabbed browsing (!), popup blocking, themes, and extensions. 🔥

It changed the world. Really, it did 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/LekBwUtF9T

— Changelog (@changelog) November 9, 2019

Firefox has seen accelerated development over the past few years, especially with ‘Project Quantum,’ the ongoing effort to rewrite parts of the engine in the super-fast Rust programming language. The Android version is undergoing a complete transformation at the moment, currently available as ‘Firefox Preview‘ on the Play Store.

Happy birthday Firefox, and here’s to the next 15 years! 🎂

Firefox Browser: fast , private & secure browsing

Firefox Browser: fast , private & secure browsing

firefox-will-automatically-block-website-notifications-in-2020

There are plenty of sites on the web which serve you with an annoying pop-up notification every time you visit it. I’ve even stopped visiting some of them because of that.

Now, Firefox is stepping in to stop notification abuse. Starting early next year, the desktop version of the browser (version 72) will block them from popping up and show them as a small icon in the address bar.

In April, the company announced its rolling this test out to select users and its nightly build (test build). Users had to specifically click on the notification bubble to take action. It also started to gather data on how users interacted with notifications anonymously.

Through this study, it found 99 percent of notification prompts were unaccepted and 48 percent were actively denied by users. It also noted if the prompts were based on user interactions, they got a more positive response. You can read the full study here.

As reported by Techdows last month, Google Chrome is working on a similar feature. But till it rolls out, you can refer to our guide to block notifications on the browser.

Read next:

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firefox-preview/geckoview-add-ons-support

Back in June, Mozilla announced Firefox Preview, an early version of the new browser for Android that is built on top of Firefox’s own mobile browser engine, GeckoView. We’ve gotten great feedback about the superior performance of GeckoView so far. Not only is it faster than ever, it also opens up many opportunities for building deeper privacy features that we have already started exploring, and a lot of users were wondering what this step meant for add-ons.

We’re happy to confirm that GeckoView is currently building support for extensions through the WebExtensions API. This feature will be available in Firefox Preview, and we are looking forward to offering a great experience for both mobile users and developers.

Bringing GeckoView and Firefox Preview up to par with the APIs that were supported previously in Firefox for Android won’t happen overnight. For the remainder of 2019 and leading into 2020, we are focusing on building support for a selection of content from our Recommended Extensions program that work well on mobile and cover a variety of utilities and features.

At the moment, Firefox Preview does not yet officially support extensions. While some members of the community have discovered that some extensions inadvertently work in Firefox Preview, we do not recommend attempting to install them until they are officially supported as other issues may arise. We expect to implement support for the initial selection of extensions in the first half of 2020, and will post updates here as we make progress.

If you haven’t yet had a chance, why don’t you give Firefox Preview a try and let us know what you think.

today?s-firefox-blocks-third-party-tracking-cookies-and-cryptomining-by-default

Today, Firefox on desktop and Android will — by default — empower and protect all our users by blocking third-party tracking cookies and cryptominers. This milestone marks a major step in our multi-year effort to bring stronger, usable privacy protections to everyone using Firefox.

Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection gives users more control

For today’s release, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be turned on by default for all users worldwide as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the Firefox browser and will block known “third-party tracking cookies” according to the Disconnect list. We first enabled this default feature for new users in June 2019. As part of this journey we rigorously tested, refined, and ultimately landed on a new approach to anti-tracking that is core to delivering on our promise of privacy and security as central aspects of your Firefox experience.

Currently over 20% of Firefox users have Enhanced Tracking Protection on. With today’s release, we expect to provide protection for 100% of ours users by default. Enhanced Tracking Protection works behind-the-scenes to keep a company from forming a profile of you based on their tracking of your browsing behavior across websites — often without your knowledge or consent. Those profiles and the information they contain may then be sold and used for purposes you never knew or intended. Enhanced Tracking Protection helps to mitigate this threat and puts you back in control of your online experience.

You’ll know when Enhanced Tracking Protection is working when you visit a site and see a shield icon in the address bar:

When you see the shield icon, you should feel safe that Firefox is blocking thousands of companies from your online activity.

For those who want to see which companies we block, you can click on the shield icon, go to the Content Blocking section, then Cookies. It should read Blocking Tracking Cookies. Then, click on the arrow on the right hand side, and you’ll see the companies listed as third party cookies that Firefox has blocked:

If you want to turn off blocking for a specific site, click on the Turn off Blocking for this Site button.

Protecting users’ privacy beyond tracking cookies

Cookies are not the only entities that follow you around on the web, trying to use what’s yours without your knowledge or consent. Cryptominers, for example, access your computer’s CPU, ultimately slowing it down and draining your battery, in order to generate cryptocurrency — not for yours but someone else’s benefit. We introduced the option to block cryptominers in previous versions of Firefox Nightly and Beta and are including it in the ‘Standard Mode‘ of your Content Blocking preferences as of today.

Another type of script that you may not want to run in your browser are Fingerprinting scripts. They harvest a snapshot of your computer’s configuration when you visit a website. The snapshot can then also be used to track you across the web, an issue that has been present for years. To get protection from fingerprinting scripts Firefox users can turn on ‘Strict Mode.’ In a future release, we plan to turn fingerprinting protections on by default.

Also in today’s Firefox release

To see what else is new or what we’ve changed in today’s release, you can check out our release notes.

Check out and download the latest version of Firefox available here.

how-to-build-firefox

Firefox Nightly

Open source is a dream and a gateway to an amazing career — I’m a testament to that. One of the most amazing open source projects to ever exist, Mozilla Firefox, is a project I’m proud to work on as an employee of Mozilla. It’s rewarding, challenging, and a unique experience…and I want you to join me!

Take a few moments with me to learn how to build the amazing Firefox!

Step 1: Clone Mozilla Central

Mozilla Central is the name of the mercurial repository that contains the source code of Firefox. Start by installing mercurial and cloning “MC”:

hg clone https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/

hg clone {repo_url} is the first and most basic mercurial command, but check out my Mercurial Productivity Tips post to learn more hg commands! “MC” will be installed in a mozilla-central directory.

Step 2: Install Dependencies

From C to Rust, Firefox has a fair bit of requirements you’ll need to install. From within the mozilla-central directory, run the following:

./mach bootstrap

The bootstrap command will install dependencies as well as configure mercurial extensions as required. Congratulations — you’re now ready to build!

Step 3: Create a mozconfig

You’ll thank me for this one! Create a mozconfig file to use artifact builds, which will save loads of time during the build process by downloading pre-built binaries for Firefox’s internals.

# Automatically download and use compiled C   components:
ac_add_options --enable-artifact-builds

# Write build artifacts to:
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=./objdir-frontend

Place the code above in your mozconfig file and you’re builds will be super fast!

Step 4: Build!

Once you have the code and the dependencies, it’s time to build the amazing Firefox! You can build Firefox with the following command:

./mach build

Hello Firefox!

Step 5: Run Firefox

Once you’ve built the amazing Firefox, you can run Firefox with the following mach command:

./mach run --jsdebugger

Congratulations! You’ve taken the Firefox source code and turned it into an application that you can run! The --jsdebugger option opens the “browser toolbox” which allows you to debug the Firefox you’ve just built.

Updating Mozilla Central Code

The Mozilla Central repository is updated several times a day as Mozilla employees and contributors like you submit patches. You can update your local checkout with the following:

hg pull && hg update --clean

You local commits will always be draft status while patches which have been merged into MC will be public status.

Configuring Options

Whenever Firefox developer and the community develop new features, they’re hidden behind a preference until the feature reaches maturity. To toggle feature flags, you can visit about:config in your local Firefox or any Firefox release.

about:config

The config page allows you to toggle and set a number of options. Many “edge” features debut behind feature flags in Firefox Nightly.

Congratulations! You’ve turned a massive repository of code into a living, breathing Firefox web browser! In the next post in the Firefox series, we’ll contribution and testing!

new-css-features-in-firefox-68

Firefox 68 landed earlier this month with a bunch of CSS additions and changes. In this blog post we will take a look at some of the things you can expect to find, that might have been missed in earlier announcements.

CSS Scroll Snapping

The headline CSS feature this time round is CSS Scroll Snapping. I won’t spend much time on it here as you can read the blog post for more details. The update in Firefox 68 brings the Firefox implementation in line with Scroll Snap as implemented in Chrome and Safari. In addition, it removes the old properties which were part of the earlier Scroll Snap Points Specification.

The ::marker pseudo-element

The ::marker pseudo-element lets you select the marker box of a list item. This will typically contain the list bullet, or a number. If you have ever used an image as a list bullet, or wrapped the text of a list item in a span in order to have different bullet and text colors, this pseudo-element is for you!

With the marker pseudo-element, you can target the bullet itself. The following code will turn the bullet on unordered lists to hot pink, and make the number on an ordered list item larger and blue.

ul ::marker {
  color: hotpink;
}

ol ::marker {
  color: blue;
  font-size: 200%;
}

An ordered and unordered list with styled bullets

With ::marker we can style our list markers

See the CodePen.

There are only a few CSS properties that may be used on ::marker. These include all font properties. Therefore you can change the font-size or family to be something different to the text. You can also color the bullets as shown above, and insert generated content.

Using ::marker on non-list items

A marker can only be shown on list items, however you can turn any element into a list-item by using display: list-item. In the example below I use ::marker, along with generated content and a CSS counter. This code outputs the step number before each h2 heading in my page, preceded by the word “step”. You can see the full example on CodePen.

h2 {
  display: list-item;
  counter-increment: h2-counter;
}

h2::marker {
  content: "Step: " counter(h2-counter) ". ";
}

If you take a look at the bug for the implementation of ::marker you will discover that it is 16 years old! You might wonder why a browser has 16 year old implementation bugs and feature requests sitting around. To find out more read through the issue, where you can discover that it wasn’t clear originally if the ::marker pseudo-element would make it into the spec.

There were some Mozilla-specific properties that achieved the result developers were looking for with something like ::marker. The properties ::moz-list-bullet and ::moz-list-marker allowed for the styling of bullets and markers respectively, using a moz- vendor prefix.

The ::marker pseudo-element is standardized in CSS Lists Level 3, and CSS Pseudo-elements Level 4, and currently implemented as of Firefox 68, and Safari. Chrome has yet to implement ::marker. However, in most cases you should be able to use ::marker as an enhancement for those browsers which support it. You can allow the markers to fall back to the same color and size as the rest of the list text where it is not available.

CSS Fixes

It makes web developers sad when we run into a feature which is supported but works differently in different browsers. These interoperability issues are often caused by the sheer age of the web platform. In fact, some things were never fully specified in terms of how they should work. Many changes to our CSS specifications are made due to these interoperability issues. Developers depend on the browsers to update their implementations to match the clarified spec.

Most browser releases contain fixes for these issues, making the web platform incrementally better as there are fewer issues for you to run into when working with CSS. The latest Firefox release is no different – we’ve got fixes for the ch unit, and list numbering shipping.

Developer Tools

In addition to changes to the implementation of CSS in Firefox, Firefox 68 brings you some great new additions to Developer Tools to help you work with CSS.

In the Rules Panel, look for the new print styles button. This button allows you to toggle to the print styles for your document, making it easier to test a print stylesheet that you are working on.

The Print Styles button in the UI highlighted

The print styles icon is top right of the Rules Panel.

Staying with the Rules Panel, Firefox 68 shows an icon next to any invalid or unsupported CSS. If you have ever spent a lot of time puzzling over why something isn’t working, only to realise you made a typo in the property name, this will really help!

A property named flagged invalid in the console

In this example I have spelled padding as “pudding”. There is (sadly) no pudding property so it is highlighted as an error.

The console now shows more information about CSS errors and warnings. This includes a nodelist of places the property is used. You will need to click CSS in the filter bar to turn this on.

The console highlighting a CSS error

My pudding error is highlighted in the Console and I can see I used it on the body element.

So that’s my short roundup of the features you can start to use in Firefox 68. Take a look at the Firefox 68 release notes to get a full overview of all the changes and additions that Firefox 68 brings you.

Rachel Andrew is a front and back-end web developer, one half of the company behind Perch CMS, and Editor in Chief of Smashing Magazine. She is a Google Developer Expert for web technologies and a member of the CSS Working Group representing Fronteers, where she is co-editor of the Multi-column Layout spec. Author of 22 books, and a frequent public speaker at conferences worldwide, you can find out what she is up to at https://rachelandrew.co.uk.

More articles by Rachel Andrew…