Mozilla Firefox 3 3.6.4 Final

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Old 22-Jun-2010
Mozilla Firefox 3 3.6.4 Final

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Old 23-Jun-2010
Re: Mozilla Firefox 3 3.6.4 Final

Firefox 'Lorentz' arrives but with restrictions

Firefox 3.6.4 might not sound like a major update, but the latest version debuts an important new feature for Mozilla's browser. Code-named "Lorentz" and available for Register, the update includes the highly-anticipated Out-of-Process Plug-in (OOPP) "sandboxing" feature that prevents specific plug-ins that crash from taking down the entire browser. In this initial implementation, OOPP will prevent Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime, and Microsoft Silverlight crashes from causing browser-wide instability.

While Mac users do get the security fixes made in their version of Firefox 3.6.4, they won't get OOPP support. In a FAQ, Mozilla said that getting OOPP to work on the Mac version of Firefox Register to the browser, and that users should expect it in the major Firefox 4 update due late this year.

OOPP has been been part of Google Chrome for some time, but in a slightly different form. Mozilla's version, which the publisher touts as allowing users to experience "uninterrupted browsing," is slightly different in that it relates only to specific plug-ins.

Plug-ins are not the same as extensions and add-ons, although some people colloquially use them interchangeably. A Register is a special kind of add-on that helps the browser perform specific functions such as media playback or viewing images that would otherwise be unviewable.

So in Firefox 3.6.4, when a plug-in crashes, only the plug-in component of the page becomes unusable. This is different from Chrome, where a plug-in crash leads to a replacement of the entire page with an icon indicating that a crash has occurred. Non-OOPP crashes in Firefox will still take down the whole browser, but Mozilla expects people to see a dramatic reduction in the incidence of browser crashes because of the OOPP innovation.

OOPP also will automatically let Firefox 3.6.4 users know when plug-ins need to be updated. If you're not sure of a plug-in's status, Mozilla has created a Web site that will Register your plug-ins, let you know which ones need to be updated, and provide download links for them.

For a while, it seemed like Firefox 3.6.4 might launch without the OOPP feature. A Register kept the browser from hitting its original street date of early June. Other repairs made in this version include Register and several minor ones, related to buffer overflow, integer overflow, reused free objects in plug-ins, and memory corruption.

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