Firefox 19 releasing tomorrow, but you can grab it today

Firefox has been fast and furiously releasing new versions, foregoing the standard dot releases and going with a "rapid release" ever since 2011. Over the past two years we've gone from version 4 all the way to version 18. The latest version, 19, is expected to be officially released tomorrow and will include the ability to view PDF files natively within the browser.

If you're impatient, you can actually download the latest release right now. As TNW reports, the binaries have already been placed on Mozilla's FTP servers and can be installed on Windows, OSX, and Linux. Although Mozilla announced back in December that they will work on a Windows 64-bit version of the browser, we will apparently have to wait until at least version 20 before that will be available.

There is no changelog or release notes yet, but there is a list of what changes were made in the beta version of the browser, and that should be a good indication of what will make it into the latest formal release.

Let us know your thoughts on version 19 if you decide to upgrade before the official launch.

Source: TNW | Via Mozilla.org

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62 Comments

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personally i think they need to focus on 64bit release since plenty of people have 64bit OS's now and if you can get a extra performance boost from it. why not?

Chrome did the smart thing with silent / seamless updates that most users don't even notice. Mozilla eventually implemented this, but did it rather late so it has to fight it's way through the cultural change.

Because from a development standpoint, you do minor, major and milestone releases; it's smart.

Releasing arguably minor revisions as a milestone release is just flat out stupid. At this rate, we'll have Firefox 100 in a few more years, while only 12 (if even) of those revisions were actually milestone releases.

Has the "frequent 64-bit crash" problem been fixed?? If not, who cares. It has worn so very thin for so very long. Why can't Mozilla fix it? As for the add-on being the source of the problem...it happens even with those automatically added on when one installs Office 2010, uses Adobe Reader and Flash. No user-specified add-ons.

"Over the past two years we've gone from version 4 all the way to version 18."

And if it was still using the old naming scheme we'd only be at 4.2; if even passed 4.1 yet.

To be honest, I forget what Firefox 3.6 added; been a long time.

Hint: I am not a fan of the new naming scheme; it's mindbogglingly stupid to release minor revisions as a completely separate major revision.

The built-in HTML5 PDF reader isn't bad. It's fast and my only complaint is the lack of anti-aliasing for the text. I preview a lot of PDF files in Firefox so for now, I'm going to keep using the Nitro PDF plugin.

Really, there's no need to jump the gun, and hammer the FTP servers before the official release.
Always best to wait until the binaries have been distributed to the numerous official wiorldwide
mirror servers, or until the built-in automatic updater kicks soon after.

Yeah, I'll wait for the guys over at Debian to re-package it and throw it on the update servers. They're usually pretty good about getting it in there within 24 hours of the official release.

About time Firefox natively rendered PDF's. I can now remove the PoS that is of Acrobat X which does a half arsed job, occasionally forces me to download and view PDF's locally and is up there with Java with 0 day exploits.

JJ_ said,
About time Firefox natively rendered PDF's. I can now remove the PoS that is of Acrobat X which does a half arsed job

It doesn't do a half arsed job, but it's a pain to have it installed for sure. Heavy on resources (each version is worse than the previous one !) , and nagging you often for updates.

if chrome have a real metro style ui than maybe but forget chrome if they still have the fake modern style ui.

a0me said,
But they need to pick up the pace if they want to catch up with Chrome. Chrome's already at version 25!!!

It'll probably hit 50 before IE 10 final comes out.

Version numbers with Firefox (and Chrome) are and have been irrelevant for some time now. In my opinion all browsers should be like that. You're using such and such browser and that's that - everyone should have the same version (technically speaking), the same features and experience. Version numbers are mostly for techies and us web developers to keep track of what was introduced when but even that is becoming more and more irrelevant. I can tell you that Firefox and Chrome save me *a lot* of time and effort not really having to test for 2-3 actively used yet totally different versions of the same browser (or rendering engine) *cough* IE *cough* essentially making it like having to support 3 more browsers (because IE8 is very different than IE9 which is also quite different than IE10; I refuse to go further back than IE8 personally)...

Obry said,
Version numbers with Firefox (and Chrome) are and have been irrelevant for some time now. In my opinion all browsers should be like that. You're using such and such browser and that's that - everyone should have the same version (technically speaking), the same features and experience. Version numbers are mostly for techies and us web developers to keep track of what was introduced when but even that is becoming more and more irrelevant. I can tell you that Firefox and Chrome save me *a lot* of time and effort not really having to test for 2-3 actively used yet totally different versions of the same browser (or rendering engine) *cough* IE *cough* essentially making it like having to support 3 more browsers (because IE8 is very different than IE9 which is also quite different than IE10; I refuse to go further back than IE8 personally)...

So you cry about the longterm versions of IE you choose to support.
But disregard that both FF and Chrome have long term versions as well? But you don't support those?

Hypocracy much.

But you must also love the advantage of Fx and Chrome changing their standards, dropping old and attempting to add in broken new ones?

Both approaches have their advantages, for IE you know you make it for IE8, it will work perfectly for IE8 untill the end of times.

Make a site for Fx/Chrome recent releases, and you have to keep your website updated.
Or in the case of Firefox and Chrome, which do allot of selfhealing to compensate for crappy coders (IE does NOT do this for example)

hence why for crapfest coders, Firefox and Chrome are their favorite supported browsers as it often is able to cover up sloppy coding.

Shadowzz said,

So you cry about the longterm versions of IE you choose to support.
But disregard that both FF and Chrome have long term versions as well? But you don't support those?

Sorry but I miss your point. If your website worked with old version of firefox, most likely you'd see no difference with newer version. Things that I can't say for internet explorer. Also your code is often already compatible with chrome and opera too without extra work.

LUTZIFER said,

It'll probably hit 50 before IE 10 final comes out.

You're surely not referring to IE10 that's released last year as part of Windows 8? Or are you specifically referring to a RTW for Windows 7?

bigmehdi said,

Sorry but I miss your point. If your website worked with old version of firefox, most likely you'd see no difference with newer version. Things that I can't say for internet explorer. Also your code is often already compatible with chrome and opera too without extra work.


No it is not, Mozilla and Google change standards they previously implemented. Changing them over versions. And if version number is irrelevant according to you. Then you are no fan of backwards compatibility.
Besides even you don't seem to sure of your own statement with 'most likely'.

No, most likely is NOT good enough for cooperate websites or bussiness environments. Hell its not even enough for my families website.

If you develop a site for a specific browser, you except it to work identical untill the end of times, and not being forced to upgrade your site every now and then because browsers keep breaking their 'standards'.

Again if you make a site work for IE8, IE9 or any IE specificly. It will continue to work 100% the same untill the end of times.
This does not go for Firefox or Chrome.

And just so you know, i'm a webdeveloper, have been for the last 12 years (altho half of that was hobby) and since IE9 I have absolutely NO issues making websites look identical over all major browsers (IE included) without using any 'IE Hacks' as many call them. (IE hacks, but webkit- stuff is 'normal'...)
I only missed a few CSS features in IE8 (rounded corners, margin-left/margin-right auto, min-height) but they where quite easy to overcome.

And you cant blame Microsoft for not implemented features that have not been finished yet (eventho HTML5 itself isnt finished, parts are) Due to the backstabbing trick Mozilla, Opera and Sun pulled back with IE6. pushing MS in a corner to implement unfinished html features, and then 'democratically' vote/force W3 to change these.

Now we are moving to a webkit only environment (Fx mobile uses webkit too for example) since Opera is moving to webkit as well.

But you probably cheer for that?

Shadowzz said,

No it is not, Mozilla and Google change standards they previously implemented.

A web developer can avoid the frustration from this by waiting for the standards to be finalized before starting to use them. It's the web developer's responsibility to make sure he/she isn't using web standards in a non-final state in production environments, for example. Think of those more like technology previews.

Of course, Google and Mozilla aren't alone in doing this. Microsoft too has a long history of changing implementations of web standards. But as long as you're aware of what you're doing as a web developer, this should really be no problem.

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 19 2013, 8:12am :

bigmehdi said,

Sorry but I miss your point. If your website worked with old version of firefox, most likely you'd see no difference with newer version. Things that I can't say for internet explorer.


doesn't IE have a compatibility thing you can put in the HTML and force it to render as an older version of Trident would?

Shadowzz said,

Again if you make a site work for IE8, IE9 or any IE specificly. It will continue to work 100% the same untill the end of times.
This does not go for Firefox or Chrome.

Ok, I must do a little rectification. What actually matters to me is that you have to do a different coding for internet explorer compared to firefox/opera/ chrome etc...
. I remind the time you had to deal with "box model" hacks, so that it display on internet explorer the same as other browsers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_box_model_bug
Now Internet explorer has improved on this areas, making the gap smaller with other "more standard" browsers. But if you want to support old version of internet explorer this is still extra work. I guess that for firefox/chrome etc.. backward compatibility is less a concern, because users regularly update their browsers (and I won't bother to check for old versions ! how many users are still using firefox 3 ?)

bigmehdi said,
Too much releases, too fast, this is getting ridiculous.
Will download anyways.

You can always use the esr firefox release. It's a version of firefox that will only receive security updates but no rendering / plugins format, etc changes for 1 year.

Info: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/
Download: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/17.0esr/

Mind you, Mozilla discourages use of the esr version.

Dot Matrix said,
I thought they canned the 64-bit version?

They did, but unlike some other developers that I shall not name, mozilla actually listened to their users and decided to continue development.

Order_66 said,

They did, but unlike some other developers that I shall not name, mozilla actually listened to their users and decided to continue development.


Nah, if they actually listened to their users they'd prioritize it for release like they said they had instead of putting it on nightly and forgetting it exists.

Deranged said,

Nah, if they actually listened to their users they'd prioritize it for release like they said they had instead of putting it on nightly and forgetting it exists.

Nothing on a nightly branch is "forgotten".

Northgrove said,

Nothing on a nightly branch is "forgotten".

And yet it wasn't on any branch. Even though they were claiming they'd have it on release for version 8. Remember 8? Me neither. Nothing happened.

I have the latest FF 19 Beta and I have to say the in browser PDF viewer works absolutely flawlessly. I mean it comes up saying that it might not be "displayed properly" for some pdfs, but honestly 99% of the PDFs come up just fine. From what I've seen though, I haven't see anything else notable from the beta.

No, there is a HTML 5 extension which allows Firefox to read PDF! Then you can also set PDF file to open with Firefox and it will open with that nice HTML 5 rendering engine!