Mozilla Firefox

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Mozilla Firefox is a web browser descended from the Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox had 19.23% of the recorded usage share of web browsers as of July 2008, making it the second-most popular browser in current use worldwide, after Internet Explorer.[1]

To display web pages, Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine, which implements some current web standards plus a few features which are intended to anticipate likely additions to the standards.

Firefox includes tabbed browsing, a spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, and an integrated search system that uses the user's desired search engine. Functions can be added through add-ons created by third-party developers,[2] the most popular of which include the NoScript JavaScript disabling utility, Tab Mix Plus customizer, FoxyTunes media player control toolbar, Adblock Plus ad blocking utility, StumbleUpon (website discovery), DownThemAll! download enhancer and Web Developer toolbar.[3]

Firefox runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many other Unix-like operating systems. Its current stable release is version 3.0.1, released on July 16, 2008.[4] Firefox's source code is free software, released under a tri-license GPL/LGPL/MPL.[5]

* 1 History
o 1.1 Version 3.0
* 2 Future developments
o 2.1 Version 3.1
o 2.2 Version 4.0
o 2.3 Future features
* 3 Release history
* 4 Features
o 4.1 Standards
o 4.2 Security
* 5 Licensing
o 5.1 Trademark and logo issues
* 6 Advertising
* 7 Market adoption
* 8 Critical reaction
o 8.1 Performance
o 8.2 Relationship with Google
o 8.3 Response from Microsoft
o 8.4 Vulnerability statistics
o 8.5 Expert and media coverage
o 8.6 Awards
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 Further reading
* 12 External links
o 12.1 Related projects

[edit] History
Mozilla Firefox

* Firefox 3
* History
* Features
* Layout Engine
* Extensions
* Market adoption

Origins and Lineage

* Netscape Navigator
* Mozilla Foundation
* Mozilla Suite

This box: view • talk • edit

Main article: History of Mozilla Firefox

Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross began working on the Firefox project as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project. They believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser.[6] To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, with which they intended to replace the Mozilla Suite. On April 3, 2003, the Mozilla Organization announced that they planned to change their focus from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox and Thunderbird.[7]

The Firefox project has undergone several name changes. Originally titled Phoenix, it was renamed because of trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies. The replacement name, Firebird, provoked an intense response from the Firebird free database software project.[8][9][10] In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser should always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion with the database software. Continuing pressure from the database server's development community forced another change; on February 9, 2004, Mozilla Firebird became Mozilla Firefox,[11] often referred to as simply Firefox. Mozilla prefers Firefox to be abbreviated as Fx or fx, though it is often abbreviated as FF.[12]

The Firefox project went through many versions before 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. After a series of stability and security fixes, the Mozilla Foundation released its first major update, Firefox version 1.5, on November 29, 2005. On October 24, 2006, Mozilla released Firefox 2. This version includes updates to the tabbed browsing environment, the extensions manager, the GUI, and the find, search and software update engines; a new session restore feature; inline spell checking; and an anti-phishing feature which was implemented by Google as an extension,[13][14] and later merged into the program itself.[15] In December 2007, Firefox Live Chat was launched. It allows users to ask volunteers questions through a system powered by Jive Software, with guaranteed hours of operation and the possibility of help after hours.[16]

[edit] Version 3.0

Main article: Mozilla Firefox 3

Mozilla Firefox 3 was released on June 17, 2008 by the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox 3 uses version 1.9 of the Mozilla Gecko layout engine for displaying web pages. The new version fixes many bugs, improves standard compliance, and implements new web APIs.[17] Other new features include a redesigned download manager, a new "Places" system for storing bookmarks and history, and separate themes for different operating systems.

Development stretches back to the first Firefox 3 beta (under codename 'Gran Paradiso'.[18] ) had been released several months earlier on 19 November 2007[19], which was followed by several more beta releases in the Spring of 2008 culminating in the June release.[20]

Firefox 3 had 2.31% of the recorded usage share of web browsers by June 2008, and had over 8 million unique downloads the day it was released, setting a Guinness World Record.[21]

[edit] Future developments
This section contains information about computer software currently in development.
The content may change as the software development progresses.

The precursory releases of upcoming Firefox releases are codenamed "Minefield", as this is the name of the trunk builds. Development of Firefox after version 3.0 is split over two milestones: version 3.1 and version 4.0. Firefox 3.0, formerly in the development stage, was released to the general public on June 17, 2008.[22] Development for the 3.1 releases takes place on the Mozilla trunk, with releases and pre-release nightly builds coming from the Mozilla 1.8.1 branch (2.0) and the Mozilla 1.9 branch (3.0). Development for 4.0 will be based on Mozilla 2.

[edit] Version 3.1

Version 3.1, codenamed Shiretoko,[23] is planned to include support for the <video> and <audio> tags as defined in the HTML 5 specification. Cross-site XMLHttpRequests (XHR), which would allow for more powerful web applications and an easier way to implement mashups, is also in planning. Native JSON DOM binding, a powerful feature for web developers, may also be included, together with full CSS 3 selector support.[24][25] Firefox 3.1 will use the Gecko 1.9.1 engine, which includes a few features that were not included in the 3.0 release.[26]

[edit] Version 4.0

On October 13, 2006, Brendan Eich, Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer, wrote about the plans for Mozilla 2, the platform on which Firefox 4.0 is likely to be based. These changes include improving and removing XPCOM APIs, switching to standard C++ features, just-in-time compilation with JavaScript 2 (known as the Tamarin project), tool-time and runtime security checks.[27][28] It has also been announced that support for the Gopher protocol will be removed by default.

[edit] Future features

Open-source, in-browser video playback is intended to be included in Firefox, according to Mitchell Baker, Mozilla's former Chief Executive Officer. The goal is to do video playback without being encumbered by patent issues that are associated with so many video technologies.[29]

Baker also discussed the Mozilla Foundation's project to create a version of Firefox, codenamed Fennec, that will run reliably on mobile phones, as well as a strategy for syncing content downloaded on a PC with mobile handsets.[29][30]

Meanwhile, offline application support technology — similar to Gears — is also being built as part of Firefox. Baker said in an interview that given so much investment has now been made in the web as a platform, in order to take it to the next step, applications must continue to work when a computer's internet connection is offline.[29]

[edit] Release history
Browser name Gecko version Version Support status Codename Release date Significant changes
Phoenix 1.2 0.1 NoN Pescadero September 23, 2002 First release; customizable toolbar, quicksearch, tabbed browsing.[31]
0.2 NoN Santa Cruz October 1, 2002 Sidebar, extension management.
0.3 NoN Lucia October 14, 2002 Image blocking, pop-up blocking whitelist.
1.3 0.4 NoN Oceano October 19, 2002 Themes, pop-up blocking improvements, toolbar customization.
0.5 NoN Naples December 7, 2002 Multiple homepages, sidebar and accessibility improvements, history.
Mozilla Firebird 1.5 0.6 NoN Glendale May 17, 2003 New default theme (Qute), bookmark and privacy improvements, smooth scrolling, automatic image resizing.
0.7 NoN Indio October 15, 2003 Automatic scrolling, password manager, preferences panel improvements.
Mozilla Firefox 1.6 0.8 NoN Royal Oak February 9, 2004 Windows installer, offline working, bookmarks and download manager improvements, rebranded with new logo.
1.7 0.9 NoN One Tree Hill June 15, 2004 New default theme (Winstripe), comprehensive data migration, new extension/theme manager, reduced download size, new help system, Linux installer, mail icon (Windows only).
1.0 NoN Phoenix November 9, 2004 Official version 1.0 release. Added new features such as RSS/Atom feed support, find toolbar, plugin finder. Reached its end of life on April 13, 2006 with the release of version 1.0.8.[32] (support for older versions of Firefox typically ends six months after a new major version is available).[33]
1.8 1.5 NoN Deer Park November 29, 2005 Official version 1.5 release. Added support for SVG and canvas, UI adjustments and improvements in JavaScript 1.5 and CSS 2/3. Reached its end of life on May 30, 2007 with the release of Firefox[34]
Mozilla Firefox 2 1.8.1 2.0 YesY Bon Echo October 24, 2006 Official version 2.0 release. Added new features such as session restoration after a browser crash, search suggestion for Google and Yahoo!, new search plugin manager and add-on manager, web feed previewing, bookmark microsummaries and anti-phishing protection. Winstripe theme refresh. Included support for JavaScript 1.7. Support for Firefox 2 will end mid-December 2008.[35] YesY July 15, 2008 Official version release. Added security fixes.
Mozilla Firefox 3 1.9 3.0 YesY Gran Paradiso June 17, 2008 Official version 3.0 release.[22] Cairo used as a graphics backend. Cocoa Widgets included in OS X builds. APIs implemented from WHATWG specs. Changes to how DOM events are dispatched, how HTML object elements are loaded, and how web pages are rendered. New SVG elements and filters, and improved SVG specification compliance. Acid2 test compliant. New UI improvements, including default themes for different operating systems and new download manager. Windows 95, 98, ME, Mac OS X v10.3.9[36] and lower, and GTK+ 2.8 and lower[citation needed] are no longer supported. integration in the Add-ons window. Support for APNG files.
3.0.1 YesY July 16, 2008 Official version 3.0.1 release. Security and stability fixes. Fixed problems with updating of phishing and malware database, saving of SSL certificate exceptions list, printing a selected region. Updated public suffix list.[37]
1.9.1 3.1a1[38] NoN Shiretoko[39] July 28, 2008 Web standards improvements in the Gecko layout engine. Text API for the <canvas> element. Support for using border images. Support for JavaScript query selectors. Several improvements to the Smart Location Bar. A new tab switching behavior.[40]

[edit] Features

Main article: Features of Mozilla Firefox

Features included with Firefox are tabbed browsing, spell checker, incremental find, live bookmarking, an integrated download manager, and an integrated search system that uses the user's desired search engine. The developers of Firefox aimed to produce a browser that "just surfs the web"[41] and delivers the "best possible browsing experience to the widest possible set of people."[42]

Users can customize Firefox with extensions and themes. Mozilla maintains an add-on repository at with nearly 2000 add-ons in it as of September 2007.[2]

Firefox provides an environment for web developers in which they can use built-in tools, such as the Error Console or the DOM Inspector, or extensions, such as Firebug.

[edit] Standards

Mozilla Firefox implements many web standards, including HTML, XML, XHTML, SVG 1.1 (partial),[43] CSS (with extensions[44]), ECMAScript (JavaScript), DOM, MathML, DTD, XSLT, XPath, and PNG images with alpha transparency.[45] Firefox also implements standards proposals created by the WHATWG such as client-side storage,[46][47] and canvas element.[48]

Firefox passes the Acid2 standards-compliance test from version 3.0.[49] Like all other stable browsers as of August 2008, Firefox 3.0 does not pass the Acid3 test; it scores 71/100 and does not render the image correctly.

[edit] Security

Firefox uses a sandbox security model,[50] and limits scripts from accessing data from other web sites based on the same origin policy.[51] It uses SSL/TLS to protect communications with web servers using strong cryptography when using the https protocol.[52] It also provides support for web applications to use smartcards for authentication purposes.[53]

The Mozilla Foundation offers a "bug bounty" to researchers who discover severe security holes in Firefox.[54] Official guidelines for handling security vulnerabilities discourage early disclosure of vulnerabilities so as not to give potential attackers an advantage in creating exploits.[55]

Because Firefox has fewer and less severe publicly known unpatched security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer (see Comparison of web browsers), improved security is often cited as a reason to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox.[56][dead link][57][58][59] The Washington Post reports that exploit code for critical unpatched security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer was available for 284 days in 2006. In comparison, exploit code for critical security vulnerabilities in Firefox was available for 9 days before Mozilla shipped a patch to remedy the problem.[60]

A 2006 Symantec study showed that although Firefox had surpassed other browsers in the number of vendor-confirmed vulnerabilities that year through September, these vulnerabilities were patched far more quickly than those found in other browsers.[61] Symantec later clarified their statement, saying that Firefox still had fewer security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer, as counted by security researchers.[62] As of July 18, 2008, Firefox 3 has zero security vulnerabilities unpatched according to Secunia.[63] Internet Explorer 7 has ten security vulnerabilities unpatched, the most severe of which was rated "moderately critical" by Secunia.[64]

[edit] Licensing

Firefox is free and open source software, and is tri-licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPL), GNU General Public License (GPL), and the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).[5] These licenses permit anyone to view, modify and/or redistribute the source code, and several publicly released applications have been built on it; for example, Netscape, Flock, Miro, and Songbird make use of code from Firefox

The official end-user builds of Firefox distributed from are licensed under the Mozilla End User License Agreement (EULA).[65] Several elements do not fall under the scope of the tri-license and have their use restricted by the EULA, including the trademarked Firefox name, the proprietary artwork, and the proprietary closed-source Talkback crash reporter. Because of this and the clickwrap agreement included in the Windows version, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) consider these builds proprietary software.[66] However, BreakPad, an open source crash reporting system, has replaced Talkback in Firefox 3.0.[67]

In the past, Firefox was licensed solely under the MPL,[68] which the FSF criticizes for being weak copyleft; the license permits, in limited ways, proprietary derivative works. Additionally, code under the MPL cannot legally be linked with code under the GPL or the LGPL.[69][70] To address these concerns, Mozilla re-licensed Firefox under the tri-license scheme of MPL, GPL, and LGPL. Since the re-licensing, developers have been free to choose the license under which they will receive the code, to suit their intended use: GPL or LGPL linking and derivative works when one of those licenses is chosen, or MPL use (including the possibility of proprietary derivative works) if they choose the MPL.[68]

[edit] Trademark and logo issues

See also: Mozilla software rebranding

The generic globe logo used when Firefox is compiled without the official branding
The generic globe logo used when Firefox is compiled without the official branding

The name "Mozilla Firefox" is a registered trademark; along with the official Firefox logo, it may only be used under certain terms and conditions. Anyone may redistribute the official binaries in unmodified form and use the Firefox name and branding for such distribution, but restrictions are placed on distributions which modify the underlying source code.[71]

There has been some controversy over the Mozilla Foundation's intentions in stopping certain open source distributions from using the "Firefox" trademark. Former Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker explained in an interview in 2007 that distributions could freely use the Firefox trademark if they did not modify source-code, and that the Mozilla Foundation's only concern was with users getting a consistent experience when they used "Firefox".[72]

To allow distributions of the code without using the official branding, the Firefox source code contains a "branding switch". This switch allows the code to be compiled without the official logo and name, for example to produce a derivative work unencumbered by restrictions on the Firefox trademark (this is also often used for betas and alphas of future Firefox versions). In the unbranded compilation the trademarked logo and name are replaced with a freely distributable generic globe logo and the name of the release series from which the modified version was derived. The name "Deer Park" is used for derivatives of Firefox 1.5, "Bon Echo" for derivatives of Firefox 2.0, and "Gran Paradiso" is used for derivatives of Firefox 3.0. The codename Minefield and a modified version of the generic logo stylized to look like a bomb is used for unofficial build of version 3.0 and later, and for nightly builds of the trunk.

Outside of certain exceptions made for "community editions", distributing modified versions of Firefox under the "Firefox" name requires explicit approval from Mozilla for the changes made to the underlying code, and requires the use of all of the official branding. For example, it is not permissible to use the name "Firefox" without also using the official logo. When the Debian project decided to stop using the official Firefox logo in 2006 (because of copyright restrictions on its use incompatible with the project's guidelines), they were told by a representative of the Mozilla Foundation that this was not acceptable, and were asked to either comply with the published trademark guidelines or cease using the "Firefox" name in their distribution.[73] Ultimately, Debian switched to branding their modified version of Firefox "Iceweasel", along with other Mozilla software.

[edit] Advertising

The rapid adoption of Firefox, 100 million downloads in its first year of availability,[74] followed a series of aggressive marketing campaigns starting in 2004 with a series of events Blake Ross and Asa Dotzler called "marketing weeks".[75]

On September 12, 2004,[76] a marketing portal dubbed "Spread Firefox" (SFX) debuted along with the Firefox Preview Release, creating a centralized space for the discussion of various marketing techniques. The portal enhanced the "Get Firefox" button program, giving users "referrer points" as an incentive. The site lists the top 250 referrers. From time to time, the SFX team or SFX members launch marketing events organized at the Spread Firefox website. As a part of the Spread Firefox campaign, there is an attempt to break the world download record with the release of Firefox 3. The idea is to have the newest version downloaded by as many people as possible within a 24 hour time period.[77]

The "World Firefox Day" campaign started on July 15, 2006,[78][dead link] the third anniversary of the founding of the Mozilla Foundation,[79] and ran until September 15, 2006.[80] Participants registered themselves and a friend on the website for nomination to have their names displayed on the Firefox Friends Wall, a digital wall that will be displayed at the headquarters of the Mozilla Foundation.

On February 21, 2008 in honor of reaching 500 million downloads, the Firefox community celebrated by visiting FreeRice to earn 500 million grains of rice.[81]

Some of Firefox's contributors made a crop circle of the Firefox logo,[82] which can be seen on Google Earth at coordinates [show location on an interactive map] 45°7′25.68″N, 123°6′49.68″W.

[edit] Market adoption
Usage share of alternative web browsers (non-IE browsers): Firefox Safari Opera Netscape Mozilla Other
Usage share of alternative web browsers (non-IE browsers):[83]
Firefox Safari Opera
Netscape Mozilla Other
Firefox market share by version
—, July 2008[84]
Firefox 1.0 0.18%
Firefox 1.5 0.32%
Firefox 2.0 13.06%
Firefox 3.0 5.64%
All versions[85] 19.23%

Main article: Market adoption of Mozilla Firefox
See also: Usage share of web browsers

Mozilla Firefox's market share has grown for each growth period since inception, mostly at the expense of Internet Explorer; Internet Explorer has seen a steady decline of its usage share since Firefox's release. By early 2008, Firefox had approximately 15% global usage share of web browsers.[86][87] Market shares break down as following: 43% for Internet Explorer 7, 32% for Internet Explorer 6, 16% for Firefox 2.0, 4% for Safari 3.0, and less than half a percent for both Firefox 1.x and Internet Explorer 5.x versions.[88][89][90][91]

As one article noted after the release of Firefox 2.0 in October 2006, "IE6 had the lion's share of the browser market with 77.22%. Internet Explorer 7 had climbed to 3.18%, while Firefox 2.0 was at 0.69%."[91]

A Softpedia article, however, noted in July 2007 that "Firefox 2.0 has been also expanding its share constantly in spite of IE7. From just 0.69% in October 2006, Firefox 2.0 is now accounting for 11.07% of the market. Mozilla has even sacrificed version 1.5 of its open source browser for Firefox 2.0. With support cut at the end of June, Firefox 1.5 dropped to just 2.85%."[89]

Downloads have continued at an increasing rate since Firefox 1.0 was released in November 2004, and as of February 21, 2008 Firefox has been downloaded over 500 million times.[92] This number does not include downloads using software updates or those from third-party websites.[93] They do not represent a user count, as one download may be installed on many machines, one person may download the software multiple times, or the software may be obtained from a third party. According to Mozilla CEO John Lilly, Firefox had about 140 million users as of February 2008.[94]

[edit] Critical reaction called Firefox the best browser in a 2004 commentary piece.[95] PC World named Firefox "Product of the Year" in 2005 on their "100 Best Products of 2005" list.[96] After the release of Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer 7 in 2006, PC World reviewed both and declared that Firefox was the better browser.[97] Which? Magazine named Firefox its "Best Buy" web browser.[98][dead link].

Like other browsers, Firefox has had a number of vulnerabilities that have affected its security, although according to CERT, not as many as Internet Explorer.[citation needed]

[edit] Performance

In December 2005 Internet Week ran an article in which many readers reported high memory usage in Firefox 1.5.[99] Mozilla developers said that the higher memory use of Firefox 1.5 was at least partially due to the new fast backwards-and-forwards (FastBack) feature.[100] Other known causes of memory problems were malfunctioning extensions such as Google Toolbar and some older versions of Adblock,[101] or plug-ins, such as older versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader.[102] When PC Magazine compared memory usage of Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer, they found that Firefox used approximately as much memory as the other two browsers.[103]

Softpedia also noted that Firefox 1.5 took longer to start up than other browsers,[104] which was confirmed by browser speed tests. IE 6 launches faster than Firefox 1.5 on Microsoft Windows since many of its components are built into Windows and are loaded during system startup. As a workaround for the issue, a preloader application was created that loads components of Firefox on startup, similar to Internet Explorer.[105] A Windows Vista feature called SuperFetch performs a similar task of preloading Firefox if it is used often enough.

Tests performed by PC World and Zimbra indicate that Firefox 2 uses less memory than Internet Explorer 7.[97][106] Firefox 3 uses less memory than Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, and Firefox 2 in tests performed by Mozilla, CyberNet, and The Browser World.[107][108][109]

[edit] Relationship with Google

The Mozilla Corporation's relationship with Google has been noted in the media,[110][111] especially with regard to their paid referral agreement. The release of the anti-phishing protection in Firefox 2 in particular raised considerable controversy:[112] anti-phishing protection enabled by default is based on a list updated by twice-hourly downloads to the user's computer from Google's server.[113] The user cannot change the data provider within the GUI,[114] and is not informed who the default data provider is. The browser also sends Google's cookie with each update request.[115] An additional, explicitly opt-in security feature has been added to recent builds by the Mozilla Foundation. This anti-phishing feature provides live protection by checking each visited URL with Google.[116] Some Internet privacy advocacy groups have expressed concerns surrounding Google's possible uses of this data, though Firefox's privacy policy states that Google may not use personal information for any purposes other than the anti-phishing protection feature.[113]

In 2005, the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation had a combined revenue of US$52.9 million, with approximately 95 percent derived from search engine royalties.[117][118] In 2006, the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation had a combined revenue of US$66.9 million, with approximately 90 percent derived from search engine royalties.[117][119]

[edit] Response from Microsoft

Microsoft's head of Australian operations, Steve Vamos, stated in late 2004 that he did not see Firefox as a threat and that there was not significant demand for the feature set of Firefox among Microsoft's users.[120] Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has used Firefox, but he has commented "so much software gets downloaded all the time, but do people actually use it?"[121]

A Microsoft SEC filing on June 30, 2005 acknowledged that "competitors such as Mozilla offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of our Windows operating system products."[122] The release of Internet Explorer 7 was fast tracked, and included functionality that was previously available in Firefox and other browsers, such as tabbed browsing and RSS feeds.[123]

Despite the cold reception from Microsoft's top management, the Internet Explorer development team maintains a relationship with Mozilla. They meet regularly to discuss web standards such as extended validation certificates.[124] In 2005 Mozilla agreed to allow Microsoft to use its Web feed logo in the interest of common graphical representation of the Web feeds feature.[125]

In August 2006, Microsoft offered to help Mozilla integrate Firefox with the then-forthcoming Windows Vista,[126] which Mozilla accepted.[127]

In October 2006, as congratulations for a successful ship of Firefox 2, the Internet Explorer 7 development team sent a cake to Mozilla.[128][129] As a nod to the browser wars, some readers joked about the cake being poisoned, while others jokingly suggested that Mozilla send a cake back along with the recipe, in reference to the open-source software movement.[130] The IE development team sent another cake on June 17, 2008, upon the successful release of Firefox 3.[131]

In November 2007, Microsoft employee Jeff Jones criticized Firefox, claiming that Internet Explorer experienced fewer vulnerabilities and fewer higher severity vulnerabilities than Firefox in typical enterprise scenarios.[132] Mozilla developer Mike Shaver discounted the study, citing Microsoft's bundling of security fixes and the study's focus on fixes, rather than vulnerabilities, as crucial flaws.[133]

[edit] Vulnerability statistics

As of December 2007, the security firm Secunia reports 4 of 18 security flaws not yet fixed for Mozilla Firefox, as opposed to 7 of 20 security flaws not yet fixed for Microsoft Internet Explorer. In addition, according to Secunia, Firefox's vulnerabilities tend to be less critical than Internet Explorer's. While Internet Explorer users who have installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 are only affected by those 3 vulnerabilities, users of older versions of Windows are potentially affected by the 21 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 6 as Service Pack 2 is only available for Windows XP.

On the whole, Firefox security vulnerabilities have been patched relatively quickly. Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report Vol. 10, based on data from the first half of 2006, reported that while Firefox had more vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer during that time period (47 vs. 38), Firefox's vulnerabilities were fixed on average one day after the exploit code was made available, as compared to nine days for Internet Explorer.

Some have speculated that as Firefox becomes more popular, more vulnerabilities will be found,[134] a claim that Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation, has denied.[135]
“ There is this idea that market share alone will make you have more vulnerabilities. It is not relational at all. ”

[edit] Expert and media coverage

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) stated that Internet Explorer's design makes it very difficult to secure. In contrast, almost none of their concerns apply to Firefox.[136]
“ There are a number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the IE domain/zone security model, local file system (Local Machine Zone) trust, the Dynamic HTML (DHTML) document object model (in particular, proprietary DHTML features), the HTML Help system, MIME type determination, the graphical user interface (GUI), and ActiveX… IE is integrated into Windows to such an extent that vulnerabilities in IE frequently provide an attacker significant access to the operating system. ”

Some security experts, including Bruce Schneier[137] and David A. Wheeler,[138] recommended that users should stop using Internet Explorer for normal browsing, and switch to a different browser instead; Wheeler specifically recommended Firefox.

Several technology columnists have suggested the same, including Wall Street Journal columnist Walter S. Mossberg,[139] Washington Post columnist Rob Pegoraro,[140] USA Today’s Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz,[141] Forbes's Arik Hesseldahl,[142] Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols,[143] and Desktop Pipeline’s Scot Finnie.[144]

[edit] Awards

Mozilla Firefox has been given a number of awards by various organizations. These awards include:

* CNET Editors' Choice, June 2008[145]
* Webware 100 winner, April 2008[146]
* Webware 100 winner, June 2007[147]
* PC World 100 Best Products of 2007, May 2007[148]
* PC Magazine Editors' Choice, October 2006[149]
* CNET Editors' Choice, October 2006[150]
* PC World's 100 Best Products of 2006, July 2006[151]
* PC Magazine Technical Excellence Award, Software and Development Tools category, January 2006[152]
* PC Magazine Best of the Year Award, December 27, 2005[153]
* PC Pro Real World Award (Mozilla Foundation), December 8, 2005[154]
* CNET Editors' Choice, November 2005[155]
* UK Usability Professionals' Association Award Best Software Application 2005, November 2005[156]
* Macworld Editor's Choice with a 4.5 Mice Rating, November 2005[157]
* Softpedia User’s Choice Award, September 2005[158]
* TUX 2005 Readers' Choice Award, September 2005[159]
* PC World Product of the Year, June 2005[160]
* Forbes Best of the Web, May 2005[161]
* PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, May 2005[162]

[edit] See also
Free software portal

* History of Mozilla Firefox
* Browser timeline
* Browser wars
* Comparison of web browsers
* List of Firefox extensions
* List of web browsers
* Swiftfox
* GNU IceCat, a fork of Firefox which is made of entirely free software
* The Book of Mozilla
* Mozilla Prism

Firefox (category)

Foundation • Corporation
Community / Customization

Firefox 3 • Features • Extensions (category) • Spread Firefox • Adoption
Forks and Related Projects

Flock • Gnuzilla • GNU IceCat • IceApe • IceDove • Iceweasel • Netscape 9 • Portable Ed. • Swiftfox • Swiftweasel •Miro • Songbird • XeroBank
Origins and Lineage

Mozilla Suite • Netscape Navigator • Netscape Communicator •Netscape Communications Corp.

[edit] References

1. ^ "Top Browser Market Share for April, 2008". Net Applications. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
2. ^ a b Browse all Extensions page
3. ^ Most popular Firefox Add Ons. Retrieved 2007-10-30
4. ^ "Mozilla Firefox 3 Release Notes". Mozilla. Retrieved on 2008-04-18.
5. ^ a b Mozilla Foundation. "Mozilla Code Licensing". Retrieved on 2007-09-17.
6. ^ Goodger, Ben (2006-02-06). "Where Did Firefox Come From?". Inside Firefox. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
7. ^ Eich, Brendan; David Hyatt (2003-04-02). "mozilla development roadmap". Mozilla. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
8. ^ "Mozilla browser becomes Firebird". Retrieved on 2007-01-30.
9. ^ Dahdah, Howard (2003-04-17). "Mozilla 'dirty deed' brings out a Firey response". Retrieved on 2007-01-30. “"This must be one of the dirtiest deeds I've seen in open source so far," said Helen Borrie, a Firebird project administrator and documenter.”
10. ^ Festa, Paul (2003-05-06). "Mozilla's Firebird gets wings clipped". Retrieved on 2007-01-30.
11. ^ Festa, Paul (February 9, 2004). "Mozilla holds 'fire' in naming fight". CNET Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
12. ^ "Firefox 1.5 Release Notes". Retrieved on 2008-01-03.
13. ^ "Google Safe Browsing for Firefox". Retrieved on 2007-02-05.
14. ^ wiki contributors. "Phishing Protection Design Documentation - Background". wiki. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
15. ^ "Mozilla Firefox 2 Release Notes". Mozilla Corporation. Retrieved on 2006-12-19.
16. ^ Firefox Support Blog » Blog Archive » Firefox Live Chat launching today
17. ^ "Firefox 3 for developers". Mozilla Developer Center (2007-07-17). Retrieved on 2007-07-17.
18. ^ Vukicevic, Vladimir (June 2, 2006). "Gecko 1.9/Firefox 3 ("Gran Paradiso") Planning Meeting, Wednesday Jun 7, 11:00 am". Google Groups: Retrieved on 2006-09-17.
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[edit] Further reading

* Cheah, Chu Yeow (2005). Firefox Secrets: A Need-To-Know Guide. O'Reilly. ISBN 0-9752402-4-2.
* Feldt, Kenneth C. (2007). Programming Firefox. O'Reilly. ISBN 0-596-10243-7.
* Granneman, Scott (2005). Don't Click on the Blue e!: Switching to Firefox. O'Reilly. ISBN 0-596-00939-9.
* Hofmann, Chris; Marcia Knous, & John Hedtke (2005). Firefox and Thunderbird Garage. Prentice Hall PTR. ISBN 0-13-187004-1.
* McFarlane, Nigel (2005). Firefox Hacks. O'Reilly. ISBN 0-596-00928-3.
* Reyes, Mel (2005). Hacking Firefox: More Than 150 Hacks, Mods, and Customizations. Wiley. ISBN 0-7645-9650-0.
* Ross, Blake (2006). Firefox for Dummies. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-74899-4.

[edit] External links
Find more about Mozilla Firefox on Wikipedia's sister projects:
Dictionary definitions
Source texts
Images and media
News stories
Learning resources
Wikinews has related news:
Firefox browser attempts to break world record

* Mozilla Firefox homepage for end-users
* Mozilla Firefox project page for developers
* Mozilla EULA
* Mozilla Firefox at the Open Directory Project
* − Vulnerability report for Mozilla Firefox 2
* Review of Firefox (PC Magazine)

[edit] Related projects

* Weave
* Personas for Firefox
* Flock - The Social Web Browser

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