Mozilla is out with another rapid release of the open source Firefox web browser. Firefox 11 delivers at least 8 security fixes, including a fix for zero day flaws reported at the pwn2own hacking challenge last week.
Firefox 11 isn’t just about security updates. It also expands on the developer tools that Firefox 10 delivered six weeks ago.
On the security front, there are five security advisories rated as critical for Firefox 11. The critical flaws fixed include a use-after-free memory flaw in shlwapi.dll and what Mozilla refers to as, ‘miscellaneous memory safety hazards‘.
Memory errors were also found in Firefox’s handling of SVG graphics. The SVG flaws were discovered by using Google’s open source Address Sanitizer tool. The AddressSanitizer is a memory error detector for C/C++ and is able to help identify out-of-bounds access issues as well as use-after-free memory conditions.
Firefox 11 also corrects a pair of Cross Site Scripting (XSS) flaws that Mozilla has rated as having moderate impact.
In Firefox 10, Mozilla included the new Inspect Tool that enables developers to inspect website code. With Firefox 11, Mozilla is taking their developer tools a step further with the new Tilt tool. Tilt is a visual layout tool that provides a 3D view of page layout.
“While developer tools like ‘view source’ have always been useful to learn about how to develop a page, the 3D View more clearly illustrates how the parts of a website are structured,” Mozilla stated. “After selecting 3D View in Page Inspector, just hover your mouse over the elements to get more information about each piece you select.”
Going a step further, the new Style Editor tool will enable users to make CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) changes. Those changes are reflected on the page, which provides a way for developers to quickly test style changes.
When the Firefox project first started, Mozilla wanted to help users migrate from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. In recent years, Google’s Chrome browser has increased in popularity. To help enable Chrome users to move to Firefox, Firefox 11 now provides a migration tool that brings a Chrome user’s bookmarks, history and cookies to Firefox.
Mozilla is also extending its browser sync technology for Firefox 11. In prior versions of Firefox, users have been able to sync history, bookmarks and tabs. With Firefox 11, users can now also sync their add-ons across multiple computers.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.