What’s New in Firefox 12 and Chrome 18

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Firefox 12 was released on April 24 and Chrome 18 appeared on April 19. Did you notice? Put it this way — I hope you weren’t expecting a gaggle of ground-breaking new features. Unlike a few of the previous editions, the new updates from Mozilla and Google are largely maintenance releases and bug fixes. But there are a few gems to keep developers happy…

Firefox 12

If you have the irritating User Account Control (UAC) enabled in Windows, you should notice one fewer prompt during the update process. Firefox may not upgrade as quietly as Chrome but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

CSS3 developers can now adopt the text-align-last property. This defines how the last line in a block such as a paragraph is aligned. It’s ideal if you’re using text-align: justify but want to ensure two words which flow into the last line are aligned to the left.

If you often view the Page Source you’ll also be pleased to discover that line numbers are now available whether you have line-wrapping enabled or not. To be honest, I can’t believe it’s taken this long to add that feature!

Other minor improvements:

  • Line breaks can be added to HTML title attributes.
  • “Find in Page” centers the result on screen.
  • URLs pasted into the download manager window are automatically downloaded.
  • A selection of bug fixes including WebGL performance on some Mac hardware.

Chrome 18

If you thought Firefox 12 was a lightweight release, Chrome 18 is positively skinny. GPU-accelerated Canvas 2D has been enabled on capable Windows and Mac PCs. In addition, TransGaming’s SwiftShader software-based rasterizer has been included so 3D WebGL graphics can be viewed on older hardware.

Google has also addressed nine security vulnerabilities and paid $4,000 to the lucky bug hunters.

That’s it, though. There’s nothing more to see here — please move along. Perhaps IE10 will give me a little more to write about very soon…

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

firefoxgoogle chromeGoogle Tutorials & ArticlesMozilla
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