Firefox 12 Has Arrived: Introduces Silent Updates For Windows Users And Improved Developer Tools

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A new version of Firefox used to be a big deal, but since Mozilla switched to a rapid release schedule, these updates are becoming pretty routine. Today, Mozilla launched Firefox 12. For most users, this is likely one of the least interesting Firefox updates in recent history, as it only introduces a few minor changes. For developers, however, this update is a bit more interesting. In total, this new version of Firefox includes 85 improvements to the browser’s built-in developer tools.

For most users, the only major change in this release (besides the usual bug fixes) is that Firefox will now only ask Windows users to click on the infamous “user account control dialog” (UAC) when they first install Firefox. Once that’s done, Firefox can then update itself in the background (you can also turn this feature off, though, if you prefer to stay in control of when you update your browser). This silent updates project for Firefox has been in the works for a long time (at one point it was promised to arrive with version 10). For now, this feature is Windows-only. Mac and Linux users will likely get silent updates in the next version.

For developers, this new version brings a number of improvements. Most of these aren’t major changes, but they do include some things that will make your life a bit easier if you are a web developer who uses Firefox. Thanks to these changes, “developers no longer need to reload the page to see messages in the Web Console, and Scratchpad adds Find and Jump to Line commands to the editor.”