Posts Tagged ‘Plugins’

Google Chrome 5.0.375.126 has been pushed to the stable channel today, bringing with it only a single change.

The latest release contains an updated version of Adobe Flash, fixing several security vulnerabilities to the plugin.

Chrome users for all platforms will receive the update within the next few days, or alternatively the browser can be downloaded from the Google Chrome website.

Mozilla has finally released Firefox 3.6.4, after weeks of testing. The new release includes the highly talked about out-of-process plugin support.

The move, aimed at increasing browser stability, moves Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight plugins into their own process. If one of these plugins crashes, the browser will no longer crash along with it. Instead users will be given the option to reload the plugin and its content.

Currently, out-of-process plugin support is only available for Windows and Linux, with Mac versions expected in the near future. Support for other plugins is said to be on its way in future Firefox releases.

This release also fixes several security issues, 4 of which are rated as critical. A full list of changes for this release can be read in the release notes.

Existing Firefox 3.6.x users will receive the update in the coming days, or it can be downloaded directly from the Firefox website.

The Google Chrome development team have been hard at work, and have just integrated portable document format (PDF) support to their browser.

The comes on the back of an integrated Flash player, which has seen improved performance and stability within the browser.

“Millions of web users rely on PDF files every day to consume a wide variety of text and media content. The traditional browser plug-in model, though powerful, presents challenges in compatibility, performance, and security. To overcome this, we’ve been working with the web community to help define a next generation browser plug-in API” wrote Marc Pawliger, Chrome Engineering Director.

Chrome Dev Channel release 6.0.437.3 now includes built in PDF support. Users can get this version by following the instructions on the Chromium website.

Rumors are starting to circulate suggesting that extensions might be on their way for Apple’s Safari browser, bringing it into line with other browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.

Technology enthusiast and blogger John Gruber has alluded that such an announcement might be made at this years Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

“The other big thing that’s missing (compared to both Chrome and Firefox) is a proper extension API. If only Apple had an imminent developer conference where they could unveil such a thing” wrote Gruber.

While not exactly confirmation, the possibility of an announcement at this years WWDC is entirely plausible, and would be a very welcomed addition to the Safari browser.

We will keep you updated if this story continues to develop over the coming weeks.

Mozilla has released a multi-process beta version of its Firefox browser, code named Lorentz.

“Firefox “Lorentz” provides uninterrupted browsing for Windows and Linux users when there is a crash in the Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins. If a plugin crashes or freezes, it will not affect the rest of Firefox. You will be able to reload the page to restart the plugin and try again” said the browser release notes.

The multi-process, or out-of-process plugins support first started appearing in early versions of Firefox 4 back in March, but Mozilla has now almost finished the task of porting the code back to the Firefox 3.6 branch.

Out of the box, it only supports Adobe’s Flash, Apple’s Quicktime and Microsoft’s Silverlight plugins, but support for other plugins can be added via the about:config menu.

The multi-process plugin feature is only available for Windows and Linux users, with support for Mac OS X coming in the near future.

A download is available from the Firefox Lorentz website.

The Chrome development team have today announced a new partnership with Adobe which bundles Adobe’s Flash with Google Chrome browser.

The latest development builds include Adobe Flash Player (10.1 beta 3), and allows Chrome users to receive updated Flash updates automatically without the need of user intervention.

“The traditional browser plug-in model has enabled tremendous innovation on the web, but it also presents challenges for both plug-ins and browsers. The browser plug-in interface is loosely specified, limited in capability and varies across browsers and operating systems. This can lead to incompatibilities, reduction in performance and some security headaches” explains Google.

This move will ensure participating plug-ins are always up to date, increasing browsers security, while also integrating plug-ins tighter within the browser ensuring they become more stable.

Mozilla is also in on the plan, with Google using Mozilla’s next generation browser plug-in API. Other plug-ins such as Adobe’s PDF reader are expected to come further down the track.

Adobe’s Flash Player can be found from today with today’s dev channel update for Chrome; version 5.0.360.4 for Windows and Mac and 5.0.360.5 for Linux.

Mozilla is hard at work on the next version of Firefox, and the latest alpha builds include out-of-process support for plugins.

“Plugins such as Flash and Silverlight run in a separate process from the browser. If a plugin crashes it will not crash the browser, and unresponsive plugins are automatically restarted” said an announcement from Mozilla.

Currently, out-of-process support is only available on Windows and Linux versions, with Mac support still under development. This is only the first step, with each tab also expected to be moved to it’s own process in time, much like rivals Internet Explorer and Chrome have already done.

You can download the new test version of Firefox from the Mozilla Developer News Blog.

Google ChromeWith Chrome extensions having been available for one week now, we thought it would be good to take a look at the 10 most popular extensions for the week.

Collectively, these top 10 extensions have almost had just under 500,000 million downloads.

Google Mail Checker

With over 108,000 users, this extension displays the number of unread messages in your Google Mail inbox. Clicking on the icon will open your inbox. Currently only gmail and googlemail domains work, so anyone using a personal domain with Google Apps is out. There is also a reported memory leak at this stage with some users suggesting the less popular (but just as good, if not better) Google Mail Checker Plus.


AdThwart has almost 70,000 users, with the extension blocking ads from websites, thus saving you bandwidth and valuable screen space. The ad filter list is constantly updated by the EasyList community.

Google Translate

With 63,000 users, Google Translate does exactly that – translates. Web pages can be translated into your chosen language with a single click. This extensions users Google Translate.

IE Tab

IE Tab has over 53,000 users and is of great use for web pages that do not load or open correctly in Google Chrome. As the name suggests, this extensions lets you open an Internet Explorer tab right in Google Chrome, without the need for changing browser.

Google Wave Notifier

This extension has almost 50,000 users, and is similar to the Google Mail Checker. With Google Wave Notifier you can see all your unread Waves, as well as accessing specific Waves with a single click. It’s also compatible with Waves setup on a Google Apps domain.

RSS Subscription Extension

RSS Subscription Extension has over 46,000 users, and allows users to subscribe to RSS feeds with a single click. 4 feed readers are defined by default (Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines and My Yahoo), but others can be added manually.

Xmark Bookmark Sync

With just under 40,000 users, this extension allows you to backup and sync bookmarks across computers and browsers. The extension is also available for Firefox, Safari, and IE.

Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer

This extension has over 37,000 users and allows users to automatically preview both PDF and PowerPoint documents in Google Docs Viewer. This can save you lots of time, especially if the document is rather large.


Famous among Firefox users, AdBlock does what it says – it blocks ads from websites. The extension has over 36,000 users and the block list is automatically updated. This is the second ad blocker in the top ten.

Google Quick Scroll

Rounding out the top 10 is Google Quick Scroll, with almost 33,000 users. Google Quick Scroll lets users jump directly to the important bits when performing Google searches. After clicking on a search result, and when deemed to be useful, a small pop-up window appears showing one or more bits of the page that are relevant to your search. An obvious time saver!

That’s the top 10 extensions one week on, with extensions being available for Chrome Beta on Windows and Linux. Mac users unfortunately miss out at this point. Many, many more extensions can also be found on the Google Chrome Extensions website.

Mozilla is set to extend its new plugin check feature, which debuted in Firefox 3.5.3 and would check on first run if Adobe Flash player was up to date.

The feature which was so successful, is expected to be expanded in Firefox 3.6, covering other plugins such as Adobe Shockwave Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player and Java.

Firefox Plugin Detection

While not fool-proof, it’s certainly a forward step for browser security. More information on the plugin check feature can be found on the Mozilla blog.

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Gmail ExtentsionWith the latest developer build of Google Chrome being released this week (version, evidence has surfaced showing that extensions and plug-ins are on their way for the browser.

Release notes show that developers have implemented “extensions window & tabs API events.”

“The extensions posse would like to point out that as of today’s dev channel release, extensions are starting to be a bit more useful. We can now put little bits of UI (user interface) in the chrome of Chrome, and some of the APIs (application programming interfaces) are starting to come together,” said Google programmer Aaron Boodman. “There is still quite a ways to go, but if you’re interested in building extensions for Chrome, this might be a good time to start taking a look.”

Google has also updated Chrome Extension HOWTO and included some sample extensions, including a gmail checker.

You can download the latest developer release from the Chromium website.