Firefox 4 offers silent add-on updates

New add-on manager updates extensions automatically, some sans restart

Firefox 4 will automatically update the browser's extensions, a Mozilla interface designer said Sunday.

Add-ons, also called "extensions" by Mozilla, will update silently in the background, said Jenny Boriss, a Firefox user experience designer, in a blog post yesterday . Earlier versions of the open-source browser notified users of available add-on updates each time Firefox was launched.

Add-on developers can also revamp their wares to allow updates without a Firefox restart, which is currently required.

Firefox 4 Beta 7, the most recent preview of the browser that's slated to launch in early 2011, includes an option setting for each add-on that lets users switch auto-updating on or off.

Other improvements to the revised add-on manager include a larger display area -- the manager appears in its own tab as opposed to a separate window -- and global search that locates already-installed add-ons as well as recommended extensions.

Mozilla may be implementing silent updates for Firefox add-ons, but a similar feature for the browser's security patches remains up in the air.

In August, Mozilla said that it would take a page from rival Google, and add silent, behind-the-scenes security updating to Firefox 4. A month later, however, the feature was tagged as "at risk."

Last week, Mozilla posted notes that indicated silent updates were still uncertain. Those notes have since been modified, and no longer include a feature-by-feature status listing.

Firefox 4 Beta 7 can be download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Mozilla's site.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags browsersinternetGooglesoftwareapplicationsmozilla

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?