Mozilla Launches Firefox 3.5.3

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Mozilla has released the latest version of its new browser, pulling Firefox up to version 3.5.3.

firefox-logo

Firefox 3.5.3 we’re told fixes a series of bugs that had been teething at the browser, while patching some security vulnerabilities. Overall, it’s also more stable than 3.5.2. Moreover, it adds to Firefox the ability to check and make sure that Adobe’s Flash Player is up to date and prompt users to update the player if they happen not to be running the most recent version, which Mozilla is hoping will help plug up security vulnerabilities caused by outdated versions.

This is kind of the ideal space to talk about something we had an interesting conversation about in the comments on our last post about the Firefox team’s recent decision to have Firefox check Flash Player version for users. One of our charming readers, Dave P, pointed out that the Flash plugin itself could well just be updated too often for people to bother keeping up, which is fair enough, though it makes sense to keep it updated as vulnerabilities appear.

In response, Clintonio said that Flash should just be set to auto-update, which makes an awful lot of sense. The most bewildering thing about the auto-update suggestion is that Firefox used to be able to manage automatic updates to Flash on its own, which makes you wonder why it stopped (unless my tired old brain is playing tricks on me and Flash never auto-updated in Firefox…).

Our biggest issue with the way Firefox prompts users to update Flash as it stands is that there’s a lot of fiddling to update Flash; you have to close the browser, install the plugin and then re-open it. In short, updating Flash is a bit of a headache, and it’s not surprising to see that up to 80% of Firefox users are on outdated Flash versions. Still, it’s nice to see Mozilla making an attempt to clear it up.

You can grab the new version of Firefox straight from Mozilla, and you can read the patch notes there too, if you’re interested in it.

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