Firefox 26 arrives with Click to Play for Java

11/12/2013 09:00

Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 26 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Additions include Click to Play turned on by default for all Java plugins, more seamless updates on Windows, and a new Home design for Android.

Firefox 26 has been released over on and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play.


First and foremost, the Click to Play revamp was supposed to be for all versions of all plugins, except the latest release of Flash. Unfortunately, Mozilla has pushed back this change and decided to focus on just Java.

In short, the feature means Firefox now only loads Java plugins when users click to interact with them. Previously, Firefox would automatically load Java whenever a site requested it, unless Mozilla had blocked it for security reasons (the company already blocks old versions of Java, Silverlight, and Flash).

Now, when a site tries to use Java, the user can choose whether to enable the plugin on that site. Firefox will only load it when you take the action of clicking to make it play. Alternatively, you can also configure Click to Play so that it always runs plugins on a particular website.

Java blocking isn’t the only change in this release; here’s the official changelog for Firefox 26:

  • NEW: All Java plug-ins are defaulted to ‘click to play’.
  • NEW: Password manager now supports script-generated password fields.
  • NEW: Updates can now be performed by Windows users without write permissions to Firefox install directory (requires Mozilla Maintenance Service).
  • NEW: Support for H.264 on Linux if the appropriate gstreamer plug-ins are installed.
  • CHANGED: Support for MP3 decoding on Windows XP, completing MP3 support across Windows OS versions.
  • CHANGED: CSP implementation now supports multiple policies, including the case of both an enforced and Report-Only policy, per the spec.
  • DEVELOPER: Social API now supports Social Bookmarking for multiple providers through its SocialMarks functionality (see MDN docs).
  • DEVELOPER: Math.ToFloat32 takes a JS value and converts it to a Float32, whenever possible.
  • DEVELOPER: There is no longer a prompt when websites use appcache.
  • DEVELOPER: Support for the CSS image orientation property.
  • DEVELOPER: New App Manager allows you to deploy and debug HTML5 webapps on Firefox OS phones and the Firefox OS Simulator.
  • DEVELOPER: IndexedDB can now be used as a “optimistic” storage area so it doesn’t require any prompts and data is stored in a pool with LRU eviction policy, in short temporary storage.
  • FIXED: When displaying a standalone image, Firefox matches the EXIF orientation information contained within the JPEG image (298619).
  • FIXED: Text Rendering Issues on Windows 7 with Platform Update KB2670838 (MSIE 10 Prerequisite) or on Windows 8.1 (812695).
  • FIXED: Improved page load times due to no longer decoding images that aren’t visible (847223).
  • FIXED: AudioToolbox MP3 backend for OSX (914479).
  • FIXED: Various security fixes.

If you’re a Web developer, you should probably also check out Firefox 26 for developers.