Mozilla adds privacy mode to Firefox test build
'Porn mode' will make it into Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, says developer
The most recent test build of Firefox 3.1 includes what Mozilla calls "Private Browsing," said developer Ehsan Akhgari in a blog post this morning. Akhgari has been the primary programmer working on the new feature.
In the blog, Akhgari outlined the mode's operation. He explained that it lets Firefox first memorize the current tabs so that it can reopen them at the end of the private-browsing session, and then slip a small notice at the top of the window to indicate that the next moves won't be recorded. "After all, if you're doing something online that you don't want your co-workers to know about, you don't want to raise their attention with a big sign saying PRIVATE as they pass by and glance over your shoulder," said Akhgari.
As long as the mode is enabled, Firefox refuses to store traces of where the browser went and what it was asked to do. While in Private Browsing, Firefox will not record the browser history, search history, download history or form history, or save cookies or temporary files. Saved downloads and pages that are bookmarked, however, are not deleted.
Mozilla decided to include a privacy mode -- sometimes dubbed "porn mode" as a sop to an obvious application -- about eight weeks ago. The move was largely in response to competitive pressure from other browser makers, which were adding similar features to their software. Less than two weeks before Mozilla announced the addition of privacy mode, for example, Google Inc. had released its Chrome beta and touted the browser's "Incognito"mode.
Originally, Mozilla officials were pessimistic about the chances of adding a privacy mode to Firefox 3.1, but several days after discussing the feature, the company decided to add another four to five weeks of work to the schedule to make sure Private Browsing and several other in-development pieces made it into the final.
Today, Akhgari said that the privacy mode would appear in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, which will likely ship later this month. "This will be included in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, which will be released soon, so if you want to try it, you can give it a shot then," he said. "And of course, it will appear in the final release of Firefox 3.1, so if you're not the type who test beta software, you can wait until Firefox 3.1 is released."
Users interested in trying out the privacy mode immediately, however, can download the pre-release version of Beta 2 -- called "nightlies" by Mozilla -- from the company's site.
Read more about Privacy in Computerworld's Privacy Topic Center.
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Trends Shaping Software Management: 2014 Most IT executives recognize the relationship between mobile computing and worker productivity, and have long issued notebook computers and other mobile devices to...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success! All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!