According to a Mozilla researcher, Mozilla plans on including the PDF reader in Firefox within the next three months. Mozilla has been quietly working on this new feature for a month now. This will make Firefox the second major browser, after Google’s Chome browser, to offer users built in PDF support.
“The traditional approach to rendering PDFs in a browser is to use a native-code plug-in, either Adobe’s own PDF Reader or other commercial renderers, or some open-source alternative. From a security perspective, this enlarges the trusted code base, and because of that, Google’s Chrome browser goes through quite some pain to sandbox the PDF renderer to avoid code injection attacks. An HTML5-based implementation is completely immune to this class of problems,” Mozilla stated.
Adobe’s Reader is a free PDF viewer plugin that has faced many flaws in its lifetime. This year alone, the viewer has been updated five times to fix flaws.
You can check out the project, called “pdf.js,” and read up on Mozilla’s plans. Mozilla also expressed interest in having their pdf.js embedded in other browsers or Web applications in the future.
Mozilla also announced the release of Firefox 5.0, which is way ahead of Mozilla’s targeted June 21st release date. Mozilla is working on an accelerated release date for its Firefox browser.
So whats new in 5.0?
1) Support for CSS transitions has been added
2) The preference for “Do Not Track” has been moved to aid easier discoverability by users
4) Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas
5) Improvements to spell checking for various languages
6) Improvements to Linux desktop environment integration
7) Performance improvements for background tabs
8) WebGL fixes: a fix for cross-domain textures and a fix to address the memory stealing issue