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Genus: Vulpes

Vulpes_vulpes_sitting Outside my office window are some corn fields, and between the window and the fields is a drainage ditch that usually has at least some standing water in it. The area is no wildlife preserve, but the water and corn do attract a lot of wild things. We've seen deer, frogs, woodchuck, muskrat, ducks, geese, hawks, and maybe a dozen species of smaller birds. Lately, we've seen a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) making his or her rounds on a fairly regular basis. 

The fox started showing up right around the time that Mozilla Firefox 4 entered public beta testing. If you think that's just coincidence then you're probably not as excited as I am that Firefox 4 is now in general release. What's to be excited about? Well, in addition to being faster, simpler to use and more secure than ever, the new Firefox is evolving toward new Web technologies that are ultimately going to change just about everything on the Internet.

The big changes start with support for HTML5, which will build on and ultimately replace HTML4 as the language for designing a Web page. HTML5 adds features that make it easier for Web site designers to create interactive applications, to embed video clips (without requiring proprietary add-ons like Flash Player or Silverlight), and much more. Another big feature is support for WebGL graphics, allowing 3D images to be rendered in real time within the browser window (also using open standards rather than proprietary plugins).

HTML5 is not yet an official international standard. However, by the time it is, many Web sites will already be taking advantage of HTML5 markup to provide new features and services. You'll need a new browser to take advantage of their offerings.

However, there is a downside (isn't there always?). Namely, some testers have already identified minor problems that Firefox 4 has when mixed with the current Koha staff interface. We can't really embrace those problems when our Koha migration is imminent, so it may be awhile before SCLS is able to widely deploy FF4 for your use in the library.

We will let you know when mass deployment of FF4 seems more timely for the SCLS Network. Meanwhile, you can read more about FF features on the Mozilla web site. If you do already have a machine with FF4, you can play with some of the new features too.


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Maybe this is your fox

Though the firefox logo is a red panda, isn't it? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Firefox

Have been playing with FF 4 and it is clearly faster BUT many of my favorite add-ons are not compatible (including Google Gears). Before upgrading, ensure that your favorite tools work in the new version.

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