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12. Great Programs That Aren’t on the CD > 12.3. Firefox: A Powerful Web Browse...

Firefox: A Powerful Web Browser

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser has been the dominant browser since about 1997. It is so pervasive that Microsoft has not felt the need to correct many of its flaws or security holes, a situation that has left Windows computers vulnerable to exploit by malicious code downloaded from web sites.

Firefox, shown in Figure 12-4, was originally called Phoenix because it rose from the ashes of the formerly dominant and now dying Netscape Navigator. However, that name was already taken by another software program, so the project went through a few name changes before settling on Firefox. Based upon the Gecko HTML rendering engine (the part of the program that determines how web pages look) that is at the heart of the Mozilla web browser, Firefox is a lean, fast web browser with a lot of built-in functions such as tabbed web browsing and pop-up ad blocking. It also supports all of the major plug-ins that run on Linux, such as Java, JavaScript, and Flash.


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