Firefox 23 finally kills "blink" tag

7 Aug 2013
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Blinking text function removed from Firefox browser after 20 years

The "blink" tag in HTML has at last been laid to rest, with Mozilla removing support for the much-maligned text style in the latest version of the Firefox browser.

The blink tag was never officially supported in Internet Explorer or Chrome, but Firefox inherited it from Netscape Navigator.

Opera previously supported it as well, though that ended when the Norwegian browser firm flipped from its own Presto engine to, ironically, Chrome's Blink engine. Google has admitted that the Blink engine was named partially after the flashy element, but has promised that its own browser "will never support the blink tag".

While this may be the end of an era - a messy, irritating era - in web design, Mozilla developers aren't sad to see the back of blinking text. Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich told the New Yorker earlier this year: "It serves as a literal ‘attractive nuisance’ and a cautionary tale from an era when browser market share was unbalanced, and unwise innovations could become de-facto requirements without a standard process."

Other changes

Firefox 23 incorporates more changes than the death of the blink tag, of course. The updated browser introduces a new social sharing sidebar, allows users to switch to a new search provider across the entire browser, and bears a subtly refreshed logo.

Aside from a few security fixes - four of which were critical vulnerabilities - Mozilla's latest browser also features a system that prevents man-in-the-middle attacks and prevents eavesdropping on HTTPS pages.

A host of further additions will benefit developers, including a network monitor tool and accessibility support for touch interfaces.

The full list of changes in Firefox 23 is available here.

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