Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mozilla closing in on Firefox 3.1 beta 3

It seems like the release of Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 is closing in. The Mozilla Quality Assurance team is organizing a test round "for the rollout of" the beta release today, and states that to test it, the 3.1 users just need to klick "Check for Updates" in the Help menu. I have tried it, but the update doesn't seem to be out yet. I guess it will arrive later today.

They announced earlier this month that they would probably have yet another Beta candidate before doing the actual release, as well as renaming it Firefox 3.5 as a result of the long wait. The beta3 was originally planned for release months ago, and the reason for the delay was a couple of serious bugs, where the most prominent one was in the TraceMonkey javascript engine. This is the same engine that has been hailed as one of the reasons why the new Firefox is lightning fast, so let's hope they iron out the last creases! I have been running the Beta2 as my main browser for several weeks now, and have not experienced any problems at all, so I am looking forward to the Beta3 to see if there are any noticable changes.

Some of the new stuff in Firefox 3.5 except TraceMonkey and great speed improvements are "Private browsing mode", support for embedded video and audio (without Flash etc), improved rendering (improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering) and of course lots of bug fixes.

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