Nov 23, 2007

Firefox 3 Beta 1 intended for testing purposes only

After falling months behind schedule, with some notes that anyone than developers and tester do not recommended to dowload because of intended for testing purpose only, Mozilla released the first official beta of Firefox 3 on Tuesday. While not without a few bugs, the release showcases the substantial improvements to both user interface and performance that are in store for the final release, which is due sometime later this year. Firefox 3 Beta 1 is the ninth developer milestone focused on testing the core functionality provided by many new features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 3.

New features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include:

  • Improved security features such as: better presentation of website identity and security, malware protection, stricter SSL error pages, anti-virus integration in the download manager, and version checking for insecure plugins.

  • Improved ease of use through: better password management, easier add-on installation, new download manager with resumable downloading, full page zoom, animated tab strip, and better integration with Windows Vista and Mac OS X.

  • Richer personalization through: one-click bookmarking, smart search bookmark folders, direct typing in location bar searches your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles, ability to register web applications as protocol handlers, and better customization of download actions for file types.

  • Improved platform features such as: new graphics and font rendering architecture, major changes to the HTML rendering engine to provide better CSS, float-, and table layout support, native web page form controls, colour profile management, and offline application support.

  • Performance improvements such as: better data reliability for user profiles, architectural improvements to speed up page rendering, over 300 memory leak fixes, and a new XPCOM cycle collector to reduce entire classes of leaks.

Scott Gilbertson:
....Firefox 3 beta 1 is noticeably snappier. Page loads are quicker, and Ajax-heavy sites like GMail refresh almost imperceptibly.

In our testing of beta 1 and its final-release candidate on an Intel Mac running Mac OS X Leopard, the browser never consumed more than 60 MB of memory, and it disappeared from our CPU usage monitor entirely when running in the background, something Firefox 2 has never managed to do. Of course, it was running sans add-ons, a common source of performance problems. (Add-on developers will need to tweak their code to run in the new browser, so for the time being, many are unavailable.) To that end, Mozilla has said it will step up efforts to help add-on creators track and eliminate bugs in popular extensions.....

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