It has been more than a year since Mozilla launched Firefox 2.0 but 3.0 makes its first public appearance today...
'Firefox 3 Beta 1' is primarily a developer preview designed for web developers and experienced testers to gain feedback before more finalised builds make an appearance. That said, if you're part of the bleeding edge brigade and are prepared to accept the usual bugs and extension incompatibilities then you can get it too.
Firefox 3 is based on the new Geko 1.9 Web rendering platform which has been under development for 27 months and contains more than 2m lines of code. It represents a complete overhaul of the existing Firefox 2 platform and attempts to boost performance, stability and security.
Mozilla lists the main benefits at this stage as:
*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.
So the first version of Firefox 3 is up and running. Many have complained that 13 months is a long time to wait between versions two and three but clearly they haven't spoken to Microsoft. Anyone know the gap between IE6 and the first IE7 beta?