Firefox 3.5 Beta Released

Mozilla nears the finish line with a major new version of its brilliant browser.

Firefox 3.5 is inching ever closer ladies and gents and for all of you brave enough to test the beta versions a major new release has just popped out this morning…

‘Firefox 3.5 Beta 4’ is the first iteration of Mozilla’s next generation browser to drop the ‘3.1’ moniker and it brings about a whole host of changes, namely:

  • The beta is now available in 70 languages – get your local version.
  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Better performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • The ability to provide Location Aware Browsing using web standards for geolocation.
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: HTML5 and elements, downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.

Now while speed is all well and good, the big features here are (s)Porn Mode(/s) Private Browsing and support for HTML5, the latter vital in evolving offline access for web based services such as Gmail.

“Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 is the sixth development milestone and fourth beta release of Firefox 3.5, the next version of the Firefox web browser,” said Mozilla in the announcement. “While this release is considered to be stable, it is intended for developers and members of our testing community to use for early evaluation and feedback. Users of the latest released version of Firefox should not expect all of their add-ons to work properly with this beta.”

As always the last point is vital. Popular add-ons such as Tab Mix Plus, TwitterFox and XMarks are all incompatible at the time of writing (deal breakers for me) so holding off a few days might be advisable for some. Everyone else, dive in now!

”’In related news:”’ Firefox 3.0.10 is now doing the rounds just a week after Firefox 3.0.9 – yep, it’s another security fix. No denying Mozilla is diligent…

Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 Release Notes

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