Firefox 3.5 Preview

For the last couple of days, I’ve been testing the new release candidate version, 3.5 RC 2,  of the Firefox browser from Mozilla.  This version incorporates a number of improvements, including:

  • A new JavaScript engine, for better performance and stability
  • A new Private Browsing mode that essentially disables the browser’s history-saving function
  • New facilities defined in the HTML 5 standard, including the <video> and <audio> tags
  • Support for new CSS (stylesheet) elements, including downloadable fonts

A more complete discussion of new features and changes is in the Release Notes.

So far, I have been testing only the Linux version, on Kubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy).  Although it is to be expected that some existing Firefox extensions will need to be updated before they will work with the new version, I have encountered no problems so far with NoScript, FlashGot, or UserAgent Switcher.  I have always found Firefox on Linux to be very stable, and I have no complaints in that regard.   I’ve not run a proper performance benchmark, but the new version does seem to be faster with JavaScript intensive sites, like or Facebook.  Although Firefox has had options available to clear private browsing data for some time, the new Private Browsing mode and associated options make this easier to use.

All in all, this seems to be a worthwhile if not earth-shaking upgrade.  The version currently available is a release candidate, not a production release, so use in critical systems is not advised.  The installation binaries for Windows, Mac OS-X, and Linux, in more than 70 languages, can be downloaded from the main download page.  If you do try out the new version, please help everyone out by reporting any problems using the Hendrix feedback system.

One Response to Firefox 3.5 Preview

  1. […] Releases Firefox 3.5 Back on June 22, I posted a note on my testing of the Release Candidate for Mozilla Firefox 3.5.  Today, the Mozilla Foundation has released the production version of […]

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