Feeds

Mozilla reaches stage 4 of Firefox 3 beta endurance test

Speed up, leaks plugged

High performance access to file storage

The fourth beta release of Firefox 3 is available for download today from Mozilla.

Grab it here if you're feeling adventurous. Remember it's a beta, so beware of rushing to code where angels fear to thread.

The browser's latest build boasts several improvements over previous beta releases, including a speed boost, full-page zoom, a revamped download manager, tighter OS integration, and the plugging of Firefox's rather irksome memory leaks.

Perhaps the most noticeable advancement user-side is performance. Tweaks to the Beta 4 JavaScript engine will double the speed of script-heavy web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office, compared to Firefox 2, so say some release notes.

Memory leak issues — a major thorn in Firefox's paw since 1.0 - continue to be addressed by the Mozilla's open-source team.

"Several new technologies work together to reduce the amount of memory used by Firefox 3 Beta 4 over a web browsing session. Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a new memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned," we're told.

As for cosmetics, Beta 4 has an improved native user interface for XP, Vista, OS X and Linux. This includes work on the browser's menus, icons and various controls to match the operating systems.

Mozilla said its souped up download manager makes it easier to locate downloaded files, and now lets a user search a website for where a file came from. A new zooming feature can scale the entire layout, text and images of a website, as opposed to only the text size in previous incarnations.

All-in-all, Mozilla said its made over 900 improvements to Firefox from Beta 3. Mozilla's Percy Cabello has an in-depth summary of the various changes including screen shots here. Release notes are over yonder.

So when is version 3 going public? Well, there's at least one more beta to go. The development team confirmed the code will be frozen March 18 for a fifth preview of the build. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.