Feeds

Mozilla reaches stage 4 of Firefox 3 beta endurance test

Speed up, leaks plugged

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.