Feeds

Mozilla reaches stage 4 of Firefox 3 beta endurance test

Speed up, leaks plugged

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.