Feeds

Firefox 3.1 beta arrives with JavaScript booster turned off

Rocket charger nowhere near launchpad

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Mozilla pushed out the first beta of Firefox 3.1 on Tuesday night but the release omits some much anticipated improved JavaScript functionality.

The preview edition of the open source web browser is intended to allow developers to run a slide rule over the software as well as giving the public at large a chance to take the software for a spin.

Major enhancements over version 3.0.x of the browser include a revamp of the Gecko layout engine, improved support for the latest developments in style sheet standards (ie CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 properties), a tab-switching shortcut and support for a range of new web technologies.

And, as previously reported, the next version of the browser includes a privacy (AKA prOn) surfing mode.

The "Web 3.1" features supported include Geolocation API, <video> and <audio> elements, and offline applications. The Geolocation API offers similar functionality to the recently release Geode add-on for Firefox 3.0.

One promised feature missing from the release is the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine, which promised to improve JavaScript speed by a factor of 40. Mozilla developers have been working on the "rocket-charger" since summer but it's been turned off in the first beta of Firefox 3.1.

Mozilla recently decided to release further preview editions of the browser so the technology might yet get the green light. A second beta is expected in late November ahead of the delayed release of the browser, expected sometime around the turn of the year. The appearance or not of the TraceMonkey JavaScript has become much more important since the release of Google Chrome, whose nippy handling of JavaScript apps has impressed.

Firefox 3.1 beta 1 is available for Linux, Mac and Windows machines and in 36 different languages. As with the beta release of any major browser software package the preview edition of Firefox 3.1 gives webmasters a chance to see how their site is rendered using the software and a chance to provide feedback or tweak their site.

More information on the release from Mozilla, including links to downloads, can be found here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.