Feeds

Firefox 4 hits third beta stage, gets touchy-feely with Windows 7

JavaScript in heavy C++ overhaul

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Mozilla has slung out its third beta of Firefox 4, which now comes with Windows 7 multi-touch support.

This test build of the browser also has improvements to its JavaScript handling functions. However, the interface itself remains unchanged from the previous beta released by Mozilla late last month.

That’s hardly surprising given the level of UI tweakage that was made to the second beta of Firefox 4. With the latest beta release, Mozilla has turned its attention to the more fundamental needs of the browser.

Importantly, Firefox 4 beta 3 comes with changes to the C++ representation of JavaScript, to allow the surfing tool “to execute heavy, numeric code more efficiently”, said Mozilla.

The code itself is used to construct smooth, streamlined graphics in modern web apps.

Mozilla boffin Rob Sayre crunches the integers in a detailed post about the process here, including what it means for ongoing development of the open source browser maker’s JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine - expected to be slotted into the finalised version of Firefox 4.

Elsewhere, the beta now supports Windows 7 multi-touch, which in the meantime allows developers to play with a new API. That code might eventually trickle down to surfers in the form of an extension. But for now at least it’s a coders-only playpen.

WebGL support remains switched off by default and Mozilla said that its new Addons Manager and extension management API user interface would be changed before Firefox 4 is finally shipped.

Mozilla has been gathering tons of feedback from users about the Firefox 4 betas, in a move to address bugs, garner reactions to the builds and also get details about the kind of people that use the browser.

“We discovered that our beta users are primarily men who use the web between two and six hours each day, mostly for entertainment and communication,” noted Mozilla.

“This doesn’t come as a surprise to us, but it also isn’t a great representation of internet users. We need your help! If you’re enjoying using the Firefox 4 beta, tell your friends, get them set up and don’t forget to point out the Feedback button.”

The third beta is of course an incomplete product, so – as ever – those of you about to download the latest test release of Firefox 4 should do so cautiously. This way ladies and gentlemen, please. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.