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Firefox latest news

21 May

Firefox 4 the lowdown

Mozilla hopes to release the anticipated Firefox 4 in October or November, a new version that has speed among the main goals of this latest release.

“Performance is a huge, huge, huge thing for us,” said Mike Beltzner, vice president of engineering for Mozilla Firefox, in an announcement about future plans for the browser. “We created the performance story, and we’ve got to keep at it.”

Among other features scheduled for Firefox 4 and Mozilla emphatically cautions that plans can change are support for high-speed graphics and text through Direct2D on Windows, a tidier user interface with more prominent and powerful tabs, support for several newer Web technologies; 64-bit versions; and compatibility with multi-touch interfaces.

Performance means a great deal in a browser. Among them the time it takes to load a Web page or even to load the program, the responsiveness of the user interface to commands such as opening new tabs, and the speed with which Web-based JavaScript programs execute. Firefox programmers also will work on more perceptual speed improvements, Beltzner said, such as changing the order that Web page elements appear on the screen and the appearance of the page-loading progress bar.


Mozilla’s latest release Firefox 4 beta (version 9) continues to improve. Most notably, beta 9 which was released on January 14 offers a faster start-up time, bookmarking and overall performance gains. That, combined with the Panorama feature and full HTML5 support, gives Firefox the firepower it needs to go head to head against Google’s rival and, of course, the latest version of IE (IE9).

The first beta debuted in June. There have been nine beta releases and it is not clear if there is one or two more updates coming in the near future.


It’s been a long wait, but Firefox 4 has finally reached the conclusion of their beta testing period. Mozilla has released Firefox 4 beta 12, which, is rumour to be the last beta release.

But with this new it doesn’t mean Firefox 4 is done yet. Although Firefox 4 is already some months past its original release date, there will still be at least one release candidate before Firefox 4 is declared final later this year.

Beta 12 is primarily a bug fix release and clears most of the major remaining bugs that were blocking the release of Firefox 4.

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