Firefox 3.0 beta 4 now out

By   |  March 11, 2008

Mozilla today announced the release of Firefox 3.0 beta 4 for testers and other Firefox fans. Among the improvements in this release are better download management, speed enhancements and much better integration with Vista, Linux and Max OS X. Memory improvements are also inluded in the beta 4 release. New features are listed after the jump.

The downside of using Firefox 3.0 betas is that most of your favourite extensions are unlikely to work with this release yet (LifeHacker suggests this risk-prone workaround to get them working)

Some of the highlights of Firefox 3.0 beta 4 include:

  • The revised download manager makes it much easier to locate downloaded files, and you can see and search on the name of the website where a file came from. Your active downloads and time remaining are always shown in the status bar as your files download.
  • Full page zoom means that from the View menu and via keyboard shortcuts, the new zooming feature lets you zoom in and out of entire pages, scaling the layout, text and images, or optionally only the text size. Your settings will be remembered whenever you return to the site.
  • Firefox now integrates better with Vista through Vista-specific icons and native user interface widgets in the browser and in web forms.
  • Mac OS X integration is also improved and the new Firefox theme makes toolbars, icons, and other user interface elements look like a native OS X application. Firefox also uses OS X widgets and spell-checker in web forms and supports Growl for notifications of completed downloads and available updates. A combined back and forward control make it even easier to move between web pages.
  • In Linux Firefox’s default icons, buttons, and menu styles now use the native GTK theme.
  • Location bar & auto-complete: type in all or part of the title, tag or address of a page to see a list of matches from your history and bookmarks; a new display makes it easier to scan through the matching results and find that page you’re looking for. Results are returned according to their frecency (a combination of frequency and recency of visits to that page) ensuring that you’re seeing the most relevant matches. An adaptive learning algorithm further tunes the results to your patterns.
  • Improvements to the JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimisations have resulted in significant improvements in performance. Compared to Firefox 2, web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office run twice as fast in Firefox 3 Beta 4, and the popular SunSpider test from Apple shows improvements over previous releases.
  • Memory usage has been greatly improved. 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.

Download Firefox 3 Beta 4 or have a look at the release notes.

Comments

7 Responses to “Firefox 3.0 beta 4 now out”

  1. Dwayne Bailey
    March 12th, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

    Translate.org.za is hoping to get Afrikaans into Firefox 3, the other languages we will do during the Firefox 3 cycle (unless we get someone passionate about their language).

    You can get the latest Firefox 3 nightly build in Afrikaans for testing from:
    ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk-l10n/

  2. Juli
    March 12th, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

    “/usr/local/firefox/firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: libpangocairo-1.0.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory”

    Gaaaaah! Looks like my Linux is too old to run this. :(

  3. Dwayne Bailey
    March 12th, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    Or for a local download of the Translate.org.za Firefox 3 beta’s try:

    http://download.translate.org.za/dev/firefox/

  4. Alastair Otter
    March 13th, 2008 @ 6:45 am

    @dwayne
    Excellent work getting the Firefox beta in Afrikaans out.

  5. Tectonic » Firefox 3 download day starts at 7pm
    June 17th, 2008 @ 10:55 am

    [...] attempt see Firefox plan download record attempt. For more on what to expect from Firefox 3 see this article. Share this post: Share this post with the [...]

  6. chukaman
    June 17th, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

    Go Dwayne you machine. Imagine how many people benefit from the work you guys are doing, and to what an extent they are benefiting!! Good stuff.

    I’m upset about how the Mozilla guys have executed this “download day” world record attempt though. I have been trying since 7pm and am still not able to get anything more than a completely blank page to load. It’s so sad that this little effort was put into keeping the infrastructure standing. I mean _come on_ you’re wanting to set a WORLD RECORD attempt, surely you’re going to expect to be hit like you’ve never been hit before? Now instead of people talking about how Open Source Software sat there and handled the load with a grin on its face they will be talking about how it fell over, and over, and over, and over….. and is pathetic, which those of us who know know is not the case. And all this was just to download another beta? So much for deadlines being met.

    And yet I really appreciate the awesome free standards compliant browser that they make me, and am not meaning to sound like a whining pest. All sorts of people would have had a really awesome case study to not shut up about if things had turned out differently, that’s all.

  7. chukaman
    June 17th, 2008 @ 11:26 pm

    I think I’m wrong about the beta thing. I am finally downloading what looks like a 3 final for Mac. I’m glad to be wrong, everything else I said still stands :)

    Alastair easy with those tricky maths anti-spam sums man I’m not going to be able to comment if they get much harder, lol :)

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