Download Firefox 3.1 Beta 1

Photobucket
Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 has been released for developer testing and community feedback. The new version includes many new features as well as improvements to performance, web compatibility, and speed. Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 is now available for free download.Another beta is expected later this year with the final browser code shipping in early 2009.

Here’s a list of the top new features you’ll see in Firefox 3.1 Beta 1.


[ad#ads-many-links]
Key New Features:

  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine
  • Beta 1 includes TraceMonkey, Mozilla’s next-gen (and supposedly really fast) JavaScript engine
  • Added support for CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 properties
  • A new tab-switching shortcut that shows previews of the tab you’re switching to
  • Improved control over the Smart Location Bar (aka the “Awesome Bar”) using special characters to restrict your search
  • Support for new page elements for embedding Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio content — show videos and play songs on web pages without requiring plug-ins
  • Firefox’s first implementation of the W3C Geolocation API
  • JavaScript query selectors, web worker threads, SVG transforms and some support for offline applications

To help JavaScript along, Mozilla says Firefox 3.1 will give JavaScript a much-needed shot in the arm with its new TraceMonkey JavaScript tool. According to Mike Shaver, Mozilla’s VP of Engineering, the new tools in TraceMonkey allow JavaScript code to render on par with native code.

“The goal of the TraceMonkey project — which is still in its early stages,” cautions Shaver, “is to take JavaScript performance to another level, where instead of competing against other interpreters, we start to compete against native code.”

While part of the gain will be for Ajax-heavy web apps, the new code will also improve Firefox itself since extensions and other Firefox tools are written in JavaScript.

Apple’s Safari has already been experimenting with its own new JavaScript engine, SquirrelFish, which uses similar techniques to achieve impressive new rendering speeds. SquirrelFish is scheduled to arrive in Safari 4.

The new JavaScript engines in both browsers use a technique called “trace tree” to improve JavaScript performance. The idea, based on a technique developed by researchers at UC Irvine, uses a tracing mechanism to record the execution path at runtime and then generates compiled code that can be used next time that a particular path is called.

installed Firfox 3.1 beta 1 when it was just released. It works well and no serious problem so far. I don’t feel any noticeable speed improvement. The tab switch preview is nice but I don’t really need that feature. I read my tab by its page title.

I installed Firfox 3.1 beta 1 when it was just released. It works well and no serious problem so far. I feel some noticeable speed improvement. The tab switch preview is nice but I don’t really need that feature. I read my tab by its page title.

Download Firefox 3.1 beta 1
[ad#small-ad-units]