Now that Firefox 4 is out in the wild, Mozilla is changing up the way we all test and update Firefox. Users will now have three different variations of Firefox to download at any given time. Now, most people will want to download the final release version – as that is the most stable of the bunch. However, for those of you who like to test Firefox out as the development cycle rolls on – you have some exciting new things to look forward to.
Tag Archives | release
The day a new Firefox version comes out is always a fun day for me, because right now I feel like a little kid on Christmas, waiting to get to open his presents. Today is the day that Firefox 3.5 is released to the public!
This year I hesitated to download any of the release candidates, because they always seem to spoil some of the surprise. So, like many of you, I am anxiously awaiting Mozilla’s web site update that says Firefox 3.5 is ready for download.
9:43 AM CST – Firefox 3.5 is out via Mozilla’s web site!
Go here to download. Be sure to add a comment and leave us your first impressions of the newest version of Firefox!
The word on the street, and by street I mean various online news sources, is that Firefox 3.5 is set to be released tomorrow, June 30th. Version 3.5, codename “Shiretoko”, does bring a lot of new neat features to the browsing platform.
My personal favorite feature I have seen thus far, that shows the most innovation is the support for embeddable video, without the use of any plugins or third party scripts. This multimedia embedding functionality of HTML 5 may not be widely used yet, however this does give it a proverbial first kick in the pants to take off and become successful.
Of course, I wouldn’t be doing the Firefox 3.5 project justice if I didn’t mention the speed boost too. However, I’m not really sure that is something real users will notice. Maybe it is just me but Firefox 3 for me right now is still pretty darn fast. You can check out a full list of features via Mozilla’s web site:
Seems like this time around Firefox’s newest release has either sneaked up on me, or perhaps isn’t getting as much coverage as the last. What do you think? Are you excited yet?
I was really excited by the idea of Prism back when it was first released, but little has been done with the product until now. Last week, Mozilla announced the launch of Prism 1.0 beta and a new site to promote it. So, now that some time has gone by, and we have all had time to play with it – time to cover the best and the worst about this most recent release.
What I Like About Prism 1.0 beta
Overall, I like Prism as a product. The idea of being able to run something like Gmail as an application rather than as a web page interests me. Here are some of the newest Prism features that Mozilla is extremely happy with:
- New API functionality for allowing Prism-enabled web sites more desktop like power.
- Ability to set fonts, proxy settings and other application-speciﬁc settings.
- The ability to clear private data on demand.
- Applications are automatically updated when new Prism versions are available.
- Tray icon support, as well as submenus for dock and system tray menus.
- Full OS X 10.4 support, and further OS X specific enhancement.
- Support for SSL exceptions.
So there you have it; all great things to love. So what still bugs me about Prism?
What I Don’t Like About Prism 1.0 beta
This might seem a little superficial, and many will answer my annoyance with the fact that is is still, “just a beta” but I don’t like the file download. When downloaded your just left with an unzipped folder that says Prism. Why not install it like a regular application?
I also think they need some simple scripting in there, to customize Prism a little ‘bit more. How could this problem be solved? Allow Greasemonkey scripts (or something like it). Eventually somebody will figure out that step on their own, so they might as well get ahead of the curve. If it is a product that comes from Mozilla, I want it to be customizable. Firefox is customizable. Thunderbird is customizable. Prism just is not customizable enough for me, right now.
Overall, it is getting there – however I am not sure they have been able to release this in a way that gets everybody excited about it. The biggest hurdle for them, right now, is to answer those people who will say, “So… why not just launch it in the browser?”. Those of us who are excited about it will answer back with, so that you can create separate applications for web sites you use, of course. However, returned with another why, the argument for Prism just is not there yet.
Prism is a fun toy for enthusiasts, but right now isn’t there for the general public yet, and I’m not sure how they would get there. Do you?
Firefox developer David Baron wondered how long Firefox 3.1 should be held up by TraceMonkey problems. "Without TraceMonkey, we probably could have shipped 3.1 final by now, or, if not now, within the next month," Baron said. "I think there should be a limit to the amount we’re willing to slip 3.1 to accommodate TraceMonkey, and I think we should decide what that limit is."
Personally, I think, if they need more time – heck, give them more time. I would rather Firefox 3.1 be a little late and have all it’s ducks in a row rather than go into the, “Oh crap, we have to hurry up and get something out” mode. Thankfully, Mike Shaver, Mozilla’s vice president of engineering said in the same article that, We’re always looking at all of our choices, but I don’t think it’s likely. TraceMonkey is a big part of Firefox 3.1, and a big part of what we want to have for users."
So should Firefox stay on track, and just work through the delays as they happen, or rush out an in-between release to keep some people happy?
The latest version of Firefox is out and patches a few holes here and there in our favorite browser. Here is the official word from Mozilla:
We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release. If you already have Firefox 3.0, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This update can also be applied manually by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu.
So what exactly is new in Firefox 3.0.1? Here are a few of the details from the release notes.
- Fixed several security issues.
- Fixed several stability issues.
- Fixed an issue where the phishing and malware database did not update on first launch.
- Under certain circumstances, Firefox 3.0 did not properly save the SSL certificate exceptions list.
- Updated the internal Public Suffix list.
- In certain cases, installing Firefox 2 in the same directory in which Firefox 3 has been installed resulted in Firefox 2 being unstable. This issue was fixed as part of Firefox 188.8.131.52.
- Fixed an issue where, when printing a selected region of content from the middle of a page, some of the output was missing (bug 433373).
- Fixed a Linux issues where, for users on a PPP connection (dialup or DSL) Firefox always started in “Offline” mode (bug 424626).
For more information, be sure to check out the official release notes for Firefox 3.0.1 and happy browsing to all, and to all a good
So as you anticipate getting your hands on Firefox 3 tomorrow, do you think it will be worth the wait? Due to memory issues and problems with multiple tabs Firefox 2 has kinda been the picked on step child of the Firefox releases. Personally Firefox 2 never caused me any big issues, but for others it is a different issue.
Also, what comes next after Firefox 3? Here is what Mike Shroepfer, Mozilla VP of Technology has had to say on Firefox 3.1 and Firefox 4:
There were a number of features that we held back from Firefox 3 because they weren’t quite ready – but they were nearly complete. These include things like XHR, native JSON DOM bindings, ongoing performance tuning, awesomebar++, better system integration, etc. This along with the overall quality of Gecko 1.9 as a basis for mobile and the desire to get new platform features out to web developers sooner has lead to us want to do a second release of Firefox this year. This release would be date-driven and targeted at the end of 2008. Any features not ready in time will move to the next major release. This is currently planned to be based on Gecko 1.9.1 – but if there are solid technical reasons for breaking frozen APIs we will bump the version number to Mozilla2.
Firefox 4 will incorporate some of the more aggressive platform improvements in Mozilla2. It is far too early to set a shipping date but an initial target would be sometime in late 2009. Mozilla2 work has been underway for > 8 months
One thing is for sure, it is a good time to be a Firefox fanatic.
After three years of development, Firefox 3 has finally almost made it to a version ready for the public. So what does the release candidate (otherwise known as RC) mean? This is pretty much the final version of Firefox 3 – short of bug fixes and little tweaks here and there.
I think this quote from Asa Dotzler sums things up nicely…
With more than 15,000 improvements over the previous release, ranging from dramatic performance and memory gains to truly innovative features like the “Awesome Bar,” Firefox 3 is the no-compromise browser that puts you back in control of your Web experience.
So will you be giving Firefox 3, release candidate 1 a shot? If interested you can download it for yourself on Mozilla’s web site.
I have never been one for doing a lot of news but I’ll wear the suit and tie any ways while writing this quick post. According to Wired’s tech blog the final release of Firefox 3 is due in June of this year. This was disclosed to a roundtable discussion of tech bloggers (I wasn’t invited to!*) on Wednesday.
To give you a timeline to work with, right now we are at Firefox 3, beta 4. Firefox 3, beta 5 is expected to be released the first week of April (hopefully not on the 1st!). That should though be the last of the beta releases for Firefox 3.
In May we should be seeing the first release candidate hit the streets, and then most of the work will go into kicking extension developers in the pants to try to get them to officially update their code to work with Firefox 3.
* – I am sure my invitation got lost in the mail, right guys? RIGHT?!
Firefox 3 Beta 4 is ready for download. Well there was some confusion yesterday on if it was out or not, so I decided to hold off on this till today. Yet again, Mozilla continues to surprise and amaze with improvements to the core product. Two of the biggest updates I would say would be:
- Memory usage:
Some 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.