Mozilla Launches Firefox 3 Beta
Posted by Navneet Kaushal on | No Comments

Well guys, you have it already, the latest in the series of mind-blowing and highly popular browsers from Mozilla. Most of us I assume are well versed with Firefox already, if some of us aren’t, Firefox might be the reason to look beyond Internet Explorer and the kinds. You can download Firefox 3 Beta version here


While the release comes up as a welcome gesture, but since it’s a beta release so evidently it is expected to be some steps behind from being bug free, as also from having fully functional features. The work is still on and Mozilla hopes that with some really useful feedback from the users it wouldn’t be too long before we have a full-fledged Firefox 3.

The beta version one of the browser has been based on the Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform. Mozilla guys have been working on it real hard for over two year now (27 months to be precise.) And during all this high powered development spree they claim to have done away with 11000 bugs and issues of different kinds. With the browser based on the all new Gecko 1.9, it promises to show improvements on stability, performance and sustainability.

Many new and enhanced features that can be seen in terms of providing greater security, ease of operation, enhanced performance, and more personalized usage. The developers can see an improved platform.

Developers now have access to many features. First, Gecko 1.9 gets you improvements in CSS, SVG, enhanced fonts, ligatures and scripts. Second, native look and feel for HTML forms for Linux and Mac OS X desktops. Third, improved color management through images adjusted with embedded color profiles. Enable color management with “set gfx.color_management.enabled on in about:config”, but you’d need to restart the browser for changes to take effect. Fourth, you can operate web applications offline as well, but offline browsing should be enabled for that.

The bug 35620 has been fixed, meaning that the security flaw associated with <frame> and <iframe> has been tackled, and now the frames can no longer inherit the properties of parents. For them to be able to do so, they need to be loaded from the same server.

The Web Applications 1.0 entails a couple of changes too. Firstly, apart from bug fixing you can now use the navigator.registerProtocolHandler() to register web applications. Moreover, it’s a fact that if you’d want to create good offline applications then you’d need to know the status (online/offline) of the application, and many other such features, you’d find in the release WHATWG online and offline events support.

The bug “Implement scriptable method of choosing a stylesheet set off the document object (altss dom)” has been tackled and you now have APIs for alternate style sheets (viz: preferredStyleSheetSet, selectedStyleSheetSet, styleSheetSets, lastStyleSheetSet, enableStyleSheetsForSet).

The CSS aspects too have been worked upon. font-size-adjust property now works on platforms other than Windows as well. The HTML soft hyphens (­) are now supported. For DOM, the extensions clientTop, clientLeft, elementFromPoint, oncut, oncopy onpaste, onbeforecut, onbeforecopy and onbeforepaste have been supported.

While work for JavaScript 1.8 is still in progress, the outdated script object has been done away with. There is now ample support XSLT/XPath; prominent modules are common, math, regexp, set, and str. The support also extends to many SVG filters and SVG Dom methods such as: getNumberOfChars(), getComputedTextLength() , getSubStringLength(), getStartPositionOfChar() , getEndPositionOfChar(), getRotationOfChar() , and getCharNumAtPosition()

For those interested in images, you’d be glad to know that there’s now support for APNGs (Animated PNGs).

Mozilla developer center is choc-full of nitty-gritty of beta 1.

All things considered, the Beta version has come up as a pleasant news. You’ll find lots of new features, and the direction in which Mozilla is moving seems to be really promising. The release has quite a few bugs, many are well documented while other need to be discovered and cured. You can contribute to figuring out the bugs to be fixed, so that we can have a final version ASAP. You can report a bugs at bugzilla. Additionally you might want to see the release notes.

Wish you a happy development and design!

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