Firefox 3.5 Beta available for download

The Firefox team has posted the first Firefox beta to carry the 3.5 version number, and it's a pretty hefty update. What's included? For starters, there's improved private browsing, and the lightning-fast TraceMonkey javascript engine.

If you feel like 3.5 has kind of appeared out of the blue, you're not crazy. the Firefox team deemed this set of changes as too significant for a 3.1beta4 designation, and gave it a more impressive name.

But boring Mozilla politics aside, this release of "the final beta for this cycle" is more than another 3.1 build, and actually deserves its half-step name boost: The private mode is accompanied by much broader options than either Chrome's or Safari 4's, the geocaching and HTML 5 video and audio features are pretty cool, at least on concept, and an undo close feature can recover lost tabs.Most importantly, with TraceMonkey and a few other rendering engine tweaks, the browser at least feels faster than 3.0, so it's definitely worth a download. Full feature list below.

Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 is based on the Gecko 1.9.1 rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 10 months. Firefox 3.5 offers many changes over the previous version, supporting new web technologies, improving performance and ease of use, and adding new features for users:

  • This beta is now available in 70 languages - get your local version.
  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Better performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey javascript engine.
  • The ability to provide Location Aware Browsing using web standards for geolocation.
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: HTML5 and elements,
  • Downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties, javascript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.
Download: Beta Download

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devHead said,
It would be nice if it supported Jump Lists for Windows 7 like IE8.

This won't be in 3.5, it will be in the next version.

Can anyone tell me if this overwrites my existing v3.0.10 ?
I remember before 3.0 rolled out, the beta installed a folder of its own.

All these features should matter way more to you than ACID3 performance:
https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Firefox_3.5_for_developers

And if you aren't a web developer, it doesn't even matter at all. AFAIK, there isn't a single major site online that even plans on requiring top ACID3 performance in the near or far future.

I'm actually starting to side with Microsoft on this one. Especially as long as IE9 isn't out. ACID3 is in the periphery of useful features until then, because web devs will have to develop by the weakest link until then anyway. They won't stop supporting IE6+IE7+IE8 just to support certain features tested in ACID3.

I've got use to the minimalistic design of both safari beta and chrome...yeah i know that i dont have all the addons, i specially miss the gestures and ad-blocking features, my point is: shouldnt the browsers be going that way i mean easier yet complete integration of basic tasks?

Definitely. Though I'm not too fond of features being persistent when those features only cater to people who have a bazillion tabs open or have a bazillion bookmarks and other such things.

opensuse said,
How do I reattach a tab once I've detached it?

Just drag the tab back into the firefox window tabstrip you want it to be in.

I'd like to use it but a few things are killing the deal for me :

1) No Jumplist
2) No previsualisation of the different tabs when hovering over the icon on Superbar
3) That feeling that I'm using a huge and heavy application while IE8/Chrome feel more like a lightweight tool

- I think that the 3rd problem could be easily resolved by applying a skin but I'm unable to find a single simple, coherent and working skin for Firefox.

E.Fahd said,
I'd like to use it but a few things are killing the deal for me :

1) No Jumplist
2) No previsualisation of the different tabs when hovering over the icon on Superbar
3) That feeling that I'm using a huge and heavy application while IE8/Chrome feel more like a lightweight tool

- I think that the 3rd problem could be easily resolved by applying a skin but I'm unable to find a single simple, coherent and working skin for Firefox.


Aye, I second that. I just use it for dev work now.

E.Fahd said,
I'd like to use it but a few things are killing the deal for me :

1) No Jumplist
2) No previsualisation of the different tabs when hovering over the icon on Superbar
3) That feeling that I'm using a huge and heavy application while IE8/Chrome feel more like a lightweight tool

- I think that the 3rd problem could be easily resolved by applying a skin but I'm unable to find a single simple, coherent and working skin for Firefox.

I agree that having 1 and 2 would be great. However, I disagree that IE8 feels lighter. While it's really fast upon first start up, it seems to degrade in performance in no time. Firefox NEVER lags for me, while IE8 lags everywhere.

I love this new beta! Firefox and Chrome are the fastest browsers for me.

I ABSOLUTELY HATE the new IE 8.
When I scroll most pages I feel like I'm browsing the net using a Pentium II (thats on a 3.6Ghz C2D, mind you). RIDICULOUS.

And like ALWAYS, all of your addons break and become unusable all due to a minor update. Firefox will never become popular as it could be as long as that happens. Even the simple themes break. There is no excuse for that.

TC17 said,
There is no excuse for that.

Other than the fact that its a beta? The Nightly Tester Tools exist for a reason...

TC17 said,
And like ALWAYS, all of your addons break and become unusable all due to a minor update. Firefox will never become popular as it could be as long as that happens. Even the simple themes break. There is no excuse for that.
3.0-->3.5 is a major update. Minor updates are 3.0.x-->3.0.y

And of course themes break.. the default theme changes, things are removed or added or renamed, things are tweaked and tidied, nipped and tucked, and all of that naturally means a theme for a previous version won't run on the latest version. That's pretty obvious.

The same for extensions.. APIs change, extension code needs to change.. new features are added in firefox which may then clash with existing extensions. Extension author's have no way of knowing code written for 3.0.x is going to work on 3.5.x so that's why extensions are disabled if you update. Firefox gets blamed for so many crashes and weird behaviour when in fact it's down to some extension that some idiot has forced to work on a version of firefox that the author hasn't tested it on.

at least on concept, and an undo close feature can recover lost tabs

Uhh....?

Ctrl+Shift+T

It works in Firefox 3.0 and loads of other browsers. Try it.

TigerFX said,
Uhh....?

Ctrl+Shift+T

It works in Firefox 3.0 and loads of other browsers. Try it.


i thought the same thing...

is this the same as mentioned in the article?

Holy s***! Firefox was always sluggish on Mac OS X, but with this build, I'm impressed! Program loads up faster, and web site loading times literally put Safari to shame. Maybe I should set Firefox as the default browser? :P

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