Firefox 3.5 RC due early June

The long beta cycle of the next major version of the popular Firefox web browser is nearly over. Firefox 3.5 - originally labelled 3.1 but bumped up a few version numbers due to the amount of time and work that has been involved in development - was released in its fourth beta version at the end of last month and it now seems the code will be locked down fairly soon in preparation for a RC (release candidate) and then the final release.

The project's director Mike Beltzner revealed to the developers' mailing list that targets have been set for completion of the code to be complied into RC builds. Due to "great progress we've been making on blockers over the past two weeks, and estimates from the component leads" next Wednesday (20th May) has been scheduled as the target date for a code freeze with May 21st set aside for fixing any remaining issues found with the nightly builds produced from this code, leaving the 22nd onwards to produce the actual RC builds.

The first week of June is the expected delivery date for an RC version of Firefox 3.5, presuming no large bugs or issues are found between now and then. Once the final RC build is released it should pave the way for a final release soon after.

Features expected to be added in the RC, since the current 3.0 version, include Mozilla's new TraceMonkey javascript rendering engine (which promises better performance and stability), geolocation tools, and a private browsing mode (much the same as the similar features in Internet Explorer 8, Chrome and Safari 4). As well as this there are improvements to the Gecko layout engine and better JSON, HTML5, SVG and CSS support.

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I'm leery of Chrome because they decided to deploy silent patches.

I want to know what updates are installed, and I want to decide when/if to install them. After the MS patch/ZoneAlarm fiasco of last summer, I learned to wait a few days and google around for conflicts before accepting any updates/patches.

I personally like chrome better, it doesnt nag when I close it, it closes instantly. It doesnt nag when I start it, it just starts instantly. All my tabs that I had when i closed is there, love the thumbnail of my fav 9 sites + bookmarks on the right, love how the tabs are actually thought out and put in the bar up top where they should be. Next thing they need to do is get the url bar up there too then I would just love it some more. The only thing I miss for add-ons from firefox...ad-blocker, about it.

Firefox for me (same machine) never took less than 5 seconds to start up. I never closed it for that reason, but chrome I close all the time because its just so instant to start back up. Pages never take longer than 3 seconds for me to load, unless the site is extremely popular then its understandable.

Been using it for 3-4 months now, havnt visited a site yet that looked defunct, nor did I in FF, but it just means I have no reason to go back. If they got the tabs in the title bar (tho copying...), and made it open in 1 second, I would switch back. Otherwise, im chrome for good.

Hmm... Firefox doesn't nag for me. Have you tried changing the warning options? I, personally, have no use for thumbnails. I'd rather have all my tabs pop open so I can jump straight back into browsing instead of dancing around playing with 9 sites. I've also gotten use to where my firefox tabs are located.... thus that means I need to try something else.... I dislike getting stuck in a pattern *facepalm* stay on topic wolf.

Now, firefox takes me about 5 seconds to load up 75+ tabs.

liamwolf said,
Hmm... Firefox doesn't nag for me. Have you tried changing the warning options? I, personally, have no use for thumbnails. I'd rather have all my tabs pop open so I can jump straight back into browsing instead of dancing around playing with 9 sites. I've also gotten use to where my firefox tabs are located.... thus that means I need to try something else.... I dislike getting stuck in a pattern *facepalm* stay on topic wolf.

Now, firefox takes me about 5 seconds to load up 75+ tabs.

Mhm, I know what you mean about the options. And wow, 75 tabs? I never had that many open at once, maybe like 15 but thats it. I have 2gb ram, everything runs fine but that seems to take some time (3-4 seconds always), not sure why. i dont know, my computer seems to like chrome with absolutely 0 problems (even using dev version), so I like it too (if my computer is happy, I am too).

I was an avid IE user, changed to SRWare Iron (Google Chrome motor) only 6-8 months ago then finally switched to Firefox 3.02. The addons and extensions for Firefox made it more usable than any other browser so far, although I do miss the initial page with the latest websites visited, I sorely miss that on FF and would be the only reason why I'd go back to Chrome.

Ugh, SRWare Iron wasn't great at all even compared to Chrome, in my opinion. It just... lacked. Can't remember what exactly, but it was enough to actually make me uninstall it.

I liked Iron, but it seemed it would "bog down" quickly, get slower and more unreliable over about a month of running. Auto Dial extension on Firefox does something similar to the Chrome startup page, and there's another, but I forget what it's called.

Currently on Opera.

I've been running 3.5 for months now (it was 3.1 back then) and love it.

I get a kick when folks say this or that browser is faster. What is this based on, those JS test sites and such? Big freakin deal. It's like the 3dmarks test, not real world.

FF 3.5 is just as good as any other browser. And you gotta love all those addons.

Especially since Addons allow for customization, organization, and overall: saving time on tedious tasks.

You can't exactly measure that kind of convenience in a "performance" test.

What about Firefox's consumption of your RAM, any updates on that issue? I stopped using this browser just because it uses so much memory.

a1kashur said,
What about Firefox's consumption of your RAM, any updates on that issue? I stopped using this browser just because it uses so much memory.

If you want fast browsing, especially for returning to previous pages, it needs a lot of RAM - you're never going to find a browser with a tiny footprint that has reasonable speed.

However, yes, it's lower than it used to be.

a1kashur said,
What about Firefox's consumption of your RAM, any updates on that issue? I stopped using this browser just because it uses so much memory.

230MB here with 30 enabled addons so 3.5 isn't much of an improvement.

hardgiant said,
230MB here with 30 enabled addons so 3.5 isn't much of an improvement.

How many tabs is that? (It depends on the addons as well)

105 MB with 9 enabled addons and 2 windows, 50 tabs total.

What addons are you using to make such a large footprint, exactly?

Ummm.

I don't get you RAM-whining people at all.

You have RAM, USE IT. If you want free RAM, it's because you want to do something else while you're using Firefox.

Get it straight. Wanting low RAM usage is simply for needed-all-the-time-in-the-background-apps, nbot something you're actively using for Firefox.

Do tell me. The RAM you want saved while using Firefox, what do you want to do with it?

Firefox seems fine RAM wise to me. 2.0 and previous had huge issues on multiple machines but where if I'd open a decent amount of tabs it's RAM usage would jump to like 1GB, sometimes 1.5GB of RAM and I'd be forced to reboot as the system became unresponsive. As before, this was over multiple machines.

Haven't had this issue in 3.0 and up and to be honest, I don't care if it uses 100 or 300megs as long as it remains stable and responsive. The RAMs there to be used.

Adblock Plus and Linkification with ~150 tabs spread over 4 windows (work related) is consuming about 500-600 MB & 10-25% CPU and I hate how it slows down to a complete halt every now and then because of this. (E4600 w/ 3GB on Vista64)

Those two addons are the only reasons I still use it.

epple said,
Adblock Plus and Linkification with ~150 tabs spread over 4 windows (work related) is consuming about 500-600 MB & 10-25% CPU and I hate how it slows down to a complete halt every now and then because of this. (E4600 w/ 3GB on Vista64)

Those two addons are the only reasons I still use it.

What are you doing that requires 150 tabs to be open? Seems overkill to me.

Smigit said,
What are you doing that requires 150 tabs to be open? Seems overkill to me.

Oh I can get up to 200 at times. I like to open all the pages I see of interest in tabs for viewing later.

I have always 5-10 tabs for Neowin, one for hotmail, 10 or so of torrents (as I like to monitor my seeding), another forum also occupies 10 or so tabs, along with 50 or so tabs in a different window strictly for Oblivion mods, I am currently in the process of modding the crap out of Oblivion to the point where it crashes every 2 seconds and is nothing like the real game.

Also 10-30 varying for Youtube/Google searches. Gotta have a couple Steam pages too.

It all adds up.

Recon415 said,

Oh I can get up to 200 at times. I like to open all the pages I see of interest in tabs for viewing later.

I have always 5-10 tabs for Neowin, one for hotmail, 10 or so of torrents (as I like to monitor my seeding), another forum also occupies 10 or so tabs, along with 50 or so tabs in a different window strictly for Oblivion mods, I am currently in the process of modding the crap out of Oblivion to the point where it crashes every 2 seconds and is nothing like the real game.

Also 10-30 varying for Youtube/Google searches. Gotta have a couple Steam pages too.

It all adds up.


you can just buy more memory, for $20 you will get twice what you have...

Recon415 said,
Oh I can get up to 200 at times. I like to open all the pages I see of interest in tabs for viewing later.

Yeah I open up tabs to "read later" too. Just cant say that I've seen myself needing to open up quite that many. Was just curious anyway.

I'd say I top out at about 30 or so.

michael.dobrofsky said,
3.5 is either gonna make or break Firefox.

What makes you say this? It's mostly a platform rather than a user experience update, but what features doesn't Fx have that would pull people away?

Actually, 3.6+ is going to be the breaker since it with support multiple core processors and will get 64bit memory support so that's when the Firefox will take control again.

I am one of those few that believes why should i install something when i alrdy got it, i use internet explorer[specially now ie8 private mode pwnz] and even thought there are other browsers i can do everything with it, without having to install a 3rd party plug-in etc and learning windows host file it has made my browsing experience so much better.

No offense, but it's people like you that make me glad that Microsoft updates their browser through automatic updates. If they didn't, we'd have a crap load more people running IE6.

Recon415 said,
Honestly.

Why don't you see the need to improve on what you got. Take that, make it better! What a novel idea.

Recon do you honestly think making something better is a good idea?

artzm said,

Recon do you honestly think making something better is a good idea?

Ummm.


That was quite possibly the most idiotic question I've ever heard.

If we could make people more immune to AIDS, why would we?

Do you see the nature of that question and how stupid it is?


Yes, I believe customization is the core root of computing. To make it our own. Because each of us have preferences, if you use nothing but stock, you're a drone in my book.

Lw011 said,
I am one of those few that believes why should i install something when i alrdy got i

So I guess theres no value in Microsoft word when Windows ships with WordPad?

I also don't see why someone wouldn't want to improve their experience if a better alternative exists. Now it may be that IE8 is what you want anyway, but stating that you use it because "it's there" seems to be a poor reason IMHO, especially given that FFX or any other browser probably takes two minutes to install minus customization.

Mozilla has done well to halt the growth and errode some of Opera's market base, Safari's market share has grown but not as much as it could have done. Chrome however is Mozilla's main headache.

In 2007 the main browser war was between Firefox vs Safari browser, Firefox got a decissive win.
In 2008 the main browser war was between Firefox vs Opera browser, Firefox still won.
This year it's Firefox vs Chrome and I fear Mozilla is running out of steam, due to long development cycles and show stopping bugs.

Yeah Safari and Opera haven't been major contenders for Firefox at all, not from day one (especially given Opera was still Shareware at the time).

I really doubt even Chrome is in the same league. The big story is and has been this entire time how Firefox is doing against IE as it's by far the closest rival even if thats a pretty distant second place.

thealexweb said,
Mozilla has done well to halt the growth and errode some of Opera's market base, Safari's market share has grown but not as much as it could have done. Chrome however is Mozilla's main headache.

In 2007 the main browser war was between Firefox vs Safari browser, Firefox got a decissive win.
In 2008 the main browser war was between Firefox vs Opera browser, Firefox still won.
This year it's Firefox vs Chrome and I fear Mozilla is running out of steam, due to long development cycles and show stopping bugs.


Oh please, really. Firefox is not running out of steam. what do you want them to
do, a rush release of a new version. the long development cycles is fine as it is, no need to rush a new release to just to keep up with other browsers. i rather have a quality release than a rush and a unfinished one.

Chrome is amazing, i moved from firefox to it, it renders everything perfect! Apart from a few problems on 64-bit atm with it freezing on pages.

But i love chrome its simply 'JUST A BROWSER'
But i don't like the way it downloads some files, i was on a website and it decided to download a .mov file without asking me!

Chrome lacks basic functionality, has no addons, no ad blockers, Firefox renders everything correctly actually (most sites are made specifically for IE and Firefox), and has a faster new Javascript Engine.

Chrome is way far from being simple... it lacks crucial features.

I don't know what is the hype behind it, but it seems it is just Google marketing it very well.

Glendi said,
Chrome lacks basic functionality, has no addons, no ad blockers, Firefox renders everything correctly actually (most sites are made specifically for IE and Firefox), and has a faster new Javascript Engine.

Chrome is way far from being simple... it lacks crucial features.

I don't know what is the hype behind it, but it seems it is just Google marketing it very well.

Ack that's wrong on so many levels. Sites that make site's for specific browsers suck, that's not the way it should be done at all, don't applaud that behaviour!

And I'm not sure what crucial features Chrome lacks? Care to enlighten us?

Kirkburn said,
Addons.

With the use of these little things, I have gotten Firefox to the perfect setting that I want it at. No way am I ever going to switch unless Chrome can match that.

Recon415 said,
With the use of these little things, I have gotten Firefox to the perfect setting that I want it at. No way am I ever going to switch unless Chrome can match that.

+10

Yeah Firefox user here. That said, for those that don't use or want an ad-blocker then Chrome is probably a fine alternative. I personally swear by both X-Marks (formerly foxmarks) and Adblock Plus.

To be honest all the mainstream browsers as of today are pretty good and each has it's pros and cons. Certainly no browser is a clear leader across the board nor does any come off especially worse in all areas too (and yes, that includes IE 8)

08993 said,

Ack that's wrong on so many levels. Sites that make site's for specific browsers suck, that's not the way it should be done at all, don't applaud that behaviour!

And I'm not sure what crucial features Chrome lacks? Care to enlighten us?

When you create a site, you check it on all browsers, so it is cross-browser compatible. But sometimes, people are lazy and just build on IE and Firefox (the 2 on top right now) and most of the time on IE only.

I never said it is a good thing, I just wanted to point out there is no way Google Chrome can render a page better than firefox... Firefox is like a must work for every website coder nowadays.

Eh, and you got your reply, ADDONS.

these long development periods have turned firefox from class leader and innovator to poor copycat.

i use to use it everyday but now only for testing sites, as there are simply better browsers available now.

sad times.

-Dave- said,
these long development periods have turned firefox from class leader and innovator to poor copycat.

i use to use it everyday but now only for testing sites, as there are simply better browsers available now.

sad times.

Mozilla has hit it's crunch period, somethong that all tech companies come across eventually. The company or organistation becomes so big that the project slows down. Also Mozilla has got cocky, thinking that it doesn't need to work to beat IE. Now Chrome has come along and Mozilla has released it's in a bad position. It will be over a year maybe two before Mozilla can get back on track as the definitive best browser.

-Dave- said,
these long development periods have turned firefox from class leader and innovator to poor copycat.

i use to use it everyday but now only for testing sites, as there are simply better browsers available now.

sad times.

Not to start a war or anything, as browsers are very personal, but what browser do you prefer?

-Dave- said,
these long development periods have turned firefox from class leader and innovator to poor copycat.

i use to use it everyday but now only for testing sites, as there are simply better browsers available now.

sad times.


Other way round now. Firefox is the #1 browser for me. It took until v3 for it to finally ween me off Internet Explorer. Frankly, nothing else around compares to Firefox; not Opera, not Safari, not Chrome.

MightyJordan said,

Other way round now. Firefox is the #1 browser for me. It took until v3 for it to finally ween me off Internet Explorer. Frankly, nothing else around compares to Firefox; not Opera, not Safari, not Chrome.

Not sure what your using but Chrome has been faster in everyway shape and form on every machine i have installed it on.

Steven77 said,

Not sure what your using but Chrome has been faster in everyway shape and form on every machine i have installed it on.

Give me NoScript, AdBlock and Foxmarks and I'll consider checking Chrome. Till that happens I'm not even thinking about switching my browser.

MightyJordan said,
Other way round now. Firefox is the #1 browser for me. It took until v3 for it to finally ween me off Internet Explorer. Frankly, nothing else around compares to Firefox; not Opera, not Safari, not Chrome.

I've seen Safari user-interface and tried it, not on my machine though. I've tried Opera. Pretty good but it does not "ween" me in. I have not tried Chrome. After trying Firefox, I thought IE was useless. IE has loss touch with the web browser market. I, too, used Firefox pretty late. Started using when 3.02 was out.

Steven77 said,

Not sure what your using but Chrome has been faster in everyway shape and form on every machine i have installed it on.

So what if it's faster? Surely most people are willing to sacrifice a bit of speed in return to tonnes of add ons. As Harbinger says, until Chrome can offer what Firefox does in terms of extension, it really is of no interest to me.

Addons saving you time on tedious tasks, as well as allowing you to keep your system very neat and organized is simply a time saver that cannot be measured in performance tests.

That's not to say Chrome is bad or anything, hell I love Chrome. But until it can offer the same functionality through addons, it's not worth using.

For those still using Firefox 3.0 though, I can assure you that you're in for a pleasant surprise.

I use Chrome to quickly look up something since it loads faster. However, for everyday browsing I use Firefox 3.5b4 because I get my favorite extensions (Adblock, Weave, Stylish, IETab, CyberSearch, Personal Menu, Glasser, Tree Style Tab, Ubiquity, Site Launcher, and DownThemAll)

Steven77 said,
Not sure what your using but Chrome has been faster in everyway shape and form on every machine i have installed it on.

Now that's the weird thing. I hear everyone saying that Chrome is the fastest browser out there, but when I tried it, it was slower than Firefox to load up Neowin by a few seconds. Chrome loaded it up in about 5-6 seconds, Firefox loaded it up in just under 3.

Also, before anyone says about storing parts of the site on the hard drive to load it up quicker, I set Firefox to clear all of that every time I close it.

Harbinger said,

Give me NoScript, AdBlock and Foxmarks and I'll consider checking Chrome. Till that happens I'm not even thinking about switching my browser.

i pretty much totally agree here as NoScript/Adblock/Tabscroller are extensions i pretty much cant live without after using them ;)

since 'Tabscroller' aint that known it seems... when setup correctly, you basically hold down the right mouse button and scroll with the mouse wheel to instantly switch between open tabs... it makes the browsing experience much more efficient that way instead of having to manually move the mouse pointer to the tab you want to open... but initially it takes a little while to adjust to, but once you do it's a extension you would rather not go without. but for those who generally dont use tabs then obviously it's not even worth installing.