Updated: Firefox 4 Beta 4 Lands

An official announcement from Mozilla has yet to make its way to the official beta site, but we can report that Mozilla have selected the 3rd build candidate as beta 4.

There will be one final beta version in September, before Mozilla signs off on Firefox 4 which is scheduled to arrive in October.

This version includes "Tab Groups" "Panorama" thanks -Aaron (Mozilla QA) which has been renamed from Tab Candy, it allows you to group specific tabs into groups, for example: work, fun and anything else you could think of. The feature can now be accessed with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Space. 

Direct2D rendering is still not activated by default on Windows, because as revealed last week Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, sent a tweet stating "b4 won't have D2D on by default after all; just not quite ready to send it to that many users. soon!"

There are no release notes available yet, but you can pick up language and system specific versions at the usual spot on Mozilla's official FTP site.

Update: Beta 4 is now up on the official Mozilla Beta page, grab from the link below
Download: Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 4 ~9 MB | Multiple languages & systems
View: Release Notes

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple patent shows a touch screen desktop computer

Next Story

Bing now powering Yahoo! searches in US and Canada

59 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I want to switch over and have been waiting patiently for the extensions I use to be updated is there any way around ones not updated?

T-1000 said,
Any way to disable that Panorama crap? Maybe some about:config entry?

Just dont using it would be one, you have to manually open it for it to do anything anyway

Installed it. Everything works nice including the Direct2D functionality.

But I really don't understand the need for the Panorama function. Is this supposed to be something like Speed Dial?

I think the Panoroma functionality should be dropped in the base version and it should be available as an optional plugin since most users won't use it anyway I think.

Evets Yurgundur said,
Installed it. Everything works nice including the Direct2D functionality.

But I really don't understand the need for the Panorama function. Is this supposed to be something like Speed Dial?

I think the Panoroma functionality should be dropped in the base version and it should be available as an optional plugin since most users won't use it anyway I think.


lets me just say like this, i have 41 tabs across two windows right now, and not even putting my tabs in a treestyle view is enough... dont you think being able to have one forum group, one news group and one school/work group would be great? some people don't need it but some will and will love it

Leonick said,

lets me just say like this, i have 41 tabs across two windows right now, and not even putting my tabs in a treestyle view is enough... dont you think being able to have one forum group, one news group and one school/work group would be great? some people don't need it but some will and will love it

Well every person has different habit to surf the web but I'm just surprised they include this feature in the base version cause it's not a feature that the majority of users will use I think. This could easily be done with an add on

Ok.. maybe someone can explain this.

Since 3.2, I've had to use the IETab addon to view most pages that have flash videos. FF says that I need to have flash installed, well it's installed! More specifically, IMDB. Every time I want to view a video clip, it says that my browser cannot show the video. But, switch over to IE, and voila.. instant video clip.

Only addons I use, are Adblock, IETab, OneClick Weather, and DownloadthemAll.

I was hoping that FF4 would change that.. but it's still the same.

At least FF4 does render a page I made a long time ago with Black Chancery font.. as FF3 renders the page using Arial.

xMorpheousx416 said,
Ok.. maybe someone can explain this.

Since 3.2, I've had to use the IETab addon to view most pages that have flash videos. FF says that I need to have flash installed, well it's installed! More specifically, IMDB. Every time I want to view a video clip, it says that my browser cannot show the video. But, switch over to IE, and voila.. instant video clip.

Only addons I use, are Adblock, IETab, OneClick Weather, and DownloadthemAll.

I was hoping that FF4 would change that.. but it's still the same.

At least FF4 does render a page I made a long time ago with Black Chancery font.. as FF3 renders the page using Arial.


You should remove all versions of Flash for Firefox and get the latest one.
If it doesn't help you should re-install your operating system

no more major hang time on startup for me when D2D is enabled

extreme lag with flash content tamed down, but still have some work to do imo. have a look at failblog.org and then while playing flash video content, try scrolling. very laggy.

Mouettus said,
forgot to add... still have issues with youtube videos when scrolling with the wheel.

If you are using D2D, that is probably the issue.

Saying that, I get good (not perfect..) scrolling w. YouTube and FailBlog with pre-Beta 5 builds... with my Atom N270...

Blackhearted said,
Still waiting on addon updates to make this usable after mozilla's wonderful 'beak everything in existence' plan with beta 2..
It's not as if it was an evil plot to make people's live difficult - it's just how development proceeded. It can't always be backwards compatible.

This is cutting it too close for comfort. Beta 4 already? With only one more beta planned?
- Direct2D is still glitchy
- Doesn't look slick like the mockups (it looks very cobbled together)

billyea said,
This is cutting it too close for comfort. Beta 4 already? With only one more beta planned?

There will be at least 7 betas. Initially feature freeze was planned for beta 5 but Mozilla has postponed it to beta 6 to get some additional features in.

OK where did all the features go? How do I reopen a tab closed by mistake? And don't tell me I have to memorize a shortcut sequence. Chosing Firefox>History doesn't show it (as in firefox 3).
How do I manually search for firefox updates? How do I access the add-on dialog?

Fred77 said,
OK where did all the features go? How do I reopen a tab closed by mistake? And don't tell me I have to memorize a shortcut sequence. Chosing Firefox>History doesn't show it (as in firefox 3).
How do I manually search for firefox updates? How do I access the add-on dialog?

Over the tabs [right-click] Undo Close Tab

LOL, there is still no encoding in Firefox menu. Looking on high progress of Opera, Chrome and IE last months, I'm so disappointed in Mozilla coders and developers. So lazy with so bad quality. Hangs and memory leaks yet again not fixed. Seems they don't give a piece of brown on them...

coth said,
LOL, there is still no encoding in Firefox menu. Looking on high progress of Opera, Chrome and IE last months, I'm so disappointed in Mozilla coders and developers. So lazy with so bad quality. Hangs and memory leaks yet again not fixed. Seems they don't give a piece of brown on them...

Hello,

I have no idea what you mean by 'encoding in Firefox menu'. Not sure what you're disappointed in. Have you filed a bug? Searched for open bugs? Come to talk to us regarding whatever mysterious issues you are having? 'So lazy with bad quality' - Ok? Bad quality with what? 'Hang and memory leaks yet again not fixed' - Couldn't be any more wrong. In fact, we have dedicated immense amount of time eliminating these and has been evident since the release of Firefox 3.6

- Aaron (Mozilla QA)

coth said,
LOL, there is still no encoding in Firefox menu. Looking on high progress of Opera, Chrome and IE last months, I'm so disappointed in Mozilla coders and developers. So lazy with so bad quality. Hangs and memory leaks yet again not fixed. Seems they don't give a piece of brown on them...

Show some damn respect to the developers/Coders. If you think you can do a better job, build your browser then.

coth said,
LOL, there is still no encoding in Firefox menu. Looking on high progress of Opera, Chrome and IE last months, I'm so disappointed in Mozilla coders and developers. So lazy with so bad quality. Hangs and memory leaks yet again not fixed. Seems they don't give a piece of brown on them...

Maybe you should use the beta 4 and see for yourself instead of spreading the lies with no hold

AaronMT said,

Hello,
- Aaron (Mozilla QA)

Hello Aaron. The world does not ends in USA and you definitely needs an international team of managers who will set up priorities and will make clear needs of all (at least all large) specific markets. Real managers one, not studying from fanboys.

Charset Encoding is missed Firefox Menu, which is highly important outside of Latin part of the world. If you check any other browser with single menu - you will find it. There is Developer (though I would call it Page) menu, so it can be added there, but the question is why it wasn't added before on the beginning?

I have 100mb (vacuumed) places file (had to limit the history to 180 days instead of old 365, which i need) and a cold start in over a minutes and long lockups within few more minutes. I've been talking about it few years ago, once places was landed in Firefox 2. Eventually it was removed from FF2, but then suddenly added back into Firefox 3 with all faults that were in FF2. SQLite is a poor choice, if the problem in SQLite. But at least all work with database can be done in separate threads, so people who use history of over a week wouldn't have lockup, when trying to enter something they were rarely or never entered in addressbar.

There are many other problems, like lack of idn fishing protection, poor popup window blocker, new ui is not well made - lacks of contrast between active and inactive tabs, lack of animations (just closing/opening tab), lack of padding in some places, too large window title in fullscreen, lack of bookmarking ui (still just a small button that leads to typical menu, which is even can't be moved to the left side of firefox window), you redesigned top part of the window, but completely forgot about bottom part (status bar, search panel - they left in old xp style), addons still requires restart (afair it was promised to do in ff4) etc

coth said,

Hello Aaron. The world does not ends in USA and you definitely needs an international team of managers who will set up priorities and will make clear needs of all (at least all large) specific markets. Real managers one, not studying from fanboys.

In Firefox 3, changing encoding are located at View ---> Character Encodings ---> (encoding list).
In IE 8, they are located at View ---> Encoding ---> (encoding list).
In Chrome 6 beta, they are located at [wrench icon] ---> Tools ---> Encoding ---> (encoding list).
In Opera 10.5, they are located [Opera icon] ---> Page ---> Encoding ---> (encoding list).

None of the other browsers put the 'encoding changing' option of the top-level of the menu, in fact, all major browsers put the feature in the same menu levels (Firefox and IE has it higher, and better, level than Chrome and Opera).

So which browser with a single menu put 'encoding change' option as top-level menu? Opera doesn't, and so are Chrome. Please tell me, which one do.

asellus said,

In Firefox 3, changing encoding are located at View ---> Character Encodings ---> (encoding list).
In IE 8, they are located at View ---> Encoding ---> (encoding list).
In Chrome 6 beta, they are located at [wrench icon] ---> Tools ---> Encoding ---> (encoding list).
In Opera 10.5, they are located [Opera icon] ---> Page ---> Encoding ---> (encoding list).

None of the other browsers put the 'encoding changing' option of the top-level of the menu, in fact, all major browsers put the feature in the same menu levels (Firefox and IE has it higher, and better, level than Chrome and Opera).

So which browser with a single menu put 'encoding change' option as top-level menu? Opera doesn't, and so are Chrome. Please tell me, which one do.


Point was missed. Encoding can't be found in Firefox menu at all. Not in any levels.

Are you sure it's called Tab Groups? To be honest, I don't think the Mozillians are sure about what to call it yet. On the release notes, it's called "Tab Organiser". Either way, it's nice that Tab Candy is finally here.

Meph said,
Are you sure it's called Tab Groups? To be honest, I don't think the Mozillians are sure about what to call it yet. On the release notes, it's called "Tab Organiser". Either way, it's nice that Tab Candy is finally here.

Hello,

It is now called Panorama.

- Aaron (Mozilla QA)

AaronMT said,

Hello,

It is now called Panorama.

- Aaron (Mozilla QA)


That really needs another name, grouping something sure isn't what i think of when i hear panorama

Mike Herm said,
Not going to lie, I am absolutely never going to use Panorama... I never have that many tabs open for it to matter

but many will, right now i have 41 tabs across tow windows ^^ why bother closing stuff you know your going to open soon enough anyway?

mattygdot said,
Ctrl+Space will interfere with Messenger Plus! Live's Messenger Lock feature. I hope this can be changed...
You can change the shortkey for that in Messenger Plus! Live

Capric0rn said,
You can change the shortkey for that in Messenger Plus! Live

But what if you prefer it for Messenger? Does firefox offer a way to change the hotkey?

TechDudeGeorge said,

But what if you prefer it for Messenger? Does firefox offer a way to change the hotkey?


I have no idea to be honest as I'm not using this beta nor am I using Firefox at all

Direct2D ain't workin on my work computer, oh well, guess I have to wait until I go home..

Anyone else find it easy to lose tabs when you try to add them to a New Group!? Make sure you add the Tab Groups button to your toolbar... and when I figured that out I also found the "Tabs From Other Computers" link under the List All Tabs arrow/button.

Mike Herm said,
Direct2D ain't workin on my work computer, oh well, guess I have to wait until I go home..

Anyone else find it easy to lose tabs when you try to add them to a New Group!? Make sure you add the Tab Groups button to your toolbar... and when I figured that out I also found the "Tabs From Other Computers" link under the List All Tabs arrow/button.

You can also drag the button to the tab bar. I feel it makes more sense there.

Mr. Spontaneous said,

You can also drag the button to the tab bar. I feel it makes more sense there.

Yea that's what I did, I have it right next to the List All Tabs button, it would be nice to get it between the Firefox button and the first tab too... I doubt I can do it on this computer (WinXP) but maybe I can work it out with CSS when I get home.

Tab Candy does not really work like I think it should. On the windows 7 tab previews, it shows tabs like they are all in one window and not organized...

TechDudeGeorge said,
Tab Candy does not really work like I think it should. On the windows 7 tab previews, it shows tabs like they are all in one window and not organized...

Might be because thoese previews arnt fully done either, and seeing how they just added panorama (tab candy) maybe they will do it so that the previews show one such group, i sure hope so

Storm said,
Just enabled the Direct2D
well, the pages look nicer, but my god the tabs look awful?!
Any ideas?

Maybe that's why they say "just not quite ready to send it to that many users"

Storm said,
Just enabled the Direct2D
well, the pages look nicer, but my god the tabs look awful?!
Any ideas?
It's a BETA ....

Yes, as I've said earlier, D2D fonts often looks like crap.

D2D supports nicer font rendering (or actually more like ClearType-style), but neither the latest public IE 9 nor Firefox 4 builds support that setting. Maybe in the future, who knows. That depends on which font style Mozilla likes most.

But in either case, summarized: this rendering is not due to Firefox, but Direct2D. As long as Mozilla only uses this mode, there's nothing a new version of Firefox 4 will be able to do about it. It's not a Mozilla bug.

Neobond said,
Hah! Temporary hiatus from Minefield flash freezing will do me good.

I know! Although, it looks like they finally fixed the regression causing the Flash issues in today's nightly. We'll see...