Firefox 4 Beta 5 Lands

Mozilla has released Firefox 4 beta 5 to the official beta site, we can also report that Mozilla have selected the 08/31 dated build candidate as beta 5.

Beta 5 includes the new "Firefox Button menu" this new “Firefox Menu” will replace the Menu Bar. The goal is to put the most frequently used controls in a single menu, and return vertical space to the web content area by removing the pixels otherwise taken up by the Menu Bar, the implementation came from our very own SoapyHamHocks on Neowin and you can read more info on how the menu came about here.

Hardware acceleration is also enabled by default in this build, meaning your graphics card is used for much of the page rendering.


Image credit: Brian King

Whats new in Beta 5:

You can follow our community discussion on the Firefox 4 beta right here.

Firefox 4 is scheduled to release in October.

Download: Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 5 | ~8 MB
View: Release Notes

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The original inspirations for this “start menu”-styled menu are actually here (see archive):
https://wiki.mozilla.org/User:Broccauley/Firefox_Menu_Explorations

Also added are updated mock-ups on how I think this could be improved.

I also totally agree with those of you complaining about the Chrome-like cut/copy/paste - I never liked those.

Shadowzz said,
didnt even notice so far yet, but damn... youtube lags firefox to death

no edit lol

and menu's are acting all f'ed up.... i wanna go back to beta 4

I have no problem with this (or with beta 4) except for the embedded flash video problem. Oddly enough though, they display fine on Neowin. Any idea why they're screwed up everywhere else (including youtube's own site)?

Fonts look fine, that flying logo test caps at 60fps.

The biggest problem I've had with ALL browsers was that some scripts ran slow as hell when the page is zoomed in (see anandtech.com's homepage) but it's smooth as silk now (as it was in beta 4).

Running a Radeon HD 4850 with Cat 10.8's in Win7 x64.

Damn I have just run simple IE logo flying test. Damn it got 1 FPS. No way near IE9 performance. So sad!!! It is not hardware acceleration at all. Am I missing something?

Hardware acceleration running great here and the fonts aren't a mess. Is it the DX10/9 issue definitely causing the issues?

Septimus said,
Hardware acceleration running great here and the fonts aren't a mess. Is it the DX10/9 issue definitely causing the issues?

That's what i heard

Hmm, downloading. Not sure how others found the experience back then, but beta 4 was terribly slow. I hope it's faster this time around.

for some strange reason it performs extremely poorly on my Win7 x64 system with Geforce GTX 460 graphics card.. only flash seem to work smoothly, but the whole browser is just crawling and getting stuck all the time, even if I just want to maximize/restore window. I guess it's better to wait for ie9 beta for me.

х.iso said,
for some strange reason it performs extremely poorly on my Win7 x64 system with Geforce GTX 460 graphics card.. only flash seem to work smoothly, but the whole browser is just crawling and getting stuck all the time, even if I just want to maximize/restore window. I guess it's better to wait for ie9 beta for me.

after BIOS update everything started to work fine as it should, so it wasn't firefox problem afterall.

Ently said,

FF always does good on Acid Tests, much better than IE haha

The beta build of IE got 95. Acid test three doesn't check for every standard so it shouldn't really be used to make comparisons.

I use 3.6 as my default browser. Love it. But the first time opening 4 beta after using 3.6 or any other browser it fails when checking for add-on compatibility.
After that you can close beta 4 build 5 and it will open up and run (because it is not checking for add-on compatibility).
My favorite add-on's are not yet compatible...

Loaded it up, and it crashed and burned. . .guess I'll wait for the end product. And, not it is not the fault of the computer.

Uninstalled and reinstalled, same failure after checking add-on compatibility: "The operation can not be completed because of an internal failure. A secure network communication has not been cleaned up correctly".

But now the browser does display web pages where before it didn't... Win7 64bit.

In about:support - Direct2D Enabled = true and DirectWrite Enabled = true, in about:config - mozilla.widget.render-mode = -1. Why is that? Do I have a Hardware acceleration or not?

Bitaljus said,
In about:support - Direct2D Enabled = true and DirectWrite Enabled = true, in about:config - mozilla.widget.render-mode = -1. Why is that? Do I have a Hardware acceleration or not?

Options>Advanced>General
Look for Hardware acceleration. Enable/Disable up to you

Testing this right now on the Mac. So far so good!

I am just waiting for it to go final, so I can hopefully get a lot of my extensions that I have working again and updated. Right now, my firebug is not compatible as well as stylish or other plugins I have so not yet ready to make the beta my primary version.

Panda X said,
The splitbutton context menu is rather an odd concept. Perhaps it's just because I've never seen it before.

I think its supposed to behave like the menus in Wordpad or Paint, at least thats the way I look at it.

SoapyHamHocks said,

I think its supposed to behave like the menus in Wordpad or Paint, at least thats the way I look at it.


Oh you're right. I guess I'm used to seeing it styled differently then. Like the RibbonUI or both buttons having the hot state when the main button is hovered over or a partial button hot style (MSStyles calls it OtherSideHot) when the sub-context menu button is opened.

LastPass' Grid Authentication is broken in FF 4b5. Keeps asking me to authenticate when I sign in even though I have set this computer as trusted. Oh well, back to FF 3.6

lflashl said,
hwo can you tell if "Hardware acceleration" is enabled?

type about:support at address bar, you have info at the bottom

Apparently this build I have is lacking anything related to Direct2D acceleration, and I don't see an option in Options > General, not sure what build you guys are running, but for me Direct2D Acceleration is NOT enabled by default apparently. On Windows 7 x64, with a Directx10 GPU.

Azies said,
Apparently this build I have is lacking anything related to Direct2D acceleration, and I don't see an option in Options > General, not sure what build you guys are running, but for me Direct2D Acceleration is NOT enabled by default apparently. On Windows 7 x64, with a Directx10 GPU.

Mozilla Devs always been lazy on doing options UI. So you just have to change 2 setting in about:config. At least I have mozilla.widget.render-mode set to -1 (auto i suppose) and gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled set to false. But D2D works, as i got some of old bugs (especially with flash one) back. Still no crash. But it's just 30 minutes. I had it average 4-5 times per day until turned it off in b4.

So obviously it turning on hardware acceleration depending on your graphic card. You can check the state in about:support graphic section.

coth said,

Mozilla Devs always been lazy on doing options UI. So you just have to change 2 setting in about:config. At least I have mozilla.widget.render-mode set to -1 (auto i suppose) and gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled set to false. But D2D works, as i got some of old bugs (especially with flash one) back. Still no crash. But it's just 30 minutes. I had it average 4-5 times per day until turned it off in b4.

So obviously it turning on hardware acceleration depending on your graphic card. You can check the state in about:support graphic section.

Yeah I see it now, it's actually under Advanced>General. So it would be Options>Advanced>General. It's enabled apparently, although I don't notice much of a difference.

AND it's disabled when I go into About:Support..... Fail Mozilla.. FAIL.

Azies said,

Yeah I see it now, it's actually under Advanced>General. So it would be Options>Advanced>General. It's enabled apparently, although I don't notice much of a difference.

AND it's disabled when I go into About:Support..... Fail Mozilla.. FAIL.

I restarted my browser and it's once again enabled on it's own, go figure...

Still no Encoding in Firefox menu (though they added useless Work Offline)! Still no new status bar and still no new bookmarking UI (there is no even planned one).

coth said,
Still no Encoding in Firefox menu (though they added useless Work Offline)! Still no new status bar and still no new bookmarking UI (there is no even planned one).

No other browsers put Encoding at their top menu either, even latest Chrome and Opera.

I have a question. What purpose does the wide space above the tabs serve? Wouldn't it have been better if they had done it like Opera? I know it's a Design Feature but I don't understand it's purpose.
And is there any simple way to remove it?

Cool. I can't wait for this to release. Will this have the new addons system this time around, or is that not yet ready? Does anyone know?

M_Lyons10 said,
Cool. I can't wait for this to release. Will this have the new addons system this time around, or is that not yet ready? Does anyone know?
"New addons system"? You need to be more specific.

For people having issues with fonts, Hardware acceleration can be disabled from the menu > options > general tab.

It's what I did too lol

Yeah that fixed it, directwrite and widget render were on false and -1 as well, so that checkbox in the options was controlling something else entirely if it wasn't the said 2 values.

Whatever it was, it was bad. The t's and the l's seemed to be way too close to the other letters. Windows 7 using tahoma and clearfont disabled.

Neobond said,
For people having issues with fonts, Hardware acceleration can be disabled from the menu > options > general tab.

It's what I did too lol


I can't even access my right button in Firefox... its totally messed up

Neobond said,
For people having issues with fonts, Hardware acceleration can be disabled from the menu > options > general tab.

It's what I did too lol

Does not appear in my installed Firefox 4 Beta 5.

I like the new menu, although the difference between the items and their arrow popups is a bit annoying, but will get used to. I like the copy/cut/paste feature, even if it is copied off Chrome.

Fonts look very Safari/OSX like at regular zoom. Not keen - I know I'm saying that because it's different, but it doesn't really fit in compared to the rest of the Windows GUI. Again, will probably get used to.

Boeing 787 said,
Are there still problems with addons?

of course there are, many popular addons haven't been updated for beta 4 yet even...

Boeing 787 said,
Are there still problems with addons?

Download the file to a folder, open it with windows zip,winzip, winrar
edit the install.rdf, change maxversion to 4.something

put the install.rdf file back in the .xpi file.... drag and drop the .xpi file onto firefox and your addon should work now.

Most FF3.6 addons i used work flawlessly in FF4beta.

dlh said,
Fonts looking awful. Acceleration now disabled (does it actually do anything other than make fonts look crap?)

I'm pretty sure DirectWrite is NOT enabled by default for Beta 5. Also, Direct2D has no effect how on they look.

dlh said,
Fonts looking awful. Acceleration now disabled (does it actually do anything other than make fonts look crap?)

Interesting, it seems to be enabled on my desktop, but not my laptop. Even more interesting, the setting in the about:config is set to disabled. o_O

xiphi said,

I'm pretty sure DirectWrite is NOT enabled by default for Beta 5. Also, Direct2D has no effect how on they look.


It's turned on itself for me after updating to beta 5. Had to turn it off in beta 4 because of loads of crashes. Will see how it works in beta 5.

It's nice to see an update, but the fonts are giving me a headache. I also don't like the buttons in the menu.

OMG, this beta ACTUALLY seems FAST.

The fonts look wonky as hell though, headache inducing. Never had this issue before.
And WTF @ the 'right click' menu?

Julius Caro said,
OMG, this beta ACTUALLY seems FAST.

The fonts look wonky as hell though, headache inducing. Never had this issue before.
And WTF @ the 'right click' menu?

I've heard about font issues. I hope Mozilla gets these issues worked out...

Also for some reason DirectWrite is disabled on a fresh new profile. I think (but could be wrong) that it's disabled for PCs with DX9 GPUs, and enabled for DX10 GPUs - although DirectWrite can be turned on for DX9 GPUs it's a bit slow.

rm20010 said,
Also for some reason DirectWrite is disabled on a fresh new profile. I think (but could be wrong) that it's disabled for PCs with DX9 GPUs, and enabled for DX10 GPUs - although DirectWrite can be turned on for DX9 GPUs it's a bit slow.

is this the reason fonts look weird?

Edit: I enabled it, and some fonts do indeed look readable. Except for Firefox fonts itself (tab text, bookmarks, etc), which still look all sorts of wrong.

Now it kinda resembles OS X font rendering.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
FF FTW!

Have been using Chrome for a while, probably need to make the switch back to FF and see what its like now.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

Personally, I don't get all the "why did they copy" comments. All browsers copy from each other, and if people want it, why don't implement it? I don't care, who did it first, I just want it to work.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

im pretty sure that firefox had decided about it faster than chrome, but from what i know opera had it 1st. (im not sure, plz no kill )

For the record, my concern is not so much the 'copying' as it happens with all browsers, but the buttons-in-menu-item concept itself. It's stupid, and worse is with Chrome giving that treatment to the zoom slider.

rm20010 said,
For the record, my concern is not so much the 'copying' as it happens with all browsers, but the buttons-in-menu-item concept itself. It's stupid, and worse is with Chrome giving that treatment to the zoom slider.

ya i dont like it either, since i have a desktop but think about all those netbooks that trying to get as much horizontal space as possible

idk about chrome, i are ffloverz

AKLP said,

ya i dont like it either, since i have a desktop but think about all those netbooks that trying to get as much horizontal space as possible

It's vertical space, not horizontal. Netbooks have a decent enough horizontal resolution (more than 1000 pixels).

rm20010 said,

It's vertical space, not horizontal. Netbooks have a decent enough horizontal resolution (more than 1000 pixels).

ya its 1am so ya confused and sleepy
i meant vertical

rm20010 said,
For the record, my concern is not so much the 'copying' as it happens with all browsers, but the buttons-in-menu-item concept itself. It's stupid, and worse is with Chrome giving that treatment to the zoom slider.
It is the most used if you have a 27" + screen I have one, and I always wanted chrome to implement it, I find it the only used option in whole menu. May be they should allow to customize menu based on user preferences or learn itself from number of clicks.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

This sort of UI element has been used in many applications, including Office for years... It's just becoming a mainstream use of space...

Kuraj said,

Personally, I don't get all the "why did they copy" comments. All browsers copy from each other, and if people want it, why don't implement it? I don't care, who did it first, I just want it to work.

+1

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

Dude, there is actually an option to change it back to the old menu bar.

Kuraj said,

Personally, I don't get all the "why did they copy" comments. All browsers copy from each other, and if people want it, why don't implement it? I don't care, who did it first, I just want it to work.

+1

somethingelse said,

Dude, there is actually an option to change it back to the old menu bar.

I'm aware of that (under Options). My point still stands.

Although for the 2 browsers that are adopting this style originally inspired by Chrome, they at least offer the old menu bar as an option, whereas for Chrome it's only the wrench menu.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

Opera does it too, and I assume Microsoft will too.

JoeBoxr said,

Opera does it too, and I assume Microsoft will too.

Opera doesn't do it in their menus (their custom drawing code causing old-style menus is another matter). I sure hope Microsoft doesn't follow suit with IE9. Keep the zoom slider on the lower right please, thanks.

Kirkburn said,
Oh god, the terrible terrible memories of Office XP.

Yeah, no more personalized menus please

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

How is it worse? Just because it's new and different? It takes upp less space.

As for UI gudelines on Windows - ha! They're apparently supposed to be broken by everyone, even Microsoft does it.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

Copy Chrome?!?! All of these browsers are copying OPERA. Chrome happens to be the most diligent at it...They still have work to do as OPERA 10.70 is now out and it rocks. I will be using IE9 as my default and OPERA as my back-up. The rest are posers!

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

I know, I hate stuff like that. Whatever happened to UI guidelines where every program looked and worked the same? Why is everyone (even Microsoft) trying to kill off the menu bar when it's far easier to use than anything they have come up with to replace it, especially that ribbon crap.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

first thing i did when downloading FF4beta was enabling the menu at the top! makes FF almost look like FF3 again. Then disabling "Tabs on Top" and you have your comfortable Firefox back.

I personally dislike the 'chrome' look aswell

LionandLamb said,

Copy Chrome?!?! All of these browsers are copying OPERA. Chrome happens to be the most diligent at it...They still have work to do as OPERA 10.70 is now out and it rocks. I will be using IE9 as my default and OPERA as my back-up. The rest are posers!


Yeah dude Opera FTW, people never realized how much they are the spearhead on most of today browsers new technologies.

rm20010 said,
Ugh, why did they copy Chrome's decision to put buttons in a menu item? (or did they originate it? I don't know)

I agree - it's horrible. Here's how to do it without and some of the original inspiration for this design:
https://wiki.mozilla.org/User:Broccauley/Firefox_Menu_Explorations

MrChainsaw said,
Good news!

I like the new menu, it reminds me of the Windows Start Menu with a hint of Microsoft Office 2007 rich menus.

See the Cut/Copy/Paste buttons there in one row? It's a cool way to unclutter the UI and make them more discoverable in one place!