Mozilla updates Firefox 3.0 preview

Mozilla Corp. yesterday released the second alpha version of what will become its Firefox 3.0 Web browser. The release is the latest milestone in a plan to put the open-source browser in users' hands during the second half of the year. Dubbed "Gran Paradiso," the preview is still geared toward "Web application developers and our testing community," according to release notes on the Mozilla site. The company warned general users to steer clear and stick with the 2.0.x and 1.5.x production versions.

Among the changes to the second alpha are enhancements in the way Web pages render incrementally -- while images load or dynamic changes are made to a page, for example. Other changes include improvements in the browser's interaction with Mac OS X widgets and the addition of full support for ACID2 test compliance.

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News source: Computer World

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23 Comments

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Are they ever going to put tabs in their own separate threads? I hate having Firefox become completely inoperable when I access pages that take forever to load or just simply freeze.

I'm no Mozilla employee, nor am I a Firefox developer. And I certainly cannot claim to be familiar with most of the Firefox code. Nor am I involved with the development process, let alone have used Firefox for more than a week since it first began. But, I can safely tell you that writing a multi-threaded SIMD interface is hard.

Everyone knows it doesn't matter, but everyone still wants to know: Does it pass the Acid2 Browser Test?

If anyone is running it and can take a screencap of the results I'm sure many people would appreciate it.

Read.Comprehend.Post

From the article summary: "(...) and the addition of full support for ACID2 test compliance."

magik said,
Hope they fix the plethora of memory leaks.

This isn't a bug, but a feature.

Firefox works by caching the most resent pages/images that you've visited, so that the user gets the pages more quickly when returning.

A study shows that people often use the back-button, and then visit pages in the cach for faster rendering.

magik said,
Hope they fix the plethora of memory leaks.

Nothing to 'fix'. You can manually adjust the memory usage for your Firefox. You trade-off page load time for memory usage.

One of the new things that's gone into Gecko 1.9 is an XPCOM Cycle Collector, which basically acts as a garbage collection mechanism for XPCOM objects. Right now it isn't making much of a difference since it's in a pretty raw state of being at the moment, but I think once it gets refined and more components are coded to use it, it could make a big difference in the overall memory footprint. Also, some of the larger patches that have landed have greatly simplified large sections of code, which will also help with memory footprint. Finally, more work is being done on the image rendering side of things. I know there's a patch in review right now which has the potential to dramatically cut down on the memory (and CPU) usage spike caused by the loading of animated GIFs.

All in all, I think you'll find that by the time Firefox 3.0 ships, the memory situation will certainly be improved from where it's at now. Obviously there'll always be room to improve, but I can say with absolute certainty that there are developers who take footprint very seriously and are working hard on improving things.

Does this overwrite FF2 or install separately? I'd like to try it but I really don't want to trash my current installation.
Thanks.

dmb219 said,
Does this overwrite FF2 or install separately? I'd like to try it but I really don't want to trash my current installation.
Thanks.

MozBackup your current FF install :)

Dakkaroth said,
It means they did something nice for a minority.

Yup. Since I got my Mac I had always used Safari because it was the best...until Firefox 2.0 came out. Since then Firefox 2.0 is much much faster then Safari and has a better interface.

Oh, I got confused; I wrote that this morning and I was sick this morning... I thought they meant Dashboard :P

They should have said Cocoa widgets, though...

Shadrack said,

Yup. Since I got my Mac I had always used Safari because it was the best...until Firefox 2.0 came out. Since then Firefox 2.0 is much much faster then Safari and has a better interface.


Safari 3 should be comparable to Firefox 2, as it adds some new features, like tab reordering and some advanced widget management.