Firefox 3 Beta 4

March 14th, 2008

FirefoxSo finally we’re coming around to the release of Firefox 3. Beta 4 has just come out, and while I was hoping that this would be the last beta of Firefox before release, it seems that there will still be (at least?) one more release to go.

And here’s a few of the things that Moz developers say is new in FF3:

It’s More Secure
  • One-click site info
  • Malware Protection
  • New Web Forgery Protection page
  • New SSL error pages
  • Add-ons and Plugin version check
  • Secure add-on updates
  • Anti-virus integration
It’s Easier to Use
  • Easier password management
  • New Download Manager
  • Resumable downloading
  • Full page zoom
  • Tab scrolling and quickmenu: tabs are easier to locate with the new tab scrolling and tab quickmenu.
  • Plugin management: users can disable individual plugins in the Add-on Manager.
  • Star button quickly add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click; a second click lets you file and tag them.
  • Tags: associate keywords with your bookmarks to sort them by topic.
  • Location bar & auto-complete
  • Smart Bookmarks Folder: quickly access your recently bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as your more frequently visited pages with the new smart bookmarks folder on your bookmark toolbar.
  • Places Organizer: view, organize and search through all of your bookmarks, tags, and browsing history with multiple views and smart folders to store your frequent searches.
It has an Improved Platform for Developers
  • New graphics and font handling
  • Color management
  • Offline support
It shows Improved Performance
  • Speed
  • Memory usage
  • Reliability

┬áSo, what do I think of it? It’s pretty good! The new location bar is enough reason in itself to upgrade. Compared to the current location bars on most browsers, when you start typing some text, it shows you not just the history, but bookmarked pages as well, and not only based on the url but also on the title!

Of course, the other stuff has also improved, like the download manager (finally!) and simple but irritating bugs have been fixed, like the bug that didn’t show the full alt text when one moused-over an image.

And FF3 is fully Acid2 compliant! And it is still among the highest browsers for Acid3 (more on Acid3 later!).

There are still a few things to iron out. A few bugs, like the bookmarks page not working correctly, random crashes et al. And of course, most add-ons haven’t yet been updated to support FF3.

So, while you may not want to use this (or even the next) beta, you should certainly use it when the final release comes out – hopefully in the next month or so.

And if you aren’t already on Firefox2 then you’re not doing yourself any favours. If you want to use Opera that’s fine, but if you still are s(t)uck with Internet Explorer, then I guess you’re happy with a virussy buggy painful browser experience – your bad.

Go Firefox!

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