Mozilla launched a beta of Firefox, it is a developer preview of the features and functions promised in the third major release of the popular open-source browser. Firefox 3 Beta 1 is available for testing so Mozilla can gain feedback before the software advances to the next stage in the release process.
Mozilla's Firefox 3 is based on the new Gecko 1.9 platform, which includes nearly two million lines of code changes designed to fix some 11,000 issues and offer Firefox 3 add-on developers a lot to work with.
"Much of the work leading up to this first beta has been around developing the infrastructure to support a bunch of exciting new features," Mozilla noted. "With this first beta, you'll get a taste of what's coming in Firefox 3, but there's still more to come, and much of what you'll see is still a bit rough around the edges."
This means Firefox add-ons will not work properly with the beta version. Those add-ons include applications such as ad blockers, search engines, and dictionaries in other languages. So far Mozilla haven't offer a final release date.
What's new on Firefox 3?
Mozilla said Gecko 1.9 makes for a more secure, easier to use, more personal product with a lot under the hood to offer Web site and Firefox add-on developers.
New security features include malware protection, more informative SSL information, and a one-click function to identify who owns a site. In addition, Firefox 3 automatically checks add-ons and will disable older, insecure versions. The browser even will inform antivirus software when downloading executables and it respects the Windows Vista parental control setting for disabling file downloads.
In terms of the user interface, Firefox 3 offers a slew of updates. The new browser is designed to make it easier to manage passwords with an information bar that replaces the old password dialog. That means you can now save passwords after a successful login. And also the add-ons "whitelist" has been removed so you can install extensions from third-party sites in fewer clicks.
Mozilla also set out to make the browser more personal, with a star button that lets you add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click.
I know the main problem is with Firefox is efficiency so the new version has improved on reliability with bookmarks, history, cookies, and preferences now stored in a secure database format designed to prevent data loss even if the system crashes. The new version also plugs more than 300 individual memory leaks.