Firefox 3.6 Beta Updated, Wait until 2010 for Firefox 4

The browser that is used by more than 25 percent of all web users just got an important update. Firefox 3.6 underwent a fifth beta release which fixed more than 130 bugs and this was made available to the public last on December 17, 2009. Part of the bugs that were eliminated included some that caused the computer to crash, including the version of TraceMonkey JavaScript Rendering Engine that runs on Apple Mac computers. Other important fixes include automatic password retrieval, fast startup module and Firefox’s private browsing mode. Despite the number of significant fixes that came with this release, the makers of Firefox, Mozilla, opted to make this batch of latest fixes still part of the 3.6 beta package, because there were only a few new features present and the number of features were not enough to warrant a release candidate. This only means that for those waiting for the next big version of Firefox, which will be Firefox 4, they would have to wait until 2010.

Mozilla pointed out that despite of the lack of many new feature that justify a new release, Firefox 3.6 beta has some exciting functionality where the most important probably is the support for HTML-5 web applications. For the information of everyone, most browsers must be able to render HTML 4 in order for them to be considered up to date.

For users who consider it an important feature how a browser’s look can be personalized, Firefox 3.6 Beta introduces a new visual theme which enables custom skinning of the software. Aside from skinning, the ability to run scripts asynchronously enables faster loading times of pages that are powered with two or more scripts. Related with how the browser appears to the user is the support for the Web Open Font Format which uses compression technology so that a wider variety of fonts can be displayed on the browser window.

Internal to Mozilla, Firefox 3.6 Beta has a code name of Namoroka, and true to the open source nature of Firefox, more than 70 percent of the add-ons and plug-ins developed by the open source community have already been updated to work with the latest version the web browser.  The active open source community that continually develops third-party plug-ins for Firefox is the main reason for its popularity with professional developers who make web pages for a living. Plug-ins, which are free software that extend the functionality of Firefox, such as Firebug and WebDeveloper enable developers to program dynamic web applications more easily.

Gecko 1.9.2 is the layout engine used by Firefox to display HTML as a web page. For users who want a stable version of Firefox, version 3.5.6. is the recommended Firefox to use but for those who want to experience cutting edge web browsing, Firefox 3.6 Beta or Namoroka is the way to go.

Firefox should inform current users about the availability of the update but for those who want to manually download Firefox 3.6 beta, they can do so by going to Mozilla’s site.

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