Firefox: New Beta and Security Updates

Apr 28, 2009

Beginning of the week saw the emergence of two Firefox browser releases. They should be a win for stability and security.

The Mozilla project has already opened the week with two Firefox updates, Firefox 3.5 in a fourth beta and a 3.0.10 update to the stable 3.0 release.

Firefox 3.5, which was until recently still called 3.1, is in its fourth beta appropriate for developer testing and community feedback. The Mozilla project built in some performance enhancements and better surfing speed and webpage compatibility. The beta is available in 70 languages and includes private browsing mode to prevent others from peeking at your browsing history. The TraceMonkey JavaScript engine should provide better performance and stability.

Firefox 3.5's geolocation function provides location-aware browsing, while speculative parsing in the Gecko layout engine should render content faster. Integration of video and audio element support in HTML 5 we had already reported back in September. The update includes new CSS properties and font downloads, vector graphic support was improved, and includes HTML 5 offline data storage capabilities where web applications can integrate data in structured SQL format.

The stable Firefox 3.0.10 release may be less feature rich but nonetheless plugs a security hole. The update fixes a problem that would crash the browser and, because of memory corruption, caused vulnerability to attacks. The patches also fix a crash issue when investigating code with the HTML Validator. Mozilla promised automatic update notification to Firefox users within 48 hours. Downloads of the 3.5 beta are available at the Mozilla website.

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