Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nearly finished: Mozilla posts the second Firefox 3.6 release candidate

Mozilla has posted the second release candidate of Firefox 3.6 Sunday, just five days after the non-profit organization put forth the first release candidate. Such an accelerating pace of development indicates that Firefox 3.6 will be ready for prime time soon. This release packs no new features beyond a few under-the-hood tweaks and more than 70 bug fixes from the last beta to improve performance, stability, security, and features.
ozilla said Firefox 3.6 RC2 is considered to be stable and safe to use for daily web browsing, representing the features and content that will be in the final product release. This version is also faster and more responsive than previous versions, and has been optimized to run on small device operating systems such as Maemo. Firefox 3.6 RC2 is available in 70 languages and tested against the vast majority of Mozilla add-ons. The latter will be key when upgrading to the final release, especially remembering how add-on incompatibilities had plagued previous Firefox releases.

Firefox 3.6 RC2 (download icon)Firefox 3.6, code-named Namoroca after a Madagascar national park, will be built on the Gecko 1.9.2 layout engine also found in mobile Firefox. Even though it’s an incremental update, Firefox 3.6 will offer enough new features and technologies to keep users and developers happy.

Firefox 3.6 sports a lightweight theming engine dubbed Personas, a syncing add-on, improved plug-in management that warns you about expired plugins, new APIs enabling developers to write extensions that retrieve your geographical location, and more. It also supports the latest HTML5 specification, including the File API for local file handling, allowing web apps to access and manipulate local files without requiring you to upload them to the server first.

If you already have any previous beta of Firefox 3.6 installed on your system, the software should automatically update itself. You can also invoke the update check manually by choosing the “Check for Updates” from the Help menu. Users installing a fresh copy of Firefox 3.6 RC2 should download a standalone installers for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.

Read more in Firefox 3.6 RC2 release notes.
Firefox 3.6 RC2 in bullets:

* Users can change the browser’s appearance with a single click using Personas.
* Firefox 3.6 alerts users about out of date plugins to keep them safe.
* Changes to how third-party software integrates with Firefox to increase stability.
* Improved automatic form fill provides better options from your form history.
* Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
* Support for the WOFF font format.
* Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time.
* The ability to run scripts asynchronously to speed up page load times.
* Support for the HTML5 File API.
* Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.
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