Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mozilla Unveils Firefox 3 RC1 Early

On Friday the Mozilla Foundation released the first Release Candidate (RC1) for Firefox 3. Unlike some corporations (who won't be named, but their initials are MS), they actually beat their estimated release date for RC1. As late as last week, when announcing that RC1 was "code complete," Mozilla indicated that the public release was aimed for late May.

Nevertheless, despite the spelling-challenged assertions from last Saturday, RC1 is now available for download, and is being offered as an update to those running Firefox 3 Beta 5.

Naturally, this is pre-release software and the normal warnings about "taking your chances" apply.

In a post on the Mozilla Developer Blog announcing the RC, Mozilla said:
Please note: The Firefox 3 Release Candidate is a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback. It includes new features as well as dramatic improvements to performance, memory usage and speed. We recommend that you read the release notes and known issues before installing this release.
New features / changes in RC1:
  • Improvements to the user interface based on user feedback, including changes to the look and feel on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Changes and fixes for new features such as the location bar autocomplete, bookmark backup and restore, full page zoom, and others, based on feedback from our community.
  • Fixes and improvements to platform features to improve security, web compatibility and stability.
  • Continued performance improvements: changes to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimization continues to improve performance over previous releases as measured by the popular SunSpider test from Apple, and in the speed of web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office.
Naturally - and this is what keeps me from updating - some Firefox extensions won't work with the update. However, the last major release of Firefox was in October 2006 so I, and many, are anxiously awaiting the final release.


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