Firefox 3.5: Not yet a Release Candidate

The number of words used to described prerelease software is just staggering. Yes, we do have our favorite bearer of the perpetual beta moniker in the name of Gmail but that is a topic for another day. Mozilla has released a “Preview” of its popular Firefox browser whose next release is to be labeled Firefox 3.5. The preview release is being used for testing, before they finally release a release candidate (RC).

Firefox 3.5 has underwent heavy development that they had to change the version to 3.5. Like all the so called modern browsers, Firefox 3.5 will have a faster JavaScript engine and introduces support for some elements of the next version of HTML currently known as HTML5. A faster JavaScript engine makes it easier to have develop high performance JavaScript applications that run on the browser. The use of AJAX sparked an interest in JavaScript but the use of JavaScript has a long way to go in improving performance of web applications as well as enabling offline storage. For all the JavaScript code to work reliably, it is important to have a fast JavaScript and TraceMonkey is fast compared to earlier JavaScript engines used in Firefox.

Among the most commonly mentioned features of HTML5 in Firefox 3.5 is the support for audio and video tag. Native support for audio and video content is important because before HTML5, browsers have had to rely on plug-ins to play video and audio. You need to download and install plug-ins before you can view any videos on YouTube or any such video websites. If you happen to reach sites that use Microsoft codec, then you will also need to download a plug-in for Windows Media files. A consistent and out of the the box video and audio playback capability is a win for all web users.

Firefox 3.5 preview will help developers of the browser to gather feedback about the bug fixes that have implemented since the release of Firefox 3.5 beta 4. As of this writing, you can not download Firefox 3.5 preview from Mozilla but if you have Firefox 3.5 beta 4 installed you can do a manual update from the Help menu. Find the announcement of the release of the preview here.

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