Firefox 3 beta 5 released

Mozilla releases its latest beta of Firefox 3, with a number of improvements in ease of use for the open-source Web browser.

Mozilla released its fifth beta version of Firefox 3 for Windows and the Mac on Wednesday, bringing a handful of improvements in ease of use to the open-source Web browser. A portable version is also available.

Overall, Firefox 3 beta 5 includes 750 changes from the previous beta , focusing on enhanced stability, Web site compatibility, and platform and user-interface improvements.

In the ease-of-use arena, Beta 5 is designed to offer improvements in integration with Windows, Mac, and Linux. The beta aims to show improvements to Windows icons, as well as native user interface widgets in Web forms and the browser.

Apple users, meanwhile, should see several enhancements to the new beta, such as a similar look and feel of a native OS X application for toolbars, icons, and other interface items. Beta 5 also supports Growl for completed download notifications and updates, in addition to using OS X widgets. And a combined back-and-forth control has been added for toggling between Web pages.

Linux users will find a native GTK design for Firefox's default icons, buttons, and menus.

Regarding performance, Beta 5 has souped up its JavaScript engine and profile-guided optimizations to double the speed in running Web applications, such as Google Mail and Zoho Office, Mozilla said.

Personalization also got a major enhancement with the new beta. Under the changes, users can view, organize, and search through bookmarks, tags, and browsing history via multiple views, in addition to storing frequent searches in smart folders.

While the latest Firefox beta has hundreds of changes, it's still short of the 900 tweaks in beta 4 .

 

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