Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 Is here

The successor of Firefox 3.0 has entered the Beta development stage as of October 14, 2008. In this context, Mozilla has made available for download Firefox 3.1 Beta 1. The next iteration of the open source browser, codenamed Shiretoko, is making headway in terms of development, having already passed through a couple of Alpha phases. With the 3.1 Beta 1 release, Mozilla is touting various improvements across the browser, including enhancements delivered to performance, web compatibility, and speed.

“This milestone is focused on testing the core functionality provided by many new features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 3.1,” revealed Samuel Sidler, Quality Assurance Engineer at Mozilla. Even though it is nothing more than a development milestone, Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 is available in no less than 36 languages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Mozilla has added a plethora of features to Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 in comparison to the Alpha 2 release. In this regard, the draft specification for Geolocation was implemented along with support for the @font-face CSS property. However, one of the most relevant enhancements is the TraceMonkey new JavaScript engine, which is yet to be turned on by default. Mozilla informed that users would have to navigate to about:config, and then set javascript.options.jit.content to True, after which a browser restart is required.

Sidler added that “new features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include: Web standards improvements in the Gecko layout engine; added support for CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 properties; a new tab-switching shortcut that shows previews of the tab you're switching to; improved control over the Smart Location Bar using special characters to restrict your search; support for new web technologies such as the < video > and < audio > elements, the W3C Geolocation API, JavaScript query selectors, web worker threads, SVG transforms and offline applications”.

Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 for Windows is available for download here.
Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 for Mac OS X is available for download here.
Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 for Linux is available for download here.


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