Saturday, July 24, 2010

Firefox 4 (currently beta)

Well, I've always been a firefox user, and i've always liked the simplicity, the feel, and how it was sooooo much snappier than IE. They have done it again... Now Firefox 4  is set to be released Q4 2010 with a tentative release schedule for November (Beta 3 is current release and can be downloaded at the link I have provided). The version 4 is based on the Gecko 2.0 Web Platform, duh, Mozilla is the developer of the Gecko layout engine. So now you are probably wondering "whats new", well, even though it still looks like Firefox, it definitely has a very new feel to it. It almost, for lack of a better way of describing it, has a "big" feeling to it.

The tabs are no longer on bottom by default (since it is still completely customizable, if you don't want the tabs on top, you can always set them on bottom). The reason they moved to this position is very well described here. For Windows 7 and Vista users the menu bar has been replaced with the Firefox button. Here are some screen shots of both of these new features for Firefox, so you can get a better understanding of what is being said here.

"Tabs on top"

"Firefox Menu Button"

There is also a new switch to tab feature that can be utilized right from the ever so famous "Awesome Bar".


There is also supposed to be a new Add-On Manager feature (this featured plugin is currently unavailable, and far as i have seen is not going to be available until the full release). The new Add-On manager looks to be a pretty nice little upgrade, especially for those of us that like to add so many add-on's to there browser that its almost just to see if the browser can handle it (or is that only me???).

Also for those websites that you always keep open, like webmail, and other web based applications Firefox 4 has implemented a new Application Tap. This new feature is a definite plus in my book.

The new browser will now have native support for HD HTML5 and WebM video, and CSS transitions (only partially supported), WebGL, Websockets, and experimental Direct2D have all been implemented (most are not active by default, as most end users will not be using these options, but still a good upgrade). There has been a new HTML5 parser added, as well as better HTML5 support all around,  and with Firefox 4 Web Developers can update there URL field without  reloading the page with HTML History API's. Also a nice little security upgrade to the CSS, where web sites check a user's browsing history, has been changed to block websites from being able to check the user's browsing history.

There are more features that will be utilized, but I've tried to grab the key points to give you the idea of what to expect once the Firefox 4 full release hits the Web. If you like what I had to say, I'm always investigating, and researching new and upcoming technologies, and I will be updating this blog at least once a week with the new and upcoming Hot Items, so feel free to post a comment and follow if you would like. If you have any questions, I will always reply to comments as quickly as possible.