Browsers

Download Firefox 3.1 beta 3

firefox-logo1Mozilla has announced the beta 3 of Firefox 3.1.

According to Mozilla, Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 is now available for download. Its main focus is on testing the core functionality provided by many new features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 3.1.

New features and changes in this beta version that require feedback include:

  • Improved the new Private Browsing Mode, including the ability to “Forget This Site” from the History sidebar.
  • Improved performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • Improvements to web worker thread support.
  • New native JSON support.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as the <video> and <audio> elements, the W3C Geolocation API, JavaScript query selectors, CSS 2.1 and 3 properties, SVG transforms and offline applications.

Mozilla has recommended to read the released notes.

Firefox 3.0.7: Release is available now

firefox-logoThe Web is all about innovation, and Firefox 3 sets the pace with plenty of new features, including the smart location bar, one-click bookmarking and blindingly fast performance.

Mozilla released a security and stability update for Firefox 3.x users on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm PT.

As part of the Mozilla Corporation’s ongoing security and stability process, Firefox 3.0.7 is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It is strongly recommended that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release. If you already have Firefox 3, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours.

This update can also be applied manually by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu.

For a list of changes and more information, please see the Firefox 3.0.7 release notes.

Important thing to note down is that if you’re still using Firefox 2.0.0.x, this version is no longer supported and contains known security vulnerabilities. Please upgrade to Firefox 3 by downloading Firefox 3.0.7.

Firefox 3.0.7 fixes several issues found in Firefox 3.0.6:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Official releases for the Estonian, Kannada, and Telugu languages are now available.
  • Items in the “File” menu show as inactive after using the “Print” item from that menu – switching to a new tab restores them (bug 425844).
  • For some users, cookies would appear to go “missing” after a few days (bug 444600).
  • Mac users of the Flashblock add-on, experienced an issue where sound from the Flash plug-in would continue to play for a short time after closing a tab or window (bug 474022).
  • Fixed several issues related to accessibility features.

Chrome uses Distributed Reliability Testing

googlechromeEvery software developer want their software to be stable. Same is the case with Google Chrome. Google Chrome team wants to ensure that Google Chrome should never crash, no matter which website you browse. This is one of their goal. In order to ensure that they achieve their stability goal, they have employed a tool which they name it “Distributed Reality Testing“.

Being a part of Google, one of the advantages that Google Chrome team gets is their access to large amount of information over the Web, not to forget a huge amount of computers on which to perform testing operations.

Every hour, their distributed test tool takes the latest version of Google Chrome in development and uses it in an automated manner to automatically load a large number of pages, which are most popular according to Google collected statistics. Once done with this testing it produces the result which is something like this

Results for top 500 web sites:
success: 499; crashes: 0; crash dumps: 0; timeout: 1

Results for top 500 web sites without sandbox:
success: 463; crashes: 0; crash dumps: 0; timeout: 2

Results for extended list of web sites:
success: 99768; crashes: 3; crash dumps: 3; timeout: 463

Besides this, the Google Chrome team also performed “fuzz-test” on the user interface, automatically performing random sequence of actions(opening a tab, opening various dialogs, etc). In total there are more than 30 possible actions related to the user interface. These tests are also performed in the distributed testing environment.The result of this interface related test looks something like this

Results for automated UI test:
success: 64643; crashes: 0; crash dumps: 0; timeout: 0

This sort of large-scale testing is advantageous in the sense that it helps in finding crashes that happen only rarely, or that only affect pages that developers wouldn’t have visited as part of their haphazard manual testing. By catching a problem right away even if it’s very rare, it becomes easier for developers to figure out the factors that caused the error and fix it before it ever gets close to showing up in Google Chrome itself.

Google Toolbar 6 for Internet Explorer

toolbar2_logoGoogle Toolbar Team has always been focused on improving your web experience. Google recently unveiled Google Quick Search Bar for Mac, which allows you to search links, launch applications and more from anywhere on your Mac. Now the company is letting Windows users get in on the fun with a new beta release of Google Toolbar 6.

Google Toolbar 6 for Internet Explorer, released in beta today, have some new features: the integration with Google Notebook has been removed, the “new tab” page from Google Chrome is displayed when you open a new tab and there’s a completely unrelated application bundled with the toolbar. Quick Search Box is already available for iPhone and Mac and now it’s part of Google Toolbar 6.

The new application can be launched by clicking on the Google logo on the taskbar or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Space. It combines a program launcher with a search box and it shows suggestions, web addresses and results for simple calculations.

Google explained:

“Sometimes, multi-tasking on the computer can be a maddening process if you have to constantly switch between different programs and files. Try using the Quick Search Box: it lets you easily search both your computer and the Web from a slick-looking search box that comes up only when you need it,”

Quick Search Box is similar to the homonymous feature from Google Desktop, which only shows results from your computer. It borrows the mix of search suggestions and navigation predictions from Chrome’s Omnibox, while opening web pages in your default browser.

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