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.
- Improvements to web worker thread support.
- New native JSON support.
- Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
Mozilla has recommended to read the released notes.
The 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.
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.
Mozilla Labs have rolled out a developer release named Weave M4 Development Milestone for the Weave Client. The current release is targeted solely towards testing.
Weave, launched way back in 2007, is an experiment by Mozilla Labs attempts to identify ways for enhancing Firefox user experience, providing users more control over their personal information. It also focuses on providing developers various options for building innovative online experiences.One important area for exploration is the blending of the desktop and the Web through deeper integration of the browser with online services.
The development uptil now has focused mainly on enabling Weave Sync to encrypt and synchronize the Firefox experience across multiple browsers, between desktop and mobile devices to be specific, in a secured manner.
The M4 development milestone is an developer release of the Weave client released early. The release is on track with the planned development milestones. This development milestone is available only for testing purposes, and to solicit wider testing and feedback from the Mozilla community.
The new features in M4 are :
- Preliminary support for Fennec for all data types, i.e. bookmarks, history, tabs, and saved passwords.
- Redesigned sync protocol and server architecture.
- Client optimization to improve CPU and memory efficiency.
- services.mozilla.com now hosted on a redesigned hardware server cluster.
If you are interested in getting yourself involved with testing and development tasks, register yourself for a Weave account, install the latest development milestone and get your hands dirty.
Every 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 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.
“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.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing stated:
Apple created Safari to bring innovation, speed and open standards back into web browsers, and today it takes another big step forward. Safari 4 is the fastest and most efficient browser for Mac and Windows, with great integration of HTML 5 and CSS 3 web standards that enables the next generation of interactive web applications.
Safari contains a handful of new user interface related features such as:
- Top sites, which display a certain amount of frequently visited web pages, so that user can access their favorite sites with a single click. Moreover this feature also notifies the user if any of their favorite sites were updated since their last visit by displaying a star on the top right corner of that site’s wall preview. This is a feature which you do not find in IE or firefox
- Cover Flow, to make searching web history or bookmarks “as fun and as easy as paging through an album art in iTunes.”
- Full History Search, which enables the user to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages to easily access their recently visited sites.
- Smart Address Field, which automatically and dynamically completes web addresses by displaying a list of suggestions from Top Sites, bookmarks and browsing history.
- Smart Search Field, which enables the user to fine tune their search with recommendations from Google Suggest or a list of recent searches.
- Full Page Zoom, which enables you to take a closer look at any website without affecting the quality of the site’s appearance.
- Windows like look for Windows version of Safari, and uses standard font rendering and native title bar, borders and toolbars.
- Built in tools for web developers to debug, tweak and optimize a website for peak performance and compatibility
Firefox developer David Baron seemed puzzled regarding how long Firefox 3.1 should be held up by TraceMonkey problems. He quoted:
Without TraceMonkey, we probably could have shipped 3.1 final by now, or, if not now, within the next month.
Few Mozilla Developers are of the view that removing TraceMonkey would solve the delay problem. However it seems that removal of TraceMonkey is not an optiom. Mike Shaver, Mozilla’s vice president of engineering stated:
We’re always looking at all of our choices, but I don’t think it’s likely. TraceMonkey is a big part of Firefox 3.1, and a big part of what we want to have for users.
Shaver went on to say that Firefox 3.1 in its current state is still “quite a stable product”.
Mozilla Firefox 3.1 was once thought of as a “fast-track” update to June 2008′s Firefox 3.0. However in the current situation the new browser’s progress has been much slower than originally planned. At one point, Mozilla was planning a final release as early as during the last months of 2008, and hinted that it would use just a single beta to do so but that did not happen.
Google’s first try at building a web browser was almost an unexpected success.
Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
Now Google is about to release a version of Chrome browser for MAC.
It is not released yet, but Google is collecting email addresses, in order to let you know when it will be released.
The main advantage so far in Chrome is that each tab runs independently of the others.
Google has released the first ever screenshot, in order to prove that they are near to first beta release.
Crowed programmer Avi Drissman wrote:
“Now we can call it Chrome!”
Google has given a deadline of shipping Chrome for the Mac and Linux by mid-2009. And we hope so, that it will be released accordingly.
Moving Google Chrome from Windows application to MAC is not easy.
Ben Goodger, a Firefox programmer who is now leading Chrome’s interface work, complained about the difficulties of maintaining Chrome across multiple operating systems while managing with the different abilities of each operating system.
On 4th Febraury, Goodger further said that:
“My initial thought was that a Windows-clone would be acceptable on Linux provided the performance of the app itself was outstanding, given the general reluctance of some of the team working on Linux towards UI (user interface). But they stood up and made their case for a GTK UI,”