Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5 beta

Mozilla has released the first beta for its browser under the new Firefox 3.5 name.

Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5 beta

The majority of work in the latest beta has gone into quashing bugs in the troublesome TraceMonkey Javascript rendering engine, and improving overall responsiveness of Gecko 1.9.1, according to the release notes.

Private Browsing Mode has been tweaked, and there’s now broader support for new web technologies such as Ogg file formats, which allow videos to run within the browser without needing to install codecs.

The beta also refines support for HTML5 offline mode, the W3C Geolocation API, JavaScript query selectors, as well as CSS properties.

There have been three prior betas of Mozilla’s latest browser, but they all came under the Firefox 3.1 designation.

Mozilla has since upped the version number to reflect the additional work that’s been poured into the browser. The fourth beta is expected to be the last before the organisation begins unveiling release candidates, though there’s no word on how many of those we can expect before the final release.

Firefox 3.1 was slated for a release in early 2009, and earmarked as a lightweight update bundling the features that didn’t make it into Firefox 3.

However, continuing niggles with the TraceMonkey Javascript rendering engine as well as a fistful of new features – including private browsing – have seen the release date slip. It is now expected in June.

In the meantime Mozilla has announced that it has begun work on the next version of the browser, currently dubbed Firefox.next.

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