Firefox 3 Browser Released
- By Joab Jackson
The volunteer-led Mozilla project has released version
of the Firefox browser.
The release represents a major upgrade of the browser and the culmination of
three years' work involving thousands of developers, according to a project
announcement. It features more than 15,000 improvements.
New features include:
- Smart location bar. With a redesigned user interface, the browser
features an address bar that, when given a search term, will automatically
generate a quick list of previously visited Web sites.
- Page zooming. A zooming feature lets users display any part of a
Web page in greater detail, including text and images.
- Memory improvements. Firefox 3 uses a new version of the browser's
rendering engine, Gecko 1.9, that requires less working memory. Faster page-rendering
times are also promised.
- Security enhancements. Version 3 offers new safeguards that alert
users to possible malware and phishing sites. Also, on sites that uses SSL
encryption, Firefox offers a pop-up box with more security information (including
the owner of the site).
- Add-on manager. Previous versions of Firefox allowed users to customize
their browser with more than 5,000 add-ons, such as tools for uploading digital
photos and participating in online auctions. The new add-on manager is integrated
with the browser rather than appearing as a separate pop-up box. Not all older
add-ons will work in version 3, however, such as the icon to tag Web pages
for the del.icio.us social-bookmarking site.
Joab Jackson is the chief technology editor of Government Computing News (GCN.com).