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Summary:

You may already be running Firefox 3.5, if you grabbed it early from Mozilla’s FTP servers, where it’s been available for a little while now, but if not, head over to Mozilla.com to update. I’ve been using the Beta and the Release Candidate versions for some […]

Firefox

You may already be running Firefox 3.5, if you grabbed it early from Mozilla’s FTP servers, where it’s been available for a little while now, but if not, head over to Mozilla.com to update. I’ve been using the Beta and the Release Candidate versions for some time, and aside from the usual incompatibility with a few add-ons, I can tell you that 3.5 not only works great, but also packs some useful new features.

For most users, the first thing you’ll notice is how much faster Firefox 3.5 is compared with the previous version. There are a lot of reasons for the speed improvements, but one of them is the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine that is much more efficient when dealing with resource-hogging web apps. There’s a great post over at WebWorkerDaily that goes into more detail about how that works and what it means.

My personal favorite new feature is the ability to tear off tabs and move them to new windows, something which I used to have to use a plug-in to accomplish. I can’t count how many times I need to do this on a daily basis when I’m referencing something for an article, or for debugging code and HTML.

Here’s a brief list of some of the highlights of the new version to whet your appetite (and more here):

  • Private Browsing and Clear Recent History features.
  • Location aware browsing via geolocation.
  • Gecko engine 1.9.1, with many rendering process improvements.
  • HTML5, downloadable fonts and other new CSS property support, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.
  • Open video support, meaning that you won’t have to download any plug-ins or use external viewers to watch web video content.
  • Improvements to session restore, anti-phishing and malware, the Awesome Bar, and browser customization.

Check out the full Release Notes for 3.5 from Mozilla for a complete list of new features and additions.

  1. On Win Vista, I compared FF 3.5 vs. Safari 4 and the latter, smokes Firefox 3.5 wrt to speed on the SunSprider JS Benchmarks.
    Tracemonkey behind Squirrelfish! – 1873.8ms vs. 1078ms :)
    Am not going back to FF any soon. :)

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  2. Well, I see that on Windows Mozilla still wants to act like Microsoft, and pretend Safari doesn’t exist.

    The reason I can toy with FF on the Mac is it easily Imports Safari bookmarks and other data. But not on Windows. Morons. Acting like Microsoft is rarely a wise move.

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  3. Sorry if I sound like a broken record. I have the Intel-Optimized version of 3.5 on my site at http://www.latko.org/downloads/

    Am currently compiling 3.6 pre alpha1 so that may go live as well.

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  4. i have, as luck would have it (and i don’t have much of that today), downloaded said upgrade to firefox 3.5 and installed it on my 2.4 GHz macbook pro running 10.5.7 with 4GB of RAM.

    my four word review: this browser sucks ass.

    my longer review: i wouldn’t recommend this browser to anyone at any time for any reason. it takes over a minute to launch, loads pages slowly and is a very poor performer.

    “not ready for prime time” is the phrase that comes to mind. but, honestly, “this browser sucks ass” is the phrase that’s more appropriate.

    and funny.

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  5. Runs great on both my MacBooks and my Intel Hyperthreading PC at work.

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  6. I would use Safari apart from all the cool extensions such as Adblock and GMail Manager and Web Developer that FF offers.

    If Safari offered this, Apple would have a more dominant presence.

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  7. @Jon

    There is a 2 plugins that use the Adblock Plus filter and even has the ad space collapsing feature.

    Safari Adblock – http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/26171/safari-adblock

    SafariBlock – http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/19202/safariblock

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