Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 available, adds page tab previews, fast JavaScript engine


Firefox31tabpreviewYesterday, the Mozilla Blog announced availability of the first Firefox 3.1 beta version and while some shy away from beta builds, I seem to be drawn to them like a magnet. I just installed the browser after reading the release notes first and I’m already liking one of the few new features. Control-Tab quickly moves you through your various tabs in order and if you have more than two active tabs, it will scroll through a preview of them as shown above.I noticed two other nice tidbits upon first glance. First, the new build supports OGG Theora and OGG Vorbis natively, meaning you don’t need a plug-in for these audio and video formats. Second, the fast TraceMonkey JavaScript engine is included in the build, but you’ll have to enable it as it’s not active by default. To do get that monkey moving, type about: config in your URL bar. Look for the javascript.options.jit.content setting and set it to True. A browser restart will get you back in business.



Is Ctrl-Tab faster when you’re thumbing through thumbnails instead of the actual tabs?


The beta seems to be less power optimized than 3.0.3. The fan in my Acer Aspire One is kicking in with the browser open and doing nothing. The new tab goodies are nice though.

Kevin C. Tofel

Mike, if you have a standard install of Firefox 3, this will overwrite it. From the Mozilla folks: “Please note that installing Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 will overwrite your existing installation of Firefox. You won’t lose any of your bookmarks or browsing history, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available.”

Mike Whalen


Something I don’t care to look up! :-)

Can you install the beta of 3.1 and not muck with your 3.0.3 install?



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