A Closer Look at Firefox 3.5 Final and What it Has to Offer
Article by George Norman
On 01 Jul 2009
The Mozilla Foundation was true to its word and consequently took the browser it developed out of RC (Release Candidate) and released a final and stable version of Firefox 3.5 yesterday, the last day of June. But we already know this as we eagerly awaited the release as of, well, yesterday. And thanks to Mozilla’s live download tracker we also know that Firefox 3.5 was downloaded more than 3.8 million times. Now that Firefox 3.5 is out there an available for download, we take a closer look at what the browser has to offer.

But first, a word from Director of Firefox Development, Mike Beltzner: “Mozilla is proud and pleased to present Firefox 3.5, now available for download. Firefox 3.5 has been under development for the past year, contains many new exciting features for users and web developers, and is our fastest Firefox release ever. A video highlighting some of these new features is available [here].” The video is also presented by Mike Beltzner.


Here are the new bits and pieces Firefox 3.5 has to offer:
- A new logo.
- Downloadable fonts.
- Private Browsing Mode or “porn mode” as it is affectionately called. This feature allows you to prevent the web browser to remember the web sites you visit while in Private Mode and it also allows you to instruct the browser to “Forget About this Site.” While in Private Browsing Mode, the browser will not retain the following: visited web pages, form and search bar entries, passwords, download list entries, cookies, web cache files.
- Clear Recent History: clear the last hour, the last day of web browsing, or even clear the entire history.
- Undo closed windows.
- Tab tearing: grab a tab and drag it out of the windows to spawn a new browser window and the other way around.
- No need for external programs or programs to watch videos in the browser window.
- Firefox 3.5 is location aware.
- Web worker threads and native JSON support.
- Support for various web technologies: downloadable fonts, CSS media queries, new transformations and properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 local storage and offline application storage, text, ICC profiles, and SVG transforms.
- Filters for the AwesomeBar.
- You get to select which tabs will be restored when your browser crashes. On top of that Session Restore will recover every piece of data that you thought was lost when the browser crashed, including the last letter you were typing in your email.
- Language support for the following languages, in alphabetical order: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Assamese, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali (India), Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (Britain and US), Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Frisian, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi (India), Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Marathi, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Occitan (Lengadocian), Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Spain and Argentina), Swedish, Telugu, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh.

And I’ve saved this for last: Firefox 3.5 is faster than all previous versions of the browser thanks to its TraceMonkey JavaScript engine that provides enhanced performance as well as enhanced stability. The Gecko layout engine has also been improved with performance in mind; it comes with speculative parsing for faster content rendering.

If you would like to get Firefox 3.5, a download location is available here.
If you would like to get Firefox in your local language, choose the appropriate version here.

And don’t forget to check out the new Firefox 3.5 t-shirt here.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox 3.5, Shiretoko
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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