Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1, Chrome 3.0.197.x, IE and HTML 5, Opera for Android
Article by George Norman
On 10 Aug 2009
We start the week with plenty of news from the browser world, news about Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) and Opera’s, well, Opera browser. Apple’s Safari browser is noticeably missing – that’s because it made the news last week when Safari 4.0.2 was released as part of the Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard update.

Firefox 3.6 Alpha1
After releasing the final version of Firefox 3.5 a little over a month ago, the Mozilla Foundation is now moving on to the next iteration of the web browser by releasing Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1, codename Namoroka. With Firefox 3.6 the development team behind the software is focusing on making Firefox faster, enhance its overall performance, customization, web-application support and system integration, among other things. Mozilla Evangelist, Chris Blizzard, has provided a list of features available in Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1, and it’s a long one:


The TraceMonkey JavaScript engine has continued to get faster.
We’ve made a huge number of improvements to overall DOM and element layout performance. In some cases we’re much, much faster. We’ll cover details on those in a later post.
The compositor landing has made it possible to fix a large number of interactions between web content, CSS and plugins. We’ll be talking about this in a later post as well.
We now support the -moz-background-size CSS property which lets you set the size of background images.
We now support CSS Gradients.
We now support multiple background images.
We now support the rem unit as a CSS unit.
image-rendering is supported for images, background images, videos and canvases.
We now send a reorder event to embedded frames and iframes when their document is loaded.
We’ve removed the getBoxObjectFor() method. It was non-standard and exposed all kinds of non-standard stuff to the web.
We now send a hashchange event to a page whenever the URI part after the # changes.
We now have Geolocation address support for user-readable position information.
We now support the complete attribute on document.readystate.

If you would like to get Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 for Windows, a download location is available here.
If you would like to get Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 for Mac OS X, a download location is available here.
If you would like to get Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 for Linux, a download location is available here.
Please note that Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 is meant to be downloaded by developers and testers, not the regular user. Please look at the release notes before downloading.

Google Chrome 3.0.197.x
Google has another update available on the dev channel: Chrome for Windows, Chrome for Linux and Chrome for Mac. The browser comes with several bug fixes (see here) and one very interesting new feature for the Windows version: use jumplists on Windows 7. The jumplist capability means you can access the 9 most visited webpages quickly, restore recently closed Chrome tabs and windows, open the browser in incognita (a.k.a “p*rn mode”).

Internet Explorer and HTML5
Microsoft has announced that it is now taking the HTML 5 Web standard seriously and plans to introduce support for it in its Internet Explorer (IE) browser. “As part of our planning for future work, the IE team is reviewing the current editor's draft of the HTML5 spec and gathering our thoughts. We want to share our feedback and discuss this in the working group. I will post our notes as we collect them so we can iterate on our thinking more quickly. At this stage we have more questions than answers but I believe that discussing them in public is the best way to make progress,” explained Internet Explorer Program Manager, Adrian Bateman.

Opera and Android
Opera’s CEO Jon von Tetzchner confirmed in an interview for PC Magazine that the company is currently working on an Android version of Opera Mobile. “Yes, we are working on an Android version,” said von Tetzchner, failing to provide an insight into when the software will be released though.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Google, Chrome, Opera, Microsoft, Internet Explorer, HTML 5, Opera Mobile, Android
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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