Firefox 4.1 Beta 1: What's In It for the Developer
Article by George Norman
On 08 Jul 2010
The Mozilla Foundation has recently released the first Beta version of the upcoming Firefox version 4.0. Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 is now available for download – available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, only in English for the time being; but when the final version will be rolled out, it will provide language support for more than 70 languages.

The browser has quite a lot to offer to the regular user – we’ve covered pretty much all the bits and pieces the regular user might be interested in here. The browser has a lot to offer for developers as well. Let’s take a look at the bits and pieces the developer may be interested in:


- There’s a new extension management API
- Significant API improvements are available for JS-ctypes, a foreign function interface for extensions
- Partially supported CSS Transitions
- Full WEbGL support (disabled by default in Beta 1)
- Core Animation rendering model for plugins on Mac OS X
- Native support for the HD HTML5 WebM video format
- The Windows version comes with an experimental Direct2D rendering backend (turned off by default)
- Websockets can be used for a low complexity, low latency, bidirectional communications API
- Thanks to the HTML History APIs, devs can update the URL field without reloading the page
- Lazy Frame Construction allows for more responsive page rendering
- There’s a new HTML5 parser
- Added support for more HTML5 form controls
- A super-early snapshot of the new IndexedDB standard for storage
- Add-ons do not require restart to install
- Crash Protection: Even if the Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Silverlight plugin crashes, the Firefox browser will not crash. The browser will not be affected even when if one of those plugins crashes or freezes.
- The JavaScript engine is much faster

If you would like to get Firefox 4.0 Beta 1, you can download the browser
The regular Beta warnings apply: the browser may crash, it may not function properly, it may “eat your data and burn your house down” as Mozilla Evangelist Christopher Blizzard jokingly said once.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox 4.0, Firefox 4.0 Beta 1
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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