Firefox 5 Beta Is Out
Article by George Norman
On 23 May 2011
The first results of Mozilla’s newly-adopted Rapid Release Cycle are starting to show: the beta version of Firefox 5 has been released to the public. It is available to Windows, Mac OS X and Linux users in a variety of languages. You can get Firefox for your OS and in your language straight from Mozilla here. The regular Beta warnings apply: the browser may not work properly, it may crash, it may ruin your day. Get it only if you know what Beta testing software implies.

But if you do get Firefox 5 Beta, you will get to experience the following new bits and pieces:

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- A polished user interface.
- Performance improvements. Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance. In the SunSpider test, Firefox 5 Beta is 9% faster than Firefox 4.
- CSS animations are supported.
- The Do-Not-Track header preference is now displayed in the Privacy section of the Options dialog. The move is meant to increase discoverability of the Do Not Track feature that allows tell advertising networks, websites, and application that you want to opt-out of behavioral advertising tracking.
- Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas.
- Improved spell checking for some locales
- Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users.

For additional information on Firefox 5 Beta check out the release notes here and the complete list of changes here.

In related news, the Add-ons Team announced that to coincide with the release of Firefox 5 Beta, it updated compatibility information for add-ons that work with Firefox 4 to also work with Firefox 5. A grand total of 3,890 add-ons passed the automatic scanning process and were deemed compatible with Firefox 5 while 256 failed the pass the scanning. They failed because they either include binary components or because they use navigator.language which was changed in Firefox 5. Email authors were informed via email about the compatibility update and if their add-on passed or failed the automatic scanning process.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Beta, Firefox 5 Beta
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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