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Firefox 3 Beta 5 Available For Download

    Matthew Magain

    Firefox 3 Beta 5 ScreenshotThe beta 5 release of Firefox 3 was released this week, and contains the following improvements:

    • Improvements to the user interface, including changes to the look and feel on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux
    • Changes and fixes for new features such as the location bar autocomplete, bookmark backup and restore, full page zoom, and others
    • Fixes and improvements to platform features to improve security, web compatibility and stability.
    • Performance improvements, particularly to the JavaScript engine and download speed (largely due to the maximum number of connections being increased from 2 to 6.

    The new release includes 750 changes from the previous beta. In the JavaScript/DOM standards support arena, Firefox 3 still falls short of the 100/100 score that the latest developer releases of Opera and Safari achieved in the Acid3 test recently, but 71/100 is certainly an improvement on 53/100 that the current version of Firefox 2 achieves.

    Unfortunately, while the Web Developer toolbar has been updated to work with beta releases of Firefox 3, that gem of an extension, Firebug, has not. This is likely to be a big enough hurdle even for many early adopters. For what it’s worth, the speed improvements are certainly noticeable on my Mac.As mentioned in the comments, the beta release of Firebug 1.1 works fine with beta releases of Firefox 3. So what are you waiting for? Go get it already!

    Download Firefox 3 Beta 5 here.