By Matthew Magain

Firefox 3 Beta 5 Available For Download

By 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.

  • Do a google search for FireBug… i’ve been using beta builds of it with FF3 since it was released.

  • Er, when I ran acid3 on Beta 5 I got 71, not 68!

  • Matt Wilcox

    Firebug has been running fine on FF3 for ages. Go download the 1.1 version, works great.

    FF3 b5 is terrible though, I’ve downgraded back to b4 after far too many freezes and crashes. The new UI on vista is horrible too, the tab-bar background and favicon area make the interface look broken. They simply don’t work well. Especially if you have Persona’s installed. Not impressed at all with b5.

  • Matt Wilcox

    Edit – the firebug 1.1 is even linked on the getfirebug homepage, it’s right under the 1.0 button.

  • Marco

    Firebug 1.1 has been working on FF3 since beta2 at least..

  • I noticed in the new (yesterdays version) ff that web form feilds that have limits to the number or chars entered is ignored with this version.

    I hope it stays that way but will probably be fixed.

  • Thanks for the corrections folks, post has been updated.

  • so does anyone have any opinions on the address bar url/search thingie? i can see the usefulness of it, not having to remember url’s, but it takes a bit of getting used to…


  • mmj

    I’m really impressed with the visual theme work going on with the development of Firefox 3.

    Please note that there are changes to the visual theme that have landed since the beta 5 branch, so you can check out a nightly trunk build (if you dare) to see it transform each day before your eyes.

    Firefox 3 has much improved user interface for indicating that a connection is secure and a site’s identity is verified. The following issues are fixed:

    – If a secure page contained some non-secure items, the address bar previously indicated the connection was secure. It doesn’t anymore.

    – If a secure site uses an invalid certificate or untrusted certificate (such as a self-signed certificate), the address bar previously indicated the connection was secure, even though it popped up a warning. Such sites are now blocked, with the option of creating an exception on a per-certificate basis.

    – A secure connection with a trusted certificate where only the hostname is verified is indicated by a yellow address bar. A secure connection with a trusted certificate with verified identity information (ie a company name) is indicated by a green bar in the address bar along with the name of the company (or person) who is the verified certificate holder. What this means to the user is that yellow is secure but you can’t be sure who you are connected to, and green is “more secure” because you do know who you are connected to.

Get the latest in Front-end, once a week, for free.