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Friday, December 21, 2007

Firefox 3 Beta 2 Arrives Early

In Mozilla's Firefox 3 Beta 2 release, Mozilla developers have improved
security and performance as well as functionality. In total, Mozilla
boasts in its release notes that some 900 improvements were made in
Beta 2 over the Beta 1 release, which came out about a month ago. Many
improvements are focused on how Firefox handles memory. Firefox developer
Mike Beltzner claimed in a mailing list posting of over 330 memory leak
fixes. Memory handling and leakage issues have been a high priority item
for Mozilla developers throughout the Firefox 3 process. Firefox 3 Beta
2 also fixes leaks in how the browser handles JSON (JavaScript Object
Notation) cross site requests, making the browser more secure. JSON is
often used in Ajax web development and is an alternative to XML over
HTTP (XHR) Requests. Security is further enhanced with anti-virus
integration in Firefox's download manager. Beta 2 also improves on the
security of plugins by implementing a version check to identify plugins
that are not secure. Mozilla has also taken steps to further improve
its Places bookmarking and history system which is a major new feature
of the Firefox 3 browser. The Places system was originally intended to
be part of the Firefox 2 release but wasn't ready in time. It has been
part of the Firefox 3 development cycle since at least the Alpha 5
release in June. Fundamentally, Places makes it easy to create, manage
and use bookmarks and history information.

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