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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mozilla's Firefox 3, Beta 4 Faster, Touts UI Changes, Vista Integration

Mozilla says that the fourth beta of its Firefox 3 browser is available
to download with more than 900 enhancements, better handling of memory
and interface tweaks for Vista. Among the key features: (1) Improved
memory usage: Mozilla says 'several new technologies work together to
reduce the amount of memory used by Firefox 3 Beta 4 over a web browsing
session. Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle
collector, a new memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of
leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned.' (2)
More personalization -- via an algorithm in the location bar that
tracks site visit (visit recency and frequency); the aim is to better
match URLs with your history and bookmarks; the algorithm adapts to your
browsing habits; (3) Better search support in the download manager; (4)
Full page zoom allows you to scale layout, text and images; (5)
Integration with Vista and specific icons to go along with it;
integration with Mac OS and Linux too; (6) Support for offline data
storage for Web applications; (7) Tweaks to the JavaScript engine: the
optimization resulted in significant gains over previous releases in
the popular SunSpider test from Apple, web applications like Google Mail
and Zoho Office run much faster, and continued improvements to memory
usage drastically reduce the amount of memory consumed over long web
browsing sessions.

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