Aug 12, 2009

Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1

Lovers of bleeding-edge browsers, rejoice: the first alpha of Firefox 3.6, code-named Namoroka, is available for download. The final release is targeted for early-to-mid 2010. Grab it to check out JavaScript improvements, startup time speed-ups, visual tab previews and behavior tweaks, and other changes.

Namoroka / Gecko 1.9.2 Alpha 1 introduces several new features:

* Compositor (Phase 1), which moves Gecko to using one native widget per top-level content document. See this blog post or bug 374980 for more details.
* A new focus model, described here and tracked in bug 178324
* The chromedir attribute has been replaced with a pseudoclass
* Several new CSS3 properties including background size and gradients for background images
* Speed improvements to the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine
* Startup and responsiveness improvements throughout the application

The startup time and JavaScript improvements are, like most of the changes listed for this alpha, under the hood and only slightly noticeable to the average user. The Mozilla Links blog points out, however, that visual tab previews, proposed for Firefox 3.0, then again for 3.1/3.5, are finally here—they're just hidden behind an about:config tweak. To bring them to life, open about:config in a tab, type in browser.ctrlTab.previews, then set that value to true and hit Ctrl+Tab to activate it. If you want Firefox to open the last used tab when you hit Ctrl+Tab, set browser.ctrlTab.mostRecentlyUsed to true as well.

More info:

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