Sunday, 9 August 2009

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 Alpha, Codenamed 'Namoroka'

Just a couple of months after the successful release of Firefox 3.5, the Mozilla non-profit organisation put up the first alpha of the upcoming Firefox 3.6, which is available for download from the Mozilla FTP website. Firefox 3.6 is scheduled for release as a stable version in November 2009, so this release is just a preview, the starting point for development of Firefox 3.6.

Firefox 3.6 Alpha running in Debian Lenny

Codenamed 'Namoroka' (and also Firefox.next), Firefox 3.6 Alpha uses the Gecko 1.9.2 rendering engine, and gets a score of 94/100 at the Acid3 Test, compared to 93/100 in Firefox 3.5.0 and 72/100 in Firefox 3.0.x.

Firefox 3.6 Alpha: 94/100
Firefox 3.5:
93/100
Firefox 3.0:
72/100

The only web browser that I tested and gets 100/100 is the closed-source browser Opera 9.64 (and the new Opera 10 beta), using their Presto engine.

Two of the major goals of Firefox 3.6 are improved performance, start-up time and user interface responsiveness, and also customisation improvements, including the Awesome bar and integration of the Mozilla Labs Personas project.

To try Firefox 3.6 Alpha, download the latest trunk build from here, uncompress the .tar.bz2 file and run it as ./firefox --no-remote -P and don't forget to create a new, separate profile for 3.6 in order to not mix settings with your existing Firefox. Alternately, check out these two guides for installing the latest Firefox in Ubuntu: here and here. The same guides apply for the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

Creating a new user profile to test Firefox 3.6

Currently few add-ons are available for this alpha, the other ones are compatible only with 3.5 and older releases (which is normal given that 3.6 is only in alpha and it won't be available until late 2009). The popular extension Adblock Plus can be installed in 3.6 at the time of writing, however popular themes or add-ons like Greasemonkey or Noia 2.0 eXtreme are not available yet.

According to the Mozilla Wiki page for Firefox Namoroka, Firefox 3.6 will be a small, incremental release for the stable 3.5, and the first beta should be available in late September 2009, while a release candidate should be put out sometime in late October 2009.

1 comment:

SyXbiT said...

Opera 9.64 doesn't get 100 on acid3
Opera 10 beta does, and most webkit based do (Safari, Chrome etc..)

but not Opera 9.64