Mozilla releases Firefox 4 beta 3

Published Date
12 - Aug - 2010
| Last Updated
12 - Aug - 2010
 
Mozilla releases Firefox 4 beta 3

Firefox is beginning to shape up to what is supposed to be Firefox 4, with each beta bringing us a taste of the awesome features that we will get in the Final release.  Firefox beta 3 is has fewer immediately visible features, most of the new work is in the back-end.

There are two features which have been highlighted in the latest release.

The first important change in Firefox 4 beta 3 is the new way the Javascript engine represents Javascript values. Since JavaScript is a dynamic language, a variable holding a numeric value in one part of the code might be holding a string value in the next and an Object value later on. As such the Firefox JavaScript engine tags these variables to determine the type of data they are storing. An involved description of this new system can be found at Rob Sayre's Mozilla Blog. The essential bit you need to know is this: Firefox will now be much faster in executing numeric code, leading to “smooth, streamlined graphics in modern Web applications”. Firefox 4 will eventually include an overhauled JavaScript engine called JaegerMonkey, more on that here.

The other important change is for those lucky few who have multi-touch enabled computers. Firefox 4 beta 3 now supports multi-touch for those computers running Windows 7. Web developers can now use multi-touch interactions with their web applications making for a richer and more interactive web. There is no better way to describe this feature better than this video does:

Impressed? Want to check it out for yourself? There is one workaround in the form of this add-on, called the Multitouch Simulator which, as you can guess, lets you simulate multi-touch interactions on your non-multi-touch-capable computer.

For those interested in a more in-depth look at what Firefox 4 brings in comparison to the older Firefox 3.5 and current Firefox 3.6 versions, without going through dozens of highly technical blogs, Mozilla now has a simple, clean, easy to use index of all the new features which shows just how far Firefox 4 has come.

You can downoad Firefox Beta 3 (and all future beta versions of Firefox) from here.