Firefox 3.0 Beta

Firefox 3 beta is getting bravo reviews even though it is not likely to see production release until March or April of this year. Here are some of the key new features that are garnering high praise:
1)security enhancements – include warnings for forged pages, phishing pages, integration with anti-virus software, and warnings when going to a page in which the SSL certificate is found to be bogus;
2)performance improvements – with greater reliability, speed from new Gecko 1.9 engine and better memory usage;
3)better history and bookmarks – new SQLite database enhances bookmarks and history with user tags, sorting, and display options;
4)improved download manager – resume after disconnecting, better tracking which directories files were downloaded to;
5)resize page – the whole page zooms up or down in size with simple CTL-key control;
6)tab scrolling and quickmenu – tabs are easier to locate with the new tab scrolling and tab quickmenu;
7)text selection improvements – multiple text selections can be made with Ctrl/Cmd; double-click drag selects in “word-by-word” mode; triple-clicking selects a paragraph;
8)location and Search bar size – they can now be customized with a simple resizer item;
9)easy to use Download Actions – a new Applications preferences pane provides a better UI for configuring handlers for various file types and protocol schemes;
10)Smart Places Folder – quickly access your recently bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as your more frequently visited pages with the new smart places folder on your bookmark toolbar.
These are among my personal favorite improvements with tab scrolling and page resizing be near and dear to my usage needs. See here for all the improvements in Firefox 3.

. However, my greatest enthusiasm is reserved for the improvements offered for developers. Mozilla continues to innovate at a fast pace with Gecko 1.9 allowing for better SVG including a new direct write to canvas API(non-standard); implementation a number of new DOM functionality including Internet Explorer extensions; start on HTML 5 features; and more CSS 2.x additions. But the feature I like best is the Gecko 1.9 based and will be a delight to Web designers and developers. The engine displays resized images (the screenshots true size is say 800 x 600 but it has been resized for Web display to 600 x 400) with much greater fidelity. This is such a boon – eliminating scads of time contstantly trying to optimize an image for a customers equally ever changing requirements.

Web developers take note – Firefox 3 is a monsterously big update with the SQLite database available for use; many enhanced event and handlers now open for customization; and a host of other enhancements. Given the Mozilla monster capabilities for both end users and developers, Firefox 3 is going to be a version that savvy developers will want to take advantage of.

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