Firefox 3.6 goes gold


— 1:51 PM on January 21, 2010

The next release of Mozilla's popular web browser is now available for your consumption—and without all those pesky beta or release-candidate labels. You can grab Firefox 3.6 right now either through the Mozilla.com front page or this full download page, which points to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux variants of the browser in a wealth of different languages, from Arabic to Welsh.

Here's a list of features and improvements Firefox 3.6 brings over previous releases, in Mozilla's words:

  • Available in more than 70 languages - get your local version.
  • Support for a new type of theme called Personas, which allow users to change Firefox's appearance with a single click.
  • Protection from out-of-date plugins to keep users safer as they browse.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen and supports poster frames.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness, and startup time.
  • The ability for web developers to indicate that scripts should run asynchronously to speed up page load times.
  • Continued support for downloadable web fonts using the new WOFF font format.
  • Support for new CSS attributes such as gradients, background sizing, and pointer events.
  • Support for new DOM and HTML5 specifications including the Drag & Drop API and the File API, which allow for more interactive web pages.
  • Changes to how third-party software can integrate with Firefox in order to prevent crashes.
  • I've been using Firefox 3.6 release candidates for my day-to-day web activities since January 11, and the new browser does feel noticeably snappier than previous versions—especially in Mac OS X. Users fond of tabbed browsing take note, however: new "child" tabs now open after their parent tab by default, just like in Google Chrome. If the new behavior gets on your nerves, it's possible to revert to the old system (wherein child tabs appear at the end of the tab list) by heading into the about:config settings page and flipping the "browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent" boolean. (Thanks to TR readers SH SOTN and David for tipping us off.)

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