Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 hits the web

Users who like living on the edge should be glad to know the latest beta version of Firefox has become available. This release technically follows Firefox 3.1 beta 3, but Mozilla has branded it Firefox 3.5 beta 4 to reflect the amount of work that's gone into it. Hey, the developers have been at it since at least July 2008 (that's when the first public alpha came out, anyway).

What's new in Firefox 3.5 Beta 4? Handily, a section in Mozilla's official release notes has that very title. Here's what it says:

  • This beta is now available in 70 languages - get your local version.
  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Better performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • The ability to provide Location Aware Browsing using web standards for geolocation.
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements, downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.
  • Mozilla also lists changes that may be relevant to developers on this page.

    You can grab Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 in U.S. English and 69 other languages right from The beta is only a 7.6MB download, and the installer shouldn't overwrite your previous Firefox installation. However, you'll probably want to go digging around and back up your user profile first—just in case. (Thanks to TR reader SH SOTN for the heads-up.)

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