First Firefox 3.6 release candidate rolls out

Users longing for some bleeding-edge browser goodness will be happy to know that the first Firefox 3.6 release candidate has gone up for download. Mozilla offers versions of the  RC1 for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux directly from As always, the browser is available in a plethora of different languages, too.

The version number might not suggest it, but Firefox 3.6 brings a decent number of changes and additions over Firefox 3.5—including a new version of the Gecko rendering engine. Here are the highlights, straight from the Mozilla Blog:

  • Users can change the browser's appearance with a single click using Personas.
  • Firefox 3.6 alerts users about out of date plugins to keep them safe.
  • Changes to how third-party software integrates with Firefox to increase stability.
  • Improved automatic form fill provides better options from your form history.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
  • Support for the WOFFfont format.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time.
  • The ability to run scripts asynchronously to speed up page load times.
  • Support for the HTML5 File API
  • Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.
  • Mozilla has also made many additions that should benefit web and application developers. Among many new features, Firefox 3.6 supports multiple CSS backgrounds for a single element, can detect device orientation on systems with accelerometers, and lets developers change the appearance of taskbar windows in Windows 7.

    While this release candidate build could go on to become the final 3.6 release if Mozilla doesn't track down any bugs, you might still want to play it safe and back up your profile before upgrading from a previous version of Firefox. Mozilla provides instructions for locating Firefox profiles on this page. Additionally, testing out Firefox 3.6 might mean living without some of your favorite add-ons for now. About 25% of the "thousands of Firefox Add-ons" haven't been updated for the new browser yet, according to Mozilla.

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