Firefox 3.6 goes gold

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  • Protection from out-of-date plugins to keep users safer as they browse.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.)

    Comments closed
      • kvndoom
      • 13 years ago

      Worked like a champ! Thanks!

      • kvndoom
      • 13 years ago

      Yep, prepare for the next AOL-esque flood.

      • jdcope
      • 13 years ago

      How about the issues with Windows 7 64bit? Have the cause of “windows explorer has stopped working” errors been addressed? I had to uninstall 3.5.7 to make those errors go away. It was happening about ten times a day.

      • burntham77
      • 13 years ago

      Goes gold? They aren’t having Firefox CDs pressed are they?

      • oldDummy
      • 13 years ago

      The browser seems faster than IE8 or FF for that matter.
      Will have to consider it.
      Thanks for the heads up.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 13 years ago

      Oh wow, you’re right! Tapping Alt makes it reappear temporarily too. With that, more Chrome-like default tab behaviour, and no-nonsense theme support I may actually switch back for a while.

      • Suspenders
      • 13 years ago

      Well, it seems to be faster than before, which is nice, but Firefox will no longer show my windows and tabs from last sessions when I close the browser (it goes to the homepage instead). Changing the settings doesn’t do anything. Not so nice.

      And thanks for the “browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent” tip, that was really annoying me as well.

      • oldDummy
      • 13 years ago

      You used “not 1997” and “command line switch” in the same posting.

      • Stargazer
      • 13 years ago

      Sure, background processes (many of them also insisting on showing up in your systray) are common (and are fairly easy to spot), but how many programs actually use scheduled tasks? It’s understandable that developers want to keep their programs updated, but Chrome is the only case I can think of that uses scheduled tasks for this.

      (early versions of Chrome used a background process (googleupdate.exe), and then also added a scheduled task that would reactivate goggleupdate (if it was ever closed) whenever the computer became idle)

      • bthylafh
      • 13 years ago

      Flash, Java, and Adobe Reader all have either background processes or some sort of scheduled task to grab updates. iTunes, Quicktime, and Safari have something similar too.

      Those are annoyingly common, but OTOH they mean that the average user has a better chance of keeping their stuff up-to-date and not as vulnerable to security problems.

      • Stargazer
      • 13 years ago

      l[

      • bthylafh
      • 13 years ago

      There’s a command-line switch (of all things) to disable the popup blocker.

      OTOH, I don’t use any sites that are so poorly-designed as to require pop-ups, so I don’t care. About the only thing I’ve had Chrome’s blocker twig on was ads.

      Pop-up ads, I ask you. This isn’t 1997 anymore.

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      You can enable them I think, but I forgot if you can whitelist the sites so the pop-ups are always allowed on those sites.

      • Jambe
      • 13 years ago

      Hm. I have firefox installed but haven’t even messed with it in months. Put Chrome on here and haven’t seen a reason to go back.

      • Jigar
      • 13 years ago

      There is a small bug in it, when ever i middle click on any link,the tab opens right next to it. This is even after telling it not to open it like wise.

      • oldDummy
      • 13 years ago

      Chrome does not allow pop-ups.
      Not good.
      IE8 allows you to filter modal’s.

      • daemonios
      • 13 years ago

      Chrome certainly is a complete browser. It’s recently got add-ons (not that I personally care much for them) and just about everything like Flash, Java and Silverlight works in Chrome. I use it all the time at home because it’s quick and has a clean interface.

      #9 Doesn’t shift+left click work for you for opening multiple instances of the same app? I haven’t tried FF 3.6 but this works in all other apps I use in Win7… The right click just brings up the apps’ context menu.

      • blubje
      • 13 years ago

      Try this to speed up startup:

      §[<https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/13878<]§ I've had the same settings for maybe 5 years, and this dramatically cut the startup time.

      • blubje
      • 13 years ago

      it has a few flaws, e.g. ‘esc’ not registered as a key event, it occasionally gives you this “aww snap” page saying something failed to render, and (worst) can lose its configuration (I am using beta versions though). There’s no perfect browser.

      • jdaven
      • 13 years ago

      Sorry to hear that. I hope things get better. Maybe some TR comment shennigans will cheer you up.

      • jackaroon
      • 13 years ago

      OR if you prefer,
      about:config, add a boolean called
      extensions.checkCompatibility.3.6
      false

      You may want to add
      extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0
      while you’re in there.

      I think they changed it from just “extensions.checkCompatibility” without a version because too many people were happy with their addons.

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      Been going through some rough times lately.. thx for the warm welcome 🙂

      Adi

      • potatochobit
      • 13 years ago

      I only use mozilla because i saw it on a tv show
      I think thunderbird came out around when I was watching
      maybe it was G4? or some other tech show that I happen to browse by

      • wira020
      • 13 years ago

      wow.. i’ve used mozilla practically all my life and i just knew it after reading this report.. usually add-ons does whatever tweak necessary for me…

      • wira020
      • 13 years ago

      If i already used the RC1 n 2.. do i have to clean install the 3.6?

      It’s weird that i didnt notice i already have 3.6 when i check my “About Mozilla”… i didnt realise when did i update to final version…

      Btw, now at 140k memory usage.. last night it shot to 300k++… didnt notice any slowdown so far… chrome used up more with just 2 tabs open.. they cheat by having multiple process…

      Last night also tried chrome and i find that my eye hurt after a while.. probably too bright or sumthing… weird.. i even try it both next to each other and i really feel chrome is bugging my eye…

      • Skrying
      • 13 years ago

      Nightly Tester Tools.

      • Skrying
      • 13 years ago

      It is out of the way of common users. Who the hell is going to know about “about:config” except people who look it up? It also explicitly tells you that you can screw up the settings.

      • vikramsbox
      • 13 years ago

      about:config??? when the hell are they going to leave that cryptic crap out of the way of common users? FF has been around for quite a long time now and is no more the new boy on the block. They haven’t even made a decent control panel that allows users to control advanced settings in a graphical interface.

      • kvndoom
      • 13 years ago

      It’s definitely snappier, but…

      damn ReplaceTabs extension is disabled for now. Ugh, the PITA is back.

      • BlackStar
      • 13 years ago
      • potatochobit
      • 13 years ago

      my Firefox 3.6 is slowing down A LOT!

      pages load super fast, but scrolling down with the mouse wheel… it just ain’t happening. maybe the addons are not fully compatible yet. I use noscript and autopager. or maybe the new firefox just requires more of a CPU load.

      edit: i noticed I had an ebay screen open and a timer was counting down maybe that is causing the lag

      • bthylafh
      • 13 years ago

      Yes. I’ve been using it full time for months.

      • oldDummy
      • 13 years ago

      Is chrome a complete browser?

      • designerfx
      • 13 years ago

      I can’t tell if this is stupid or flaming, or if you mean you really didn’t know about ctrl keys.

      • stmok
      • 13 years ago

      That’s like saying Humvees are safe from IEDs.

      I talked to a couple of security researchers. The safest browser for Windows users is actually Google’s Chrome with Windows 7. This is mainly because it has a good implementation of sandboxing. (Better than Firefox or IE)

      Don’t you remember Pwn2Own at CanSecWest 2009? (The hacking contest against browsers). Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox all lost on the first day. Chrome withstood the attacks and survived.

      • Joerdgs
      • 13 years ago

      Hard to find a good looking personas. There’s just nothing that seems to integrate well with the browser design; it’s just an image slapped on.

      • psyclone
      • 13 years ago

      Thanks for the Cntrl-N, feel like I’m back in WORDSTAR.

      • Kaleid
      • 13 years ago

      That was an useful tip! Didn’t know that..

      • flip-mode
      • 13 years ago

      middle-mouse-button click

      • Majiir Paktu
      • 13 years ago

      “100% standards”? That’s why Opera doesn’t support border-radius?

      • jdaven
      • 13 years ago

      Welcome back, Adi.

      Haven’t seen any comments from you in awhile.

      • jdaven
      • 13 years ago

      Lol! Nice handle. 😉

      • Madman
      • 13 years ago

      The history is amazingly fast. It was a pain in butt to work with it in previous version, especially with 256MB of RAM.

      • Madman
      • 13 years ago

      Way less memory intensive as well. My laptop with 256MB of RAM is not sinking anymore.

      • Mystic-G
      • 13 years ago

      Personas are worth using now that they’re fully supported. (tabs in 3.5 were a bit awkward.

      • nexxcat
      • 13 years ago

      Firefox 3.x uses sqlite for things like browser history and such. As part of the upgrade, 3.6 may have ran optimization queries on them (I don’t know if the installer does, mind).

      §[<http://www.webupd8.org/2009/07/increase-firefox-3-perormance-by.html<]§ That article may help you if you find your Firefox performance going downhill.

      • Skrying
      • 13 years ago

      Most of them should be up to date. At least most popular and quality extensions are up to date.

      Additionally, chances are there are no real compatibility issues anyway. You should use the Nightly Tester Tools to force them to work. This almost always works fine.

      §[<https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6543<]§

      • oldDummy
      • 13 years ago

      I think IE8 is safer.

      • sigher
      • 13 years ago

      Now for the long wait till all my favorite addons are compatible, should take about 3 months

      • derFunkenstein
      • 13 years ago

      l[

      • derFunkenstein
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah I dunno. It’s a Core Duo 1.66GHz with 2GB of memory and a fairly slow 80GB 5400RPM drive. My home computer has never exhibited this behavior, which started when Firefox 3.0 was released about 18 months ago and seems to finally be rectified today.

      edit: that’s also about the time I got Foxmarks, so maybe it was that plugin causing it, but in that case would a browser update fix it? Also, my home computer that never had this issue has Foxmarks and it’s been fine. Oh well.

      • Shinare
      • 13 years ago

      I agree with you.

      • crazybus
      • 13 years ago

      I appreciate that they added the ability to hide the menu bar, so no more add-on for that simple task.

      • crazybus
      • 13 years ago

      Multiple browser windows work fine here. Opening an additional browser window is as simple as a tertiary click on the taskbar button.

      • toyota
      • 13 years ago

      well crap my HP smart web printing isnt compatible with 3.6.

      • Skrying
      • 13 years ago

      Back up your profile and do a clean install. You’ve simply run into some unusual bug. I can quite easily run multiple windows of Firefox 3.6.

      • psyclone
      • 13 years ago

      It’s PYRITE not gold, 3.6 refuses to allow me to open multiple sessions in WIN 7 x64. I also checked after disabling ALL add ons. I need multiple windows each with multiple tabs, one doesn’t do it. I didn’t buy multiple 22″ wide screens and a dual dvi card to have one effin browser with a few tabs open.

      It’s already harder to open multiple browsers in Win 7 (opposite click open crap) and you also have to change 7’s stupid standard taskbar display of having everything garbaged up on top of itself (a MS problem not Mozilla). But now I’ve had to go back to 3.57, maybe they’ll have their act together by 4.0.

      • anotherengineer
      • 13 years ago

      wow bad work PC??
      Opens in about 3-4 seconds on this old P4 2.8ghz beeter.
      edit: ver 3.5.7 that is

      • Jigar
      • 13 years ago

      It’s faster …

      • derFunkenstein
      • 13 years ago

      wow, 3.5.7 was painfully slow (20-25 seconds) on my work PC but 3.6 opens in about 5-8. Big improvement, and it found a couple of outdated plugins that were probably the issue in the first place.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 13 years ago

      While I have FF installed (along with many addons), the rendering speed of Chrome has made it the #1 browser on my box.

      • The Dark One
      • 13 years ago

      Personas would be nicer looking if they didn’t also cover the status bar. A thin strip of the image just feels distracting.

      • sweatshopking
      • 13 years ago

      Im still using opera. until this loads instantly, and has 100% standards, im not switching back.

      sweaty

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      Tab Mix Plus. That is all.

      Adi

      • Madman
      • 13 years ago

      Looks nice!

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