Mozilla releases Firefox 2.0 Alpha 1

After a series of premature announcements by the tech press, has finally released the first Firefox 2.0 alpha, code-named Bon Echo. The main addition to Bon Echo is Places, a SQLlite-based storage layer for user browsing information. Places supplants the separate bookmarks and history windows with a single, unified repository containing subsections for the bookmarks menu, bookmarks toolbar, history, and RSS feeds. Places features an instant search field that can look through this information instantly, greatly speeding up the process of finding a previously-visited page. Some other enhancements to the browsing history were also implemented, including separators for each browsing session within a particular site.

In addition to Places, Bon Echo also features a long-sought-after close button on browser tabs, as well as enhanced Extension security, an extended search plugin format, support for SVG text, and a number of bug fixes. The release is freely available on's FTP site, although users are advised to exercise caution and back up their browser settings first, as this is an unstable alpha release first and foremost.

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