Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 New Features Comments

Okay, first off; you can find other articles out there that state what's new in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2(Shiretoko), including mozilla.org. But we found only few of them stating some of the little things that we do in this following article.

First up; memory usage, it has dramatically decreased, we found from around 350MB-- when doing normal Internet surfing, watching long HD videos, HTML, PHP and JavaScript designing, downloading large files such as GNU/Linux ISOs, etc.-- to around 64MB. Changes add up to Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 using around only 64% of the memory used by Firefox 3.0. This let's the browser run much faster.



And of course as you may have already read elsewhere, support for new web technologies such as the "<video>" and "<audio>" elements, currently these work with OGG Theora and Vorbis, and audio formats with support for .wav streams, which works out well specifically for us GNU/Linux and open-source users.


Used by Mozilla to demonstrate the new video tag.

The most significant addition in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 is the new "Private Browsing" mode, which will not store any of the user's session information while it is enabled. The feature is similar to the "Incognito" mode that is offered in Google's Chrome browser and Safari's "Private Browsing". The feature was first requested for Firefox back in 2004, but extensive re-engineering was required to make the feature work.

Another new feature is "Tab Tearing" if you drag a tab out of its current window, it is removed and opened in a new window, have two windows open with more than one tab in each, you can actually drag and drop tabs back and forth between the two windows. You can also right-click on a tab and select "Open in New Window". There is also a "New Tab" button to the far right of the tab bar. You will notice, if you're in GNU/Linux especially, that when you're dragging the tab it will display a semi-transparent preview of the page that tab is displaying.

As with Firefox 3.0, there are advanced drag and drop actions. You can click and drag an image; and you will now see a semi-transparent clone of the image following you're cursor, this helps indicate that you have grabbed the image and now can drop it in a program for opening/editing or what have you. But the impressive thing about this feature is that you can right-click on a page and choose "Select All" and then drag the selected text, doing this will do the same thing as with an image, only this time you're dragging a scaled down semi-transparent clone of the entire page, including the tables, backgrounds, images, flash, multimedia, etc..

There is a new feature to the source "Syntax Highlighting" when you "View Page Source", it now let's you navigate through any file in the source by clicking on them like links. A good feature here would be to add the support to have tabs in the source window.



Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 Smart Location Bar Restricts, Matches and Keywords, you can now restrict the search to your history by typing “^”, or bookmarks with “*”, or tagged pages with “+”. To make what you’ve typed match only in the URL type “@”, and for title/tags only use “#”.

You can expect to see Firefox 3.1 Final sometime within the next few months.

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