Firefox 3.5 Released


You may already be running Firefox 3.5, if you grabbed it early from Mozilla’s FTP servers, where it’s been available for a little while now, but if not, head over to to update. I’ve been using the Beta and the Release Candidate versions for some time, and aside from the usual incompatibility with a few add-ons, I can tell you that 3.5 not only works great, but also packs some useful new features.

For most users, the first thing you’ll notice is how much faster Firefox 3.5 is compared with the previous version. There are a lot of reasons for the speed improvements, but one of them is the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine that is much more efficient when dealing with resource-hogging web apps. There’s a great post over at WebWorkerDaily that goes into more detail about how that works and what it means.

My personal favorite new feature is the ability to tear off tabs and move them to new windows, something which I used to have to use a plug-in to accomplish. I can’t count how many times I need to do this on a daily basis when I’m referencing something for an article, or for debugging code and HTML.

Here’s a brief list of some of the highlights of the new version to whet your appetite (and more here):

  • Private Browsing and Clear Recent History features.
  • Location aware browsing via geolocation.
  • Gecko engine 1.9.1, with many rendering process improvements.
  • HTML5, downloadable fonts and other new CSS property support, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.
  • Open video support, meaning that you won’t have to download any plug-ins or use external viewers to watch web video content.
  • Improvements to session restore, anti-phishing and malware, the Awesome Bar, and browser customization.

Check out the full Release Notes for 3.5 from Mozilla for a complete list of new features and additions.