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Firefox 3 Alpha 2 Released

The browser-in-progress is intended for Web developer testing and not for general use.

Mozilla yesterday released Firefox 3 Alpha 2, an "early developer milestone" that uses Mozilla's new layout engine Gecko 1.9.

Referred to, perhaps with excessive enthusiasm, as Gran Paradiso, the browser-in-progress is intended for Web developer testing and not for general use. The release notes warn that Gran Paradiso is prone to memory leakage after prolonged use, in addition to other issues.

Gran Paradiso includes improvements in layout positioning and the Cairo graphics layer, ACID2 compliance, support for the Web Apps 1.0 API for changing stylesheets, better XML document handling, and enhanced support for Mac widgets.

With the adoption of the Gecko 1.9 rendering engine, Gran Paradiso no longer supports Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME. Mac users will need Mac OS X 10.3.9 or above.

The release notes suggest that browser instability may be the result of poorly coded browser add-ons, so those committed to testing the future Firefox 3 code should disable add-ons first if problems arise.

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