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Time To Test Firefox 3.1 Beta 1

Practically four months to the (D-) day that Firefox 3 debuted, Mozilla has released the beta of its browser's successor.
Practically four months to the (D-) day that Firefox 3 debuted, Mozilla has released the beta of its browser's successor.According to Mozilla's release notes, Firefox 3.1 Beta 1's new features include:
  • Web standards improvements in the Gecko layout engine.

  • Added support for CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 properties.

  • A new tab-switching shortcut that shows previews of the tab youre switching to.

  • Improved control over the Smart Location Bar using special characters to restrict your search.

  • Support for new Web technologies, such as the

Not among those bullets, however, is TraceMonkey, a component announced late August with the promise to significantly speed up the browser's JavaScript performance. Turns out, the component is in the browser, it's just not turned on by default. (No word why.) The folks at CNET gave that a whirl and found: "Using the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark test, Firefox 3.1 beta 1 completed the test in 2,787.6 milliseconds -- about twice as fast as the current stable release, Firefox 3.0.3, which clocked in at 5,446.6 ms."

Before any of this, of course, you have to download Firefox 3.1 Beta 1, available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems. Of note, be sure to read over a half-dozen known issues.

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