Firefox 3 browser released

The volunteer-led Mozilla project has released Version 3 of the Firefox browser. It represents a major upgrade of the browser and the culmination of three years' work involving thousands of developers, according to a project announcement. It features more than 15,000 improvements.

New features include:
  • Smart location bar. With a redesigned user interface, the browser features an address bar that, when given a search term, will automatically generate a quick list of previously-visited Web sites.
  • Page zooming. A zooming feature lets users display any part of a Web page in greater detail, including text and images.
  • Memory improvements. Firefox 3 uses a new version of the browser's rendering engine, Gecko 1.9, that requires less working memory. Faster page-rendering times are also promised.
  • Security enhancements. Version 3 offers new safeguards that alert users to possible malware and phishing sites. Also, on sites that uses Secure Socket Layer encryption, Firefox offers a pop-up box with more security information, including owner of the site.
  • Add-on manager. Previous versions of Firefox allowed users to customize their browser with more than 5,000 add-ons, such as tools for uploading digital photos and participating in online auctions. The new add-on manager is integrated with the browser rather than appearing as a separate pop-up box. Not all older add-ons will work in Version 3, however, such as the icon to tag Web pages for the del.icio.us social-bookmarking site.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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