Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 Review
By on November 1st, 2009

Namoroka or Firefox 3.6 has been unleashed for the developers with its first Beta version out. This version of the popular open source web browser (the current iteration of which is named after the Namoroka National Park, Madagascar) supports many new features. From built in support for Personas to WOFF font support to full screen native video support, this new Firefox (sometimes referred to as Firefox.next) is built atop the Gecko 1.9.2 rendering engine. While the general public release is due this November, in this review we will see how this update will perform.

FirefoxStart

Let’s start with one of the most widely used beautifyingtools for Firefox. Yes, Personas! In this version of Firefox, there is no visible fox button anywhere. However, if you navigate to the Personas webpage and just hover your mouse over a persona, your browser will change to give you an instant preview of the skin.

LadyGagaPersona

Click Wear thisand you are done! Very simple and super-slick.

Personas

Support for the Web Open Font Format (WOFF), the compressed but lossless font format with built-in source information, is a new feature for this version and when 3.6 is available for download, it will be the first web browser to completely support the WOFF format.

WOFFFx

The rendering on Firefox…

WOFFChrome

…as opposed to Chrome. Notice the bond typeface lost when the browser does not understand the font type (it reverts to a compressed format).

Next up is the most anticipated: native full screen video support. If you know what this means, you stream your videos from open source sites such as TinyVid or The Video Bay. Opening a video from these providers and right clicking on said video allows for an option called Full Screen

TinyVidContext

And well, clicking on it renders the video throughout your screen. Sure the frame-rate is not the same as the original, sure there is a half-minute pause before the video plays again, but this is definitely the direction the internet needs to take!

Namoroka also has an integrated outdated plugin alerter. Whenever any plugin is out of date, Fx will politely let you know that such-and-such plugin is out of date along with a button to update those plugins.

(Screenshot from Blair’s Brain)

Also included on the release notes are words such as Improved Javascript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup timealong with support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 technologies. Since all of this cannot be measured by this reviewer, this has been taken at face value.

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Author: Kaushik Google Profile for Kaushik
A mobile technology lover and a Strategy and RPG-game fanatic. I also enjoy astronomy and programming. I am a biotechnology engineer learning through this fascinating subject while poring over computer science. Hit me up on Twitter for more

TCA Lakshmi Narasimhan has written and can be contacted at kaushik@techie-buzz.com.
 
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