Microsoft launces Internet Explorer Developer Channel

On June 16, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer will now have a Developer Channel release which can run side-by-side with the production/GA version of Internet Explorer on Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. This feature, which has long been available in Google’s Chrome browser and Mozilla’s Firefox, is a pleasant surprise to those who use Internet Explorer.

This release is a continuation of the effort Microsoft, and especially Internet Explorer team has started, to become developer-friendly by being proactive in communication about the roadmap and the features. This release, unlike the previous developer previews Microsoft created, not only runs side-by-side with the existing version of Internet Explorer but also includes changes to the UI as they are made.

Some of the key updates in this release include:

Updates to F12 developer tools

An enhanced debugging experience with event breakpoints that help you get to your event-driven bugs faster.

Richer analysis capabilities throughout the Memory and UI Responsiveness profilers, which support further reduction of noise through multi-dimensional timeline filter, while further increasing the semantic value of the data being reported by lighting up performance.measure() based instrumentation and dominator folding.

An improved navigation experience that provides more keyboard shortcuts (ctrl+[ and ctrl + ]), as well as new header notifications, which allows you to quickly determine whether any of the profiling tools are running or how many errors your page has.

The complete list of updates are on MSDN here.

IE Dev Channel F12 Tools
IE Dev Channel F12 Tools

Support for WebDriver standard

IE Developer Channel also comes with support for the emerging WebDriver standard through which Web developers can write tests to automate Web browsers to test their sites. It’s a programmable remote control for developing complex user scenarios and running them in an automated fashion in your Web site and browser. See how you can setup WebDriver in the IE Developer Channel, and try out this sample WebDriver project.

Support for Gamepad API standard and improved WebGL support

IE Developer Channel comes with support of the emerging Gamepad API standard that lets you use JavaScript to add gamepad support to your Web apps and games.

IE Developer Channel also improves WebGL performance and adds support for instancing extension, 16-bit textures, GLSL builtin variables, and triangle fans. This release improves our Khronos WebGL Conformance Test 1.0.2 score from 89% to 94%.

Status.modern.ie Gamepad Status
Status.modern.ie Gamepad Status

The team is promising frequent updates to the Developer Channel and we shall see how frequent that is. Given the pace and cadence across various other groups at Microsoft, it could be anywhere from two weeks (Xbox Music) to a month (Xbox One, Power BI) or three-four months (Windows, Windows Phone). Whatever it is, for developers this is much better than anything Internet Explorer has done in the past.

You can download the Developer Channel release from here.

Here’s Charles Morris introducing the Developer Channel IE:

Firefox 5 Beta Released

Eight weeks after Mozilla rolled out Firefox 4, it has launched a beta version of its fifth edition of the Firefox Web browser on Monday. Firefox 5 is faster and fixes plenty of bugs left over from Firefox 4. It’s new features include performance and stability enhancements, a channel switcher and CSS animations standard.

Firefox 5 Beta

The channel switcher lets users move between aurora, beta and final releases of the browser and test features at each level of development and quality.

CSS animations allows users animate transitions from one CSS style configuration to another.

Firefox 5 beta also includes opt-in location-aware browsing feature. This feature can tell websites where you’re located so you can find info that’s more relevant and useful and improve your browsing experience.

Mozilla’s first mobile release of Firefox 5 is an Android version of the browser. Both the desktop and mobile versions of Firefox 5 have a Do Not Track feature that lets users browse anonymously.

You can download Firefox 5 beta.  If you’ve been using Firefox 5 Aurora, you can switch the channel to continue to use Firefox 5

The final version of Firefox 5 is scheduled for roll-out on June 21.

Firefox Launches a Dev Channel, Calls it Aurora

Until now, Mozilla Firefox has been available only from the Nightly, Beta and the Final release Firefox channels. This was a big drawback as users preferred a dev release which is stabler than the nightly and offers feature on time, allowing them to test it better. Enter Aurora- the solution to rapid and stable releases. The hard job for Mozilla here will be keeping the Aurora channel bug free and relatively stable.

The new dev channel will allow users to testFirefox ahead of beta releases and maintain a stable browsing experience at the same time. This will increase user-participation in the development process.

aurora-firefox-build

The Aurora channel was announced by the Mozilla blog as,

Today, we launch the Aurora channel as part of a broader initiative to create channels which deliver features to users at various levels of quality and polish. The Aurora channel is where users can test the latest features and innovations. Users can expect an increase in polish from the raw, cutting edge features in our nightly builds. Aurora releases may not be as stable as beta or final releases.

Not only this, each Firefox channel has a separate logo for their releases. You can download from the Aurora channel at this Firefox channel page. Alternatively, you can enable the Aurora channel using this method.

head to about:config and create a new string called app.update.desiredChannel — the value doesn’t matter. Then open Help > About Firefox and you’ll be able to switch channel.

The current offering from Aurora is a Firefox 5.0a2. Catch up with more details on the Aurora channel.