Mozilla ships Firefox 5 beta, final release coming next month

By on May 23, 2011, 10:00 AM

Mozilla released the first beta version of Firefox 5 on Friday, roughly one month after making the browser available in the cutting-edge Aura channel keeping up with its new quick-release plan intended to bring features and improvements sooner. Among the key features in the latest release are the Firefox channel switcher, performance and stability enhancements and support for CSS Animations.

The latter feature has yet to win formal approval from the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards group but it is already supported by Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari, allowing web developers to add a little extra flair to actions such as making dialog boxes pop up or viewing photos. As for the new Firefox channel switcher, it specifically relates to Mozilla's rapid-release model, letting users flip between Firefox's three editions: Aurora, Beta and Release.

As previously explained when announcing the new development cycle, the Aurora channel will get new features at regular intervals, but some of them might be disabled if they look like they need more work, then re-inserted into a later cycle after fixes have been applied. The Beta channel refers to a more stable test build of the browser for public consumption, and Release is the standard version of Firefox designed for all users to download.

Firefox 5 also includes improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas, and Mozilla listed 1,053 stability and other fixes in the detailed release notes accompanying the preview.

If you'd like to take the new beta release for a spin it's available for download here. Aurora users who want to switch to something a bit more stable can click through help, about Firefox, hit the change link to display the channel changer and switch to either the beta or the latest release version (currently 4.0.1). Firefox 5 should become available as a final release version sometime around June 21, according to release manager Christian Legnitto.




User Comments: 17

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blimp01 said:

didnt firefox 4 just come out like a month ago

Jibberish18 said:

blimp01 said:

didnt firefox 4 just come out like a month ago

They're mimicking Chrome remember? Besides, Firefox can always use improvements, namely in my opinion, speed.

Cota Cota said:

Cant wait for Firefox 6

example1013 said:

I just hope they cut down on memory use a bit. Firefox can cripple a computer if you're not careful, especially with older ones.

Guest said:

@example103: As true as that may be, Google Chrome's memory usage is much higher. I'm just wondering if Firefox 5 will perform on par with Chrome on the acid test..

Oh, and of course, increased speed is always nice too =D

Guest said:

In the 3xx versions of Firefox, you could AddOn a Tor (anonymous IP), which was easily toggled on/off. The new Firefox versions are ruining good Addons.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

example1013 said:

I just hope they cut down on memory use a bit. Firefox can cripple a computer if you're not careful, especially with older ones.

That's weird, because in comparison, Firefox has been proven to be the least resource intensive...

Guest said:

@lawfer That for 3.6, however if Firefox 4 is the most memory extensive if have normal tab habits meaning less than 10 tab open most of the time. The problem is Firefox has bad memory garbage collection compared to the other browsers. It is a big enough problem that I downgraded to version 3.6 on an older Pentium 4 machine b/c Firefox 4 locked it up too much.

In term of memory efficiency, IE 9>Chrome>Firefox

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To some extent it seems true Guest, with same number of tabs opened IE9 uses roughly 1/3rd the memory when pitted against FF, however, it can very well depend on what sort of sites you have opened at a given time. I am not sure about Chrome, as I don't like to have any spyware on my PCs.

nickblame said:

blimp01 said:

didnt firefox 4 just come out like a month ago

as it turns out firefox is sick of having a smaller version number from ie and this speed up will most likely fix that

Guest said:

Hey, you move too fast! I cannot use firefox 4 in my computer, just freeze and cannot open any page. Can you guys make it more stable just as Avant browser? It makes any sense if you release the new version one after another but leave the users in the desert?

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I've been on the Aurora channel since the beginning and I don't really see anything new apart from the daily updates. The LavaFox theme sure looks nice though. Apart from a few niggling issues with some websites and an occasional page freeze, it's been quite stable actually, especially for an Alpha 2, and far from Mozilla's description of " not for the faint of heart ".

Jibberish18 said:

Well I confirmed yesterday through peacekeeper that there have been speed improvedments. Fireofx 5 Beta 2 was about 500 points faster than Firefox 4.0.1

gobbybobby said:

no speed up. at least a year gap between whole digit changes.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I just hope they cut down on memory use a bit. Firefox can cripple a computer if you're not careful, especially with older ones.
That's weird, because in comparison, Firefox has been proven to be the least resource intensive...

Ya know, I just checked, at the little son of a gun is spot on!

With about 146 tabs open in 7 windows, Firefox is using about 535 KB of memory! ....

Now you couple that with 13 instances of open windows, and the AVG scan that just started, my old eMachine, (1.5 GB RAM) has slowed down quite a bit.

I sure hope they fix this abuse of resources, so I can open about 200 tabs in 10 windows on a netbook......!

Did I mention those 146 tabs were all virtually nothing but images? No I didn't, sorry for the oversight.

Mozilla better do something quick, or I'm gonna hafta start using Google Spyware, oops, I mean Google Chrome as a browser.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I was an IE die-hard before I decided to switch browsers. Now I use Opera which score 5000 Peacekeeper points (as if Peacekeeper is a fair test) higher than IE9 or FF4.

Here is an image of my Peacekeeper records over the last year.

[link]

Guest said:

I love Firebox 4 but in the end it started to get slower so i still have it but iam using Google chrome

Can wait for firefox 5 and 6

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