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Mozilla releases Firefox 4 beta 2

THE OPEN SOURCE Mozilla Foundation has unwrapped the second beta for version 4.0 of its Firefox web browser.

Firefox 4 will be the next major release of Mozzarella’s web browser and will include a number of improvements, updates and new features for both end users and developers.

Firefox 4 beta 2 includes the new ‘tabs on top’ layout that puts the tabs in the same place as the Chrome and Opera web browsers. It is now available in 23 languages.

Actually Windows users saw the tabs thing in the first Firefox 4 beta earlier this month, but this is the first time the feature has made it to the Mac version.

The developers moved the tabs to “make it easier to focus on the Web content” and note that Linux systems will receive the new tabs on top layout in a future update “when the theme has been modified to support the change”.

Changes affecting developers include support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) transitions, a feature that lets websites animate changes rather than having the changes take effect instantly.

Other changes include the idea of retained layers, allowing for “super-fast scrolling” on complex websites and changes to the XPCOM framework that improve start-up time.

The plan is for developers to release another beta version “every two to three weeks”. A first release candidate (RC) for Firefox 4 is due to to arrive in October. µ



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