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Firefox 3.1 beta 1 now available - much faster browser

Posted on Thursday, October 16 2008 @ 00:55:35 CEST by

Mozilla released the first beta version of Firefox 3.1, you can grab it over here. Here's the changelog:
Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 is based on the Gecko 1.9.1 rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 6 months. Gecko 1.9.1 is an incremental release on the previous version with significant changes to improve web compatibility, performance, and ease of use:

* Web standards improvements in the Gecko layout engine
* Added support for CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 properties
* A new tab-switching shortcut that shows previews of the tab you're switching to
* Improved control over the Smart Location Bar using special characters to restrict your search
* Support for new web technologies such as the < video > and < audio > elements, the W3C Geolocation API, JavaScript query selectors, web worker threads, SVG transforms and offline applications.
TG Daily reports the new beta version is significantly faster thanks to the new Gecko 1.9.1 rendering engine and TraceMonkey JavaScript engine which boosts JavaScript processing by up to 40x. However, the TraceMonkey feature needs to be manually activated:
The feature that users were all talking about before the release was TraceMonkey, this boosts rendering speeds up to 40 times faster than the previous version of Firefox. This feature has been switched off, you can enable it by typing “about:config” in the address bar.

Then you will need to type javascript.options.jit.content in the Filter field, you then need to change the setting to “True”, this is done by double-clicking the item. You will then have to restart Firefox 3.1 for the change the change to take effect.

1. Type about:config in the URL bar
2. Type javascript.options.jit.content in the Filter field
3. Double-click on the entry to set the value to true
4. Close the browser window and restart the browser
I just tried it myself and it definitely feels a bit snappier than Firefox 3.0.3.



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