Based on the Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, under development for the past 31 months, it has more than 12,000 updates including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, rendering correctness, and code simplification and sustainability, says Mozilla.
It also has more than 900 enhancements including, “drastic improvements to performance and memory usage, as well as fixes for stability, platform enhancements and user interface improvements,” says the foundation, adding, “Many of these improvements were based on community feedback from the previous beta.
“Several new technologies work together to reduce the amount of memory used by Firefox 3 Beta 4 over a web browsing session. Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a new memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned.
“A user’s bookmarks, history, cookies, and preferences are now stored in a transactionally secure database format which will prevent data loss even if their system crashes.”
If you’re planning on installing the beta, be warned: it’ll overwrite your existing installation on Mac OS X and Linux, although it goes into a new Windows folder.
You won’t lose any of your bookmarks or browsing history, “but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available”.
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