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Firefox 3.5 Hits Release Candidate Milestone 202

macupdate writes "Firefox 3.5rc1 has started trickling to users (mirrors and appropriate pages should all be updated soon). You can read the release notes. RC1 still scores a 93/100 on the Acid3 test."
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Firefox 3.5 Hits Release Candidate Milestone

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  • Beta "99" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @04:59PM (#28366169)

    Beta 99 []

  • 93/100... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:06PM (#28366299)
    I still don't understand the obsession with Acid tests - they measure performance in incredibly obscure areas and have a comparatively small bearing on real world performance. Webkit and Opera in particular have designed to the test to an extent, resulting in good scores but not necessarily comparable general compliance. I'm also slightly confused by the use of the word "still" - none of these bugs are severe enough to risk breakage leading up to a release candidate. I believe far more relevant are performance, bug fixes, features and HTML5/CSS3 support (which make far more of a contribution to moving the web on that Acid Test scores do) - areas in which Firefox 3.5 has improved dramatically. Talk about focusing on the negatives...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:11PM (#28366339)

      No. You're wrong and an ignoramus. I only visit websites which use those obscure areas of compliance, and I visit them ALL THE TIME, and the more I visit them, the more I can brag about how much better MY browser is than YOURS. Do you see how useful this is now?

    • Re:93/100... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by glop ( 181086 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:14PM (#28366377)

      Why don't I have mod points today?
      The parent is so right. The video tag means that youtube and all the web streaming websites can work without Flash. And since Firefox users update quickly, this means 20% of Internet users will be able to do that within 6 months. That's pretty big when you think some people try to make us believe that HTML5 is 10 years away...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

        What makes you think Youtube will move to video tag? Youtube's main reason for success was relying on Flash, a plugin which everyone has and trusts to.

        Do you really think Youtube would lose that convenience? Do they really care if H264 is patented? I don't really. All I see is a platform neutral, documented standard which was designed with media professionals. I don't see some "evil monster" when I look to Flash or h264. I know what would happen if Flash and h264 didn't exist. We would be arguing about WMV

    • Talk about focusing on the negatives...

      It's open source. If it doesn't conquer the world, massage your back and bake you cookies all at the same time, it was a failure. Don't you know how these things work?

    • Re:93/100... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:55PM (#28366877) Homepage

      Acid tests are designed to highlight rendering bugs in current browsers, giving browser developers a chance to easily see where something is going wrong. All major browsers currently pass Acid2, which means if you create a web page that only uses the kind of code that Acid2 tests for, you can be sure it will render precisely the same way in current versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, Chrome, etc. This is a huge step forward; ten years ago, it wasn't uncommon for a page to work correctly in one browser but be completely unusable in another.

      Now that all the major browsers pass Acid2, we need to find other ways in which web pages can display differently between different browsers. Since there is an official standard that defines what the correct behavior should be, we have something to test against; this is what Acid3 does. You're absolutely correct that passing Acid3 should not be the top priority, and failure to pass Acid3 is not a good reason for a user not to choose Firefox. However, the remaining things that prevent Firefox from passing Acid3 are indeed bugs, and eventually, they do need to be fixed. There are also other bugs in Firefox, that also need to be fixed, and many of these are more important than the bugs that cause Acid3 to fail.

      I agree that HTML5 and CSS3 are awesome, but if browsers can't render them correctly, they're not much good. Acid tests are an incredibly useful tool for browser developers to ensure that this happens. Acid4 is already being planned, and will help to find bugs in the way browsers handle HTML5 and CSS3 and SVG and other stuff, taking into account some of the lessons learned from problems with the Acid3 test (for example, Acid3 tests rendering speed; Acid4 will not).

    • Re:93/100... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @07:35PM (#28367785)

      The thing about Acid tests is that specs are ambiguous: there are often multiple possible meanings to a given section, and inevitable different people will implement them in different ways. Some of those will be incompatible, yet both can claim compliance, so this helps no one. Tests, on the other hand, are unambiguous: either you pass or you do not.

      This is why Web platforms of the future will not be based on specifications, but on the test suites. Acid tests are not perfect at this, but they are light-years better than previous practice. If Mozilla wants to be seen as taking standards seriously again, they are going to have to start taking these tests seriously, and that means 100% as soon as possible.

      They've improved over Acid2, at least, when even iCab -a browser developed by one person- beat them to full compliance by months. But they still have a long way to go. When major tests like this are developed, 100% needs to be a dealbreaker goal for the next major release, not something put off until 2-3 big releases in the future. Opera gets this, and the WebKit folks get this. Mozilla used to, back in the days of the first CSS Acid Test. But somewhere along the way, they lost sight of it, and they need to be reminded.

      • Re:93/100... (Score:4, Informative)

        by BZ ( 40346 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @09:51PM (#28368663)

        > This is why Web platforms of the future will not be based on specifications, but
        > on the test suites.

        Actually, no. This is why people are much more careful about not writing ambiguous specifications now.

        You can't "test suite" your way to full coverage of something like CSS 2.1: too many features, too many combinations, too many things to test.

        > If Mozilla wants to be seen as taking standards seriously again

        Which standards? Some standards are more important than others. It might just be that stuff the acid test is not testing is more important than stuff it should be... (and is in fact the case with parts of acid3).

        It might also be that supporting the standard and not supporting it at all are both better options than supporting just the part that the test tests.

        So no, 100% test-compliance should never be the primary goal. Support for the standards that are useful to support should be.

    • by mgblst ( 80109 )

      And I don't understand people who don't understand that it is a quick visualization of how well the browser is doing css standards wise.

      It is a quick benchmark, wtf is not to understand about that?

    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

      There are some people remembering the Firefox/Mozilla original mission. It is all about standards. Earliest Mozillas worked like junk but they have always beaten the rest of the market regarding standards support.

      They could be reminding their mission. A standard, open web with all standards. Not thousands of hacks to show google something .com fine, to perfect the standards support first and hack later.

      BTW, does "So what?" asking Firefox community also say "So what?" to Microsoft/IE regarding standards comp

    • I hereby proclaim that ACID tests should no longer be the gold standard for obscure CSS edge cases, and instead we should wait for the next generation of browsers that can render slashdot correctly - since over the last few months I've not used any browser that's rendered a page the same way in any other browser ;)

  • by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:09PM (#28366319)

    Yes, even slower than IE8. From start up times to rendering pages firefox is by far the slowest. If you don't believe me download IE8, use it for a week, and you'll see for yourself. IE8 sucks for other reasons (crashes more, no plugins, forgets log-ins), and firefox is my main browser, but it is seriously falling behind. It's speed, private browsing, and I would argue even security (no sandbox/protected mode) are subpar compared to the competition. And they really need to fix private browsing, it's pretty sad when an IE feature works better than the open source alternative. As repeated ad-nauseum here firefox is still my main browser due to plugins, but everytime the browser freezes because one tab decides it wants to do something I re-evaluate this decision.

    • by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:19PM (#28366447)
      CNet show firefox being substantially faster [] as of March in terms of browser performance. Admittedly firefox is a dog to start up, but that's one of the major goals for 3.6 last I checked. Having used the betas for a while, it's been a long time since I've felt I'm waiting on my browser as I did in versions 3 and particularly 2. I don't think anyone with a decent PC is going to be frustrated by the performance on 3.5, and with additional improvements already underway in trunk I don't think firefox is in any way falling behind. Oh, and how is private browsing broken in 3.5?
      • I don't think anyone with a decent PC is going to be frustrated by the performance on 3.5

        I don't understand what you mean by "decent". Low-cost subnotebook PCs optimized for size and battery life over CPU speed have become popular over the past year; are those "indecent"?

      • Does 3.5 actually *have* private browsing? The equivalent of IE8's InPrivate mode, or Chrome's Incognito? If so, good for them - Google and Microsoft released those features near-simultaneously, and it's about time they made it into the world's second-most-popular browser (ignoring version numbers).

        Firefox 3.0 takes bloody AGES to start up on the Linux boxes at my school (GNOME, Fedora 9). It's probably a misconfiguration thing - it's faster on my KDE4 system (although still slower than Konqueror) - but eve

        • preload and readahead speedup firefox startup times significantly, 3.5 is pretty quick here but i have taken care with the extensions i use (no tmp,fasterfox,etc)

      • by anaesthetica ( 596507 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @06:29PM (#28367259) Homepage Journal

        Indeed, performance is the top priority for (presumably Fx3.6 although you never know). Codenamed 'Namoroka [],' the developers have selected several common tasks which they want to perceptibly increase the speed of, including:

        • Startup
        • Opening a new tab
        • Loading a bookmarked page
        • Autocompleting a location in the Awesomebar
        • Play rich media content
        • Animation and other interaction techniques to reduce lag between action and feedback, and to improve perceived speed
    • I've been using 3.5's beta for a while (and I'm running the RC now). It's only slightly faster than 3.0, but it's not substantially slower than IE8 by any stretch of the imagination.

      Maybe you need to steak your "about:config"?
  • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:17PM (#28366419)

    I wish Mozilla would make up their minds: are they going to target the Corps or not?

    Even if you can get an MSI from Frontmotion (, the corps will never go for it unless it comes off the Mozilla servers and is on the same web page as the current XPI installers. It's a "warm and fuzzy" thing that they need.

    If Mozilla could somehow sanction those MSIs from Frontmotion then the corps would be more comfortable with it. Even a link from here ( would give FrontMotion's MSI package credibility.

    • Pardon my ignorance, but this is a serious question; what would be the difference in downloading an MSI package versus an .exe if they both achieve the same thing?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Elgonn ( 921934 )
        They don't achieve the same thing because the MSI while seemingly doing nothing more than an exe installer integrates correctly with Active Directory. You don't roll out 10k+ installs with an exe. []
      • Pardon my ignorance, but this is a serious question; what would be the difference in downloading an MSI package versus an .exe if they both achieve the same thing?

        Because they don't in fact achieve the same thing. Deployment of software across hundreds of machines in an Active Directory environment relies on Group Policy objects that reference .msi packages.

        • In fact, even home users using OS X lives problem with "Drag Drop" installs if they aren't admin (super user) and the poor Finder's architecture of "if not owned by user, prompt" functionality is being relied on.

          OS X is generally clever on that area but just moments ago, it stopped at half eventually giving up replacing the .app directory (which we see as breaking the working executable.

          If it was a .pkg, OS X would launch its, it would nicely ask for admin credentials, store the a

      • MSI's are far easier to deploy than EXE's, because they work in a relatively consistent manner (there are some niggles here and there, but you learn those). Every EXE can be packaged differently, some self extracting, some install shield, etc and they all have different switches to get them going, if it can be done at all. Also MSI installs are far easier for deployment software to monitor the progress, so no time delay tricks when moving onto the next app to deploy.

        Mozilla may not make MSI's, but you can
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hattig ( 47930 )

      I think that Google Chrome will get corporate friendly before Firefox.

      Firefox doesn't really have a plan for targeting business users - it's as if they don't understand corporate needs!

      * Redirect update server to internal corporate network so they can test new releases before updating the corporate desktops.

      * Fine-grained control at the policy level over installable extensions, themes, plugins. I.e., stop users installing their own, define a set of standard corporate extensions, and so on.

      * Can run those in

    • open a bug report?

  • 93/100 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:23PM (#28366497) Journal

    RC1 still scores a 93/100 on the Acid3 test.

    Minefield has scored 94/100 for quite some time now, so I doubt Shiretoko will score any better at release.

  • by superyanthrax ( 835242 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:24PM (#28366515)
    I know it's a tired topic, but it's a legitimate one, and not one that can be explained away by saying "extension writers suck".
  • Not quite RC yet (Score:4, Informative)

    by spinkham ( 56603 ) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @05:47PM (#28366787)

    This is actually a pre-RC build, the actual RC should be coming in the next week.
    See this site for more details. []

  • One of the upcoming features is a way for Firefox to send websites your location information based on a best-guess provided by Google (or your location-guesser of choice) once you've expressly okayed it. From the sound of it they try to extrapolate based on nearby wi-fi hotspots and your IP address.

    This isn't really the kind of information I would like to share, and I imagine other people might not like it either, so to just disable it so you won't even be asked, do the following:
    • go to about:config
    • Change
  • I just installed beta4 late last night/early this morning. Hadn't even had a chance to fire it up yet.

    I'll go update it to RC1 straightaway, so we can move on with RC2 tomorrow.

    (You're welcome.)

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!