Mozilla Firefox 3.5 RC 2 Released for Download

By Wesley Roberts •  Updated: 06/23/09 •  3 min read

Mozilla announced the release of the Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate which is now available for download. The RC2 has many new changes over the previous RC1 which was recently released. Among the new features are improved tools for controlling data through the Private Browsing Mode, video and audio HTML5 support, and better performance with the new JavaScript engine.

Speaking of performance, Firefox 3.5 has faster page rendering as well thanks to “speculative parsing”. This means when the parser would normally block on a Javascript code, it keeps going instead. It doesn’t create a DOM based on the things it parses, but looks for the SCRIPT and LINK REL codes and starts those resources loading in parallel with what its blocked on.

Just take our word on it, it makes things load faster.

What’s Private Should Stay Private

One of the things you may have noticed when using “Private Browsing” in Chrome, which Google calls Incognito Mode, and in Internet Explorer which Microsoft calls InPrivate Mode, is that they both should have an icon or notification on the screen that you are in this “private browsing” mode. Mozilla goes a step further to help make the private browsing even more private by NOT showing any sort of icon on the browser indicating you are browsing privately.

This makes your private browsing session even more private because nobody knows that you are browsing privately if they happen to peep over your shoulder, besides the intial popup message which is displayed once before entering “Private Browsing”.

In addition, the Privacy preference pane has been completely redesigned to offer users more control over their private information. Users can choose to retain or discard anything including history information, cookies, downloads, and form field information.  In addition, users can specify whether or not to include history and/or bookmarks in the location bar’s automated suggestions, so you can keep private web addresses from popping up unexpectedly while typing in the location bar.

Remember, Don’t Forget

A great feature of Firefox is its ability to remember opened windows and tabs in the event that the browser crashes or you close it and want to come back to the same browsing session later. The only thing that we all wish Firefox would do with this session restoration, is to remember what we have typed into forms.

Perhaps, I am writing an article to be posted on Tech Fragments and my browser suddenly crashed by some other Javascript running on another tab at another web site. All of my typed information would have been lost in the forms. Not anymore! FireFox 3.5 has the ability to remember everything you type in forms and will restore it if you desire.

Even More FireFox 3.5 RC2 Features

There are hundreds of other features which can be found at the Firefox 3.5 Developers Log.