Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

Summary: Firefox 4 beta 5 is now available and offers new hardware acceleration, multimedia and security features.The latest beta, for example, offers hardware acceleration through Direct 2D by default.


Firefox 4 beta 5 is now available and offers new hardware acceleration, multimedia and security features.

The latest beta, for example, offers hardware acceleration through Direct 2D by default. Direct 2D was introduced with Windows 7, was made available for Vista, and exploits built-in graphics hardware in Windows PCs with DirectX 10 to enhance performance on graphics heavy websites, said Firefox lead developer Mike Beltzner in his blog today.

"You should notice that some pages are a lot faster and more responsive, in  particular, pages that use advanced animated graphical effects," added other Firefox developer Bas Schouten in his blog about the feature.

Beta 5 also includes a new Audio API for visualizing audio that exposes raw audio data within the video and audio elements of HTML5. Mozilla claims that developers can use this API to change how users experience the web.

"Until now, people haven’t had the ability to interact with sound on the Web in all the creative ways that video and images allow," Beltzner wrote. "With this new API, developers can read and write raw audio data within the browser, presenting audio information in completely new ways that could allow, for example, for people to visually experience a speech or a song through Firefox."

Beta 5 also supports the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) protocol for addiitonal security. "This allows web sites to "insist that they only be loaded over SSL," Mozilla notes.

Beta 6 is very tentatively set for release on September 10 but that may slip by as much as a week, project leaders indicate. Firefox 4 entered beta testing in June.

Topics: Browser, Hardware, Software Development

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  • Yes!

    They fixed the "bug" I reported to them. There is finally ample room between the titlebar buttons and the tabs!

    The hardware acceleration looks nice as well.

    Before the betas came out, I dared Mozilla to get me to dump Chrome. They have succeeded in that challenge.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • FF4 Security

    How is FF4 compared to Chrome in security features? For example, Chrome runs in a sandbox. Does FF4 works in the same way? I'll like to give it a try, but from what I had read, Chrome still better in security features, at least compared with FF 3.5. How is FF4 better?
    • RE: Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

      @dvm<br>I do believe Firefox 4 makes use of tabbed sanboxing. They already include the same thing for plugins as of 3.6. Thank goodness.
      • RE: Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

        @Zc456 It does seem that FF4 is far less prone to locking up than FF3, so it does seem that things are more or less isolated and don't affect each other as much.

        In addition, NoScript is available for Firefox, which IMO is also a pretty big security plus.
      • RE: Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

        I'll prefer an official statement from the FF team. Any link detailing security features?
    • RE: Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

      Chrome has integrated Google spyware. What more do you need to know?
  • RE: Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

    Looks much better on my netbook, which had a strange bug that put the Firefox button on its own line.

    Hardware acceleration works decently. Not as fast as the IE9 tech preview, but far faster than everything else I've tried.

    There do seem to be some first time start bugs, though. Had to restart it a couple times for it to work properly.

    There also seem to be some strange bugs that come and go.

    I've pretty much decided that I'm going back to Firefox now. I was on Google Chrome for a while, but it just doesn't have some of the addons Firefox has, including NoScript, which I consider very important to browser security. And Firefox still has the edge on customization.

    And I'm also loving the new Panorama (previously known as tab candy). It's a great feature. It goes a long way towards being able to manage a large number of tabs.

    Although interestingly enough, it's kinda reminiscent of Windows 3. Which isn't really a bad thing - I actually liked Windows 3. It was a great OS.
  • RE: Firefox 4 beta 5 lands

    I just installed this Beta version on my MacBook and it looks and feels great. Nice upgrade.