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Firefox 5 beta lands right on schedule

Last Friday Mozilla kept to its promise and shipped the first beta of Firefox 5.

Last Friday Mozilla kept to its promise and shipped the first beta of Firefox 5.

Here's a 'what's new' listing:

  • Added support for CSS animations
  • Added support for switching Firefox development channels
  • The Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved to increase discoverability
  • Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance
  • Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas
  • Improved spell checking for some locales
  • Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users

Note: Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari browser both support CSS animations.

There are also a whopping number of bug and stability fixes, detailed here.

Contrary to some report that say that the Firefox 5 user interface is identical to that of Firefox 4, there are, in fact, some small changes. Mozilla's Director of Community Development Asa Dotzler details a few changes:

As you can see, the buttons and textfields are much crisper. The corner radius has been sharpened up a bit and the button and textfield shadows have been tightened up and pulled into the border line.

The overall effect might seem subtle but after using it for a while and then going back to Firefox 4, you can really "feel" the difference.

Full release notes here. If you're thinking of running this beta, I suggest you check out the known issues list first.

Final release of Firefox 5 is schedule for June 21.

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