First release candidate of Firefox 3 arrives

Firefox 3 RC1 boasts user-interface enhancements, as developers get one of their last opportunities to ensure add-on compatibility before next month's final release

The first release candidate of Firefox 3 was made available to developers on Friday, ahead of the browser's scheduled full release in June.

Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) features tweaks to the user interface across all operating systems — Windows Vista and XP, Mac OS X and Linux — as well as "fixes and improvements to platform features, to improve security, web compatibility and stability", according to Mozilla.

Changes have been made to the JavaScript engine to improve performance, and new Firefox 3 features, such as bookmark backup and restore, full page zoom and location bar autocomplete, have also been modified.

As well as providing a further opportunity for community feedback, Firefox 3 RC1 is intended as a reference point for the developers of Firefox add-ons, so they can check their applications work with the new version of the browser before the final version gets released next month.

The previous version of Firefox 3 (Beta 3) was seen by Canonical as sufficiently stable and complete to be integrated into the latest version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system.