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Mozilla releases second Firefox 3 release candidate

The organisation claims the second release candidate boasts improved memory usage and security features
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Mozilla has released the second release candidate for its upcoming Firefox 3 web browser, ahead of the full release in mid-June.

Firefox 3 Release Candidate 2 (RC2), a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback, was released on Wednesday.

"The second Firefox 3 release candidate is now available for download," wrote Mozilla's vice president of engineering, Mike Beltzner, in a blog post. "It includes new features, as well as dramatic improvements to performance, memory usage and speed."

Memory-usage improvement has been a consistent theme during Firefox 3's development. The Firefox 3 betas and Firefox 3 RC1 promised improved memory usage. In RC2, memory cycles are now broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of leaks have been fixed and caching strategies have been tuned. In the Firefox 3 RC2 release notes, Mozilla claimed tweaks to the browser's JavaScript engine have also improved performance.

Security has also been enhanced in Firefox 3 RC2, with the inclusion of a web-forgery protection page, as well as a site information drop-down bar to see who owns the site and check whether the connection is being eavesdropped on. A user's bookmarks, history, cookies and preferences are stored in a secure database format which will help prevent data loss if a system crashes, said Mozilla.

Firefox 3 is based on the Gecko 1.9 web-rendering platform, which has been under development for 34 months. According to the Firefox 3 RC2 release notes, RC2 also promises changes to stability and rendering correctness.

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