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Firefox 4 beta 5 beefs up video, audio, security features


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Tuesday evening, Mozilla pushed out the fifth beta of its Firefox 4 Web browser. With this update, improvements to the browser's audio, video, and security have been added.

Two weeks ago, the Beta 4 release of Firefox 4 included new features to help users get organized, Firefox Sync and Panorama. This release focuses less on giving users new features, and more on providing the tools for a better experience down the road.

First, Firefox 4 now features hardware acceleration in Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines with DirectX10-compatible hardware. This feature has existed since the very early builds of FF4, but only now is it included by default. What it does is utilize the Direct2D rendering system so the graphics hardware can speed up rendering of page content, such as text and images. Eventually, this will also be able to speed up compositing as well, but that is not ready in Beta 5. Secondly, the new Audio API cuts open the HTML5 audio and video elements, so the raw audio data can be viewed and accessed. Developers will be able to use this data to create new in-browser audio experiences, some of which Mozilla showed off in an impressive demonstration today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't see a 'en-GB' release :huh:

Firefox 4 :hello: apparently speaks 39 languages*, but none of them are English. :dribble:

On this side of the Atlantic, en-US is not English, it's American. I'm always amused by the striking differences in meaning of common words. For example, if you have a flat you change it, if I have a flat I live in it. :lol:


*I suppose that's actually 38 2/3 languages since Hebrew is not available for Windows, only Mac OS & Linux.

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On this side of the Atlantic, en-US is not English, it's American

Hmm, I don't know why you folks feel the need to make such distinctions, I have an idea but I will keep it to myself. Just wonderin' what is 'English:Canada(4105)' or 'English:Australia(3081)'? I'm sure it isn't proper enough but how would a Brit classify this?

meaning of common words. For example, if you have a flat you change it, if I have a flat I live in it.

Wrong, if I have a flat tire I repair it. A flat, apartment, house are all dwellings us less civilized Americans also live in.

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Wrong, if I have a flat tire I repair it. A flat, apartment, house are all dwellings ...

I stand corrected :dribble:

And, maybe, I'll also blame WikipediA's article (American and British English differences)

American English (AmE) is the form of English used in the United States.

British English (BrE) is the form of English used in the United Kingdom.

...

American (AmE) apartment buildings / (BrE) blocks of flats ...

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I'd better get back on topic, before I'm in any more trouble...

What do people think of tabs on top?

screenshot.png

I'm also playing with Chrome, now that there is an Adblock clone available for Chrome. I'm not (yet) convinced that I work better, or faster, because there are tabs on top.

I understand that this new reduced layout with tabs on top is partly because people perceive reduced clutter on-screen as being a faster browser, even if it isn't.

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I've been using the beta releases of Firefox 4, and I now like the tabs on top. Took a little time to get used to but I like it for the better.

Also, the Chrome Adblock is nowhere near the quality that AdBlock Plus is.

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I'm liking it more and more, too - especially since I've got it even more compact, with tabs in the Title Bar. Just two toolbars! I'm using the Littlefox theme, but you can do the same by applying this user style to the Default theme (way too much trouble for me, and I don't care for that orange button anyway). There are also other compact themes that do this.

As you can see, it saves a lot of space:

I'm on XP, which doesn't have Glass, which is why my toolbars are a solid color - and using the silver color scheme, which is why it's gray. That Yahoo icon is an App Tab (pinned tab) with Yahoo Mail.

I'm also using a nightly build, rather than the beta (that's why it says "Minefield" instead of "Firefox"). That makes no difference to this aspect of the browser, the only difference is at the bottom - the Status bar has been replaced by the Add-on Bar. URL previews, the Progress Bar, etc, have been moved out (up top, actually); instead there's a fully customizeable toolbar for the buttons add-ons used to place on the Task Bar, and any others you want to put there (I've put the bookmarks button and zoom controls in mine). Expect it in the next beta.

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Expect it in the next beta.

I thought there was already a code/feature freeze at the time the existing Beta (b6) was released? Or have I got the dates mixed-up?

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That was the original plan; there were going to be 7 betas, with feature freeze at b6 - until crash bugs cropped up in b5. They released an extra beta which was the same as b5, but with stability fixes, and called that b6. What would have been b6 was renamed b7, and that's where the feature freeze will be.

Then one more (hopefully) final beta is planned, which will be b8. As for the dates, they're always tentative. As you can see from this page, they're behind schedule.

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