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First look: Firefox 3.5 released, ready to "upgrade" the Web
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 11:40

Mozilla has officially released Firefox 3.5, the next major version of its popular open source Web browser. Ars takes a close look at the new version and evaluates its enhancements. Support for HTML 5 video and other important emerging Web standards make this one of the most significant Firefox releases ever.

By Ryan Paul | Last updated June 30, 2009 10:20 AM CT

Mozilla has announced the official release of Firefox 3.5, the next major version of its popular open source Web browser. The new version boosts performance, introduces useful new features, and delivers strong support for emerging Web standards.


Mozilla aims to "upgrade the Web" by improving the Firefox user experience and expanding the range of tools that are available to Web developers. The company boasts that Firefox 3.5 includes over 5,000 enhancements that span nearly every aspect of the browser's functionality and behavior. Among the most compelling advancements in this release is support for the HTML 5 video element, which enables native video playback in the browser without requiring proprietary plugins such as Flash.

We got our earliest insight into the roadmap for the new version shortly before the release of Firefox 3.0 last June. Mozilla was planning to adopt a more incremental development model and tentatively aimed to have a 3.1 release ready to ship in late 2008. As the roadmap increased in complexity and more sophisticated features began to land, they pushed the planned release date back into mid-2009 and changed the target version number to 3.5. That version arrived this morning, after 12 months of intensive development.

Although it is not as radical as the broad architectural overhaul that was undertaken for the 3.0 release, the development effort for 3.5 has brought many important changes to the browser. It includes a lot of features that leverage the 3.0 architectural enhancements and it also includes a lot of features that were originally planned for 3.0 but were deferred for various reasons.

[ARS Tecnica... [Comments...]


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