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16 June 2011, 14:50

Firefox 5 nears with release candidate

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Firefox Logo The Mozilla Project developers have published a release candidate for version 5.0 of Firefox in the web browser's Beta Channel – Mozilla has adopted a version model similar to that used by Google for its Chrome browser. According to the draft roadmap and the releases wiki, the final version of Firefox 5 will be released on Tuesday 21 June alongside Firefox 3.6.18 and Thunderbird 3.1.11.

One of the most important changes in Firefox 5 is the addition of CSS animation support, a feature that other browsers such as Safari have offered for some time. When creating a CSS animation, a developer specifies the animation's duration and name in the CSS rules for the HTML element in question. The @keyframes selector associated with this name is followed by the rules that describe the element's beginning and end points as well as optional intermediate stages.

Zoom The Firefox 5 release candidate on Mac OS X.
Other changes include improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance, as well as updated standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL and canvas. The "desktop environment integration for Linux users" has also been improved and the Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved "to increase discoverability".

Released simultaneously is the release candidate for Firefox 5 for Android; this adds support for IPv6, "overflow: scroll" and "overflow: auto" CSS properties, Restartless Add-ons and HTML5 online/offline events. Users can download the release from the Android Market.

As with all development releases, use of the Aurora channel builds in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

More details about this Firefox release candidate, including a list of known issues, can be found in the release notes. Users can download the Beta Channel release candidate, labelled as beta 7, from the project's Firefox Future Releases web page. The latest stable release of Firefox is version 4.0.1 from late April, a maintenance and security update that addressed a total of three vulnerabilities in the browser.

Firefox binaries are released under the Mozilla Firefox End-User Software License Agreement and the source code is released under disjunctive tri-licensing that includes the Mozilla Public Licence, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1.

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