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08 July 2011, 15:32

Firefox 7 enters Aurora Channel

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Firefox Aurora The Mozilla Project has announced the release of version 7 of Firefox into the open source web browser's Aurora Channel. According to the developers, the latest developer preview is "focused on delivering performance enhancements and optimizing memory utilization".

Firefox Aurora 7 brings improved startup time on all platforms, font rendering has been enhanced, and Firefox Sync now synchronises bookmarks and passwords "instantly". Memory use has been optimised, reducing the amount of memory required by 30 per cent or more, and improving the browser's overall responsiveness. This is done by addressing several memory issues in the JavaScript engine, as well as running the JavaScript garbage collector more frequently when the browser is idle.

Similar to Google Chrome and Opera, the new Aurora channel release will no longer display the "http://" when showing URLs in the address bar. It will also drop the trailing slash from URLs: for example, would lose the trailing slash to become just, while would retain its slash at the end. Other changes include support for CSS3 Text-Overflow, faster canvas-based animations and Telemetry, which allows users to opt-in for "automatic memory usage, performance testing and reporting to help improve future versions Firefox".

Further information about the development versions can be found in a post on Mozilla's Future Releases blog. Users can download the latest Firefox Aurora release, version 7, from the project's Firefox Future Releases web page. Users that already have Firefox Aurora installed should receive an automatic update notification over the coming days; alternatively users can manually update via the "About Aurora" menu. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find.

At the time of writing, version 6 of Firefox has yet to be released into the browser's Beta Channel although the releases wiki says it is now available. The latest stable release is Firefox 5 from 21 June, a major update that added support for CSS animations and addressed a total of 8 security vulnerabilities, 5 of which were rated as "Critical" by Mozilla.

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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