Mozilla releases Firefox 4 Beta 8 - Update
Originally scheduled to be released more than three weeks ago, the Mozilla Project has published the eighth beta of version 4.0 of the open source Firefox web browser. Firefox 4 is the non-profit organisation's next-generation web browser based on version 2.0 of the Gecko rendering platform (the Firefox 3.6 branch uses Gecko 1.9.2) and features a new Add-ons Manager and extension management API. Other changes include a new 'tabs on top' layout, the integration of Firefox Sync, formerly known as Weave, and various new features aimed at web developers.
Compared to the previous beta release, Firefox 4 Beta 8 features updates to the new Firefox Add-ons Manager, as well as speed, functionality, and compatibility improvements to WebGL. The developers also note that the Firefox Sync setup process has also been "greatly improved across desktop and mobile devices".
As with all development releases, use 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. A final release date for Firefox 4, however, has yet to be announced.
More details about the development release, including a list of known issues, can be found in the release notes and in the change log. Firefox 4 Beta 8 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's FTP server. At the time of this posting, the official Firefox 4 beta download page has yet to be updated with the new release and an official announcement has yet to be made.
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. The latest stable release of Firefox is version 3.6.13, a security update that addressed a critical vulnerability.
Update (23-12-10): Mozilla has now officially announced the release of Firefox 4 Beta 8, as well as a new beta of Firefox 4 for Mobile and an updated version of Firefox Home for iOS devices. Additional information about the Firefox and Firefox for Mobile beta releases, including a screencast video, can be found in two posts on the Mozilla blog.
- Firefox Creative Lead leaving Mozilla, a report from The H.
- WebSockets disabled in Firefox 4, a report from The H.
- Mozilla: Firefox 4 delayed until 'early 2011', a report from The H.