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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Firefox 4 - Beta version 12: released by March 5th, 2011 - Last Pre-RC

Firefox 4 - Beta version 12 (Last Pre-RC Version): released by March 5th, 2011

Another Beta version of Firefox just came out a few days ago. Beta 12 was release on the 25th of February to be precise and is supposedly the last of the Beta releases. A few releases back a feature freeze had been implemented and only bugs (primarily blockers) where being worked on.  The Beta 12 release had been delayed a bit but this is the last of the Beta's. The actual set of release notes is at:

And this set of release notes provides a list of the Bugs that where fixed. The release is primarily a bug fix and performance release (or thats what its been described as) and includes 659 or so bugs fixed to add to the total 7,000+ fixed since the first Beta release in July 2010.  The bug list gives a bit of a run down and what I thought was interesting was that there were 5 individual bugs fixed for issues with the FireBug plugin. This was interesting as the Beta 11 version broke the FireBug plugin pretty badly and I had to switch it off.  There is also this nice list which provides known issues...and these are all not really bad issues and not really browser based either (more a case of the web sites not being to spec etc.)

Also, the wiki page for Firefox 4 gives a good timeline which provides a nice overview of the release dates over the set of Beta's and the fixes that were done.  The following web site areweprettyyet also gives a nice round up of visual improvements that are being done in FF4 and also scheduled for FF5.

So besides the various bug fixes and performance improvements there is also a visible tweak to the UI. The status bar was removed from the browser UI a few beta's back. For a while the URL of a link etc., was displayed in the address bar on the right hand side. This has been removed and changed now.  While the status bar is not back a similar method is being employed. When hovering over a URL a popup appears in the bottom left hand side in the same way that Chrome and upcoming IE 9 URLs do.  Another change that Ive noticed related to the UI is the popups that occur (i.e.: for a JavaScript alert etc). The shape and look of the popup was very distinctive in previous versions of the browser. Then at around about Beta 10 it changed to a rather than rectangular angular box, to a box with rounded corners and a button with rounded corners in it.  Then in Beta 12 it converted to an angular box and button again.  The border is lighter and light grey.

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