Today Mozilla has announced Firefox 3.6 availability for public use. It’s built on Mozilla’s Gecko 1.9.2 web rendering platform.

Firefox 3.6 with Personas

Firefox 3.6 with Personas

I love to update my computer with every new release Firefox comes up with and this time it has lovely Personas. Previewing a theme is so easy with it..! Just like Google Chrome and it’s fast as well.

I liked the fact that almost all majorly used Firefox extensions were working with this update except “Microsoft .NET Framework Assistance” which is probably not compatible since Firefox 3.5.6 version.

What’s new in Firefox 3.6? (as per release notes from Mozilla)

Firefox¬†3.6¬† is built on Mozilla’s Gecko 1.9.2 web rendering platform, which has been under development since early 2009 and contains many improvements for web developers, add-on developers, and users. This version is also faster and more responsive than previous versions and has been optimized to run on small device operating systems such as Maemo.

New & Notable Firefox 3.6 features include:

  • Available in more than 70 languages – get your local version.
  • Support for a new type of theme called Personas, which allow users to change Firefox’s appearance with a single click.
  • Protection from out-of-date plugins to keep users safer as they browse.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen and supports poster frames.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness, and startup time.
  • The ability for web developers to indicate that scripts should run asynchronously to speed up page load times.
  • Continued support for downloadable web fonts using the new WOFF font format.
  • Support for new CSS attributes such as gradients, background sizing, and pointer events.
  • Support for new DOM and HTML5 specifications including the Drag & Drop API and the File API, which allow for more interactive web pages.
  • Changes to how third-party software can integrate with Firefox in order to prevent crashes.

Here is what has to say on Firefox 3.6 release

Mozilla debuted Firefox 3.6 on Thursday, introducing significant under-the-hood changes that make it faster, help it render content better and a few visual tweaks, as well.

Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, the most apparent changes in Firefox 3.6 are improvements made to the TraceMonkey JavaScript rendering engine, making it about 20 per cent faster than when it debuted in Firefox 3.5, according to Mozilla. Although this makes it more competitive with Google Chrome, but not faster, there’s more to Firefox 3.6 than speed.

Firefox maintains its reputation as the most customisable browser around, introducing default support for the next generation of Themes, called Personas. Users will no longer have to download the Personas add-on to get its on-the-fly skinning power. However, Windows 7 interface support, including tab previews using the Ctrl+Tab hot key, jump lists and multiple tab previews in Aero Peek will have to wait for another revision. Currently, these can only be activated by changing settings in about:config.

Several notable improvements keep Firefox abreast of current browsing tech. Significant under-the-hood changes include blocking third-party software from encroaching on Firefox’s file system turf to increase stability; support for the Web Open Font Format, which means users viewing pages in other languages should see faster load times via downloadable fonts; and support for the File interface, which can help with tasks such as uploading multiple photos and is part of the draft HTML5-standard effort. Open, native video can be displayed full screen and supports poster frames, which is the preview image you see before a video begins, and the new CSS attributes gradients, background sizing and pointer events will work in Firefox 3.6.

HTML5 support debuted in Firefox 3.5, and Firefox remains the leading web browser that supports it. This is not insignificant, because even with Google Chrome grabbing more than 4 per cent of the browser market in its first 16 months, Firefox maintains a commanding 24 per cent that hasn’t stopped growing, second only to Internet Explorer.

A deeper change to the browser is that it is now running scripts asynchronously, which can help to load a web page faster by putting off some work until the high-priority chores are complete. Firefox 3.6 also isolates out-of-date plug-ins so they do not become a security risk.

Unlike Firefox 3.5, which was more about keeping the browser current rather than blazing new trails, Firefox 3.6 is once again taking some small but innovative steps. Expect more new features to debut in minor-point updates as the browser works towards Firefox 3.7.