The Mozilla development community has rolled out the latest beta of its Firefox 3.6 browser. The move follows beta 4 just three weeks ago - the final code is scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
In addition to the usual round of bug fixes, Firefox 3.6 beta version 5, comes with a number of new features and performance enhancements. The browser offers the ability for users to easily reskin the browsers with a new visual theme. The new version can also run scripts asynchronously, which should speed load times of pages that have multiple scripts.
The new release also aims to appease cutting-edge developers, with support for various new standards. It supports an HTML 5-based API that provides a standardised way for web applications to ask a user to select files from the user's machine. Through a CSS specification, it allows multiple backgrounds to be overlaid on one another. It also supports the Web Open Font Format, a compressed file format for fonts.
Firefox 3.6, code-named "Namoroka," is based on the Gecko 1.9.2 layout engine. Over 70 percent of the Firefox third-party add-ons have been upgraded to work with 3.6, Mozilla officials report.
While Firefox 3.5.6 is the current recommended version for day-to-day use, users interested in testing the beta can download it from the Mozilla site. Those who already have the Firefox 3.6 beta should have the next version automatically downloaded and updated shortly. Feedback is encouraged.