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back to article Mozilla slings out 9th beta for Firefox 4

Mozilla has squirted out the ninth test build of the next iteration of its upcoming open-source browser. Firefox 4 beta 9 was pushed out on Friday, ahead of a planned Release Candidate build that is expected to be followed by the final code hitting the interwebs next month. Given that the test build is so close to being …

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Don't think there's hardware acceleration on Linux?

If the sources I've seen are to be believed then they can't get hardware acceleration working on Linux because only NVIDIA's own binary drivers are stable enough for proper OpenGL use.

I'd like to hope that either this has been solved or they'll allow the user to switch it on if the relevant drivers are installed, but I won't hold my breath.

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So if you've got Linux and decent drivers

then you've got hardware acceleration?

It says it depends on the hardware/drivers - so there is hardware acceleration on Linux.

Picky perhaps - but shit drivers is a cross platform problem. Large corporations trying to proprietise the HTML5 standard is a much greater problem, Having hardware acceleration is a bit pointless if they wont let you watch the content because you've got the wrong sort of DRM.

One advantage of FF4/HTML5 is that is should provide a good test set for open source driver development.

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Flame

Not surprised

Even after all these years, the ATI/AMD drivers still produce hard lockups. I am at a loss as to how they can possibly fail that hard. Better to use the open source drivers if you have a Radeon, stability is way better, if slower. A little googling around will find you some handy advice, too.

It's the old joke.. why are Radeons like London buses? They're big, red and have terrible drivers.

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Too little, too late

....the world + dog has already switched to Chrome

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Jobs Horns

Not this dog

Really? Not this dog. And not all the dogs who visit our sites. FF usage percentage still on the rise.

I'll switch to Chrome once they stop tracking your browsing history and ditch the Fisher Price Early Learning Centre design. Ok I wouldn't actually switch to Chrome, I'd switch to Iron.

But I'll only switch to Iron once there's a way to replicate all the functionality of my FF addons. Actually I've change my mind, I won't switch to Iron after all.

When I need to use a browser that processes JavaScript 1 milisecond faster than FF, I'll use Opera.

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Jobs Horns

But

But seriously though... The more browsers out there that people are using, the better. Then there's competition to ensure that browser vendors stick to the specifications accurately.

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What you actually mean

Is the world and it's dog has been convinced by retarded logic to install the google toolbar when installing something else, like AV software or some other completely unrelated crap, which comes with the google chrome. Or perhaps Google earth which also comes installed with Google chrome because the evil creepware megalith just can't stop itself and is spreading like a plague.

Yet to see someone use it though, most people have the annoying icon on their desktop, cluttering up until the "desktop clean up" gets rid.

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Stop

Neither...

...myself nor my dog have, or will, use Chrome any time soon, for the very same reasons why I won't be installing Android on my phone (which I could if I so desired). Come to think of it, that also means that Chrome won't be going anywhere near my girlfriends, mums or grandparents computers, at least not while I'm the family nerd!

// STOP assumptions.

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By which you mean..

About 15% of the browser using population..

The other 85% are using a variety of browsers.

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Not Chrome

I stopped using Chrome when they stopped showing http://

Hiding stuff from users is a stupid thing to do.

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Tempted to upvote

You know, because Chrome trolling is so much more inventive than Opera trolling. On balance, though, the thumb says it all.

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tabs in title bar

On Windows Vista and up the tabs have been moved to the title bar when the window is maximised. On one level this is great since there is less chrome so more room for your webpage. However it means that in Windows 7 it's much harder to pull the window off it's maximised state. This would be fine however the devs have decided that the option for this feature should only be buried in about:config rather than getting it's own option in the menu.

The option to be able to preview individual tabs using aero peak is now disabled by default, so users switching from IE to firefox are going to lose a feature unless they start digging around the options.

There's still a huge problem surrounding d2d accelerated fonts on some systems, doesn't affect my work PC or my laptop but fonts look awful on my home desktop.

In the last beta the status bar was removed, which I don't mind, except some addons (like firebug) need that bar so now we have an addon bar which for most people is just a waste of space with a couple of icons on.

I really like firefox and I like the fact that they're trying to improve the interface by removing chrome but this stuff should have been sorted out much earlier in the beta program not cobbled together at the last minute.

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Status Bar vs Add Ons Bar

If you simply need the Status Bar back for Add-Ons purposes then you can easily get it back by simply unhiding it (http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/what-add-bar)

If you need the full Status Bar there is an add on for that (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/status-4-evar/)

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not my point

I know that I can have the add-on bar and if I want a status bar I can have one of those with an add-on. My point is that I don't understand why the status bar was lost when it's needed by some add-ons so instead of a status bar (which was removed to save chrome) I get a pointless bar that's mostly empty chrome.

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Tabs On Top

Firefox button --> Options [>] --> un-select "Tabs On Top"

Personally I'm not sure aero-peak works for a web browser, it would be useful to be able to toggle it quickly.

Now is there an option somewhere to disable the tab groups feature?

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Anonymous Coward

Status Bar

Fuzz,

I don't disagree and I can certainly see your point. Personally, I'm happy to let my add-ons work silently in the background and if I need to change anything I'll do it manually.

The only one I have visibly is the NoScript button sitting on the Navigation Toolbar as I do click it a few times a day; everything else is hidden.

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Whee

This is the first beta of 4.xx that I have tried. The new interface is clean and uncluttered, everything moves nice and quickly (feels as snappy as chrome). I just tried the sunspider benchmark, and it is 3.14X (Pi times!) quicker than the current 3.xx release.

Not bad. I have installed the extension compatibility reporter, and so far, everything except Torbutton is working fine for me (adblock, bugmenot, betterprivacy, noscript etc).

In fact, I am using it to post this. It also looks like the font rendering is a little nicer.

Impressed. Clearly, Mozilla haven't been sitting on their hands. I love it when the browser developers try this hard to outdo each other, we all win.

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The Minefield 4.10 nightly build works fine for me on Ubuntu 10.10 ;

it's smooth and fast and generally speaking, in the same league as Chrome/Chromium and Opera. Indeed, if the Delicious Bookmarks add-on worked on it, I'd make it my default rather than the FF 3.6.14 build I'm running now. Alas, Delicious seems to be in some sort of limbo, so who know if we're going to get the update needed to make it run with FF 4.0 ?...

Henri

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Compelling, but facing stiff competition

There are wonderful features here that I'm very glad to see, hardware acceleration, a functioning history API, CSS transitions and a much better SVG implementation with support for SVG as background CSS. All wonderful work.

However the underlying architecture still doesn't compare with Google Chrome's tab per process stability and independence or IE's loosely coupled architecture. I would have liked to have seen improved tab handling too.

Some wonderful input that will make the Internet a better place for sure, but will I give up Chrome? Not sure yet. The biggest surprise is coming from the former village idiot IE9 that now seems to be showing everyone else how rendering is done. Things are certainly not boring on the browser landscape these days.

I might just end up switching to IE9 to get my high quality H264 vids :P

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Huh?

"However the underlying architecture still doesn't compare with Google Chrome's tab per process stability"

Really, I've tried a few releases of Chrome, but removed it each time because it was much less stable (the browser regularly crashed taking ALL the tabs with it) than FF..

It also didn't help that its interface is just plain ugly.

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Go

Waiting for Boox

Using both 4.0b10pre and 3.6 atm.

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Not useful as a final beta on Mac

I now see serious redraw problems both in the title bar / tab bar, and in the main window (these are new in beta 9, beta 8 was fine, this does not feel like a product should when it's approaching release, when such serious regressions are being introduced this late in the process!) …

Anyway, these redraw problems have made beta 9 unusable for me on Mac OS 10.6. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=623852 is probably the culprit, and is fixed in nightly builds … if it _isn't_ fixed, the if a bug this serious made it in to the RC, then that would be Very Bad. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.

<rant>This caused me to try Opera for the first time in ages: absolutely useless to me. First thing I try to do is to import a client certificate from a p12. Not possible. Orphaned file dialogs, focus-stealing by bits of UI I'm not using at the moment, ends up not importing it once I've managed to get focus to the right "OK" buttons in the right order for the several layers of modality. The fact that it's unable even to perform this simple task, the first I tried, means I won't be trying it again any time soon. This is in a full release, 11.00, not a beta, by the way.</rant> Shame, Opera Mobile is very nice on Windows Mobile …

Back to Safari, which seems to (a) redraw correctly, and (b) be able to import and use my client certificate. And looking forward to beta 10!

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… it's a minefield.

Well, I got fed up with the vagaries of Safari, so installed Minefield of 2011-01-24, which seems to be fine.

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