Mozilla has announced the availability of the first Firefox 3.1 beta release, an important development milestone for the popular open source web browser. Mozilla aims to make Firefox 3.1 a strong incremental improvement with user interface enhancements, new features, and increased support for emerging web standards. The new beta release includes a modest handful of noteworthy changes that improve the user experience.
- Play with the improved CSS support in Firefox 3.
- Test out the new DOM improvements, especially in regard to support for extensions to the DOM added by other browsers.
- Look through this handy guide on updating web applications for Firefox 3.
- Take advantage of the FUEL library which simplifies many of your most common tasks.
- Experiment with the new Places API, a massive simplification to our history and bookmark platform, providing significantly more functionality and performance.
- Check out the Improvements to XUL in Firefox 3.
Mozilla had originally planned to start code freeze for beta 1 in the middle of August, but decided to delay the beta release and do an additional alpha release instead.
Several web sites already have basic support for the feature, including Yahoo's Fire Eagle and the Pownce microblogging service. We tested it with Outside.in Radar, a new web service that displays news headlines and other information about things that are near the user's current location. Earlier this month, Mozilla Labs also released the Geolocation Specification implementation as a Firefox 3.0 extension called Geode so that users and developers can start testing the functionality and incorporating support for the APIs into their web applications without having to use Firefox 3.1 prerelease versions.
Tomorrow I will post my new tutorial for Text Fire Animation