These days it can be a bit difficult to get oneself excited about the release of a new version of a web browser, for the simple reason that it’s something that happens far too often. But if for some reason you still want to get your hands on Firefox 11 just before its official release on Tuesday, you can do so as the said version seems to have slipped out ahead of time.
While still news, the release of a new browser version of Firefox - or even Chrome for that matter - is not the kind of earth-shattering event it used to be before Mozilla adopted a rapid release schedule. But the latest stable release of the Firefox is noteworthy as it is said to address an issue that has rankled users for many years now. Yes, we are talking about the notorious memory leak problem.
After failing to keep up with the original Firefox 4 release schedule due to “regressions and sources of instability,” Mozilla had to revise its initial estimates and push back the launch of the stable version to 2011. The open source outfit on Wednesday shipped Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 8. The actual release of the latest beta comes nearly a month later than originally anticipated.
According to the release notes, the latest build boasts a vastly improved Firefox Sync setup experience across desktop and mobile devices; speed, compatibility and functionality enhancements to WebGL; and a much more polished Add-Ons Manager, which now updates extensions automatically. Furthermore, Mozilla has fixed more than 1,400 bugs.
Google recently vowed to make more frequent the end-user's trysts with a new version of its Chrome browser. But for some, stable browser builds are rather vapid and the prospect of one every six weeks even more so. Google has now released the highly unstable Chrome Canary Build for such denizens of the bleeding edge.
“We plan to update the Canary Build more frequently than the Dev channel, with riskier changes, and usually without a human being ever verifying that it works, so the Canary Build is only for users who want to help test Google Chrome and are comfortable using a highly unstable browser that will often break entirely,” Henry Bridge, a Google product manager, said in a blog post.
It is possible to install the experimental Canary Build alongside a more stable version of the browser, which can be either a Dev, Beta or a Stable channel release. If you are a Mac or Linux user, the Canary Build is not for you.
“If you like to live on the bleeding edge, give the Google Chrome Canary Build a shot and let us know what you think. The early feedback on crashes, performance regressions, broken features and other problems is incredibly valuable to us, so thanks!”
Blink and you might miss a new stable Google Chrome release. This is because Google is accelerating the “pace at which Google Chrome stable releases become available.” The search engine giant plans to deliver a major version of its web browser every six weeks.
Apparently, someone at Google proved beyond reasonable doubt that the engineering team was churning out new features at about the same rate as a Chinese toy factory produces toxic dolls with all its drudges.
“We have new features coming out all the time and do not want users to have to wait months before they can use them. While pace is important to us, we are all committed to maintaining high quality releases — if a feature is not ready, it will not ship in a stable release,” wrote Anthony Laforge, Google Chrome Program Manager, in a blog post.
“We basically wanted to operate more like trains leaving Grand Central Station (regularly scheduled and always on time), and less like taxis leaving the Bronx (ad hoc and unpredictable). Since we are going to continue to increment our major versions with every new release (i.e. 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0) those numbers will start to move a little faster than before.”