Mozilla has released the alpha 3 release of Firefox 2, codenamed Bon Echo. One of the key improvements in alpha 3 is microsummaries, which provides changing information attached to a bookmark.
Mozilla has released the alpha 3 release of Firefox 2, code named Bon Echo.
One of the key improvements in alpha 3 appears to be "microsummaries", which provides changing information attached to a bookmark.
For a news site, it'll be the current top headline, for an auction item, it'll be the current bid price, for weather pages, it'll be the current forecast in your area. Web developers can implement their own tags in their pages that will help Firefox compile the microsummaries (and of course, we can't wait to see how the online advertising industry takes advantage of this... groan.)
We couldn't find a page that had microsummaries inserted in it yet, so here's a screenshot by Tien Soon, shared via Flickr:
Firefox 2 aims to improve the user interface for “common browsing tasks” including search, bookmarks, history, tabbed browsing, RSS handling, extensions, security and performance. Considering they did such a top job of Firefox so far, its going to be interesting to see how they can make it even better.
Some new and improved features that their next-gen browser will support include:
Built-in anti-phishing features...
Inline spell checking in text boxes...
Nicer viewing and subscribing to RSS feeds...
Besides those features, there's also:
- search suggestions in the search box
- support for client-side session and persistent storage (a more effective and secure alternative for cookies)
- automatic restore of crashed browser sessions (hooray!)
support for SVG text
- improvements to tabbed browsing
- search plug-in management
- a better 'add-ons manager' for themes and extensions.
The alpha 3 release of Bon Echo is freely available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X on this page.
Obviously, don’t install this pre-release version on your main machine, and be sure to backup all critical data such as your Firefox profile on any machine you do install it onto.
However we’d love you to take it for a swing and post your thoughts below on the direction Mozilla is going in with Firefox 2. Report bugs to Mozilla here.
Oh, and if you're wondering about what "Bon Echo" means (as we did): the name comes from a public park in Ontario, Canada.