Firefox 4 Beta 7 – Good News

One of the major and essential components for the future implementation of Firefox just became available through beta. It gives the browser the page-rendering speed power boost that it had been lacking.

Firefox 4 beta 7 also introduces JagerMonkey, a JavaScript engine that puts the Firefox in the same speed ballpark as the high-speed browsers it is in competition with. It will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The old TraceMonkey engine was to slow to no longer be in the same page rendering league as Chrome, Opera, Safari, and even the Internet Explorer 9 beta.

Speed Improvements

By Incorporating the JagerMonkey JIT compiler into the new SpiderMonkey engine, Mozilla says that users can expect to see improvements in faster start-up times, the page-load speed, and JavaScript-intensive Web tasks. Users will see improvement in running apps and playing games. Benchmarking performance shows Firefox 4 is three times faster than the current Firefox version 3.6.12 on both Kraken and Sunspider JavaScript benchmarks. It is also five times faster than Firefox 3.6.12 on the V8 benchmark.

Hardware Acceleration

Besides the JavaScript rendering, Firefox was one of the first browsers to incorporate hardware acceleration. Firefox 4 beta 7 uses your computer’s graphics card to load pages faster (provided the card is supported.) The new beta version will also work on Windows XP, something that most other hardware accelerated browsers can’t do. It will work on Macs, as well. The Mac version is powered by OpenGL, while DirectX fuels the Windows version.

Font Control

New Font control is available. Firefox 4 now supports the OpenType font format. This means that designers can control ligatures, kerning, cap variants, and alternative characters. There is also graphics rendering. Developers will be able to support 3D graphics rendering using WebGL. Running it requires an OpenGL-enabled graphics card. But support for other cards is in the planning stage.

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