Mozilla Delivers Firefox 5 Beta, Moves Ahead With Rapid Releases

by Sam Dean - May. 23, 2011Comments (2)

Back in early February, as Mozilla was putting the final touches on version 4 of its Firefox browser, the company announced a brand new development model for Firefox, emphasizing a rapid release cycle. Previously, Mozilla had delivered one to two major new versions of its browser per year, but Firefox has faced increasing competition from Google Chrome, which has always been on a rapid release cycle. Now, only weeks after delivering Firefox 4, Mozilla has delivered a beta version of Firefox 5, which is downloadable here. Is Mozilla ready to adhere to such a rapid development cycle for Firefox?

Firefox 5 beta is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, and is targeted at Mozilla's beta channel users. The version 5 beta supports CSS Animations, which make it possible to animate transitions from one CSS style configuration to another. According to Mozilla's MDC Docs page, "Animations consist of two components: A style describing the animation and a set of keyframes that indicate the start and end states of the animation's CSS style, as well as possible intermediate waypoints along the way." Firefox 5 also makes do-not-track features more accessible, offers better syncing, and there is better handling of the desktop than in previous Firefox releases for Linux. Some early users are reporting that Flash doesn't work in the browser.

In early April, we noted that some users were experiencing performance problems with Firefox 4, and it has since become clear that most of these problems arose due to problems with extensions. Meanwhile, PC World is arguing against Firefox's rapid release cycle, noting this:

"While the aggressive development schedule will help keep Firefox on the cutting edge, and allow it to adapt quickly to changes in Web technologies and usage patterns, it might also be confusing for end users to keep up with...Business PCs make up a significant portion of the global PC landscape. Releasing major browser versions faster than businesses can assess and implement them could be a serious handicap for Firefox going forward."

In the long run, Firefox will have to have a more rapid development cycle. Open source browsers--led by Chrome and Firefox--are defining the innovation curve as Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser continues to lose market share, and Chrome is simply arriving in improved versions at a much faster clip than Firefox. Still, proceed with caution with Firefox betas at this point, and PC World no doubt is correct that businesses will do so. 


Mark Walker uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


Mozilla Firefox 4 was a big improvement over the previous version. However the browser is just not perfect. It loads pages pretty slow, it takes lots of system resources. Lets hope that with Firefox 5 they will resolve this annoying issues. If they will manage to do that Firefox will be easy on of the best internet browsers. I have not tested yet Firefox 5 but who knows maybe i will decide to test it later this week. Opera

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i found that firefox 4.0 didnt release memory thoroughly when i use some time .so i turn to avant browser and i hope the next version can be repair it

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