Firefox 3.0 Development Continues in 'Gran' Style

Nearly on schedule, Mozilla developers continue to push with the Alpha 3 release of the open source browser.
Mozilla developers are keeping up the pace on the development of their next-generation Firefox 3.0 browser with the Alpha 3 release, adding more under-the-hood improvements to security and its offline capabilities.

Development began on Firefox 3.0, code-named Gran Paradiso, around October when Firefox 2.0 was released. Gran Paradiso hit its Alpha 2 release in early February.

The Alpha 3 release includes support for animated PNG (define) graphics, which would mark the first new browser to include a default animated file format in more than a decade. Animated GIFs and JPEGs were a common development in the early days of the Web. The PNG format is considered to be more scalable than either GIF or JPEG and does not have the same patent issues that surround the use of GIF.

Firefox 3 Alpha 3 also adds a number of new security-related enhancements to the browser. Support for a cookie attribute called "HttpOnly" will make a cookie only readable as a server and not client-side scripts. The attribute could well serve to limit the potential exposure of personally identifiable information to unauthorized scripts that are running on a user's PC.

Additionally Mozilla developers have added a new preference for the "HTTP-EQUIV=refresh" attribute, which is commonly used to reload and, in some cases, redirect users to another page. The new preference will warn the user when a site is attempting to either reload or redirect.

Since the days of Marc Andreessen's first Netscape release, browsers have included a history cache, which enables users to go back to recently viewed content. In the modern world of AJAX-infused Web sites, that caching feature has fallen somewhat short.

Firefox 3.0 Alpha 3 is taking steps to help fix the off-line problem with support for the new off-line resource tag, which will ensure browser resources are available for cached content even when the browser is not connected to the live online resource.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.






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