Firefox 3.5 RC Review

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Monday, June 22, 2009

firefox-logoWith Google’s Chrome 2.0 speeded up after dropping its beta and Opera 10 beta claiming a better browsing speed, all eyes are on Mozilla’s new Firefox version hyped to touch Amazing feats of speed. Last Friday Mozilla issued the new browser’s first release candidate. It seems to be the most stable and polished make after the year-long development process. Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate (RC) was the first milestone following the beta 4 released in late April.

Earlier Mozilla had plans to release the Firefox 3.5 RC in the first week of June. They had to delay the release of Firefox 3.5 RC a number of times due to the lingering bugs that needed a fix. Mozilla took an unusual step this month by issuing an interim build two weeks ahead of the scheduled date, which it describes as the nearly finished RC. The Preview was made available for 800,000 daily users of Beta 4.

According to a message posted to the Mozilla developer forum by Mike Beltzner, the director of Firefox.

As soon as QA performs basic…tests on the milestone, we’ll ship the partial updates to our existing beta-channel users

He also added that as the quality assurance team finishes more in-depth functional testing. They would be assisted by their large beta audience who are using the builds across the breath of the Web.

Belzner made it clear that if no further problem are found the RC build would simply become the public version. Beltzner said that he expects the final version of Firefox 3.5 to be released to the public by the end of June. Now it remains to see, whether Mozilla decides to roll out a second release candidate, as in that case they might miss the deadline.

Features : Comparison with Chrome

First of all, this is a .5 release and hence not a major release.


It was the most hyped issue about the new version of the browser was the speed. When compared to Google Chrome 2.0, this Firefox version doesn’t seem to keep the pace. In fact, you might find it slower than the 3.0 version. Well, you can excuse this as its a release version and keep your fingers crossed until the official version is out.


  • The developments in the new version seems to be a bid to take on Chrome by neck
  • New TraceMonkey JavaScript engine
  • Enhanced privacy tools including Private Browsing Mode
  • Native JSON and web worker thread support
  • Geko improvements include speculative parsing
  • HTML5 video and audio element support
  • Location Aware browsing
  • Offline data storage support

There are some smaller features that you might like to avail. For instance, one of the features allow the ability to drag a tab from one Firefox window to another window. Except for the power-users this might not be used by the average users.

Missing Features

Firefox 3.5 would be supporting audio and video with Ogg and WAV. For an end-user that’s nothing cool. Most of the average and new users are interested in YouTube videos and that requires a Flash Player. What the users would like to see in the new browser is YouTube videos right out of the box. You still have to install the Flash plug-in to watch the .flv videos.


There’s no doubt Firefox remains the favorite open source browser. Even if Firefox 3.5 fails to deliver the speed it claimed, there’s a world of users who would stick to the open source browsers. However, given other features, it’s the speed of the browsers that appeals most. Now there’s a neck to neck race between the top browsers over speed. Well, you if view the top browsers in a race, it’s this way - Opera is speeding up, Firefox is just ahead but eventually Chrome finishes first. No doubt, Chrome is the fastest browser available right now. It’s high-time for Mozilla to stop bloating features to Firefox and focusing their energy on speed. Once they achieve that they would be free to work add their whims and fancies.


June 27, 2009: 7:36 pm

This review is sided. Beta versions were able to double the speed of previous Firefox versions. And with the recent/future fixes&additions, Firefox will be on par with Chrome.

June 25, 2009: 10:12 pm

What bullshit:

Its not allowed to put the crappy adobe flash player plugin into mozilla! What a bad statement!

Furthermore youtube is the problem here, they should stop using flash and rather change to the video tag - or at least support that along flash.

June 25, 2009: 9:35 pm

Speed? I don’t know about you but speed doesn’t seem to be the most important thing to users. If all anyone wanted was speed they’d be using elinks which will make chrome,firefox,opera, and IE all look like snails. Oh but I forgot to mention it’s not graphical and has almost no features by comparison. So maybe people want pictures, ok fine, use dillo it’ll knock the socks off (speed-wise) all the major browsers too, but it lacks a significant amount of what people consider standard features. Ok so you want something that manages java, java script, flash etc… well you have a whole slew of web-kit and gecko-based browsers that will suffice and have as good if not better speed than those being compared here, largely however they lack one thing… features, of which speed is only one, and if you do some investigating of the truly fast browsers you’ll find that it is indeed a lesser feature.

Firefox will remain dominant because it has a feature-set that is unparalleled and can be built on by users who find it lacking. The others in comparison seem fairly immature.

June 25, 2009: 9:06 pm

Even if Firefox supported .flv videos (which I doubt) you wouldn’t be able to play Youtube videos without flash.

Youtube doesn’t make use of the htmlv5 “video” tag, so no end user will be able to watch this videos without flash, no matter what Firefox do.

However, I’m sure that sooner or later there will be a Greasemonkey script for that.

Tony Ghy
June 25, 2009: 1:14 pm

What a misleading article. The whole post is based on simple user pre-assumptions. The half baked ‘fact’ that chrome is faster is so very hard to digest. Chrome is not fast, but average..and with the new rendering engine, firefox is way ahead of chrome, IE, opera, safari and whatever by miles. I can but laugh at this article and its ignorant writer. May God help you both(i.e the author and his blog). Amen.

June 23, 2009: 2:22 am

So Chrome really is the fastest browser out there? That’s good to know (since I do use Chrome). But hopefully Firefox will improve on this.
What happened to IE? :D

will not be displayed