My uncanny powers of prediction continue to amaze even me; in February I wrote of three things I’d like to see in Firefox 3.1, and yesterday Mozilla announced that there will be a point release sometime in the near future.
No news on whether my requests will be implemented, but I have my fingers crossed.
The latest nightly releases of Firefox 3 (warning: download nightlies at your own risk) for Windows and OS X feature the new themes for each platform for the first time (click to enlarge the thumbnails):
Both are nicely designed and look as if they will integrate well with their respective desktops, although it must be noted that I don’t believe that either is in its fully completed state yet.
More interesting to me, however, was the news that JPEG decoding has been increased by 30%; I tried it out on Flickr, and the pages loaded extremely quickly; the updated Gecko engine is already fast, and now pages load even faster. Speed tests against Safari (currently the fastest web browser) should be interesting.
I’ve been playing with the Firefox 3 nightlies for quite a while now so the first beta release didn’t really hold any great surprises for me. The updated rendering engine is fast and clean, and it’s got lots of nice new features which make it a treat to use. Most of my favourite new features are already in Opera 9.5, however; and one that isn’t could really do with the Opera touch.
According to the spec,
User agents should support Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio, as well as the Ogg container format; Firefox and Opera do so natively, while Webkit does so with a plugin for Quicktime (see Xiph.org).
According to my site stats — which are very far from being representative — roughly 60% of my visitors use one of the three browsers mentioned above; that’s a pretty big potential market. And remember, what the geeks use now, everybody will use in a year or two.