Firefox: The new release candidate Firefox 3 RC2 is out. No date yet on the official launch, but they’re still saying June. Also, developers are starting to talk work that’s gone into what will become Firefox 3.1, such as completing CSS3 selectors support.
Opera: A new Opera 9.5 preview came out today, showcasing the browser’s new look. Also, the Opera Core team takes a look at what you can do if you put hardware acceleration on the whole browser.
Internet Explorer: IE8 beta 2 is scheduled for August. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve done, and figure I’ll start updating sites to accommodate changes. I held off changing too much when IE8b1 came out, because some of the differences were obviously bugs (triggering the Caio Hack, for instance; and yes, I reported it).
Flock has been moving ahead with small, rapid releases, adding integration for new services each time. They just added Digg and Pownce in Flock 1.2 a few days ago. Now they’re getting ready to start on Flock 2.0, which will merge in all the new capabilities of Firefox 3. That means it’ll get new rendering capabilities, better memory management, probably EV certs and such.
My first post on Opera Watch is finally up: What Makes a Safe Browser?*
It grew out of my rant on blocking IE6, which pulled in aspects of PayPal’s comments about blocking “unsafe” browsers. I had it mostly finished a month ago, but someone asked to review it before I posted it live, and he promptly got swamped by work on Opera Dragonfly. I finally got the go-ahead about 2 weeks ago, but I was caught up in packing, and then moving, and then unpacking.
Things are finally settling towards a semblance of normality, and with the recent change in how Opera treats EV certificates, I figured it was time to post the article before it became completely out of date.
*Update: It was on Opera Watch at the time. I’ve moved it over here since the site shut down. Most of the other posts I ended up writing for them were changelogs and round-ups.
Avenicus compares Firefox 3 beta 5 to Opera 9.50 beta 2 on performance and memory usage. The surprise: Firefox 3 uses less memory than Opera 9.50. Clearly all the work Mozilla has done on cleaning up memory usage has paid off.
Codedread comments on Apple’s Web Inventions.
Asa Dotzler counteracts FUD about the safety of Firefox, Safari, and other alternative browsers. His main point: the key measure of security is not the number of vulnerabilities, but the window of vulnerability: the time between a hole being discovered and the patch getting onto users’ systems. (In addition to a responsive security team, automatic updates really help here.)
In just over a week, Opera’s new developer toolset, code-named Opera Dragonfly, will be ready for an alpha release. This will be a welcome addition, not just for developers, but ultimately for Opera users as well. Obviously, it’ll make it easier for web developers to debug compatibility issues, leading to fewer sites breaking in Opera. But it could also bring more people in. Firefox’s growth got started with recommendations by techies. If Dragonfly proves to be as good or better than Firebug, developers will spend more time with Opera, which could lead to recommendations.
Opera Software has just released a new beta version of the desktop web browser, Opera 9.50 beta 2. The splash page makes me think of something a bit different, though:
Opera 9.5 beta
Speed, security, and performance matter.
Now, we’ve made the fastest browser in the world even faster. Opera’s new beta is quicker to start, faster at loading Web pages and better at running your favorite Web applications.
Hmm, a red and yellow blur, zooming across the view? And an emphasis on speed? That reminds me a bit of this guy:
Opera has long promoted itself on its speed, and it has used a super-hero theme in its advertising before. The vaguely Superman-like* “Opera Man” was used heavily in advertising Opera 8, despite being ridiculed by most of the browser’s user community.
So why not a subtle reference to the Flash?
*Blue costume + red cape. Hey, if a blue shirt and red jacket work for Clark on Smallville, you know the color scheme has become iconic.
Daniel Goldman, who has been posting news about the Opera web browser at Opera Watch since 2004, has embarked on a new project that has kept him too busy for blogging full-time. So he’s launching the next phase of the blog as a group effort. And, I’m happy to say, he invited me to join as a contributor.
Thanks, Daniel, for the opportunity to be part of Opera Watch!
Now I need to think of something to write!