The official release date for the next stable version of the Firefox web browser is August 16. This is also the day when all other channels move a version up, so to speak. Beta users will move to version 7 of the browser, Aurora users to 8 and Nightly users likely to version 9.
The majority of Firefox users is subscribed to the stable channel. The latest official version of that channel is Firefox 5.0.1 which will be updated to Firefox 6 on Tuesday.
But Firefox Stable is not the only channel that has received an update that is already available on the Mozilla ftp server. The Firefox 3.6.x branch is still actively maintained, and users of that branch will be quite happy that their version of the Internet browser receives an update as well. Firefox 3.6.20 is also available on the ftp server.
Firefox users who do not want to wait that long can download the new version of Firefox can download the new versions from one of the official mirror servers like this one.
Cautious users should wait until the release is officially announced on the Mozilla site and via the automatic update option of the web browser itself. It is unlikely that we will see last minute changes but it has happened in the past.
So what is new in Firefox 6? The official release log has not been updated yet. The beta changelog lists the following changes:
The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you're visiting
Streamlined the look of the site identity block
Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
Added support for window.matchMedia
Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
Improved usability of the Web Console
Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama
The full list of changes of Firefox 6 is available here.
Only the beta release notes are available for Firefox 3.6.20 as well. The list is considerably shorter: The developers have fixed security and stability issues, and enabled downloadable font support for users running Mac OS X 10.7.
Big changes and features that will make an impact are already implemented and tested in Firefox 7. This is the version of the browser that will reduce memory usage significantly on many systems. (see Firefox 7 Aurora Shows Significant Memory Usage Improvements). (via)Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.