Firefox 3.5 released this Tuesday

June 29, 2009 // 10:03 a.m.

Tags: #embedded-multimedia #firefox #firefox-35 #html-5 #mozilla-firefox #mozilla-foundation #shiretoko #webkit

The Mozilla Foundation is looking to go live with the next version of its popular open-source web browser, Firefox 3.5, as early as this Tuesday.

According to news over on BetaNews, the Mozilla Foundation has confirmed that – all being well – the next Firefox release – version 3.5, codename “Shiretoko” - will be available for public download starting on the 30th of June – this Tuesday.

The browser, which has been available in public beta for quite some time, brings a raft of new features to the platform. Perhaps the most obvious of these is support for embeddable video brought in as part of the HTML 5 standard, which Firefox is able to play natively – no plugin required.

The move will make Firefox the first browser to ship with support for the multimedia embedding functionality of HTML 5 – although, as support is scarce, it's a tool that web developers are shying away from using until more end users are able to make use of HTML 5 sites.

The tags, which support fallback to a playback plugin for those bereft of HTML 5 support in their browser, are also able to trigger another impressive feature: JavaScript-based real-time video overlay, which allows the browser to inject objects – including images and text – in to a playing video seamlessly.

Performance has, as always, been tweaked too – although betas of the next release of Google's competing Chrome browser show that webkit-based systems still rule the roost when it comes to raw speed.

Other high points from the feature list for Firefox 3.5 include improvements to the Awesomebar, a private browsing mode for those late night adventures around the seedier side of the web, fixes for the Add-on manager and the blocklist for plugins, improved add-on compatibility checking during upgrades, and integral support for the Ogg Vorbis and Theora codecs.

Looking forward to getting your hands on the new Firefox, or is it still not enough to tempt you away from your browser of choice? Impressed by the possibilities of the HTML 5 multimedia tags, or is it a feature which will want for support at both ends of the spectrum – developer and end-user alike? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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