Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Firefox 8.0 beta 4 with Plugins Portable by Evan

Firefox Beta is the build for those who like a little bit of jeopardy, but who don’t want to risk everything by trying out Firefox Aurora. It gives you a sneak peek at the next version of Firefox with a relatively stable build that’s not quite ready for primetime, but still pretty solid.
Whereas Firefox Aurora installs as a completely separate application alongside your existing Firefox installation, Firebox Beta will replace the stable build. Should you subsequently wish to go back to the safer version, you’ll need to manually download the stable version and install it over the top of the beta build. Confirm which build you have by selecting About Firefox from the Firefox menu or button (it’s inside the Help menu if using the Firefox button).
After the lack of visible changes in recent versions of Firefox, version 8 adds a number of noticeable new features. The first occurs when you first launch the browser after an update: a new Add-Ons compatibility assistant will launch disabling incompatible add-ons and giving you the option to selectively disable others.
Another change is how Firefox handles third-party add-ons – these are no longer installed without question; instead, the user will be asked to explicitly allow the installation via a dialog box offering a warning and some information about the add-on in question.
A new option for speeding up browser loading – previously available via the Config Options console, but now accessible via the General tab of the Options dialog box – allows users to tick a box marked “Don’t load tabs until selected”. This means that if the browser is configured to restore the tabs from the last browsing session, it won’t automatically attempt to reload those pages until the tab is selected.
Another noticeable change is that opening the History window reveals a new Downloads option, making it easy to view recent downloads alongside previously opened tabs and websites as well as bookmarks.
Not all add-ons will work with this release (they’ll be automatically disabled during the update process), and because it’s an unfinished version, we recommend you back up your existing Firefox settings using a tool like MozBackup before installing it over the top of your existing stable installation.

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