Mozilla Unveils New Firefox 2.0 Alpha - InformationWeek

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5/15/2006
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Mozilla Unveils New Firefox 2.0 Alpha

Changes in the new version include close buttons on all tabs and a plug-in manager to more easily add and remove engines from the search box.

The Mozilla Foundation late Friday released the second alpha version of its newest Firefox browser to developers for testing.

Dubbed "Bon Echo Alpha 2," the rough-around-the-edges browser will eventually be renamed Firefox 2.0 when it's polished and launched later this year.

As with Alpha 1 when it debuted in late March, Mozilla stressed that the pre-release edition wasn't suitable for the average user.

"We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download this Alpha 2 milestone release," wrote Christopher Beard, Mozilla's vice president of products, on the browser's developer forum.

Alpha 2's release notes spelled out changes in the new version, including close buttons on all tabs, a search plug-in manager to more easily add and remove engines from the search box, and a browser restore feature that recovers Bon Echo and all tabs if the application crashes or freezes.

The new edition, however, lacks the highly-touted Places, a redesigned bookmarking and history log tool once scheduled for Firefox 2.0. Last month, Mozilla admitted it couldn't finish Places in time to include it with Firefox 2.0, and stripped it from Bon Echo Alpha 2. Users of Alpha 1 can recover bookmarks created in the now-defunct Places by following instructions Mozilla has posted online.

Mozilla also said it has inserted a new third alpha into the testing process so developers can try out some of the features which missed the Alpha 2 boat. Bon Echo Alpha 3 should appear May 26.

The newest version of Bon Echo can be downloaded from the Mozilla site in editions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

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