Mozilla Firefox 3.5 review

Firefox has had its status as the number one IE alternative under threat for a while. Can it reclaim its position with the latest update?

There are also more granular refinements to browsing your history available, and you can also just choose to clear your history in steps of the last one, two or four hours. Alternatively, you can delve into the history and choose Forget about a site'.

We also like the new tear-off tab feature, this one taken from Chrome, where you can pull a tab away and open it in a new Window great for compare and contrast.

Other small improvements in usability come from things like more information being provided when updating, so you know how long it's going to take - small things that give it a more polished feel.

New standards

In a move to push the envelope, Firefox 3.5 now supports HTML 5.0, which includes a new video tag. A benefit is support for the open source Ogg Theora video format, so you could be watching video in the browser without having to faff about with plug-ins. You can try it out here.

In the demo there's no way of browsing full screen but this is a small issue that could be solved and for Theora to take off it will have to deal with rather larger issues such as competing with both Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight. It's going to be something of a wait and see.

Other innovations come in the form over another new web standard a new CCS attribute that enables web designers to push new fonts onto a client computer. It's a power full feature and designers will be able to scale and rotate page elements with small amounts of code.

It also means that designers no longer have to use static images to make pages look exactly as they intend. This is more efficient, due to smaller files sizes, but also helps search optimisation and provides the ability to copy and paste - all of which is not possible with static images.

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