Mozilla Corp. released the second beta of its next browser, Firefox 1.5, Friday to testers and developers.
Although there are no new features included in Beta 2, Mozilla said the follow-up to September's Beta 1 includes improvements in the automatic update system, performance and site rendering enhancements, and fixes for several security problems. A complete list of the fixes and changes to Beta 2 can be viewed on the Burning Edge Web site.
Beta 2 can be downloaded manually in versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux from Mozilla's Web site or FTP servers. Users of Beta 1, however, can simply wait for that edition's automatic update to kick in; the update to Beta 2 will run only about 700K in size, said Mozilla, compared to the full Windows download of 5MB.
Firefox 1.5 will undergo additional rounds of testing -- several Release Candidate editions at the least -- before it goes final in November or December. So far, it seems on track.
On Sept. 9, a day after Beta 1 appeared, Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's director of engineering, promised a second beta in "about a month."
That's good news for Firefox fans, who have seen 1.5 -- once called Firefox 1.1, then for a short time Deer Park -- pushed back several times. At one point, Firefox 1.5 was scheduled to release in March, but delays steadily moved the deadline onward, from mid-summer to fall, and finally winter.