Mozilla Launches Firefox 11 Beta with Add-on Sync, SPDY Support and a 3D Page Inspector

Mozilla Launches Firefox 11 Beta with Add-on Sync, SPDY Support and a 3D Page Inspector

Just a few days after the official launch of Firefox 10, Mozilla today also announced the latest Firefox beta for version 11 of the groups' popular browser. Most of the new features in this beta are geared toward developers, including a 3D debugging tool and a new style editor. For regular users, this beta features add-on sync, which lets you sync your installed add-ons between different machines, as well as an updated migration tool which now also features support for switching from Chrome. The Firefox 11 beta now also supports the SPDY protocol, which was designed as the successor to the ubiquitous HTTP and which can significantly speed up page load times.

SPDY, which was conceived by Google, uses a number of techniques to speed up the file transfer between a server and your browser (including by using fewer connections and downloading images in parallel, for example). Most of Google's sites already support SPDY (as does Google Chrome) and the number of sites and services that utilize this new protocol continues to grow quickly.

Note: as usual, please keep in mind that this is a beta version. It's pretty stable at this point, but don't be upset if it crashes.

3D Page Inspector

It's not often that we talk about tools for web developers that utilize 3D (WebGL, in this case), but Mozilla now lets you zoom around any website in a 3D tilt mode that makes it easier to discover elements that are hidden or off the page.

Page inspector 3d

Less visual, but nevertheless a welcome addition to Firefox's toolkit is the new Style Editor. With this tool, developers can now easily experiment with chances to a page's CSS stylesheet and see these reflected on the screen immediately. Google offers a similar feature for Chrome as well.