Firefox 9 Released, Gets OS X Lion Enhancements and Faster JavaScript Engine

The Mozilla Foundation has released the latest version of its popular open-source web browser, Firefox 9, adding support for Mac OS X Lion's swipe navigation controls and a boost to the JavaScript engine.

Although available previously in beta form, the new release is the final version and promises a tweak to the JavaScript engine that can improve the performance of in-page code by up to 30 per cent - a major boon for users on slower systems.

Mac OS X Lion users get improved support for the swipe-based gesture control system, along with performance and stability improvements and better theme integration for a more cohesive appearance.

For developers, Firefox now supports the querying of 'Do Not Track' status through JavaScript, support for font-stretch, improved support for text-overflow, and the latest implementations of HTML5, MathML and CSS to improve standards support.

The Mozilla Foundation still has a lot of work ahead of it, however: Google's rival Chrome browser has shot past it - and others - to become the most popular browser around, while the Foundation's advertising deal with Google came to an end recently in a move which deprives the Foundation of around 80 per cent of its revenue.