The day for the first milestone of Firefox 3 has already arrived! That’s right, Firefox 3 Alpha 1 can be downloaded off of the FTP server but at this time they only have the English version posted. I expect that other languages will be following very shortly so this will be the downloader for those versions, but as of right now only the English-US version is available:

I just removed the other languages from the drop-down menu because I realized that Mozilla only releases the English version for these very early milestones.

So you’re probably wondering what exactly is new. It isn’t like you’re going to open the browser and say “oh my goodness…is this Firefox?” because there aren’t any ‘visual’ changes. Here is a list of what’s new according to the release notes:

Gecko 1.9 Alpha 1 introduces several new features which can be tested by using Gran Paradiso Alpha 1:

  • Cairo is now being used as the default graphics library, affecting all graphic and text rendering
  • Cocoa Widgets are now used in OS X builds
  • An updated threading model
  • Changes to how DOM events are dispatched (see bug 234455)
  • Changes to how <object> elements are loaded (see bug 1156)
  • Changes to how web pages are painted
  • New SVG elements and filters, and improved SVG specification compliance

Some of the changes in Gecko 1.9 Alpha 1 will affect the web and platform compatibility of Gran Paradiso Alpha 1:

  • Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME are no longer supported platforms
  • OS X 10.2 is no longer supported, and OS X 10.3.9 or higher is recommended
  • Moving DOM nodes between documents now requires a call to importNode or adoptNode as per the DOM specification.

So there you have it, the first milestone of several for Firefox 3. I have put together a portable version for anyone that wants to quickly test it out and I am trying MediaFire as the host. To use the portable version just extract the download and browse for the FirefoxPortable.exe file. Once you’re done testing it out you can just delete the folder.

MediaFire seems to be having problems, so I managed to find another host that appears to have a remarkable service. Download portable Firefox from here.