Firefox 9 has begun to arrive for public consumption, appearing on various mirror sites and through some of the official channels and bringing a wealth of improvements to the plucky browser.

Although its popularity has been hit by the arrival of Google Chrome, Firefox will always have a special place in the hearts of technophiles as the browser that began to erode the Internet Explorer dominance.

The latest version from not-for-profit company Mozilla has now arrived in the public release channel and brings key changes under the hood, including a Javascript tweak that significantly hikes performance.

You must be Lion

Also on the change list are improvements for Mac OS X Lion users, support for font stretch and improved support for text overflow.

On top of this there are the expected stability improvements and further support for HTML5.

The 'official official' arrival and announcement from Firefox is expected in the next few hours, or you can hunt around to beat the rush if you so choose and download for Windows, Mac, or Linux.