Monday 2 June 2008

Firefox 3 .. on the way

This post follows my new experience with firefox 3 beta 5.

Im not usually the kind who downloads the latest and greatest to test them out. I generally prefer the stable versions to work with rather than experiment with.

But with fedora 9, I gave it a try.


The features are good.








First Impression:
  • User interface, although mostly similar, has grown better.
  • Web pages layouts (when opened) have become more beautiful: Button styles, text boxes, frames etc and other page elements seem to look slick(er than on earlier versions).
  • The tab edges are squared rather than rounded on previous releases... and this blends well with the gnome desktop.GTK supporters should rejoice.
  • Full screen goes REALLY full screen. So on my 12.1" laptop, i get maximum leverage for viewing web pages. really helpful and cool.
Usability:
  • Much faster (is expected)
  • Few points to prove this: On firefox 2, some of the popular blog posts with a cazillion comments used to take ages to load (the comments would only appear much later). Firefox 3 loads them in a breeze. (not that its too much faster, that depends on ur net connection; but its smoother and not jerky and really pleasing to use :-) )
  • Theres a slight issue in installng adblock. But latest devbuilds here work effortlessly: http://adblockplus.org/devbuilds/
  • Although I dont use too many extensions, some people do and they faced problems getting their extensions to work on beta. But mostly lifehacker solved their problems: http://lifehacker.com/355973/make-your-extensions-work-with-the-firefox-3-beta. Cool for me.. i just stick to the basics without depending on too many extras... keeps me independent of the platform.
  • The auto complete on the address bar makes it more user friendly, in that it provides extra information in the drop down besides just the url. positive to some, negative to some. not a difference to me.
PROBLEMS?
Havent run into any serious problems yet, but yes:
  • VERY VERY SLOW SCROLLING. they like to call it smooth scrolling, but its too annoying to use. rather than improve aesthetics, it removes the users command of the page.
  • Adobe flash plugin installer doesnt install automatically. Manual install necessary. I havent tried other plugins yet, but some others might face similar problems. I installed mine through yum
All in all a pretty cool browser. waiting for the final release...

btw, the firefox community is eyeing at setting a new guiness world record for most downloads in 24 hours, when firefox 3 is released.

http://www.spreadfirefox.com/

Join us in our mission to set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours!

Till then, its beta 5. Just hoping that the scroll fix is out soon.

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