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Mozilla Firefox 2 RC2 Released 349

Posted by Zonk
from the popular-day-for-rc2s dept.
Shining Celebi writes "According to the Mozilla Developer Center, Firefox 2 Release Candidate 2 is available for download. This looks like it could be the final release candidate, and offers a tweaked UI and improved stability over RC1, plus, of course, all the new in Firefox 2.0 features."
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Mozilla Firefox 2 RC2 Released

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  • Bloat? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:47PM (#16344991)
    Have these new features added additional bloat to the once-lean Firefox? I mean the anti-phishing thing and spellchecker are both cool, but why not leave these two things (particularly the spellchecker) as extensions?
    • Re:Bloat? (Score:4, Funny)

      by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @12:09AM (#16345109)
      Heck, we didn't all buy 2gb of ram for nuthin!

      The ultimate future of firefox: http://www.pbfcomics.com/archive/PBF036AD-Hugbot.j pg [pbfcomics.com]
    • It's not the "bloat" that bothers me, I'm a "kitchen sink" guy. It's the memory management issues. It's a pig. I'm still using it, but I've been looking very hard at Opera.
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      I mean the anti-phishing thing and spellchecker are both cool, but why not leave these two things (particularly the spellchecker) as extensions?

      Because most people are too stupid to install extensions, so if the browser doesn't come with X feature out-of-the-box, they assume it doesn't exist at all and say "Look! I.E. has it so it's better!"

      Even if you point out it can be added they still say it's worse because you have to go and download it separately. "Ugh! So much WORK!"

    • by pingveno (708857)
      I'm guessing many of the people who are easily taken in by a phishing scheme are not going to have the technical know-how to install an anti-phishing extension. Besides, *everyone* is going to want the phishing detector once it is available. As another guess, making something an extension probably adds a considerable amount of overhead.
    • Re:Bloat? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RonnyJ (651856) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @05:19AM (#16346283)
      I like the Opera implementation - it will use GNU Aspell if it's available (or the system spellchecker on Mac OS X).

      http://www.opera.com/support/tutorials/opera/spell check/ [opera.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:48PM (#16345001)
    I have been using the x86 Linux release all day today. And unfortunately, it still feels slower than Opera. From my quick measurements, it also seems to use more RAM.

    I had been hoping that Firefox 2 would be able to better compete with Opera. I was hoping that it would render faster, while also consuming far less memory. My Firefox 2 RC2 process from early this afternoon ended up hitting about 650 MB of RAM (measured with top) before I had to kill the process. And that was only after about three hours of use, in total. I didn't have any non-default extensions installed, so they aren't to blame.

    My computer only has 512 MB of RAM, and I'm not in a position to purchase more. If Firefox 2 leads to my system thrashing after only several hours, then I don't think I'll be able to use it. Opera, on the other hand, only ever seems to ever consume 80 MB or so. I can't recall ever seeing it above 100 MB.

    I really like the extensions of Firefox, many of which Opera does not offer. But Firefox suffers from some pretty severe memory management issues. Those in turn may lead to degraded system performance, even on computers with 512 MB of RAM, running Slackware 11. Unless Firefox deals with this excessive memory usage, I don't think I'll be able to use it on my system. Meanwhile, Opera functions without such problems, so I'll continue to use it until things improve with Firefox.

    • What extensions are you using, and do you experience the same memory chewing without them?
      • by kjart (941720)

        He answered your question in his post:

        I didn't have any non-default extensions installed
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @12:21AM (#16345179)
      On the Windows build, the exact opposite seems to be true. The 2.0RC1 build seems to eat up far less RAM in intense browsing sessions than the 1.5.x series did. Much, much, less. Especially on very image intensive sites, that used to cause Firefox to gobble up memory until it usually died after a short period of time (uhhh, I won't explain what kind of "image intensive sites" I'm talking about here, you can figure it out I'm sure). :)
      • Glad to hear it's better under Windows, since (sigh) that's what I mostly use.

        I normally read news by looking through the index pages and opening up all the stories I'm interested in in tabs - either Google/BBC/NYTimes if I want serious news, or Fark if I want silly news with snide remarks - and I get the same kind of explosive memory growth there too. Unlike image browsing, the problem with diverse-source news material is that lots of it has Javascript, often badly written for IE, and it often has ad ba

    • My Firefox 2 RC2 process from early this afternoon ended up hitting about 650 MB of RAM
      If you can find steps to reliably reproduce any memory problem in Firefox 2 RC2, please go to MozillaZine and give them the information about how to see the problem. Someone will make sure the bug is reported in the bug database so it can be fixed.
    • ^^(Shit, wrong formatting!)

      My Firefox on WinXP has been open about 8 hours and is using only 129 MB so far. I have 16 extensions loaded right now.

      Generated: Sat Oct 07 2006 00:57:46 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
      User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061004 BonEcho/2.0
      Build ID: 2006100403

      Enabled Extensions: [16]
      - All-in-One Sidebar 0.7 RC 4: http://firefox.exxile.net/aios/ [exxile.net]
      - ChatZilla 0.9.75: http://chatzilla.hacksrus.com/ [hacksrus.com]
      - CoLT 2.2.1: http://www.borngeek.com/firefox/ [borngeek.com]
  • Tweaked UI (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:51PM (#16345021) Homepage
    I've been running FireFox 2 since its first release, but I haven't noticed any changes to the UI as advertised. What's new compared to the older release candidate?
    • Re:Tweaked UI (Score:4, Informative)

      by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @12:06AM (#16345087)
      I've been running FireFox 2 since its first release, but I haven't noticed any changes to the UI as advertised.
      The UI has changed compared to FF 1.5 not FF 2.0 RC1.
    • Re:Tweaked UI (Score:4, Informative)

      by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @03:33PM (#16350063)

      Unless I'm mistaken, I belive the interface was tweaked a bit (the Go button and stupid "drop down arrow" hover effects on the Back/Forward buttons seem a bit darker) on the Mac version (wouldn't surprise me if the Windows/Linux versions didn't change--RC 1 was at least decent for them), though it still looks terrible for a Mac app. For example, the toolbar icons increase in saturation when you hover over them. Note to theme devs: Mac icons don't do that; this isn't Windows XP. Plus, the whole toolbar is now this light gray instead of the OS X pinstripe background. It seriously looks like a poorly ported KDE app.

      That being said, for Mac users who want a theme that actually looks decent, they should try the Gerich/Holander update of the original Pinstripe theme which they created for Firefox 1. Not only is it updated for Firefox 2, but it's been tweaked a bit and looks "20% more Macintosh" according to them--though more like 200% if you ask me: http://kmgerich.com/2006/09/27/pinstripe-for-firef ox-now-with-20-more-macintosh/ [kmgerich.com]

      It's also available for Windows and Linux and will make Firefox look more or less like the 1.x theme.

  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:55PM (#16345045) Homepage
    Resuming your browsing session: The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session.

    Yeah, like I need my last open browser window coming back up on my screen. I "accidentally" kill the power strip when my boss walks in my cube for a reason.
    • I dunno, I'm really looking forward to this. I usually get home from work and pop up a bunch of message boards to catch up. It'd be alot easier to save this to check back tomorrow instead of making a half-dozen bookmarks every night. It would also help when I'm just plain lost in ebay pages when it's time to hit the sack and want to pick up where I left off the next day.

      If you're worried about a nosy boss/kid/significant other, just power off/log off and use password protection. That be a significant eno
    • In this scenario, when you run Firefox next it'll ask you if you want to restore the last session or not. Then you just click "no".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by arun_s (877518)

      Yeah, like I need my last open browser window coming back up on my screen.

      Yes, its not very convenient if it automatically restores tabs from the last session, but if its anything like the SessionSaver [mozilla.org] extension, I'm all for it. Its incredibly useful in that it allows you to reopen closed tabs while browsing. Also, if you're researching a particular topic and have a dozen related tabs open that you'll need again in the future, you can save the entire session under a name.
      Its nice to see the Firefox guys tak

    • The only new feature I'd like to turn off is the change in how tabs are displayed after 13 tabs have been opened. I don't like having to scroll. I like them to be all in front of me.
      • The tabs might not need to scroll if they had more display space, say the amount wasted by an extra Close button on every single tab.

        • Amen. I liked the old method much better. No need to hunt for a close button; it was consistent and, as you say, took up less space. I agree with the GPP that the tab overflow is poorly done. For example, it's not intuitive that mousing over the tab bar and using the mouse scroll wheel will scroll the tabs (it will, but I only learned this after reading a mozillazine.org thread).
          • by buswolley (591500)
            Thanks for the hint. I did not know that using the scroll wheel while over the tab bar scrolled them.. Thanks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Trogre (513942)
      Of course if you're browsing pornography at work you've got bigger problems than browser history.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, 2006 @12:01AM (#16345065)
    From what I can tell, Firefox is losing users at an astounding rate.

    Many people have stopped using it due to it's bloat and slowness. I installed in on my uncle's new desktop computer several months back. He asked if there was an alternative he could use, because he found it was consuming all of the physical memory in his system, and then some.

    At the college where I work, a number of researchers, professors, and students had switched to Firefox over the past few years. I know at least ten who have switched to browsers like Opera, Konqueror, and some even back to Internet Explorer, unfortunately. Of the people I have directly inquired with, they basically said it wasn't comparable, in terms of speed or memory usage, with other browsers.

    I know of several open source developers who have stopped using it because of the recent Debian nonsense. Debates aside, their handling of the situation had a very negative impact. Many developers have gained a dislike for the Mozilla project, and others have switched. Those developers I know are now using Konqueror. One of them is using Opera on Windows.

    Myself, I have stopped using Firefox for the aforementioned reasons. Konqueror has proven to be a better browser. It works perfectly fine with all of the sites I visit, and doesn't use excessive amounts of memory. I use KDE, so it integrates with my desktop far better than Firefox did.

    You may think that it's only 20 or so people I'm talking about here, and that we're not that important. I'd beg to differ. Each one of us has recommended the use of Firefox to our relatives, friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances. Many of them have stopped suggesting it. I personally don't recommend its use. I suggest Konqueror or Opera for Linux users, and Opera for Windows users. Mac OS X users these days seem to go straight to Safari. At least five of the people I know are now making similar recommendations to people they know.

    The Mozilla project will need to put forth much in the way of effort to stop this. We'll need to see rapid technological improvements, as well as changes in the way the project is run. I don't know if we'll ever see such things happen, but at least we have alternative browsers to move to if things continue to get worse.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bunratty (545641)

      From what I can tell, Firefox is losing users at an astounding rate.

      Nope, Firefox is still gaining usage share at the rate of several percentage points per year [wikipedia.org].

      What has gone up dramatically has been the amount of bad news people are making up about Firefox. Sorry, trying to make Firefox look bad hasn't worked in the past and it won't work now.

      • by aiken_d (127097) <brooks.tangentry@com> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @01:52AM (#16345589) Homepage
        I have a stock firefox install with no extensions, and it routinely consumes up to 2GB of memory (on a 4GB system) before I notice things grinding to a halt, and I kill the process and start a new browser. A day or two later, it's back up to 2GB of memory usage, with maybe 4-6 tabs going.

        But I suppose my experience isn't valid, since I'm just "trying to make firefox look bad" because I've got nothing better to do with my time, eh?

        Thing is, one of the reasons I (like so many other people) was so anxious to switch off of IE was Microsoft's arrogance and disdain for their users. Unfortunately for all of us, the "you become what you fight" principle seems to be in effect here. I still use firefox because it's the best overall browser, when it works. But the fanboys who engage in personal attacks on anyone who runs into difficulty sure don't help the browser's image.

        -b
        • by bunratty (545641)

          Sorry, I wasn't engaging in "personal attacks on anyone who runs into difficulty." I pointed out the poster was fabricating an obviously untrue report about the number of Firefox users decreasing. I have noticed many other people fabricating other bad news about Firefox (such as the recent hoax about security problems), and often the "bad news" can easily be proven untrue.

          As for your genuine memory problem, I'm sorry to head about it. I use Firefox for days at a time, and memory use stays at around 100 MB

        • I have a stock firefox install with no extensions, and it routinely consumes up to 2GB of memory

          I keep reading about Firefox memory consumption, but I've never seen it on any of the computers I use or support (a mix of Linux flavours and XP). My main computer's a dual boot laptop with 512MB, at the moment running XP. Firefox is using about 58MB after about three days of use, including several Fark visits and Photoshop comps.

          Is there something about your install of XP or Firefox that's non-standard?

          • by julesh (229690)
            It is the weirdest thing. There's nothing remotely unusual about the systems this happens on. A friend of mine has the problems on his machine, whereas I don't on mine. I've looked very carefully trying to figure out the difference between the two machines. We both have long-running Firefox processes that are hibernated on a regular basis. We both actively use tabs, opening a tab to read an article and closing it immediately afterwards. We're running the same version of firefox, with the same versions
      • by hugzz (712021)

        For what it's worth, I've also switched to Opera after being a fan of Firefox

        Firefox may still be gaining a lot of users (from IE I imagine), but I suspect that it is also starting to lose a number of its old users to Opera. Becasue the IE user base is much larger than that of Firefox, it has a larger affect on the numbers when a percentage of IE users move to Firefox than it does when a percentage of Firefox users move to Opera.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pembo13 (770295)
      Rihgttt....you had to install Firefox for him, but hhe knows how much memory it's taking up. Go back to doing drugs.
    • by kruhft (323362) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @01:41AM (#16345535) Homepage Journal
      I almost gave up on firefox, but I gave it one last shot and attempted to build my own from CVS. After upgrading to gcc4 to eliminate the link errors that occure with previous versions, the build went smoothly with the following ~/.mozconfig:

      . ~/data/mozilla/browser/config/mozconfig
      ac_add_options --prefix=/usr/local/stow/firefox-cvs
      ac_add_options --enable-optimize="-march=pentium4 -O3 -fomit-frame-pointer -ffast-math -mmmx -msse -msse2 -mfpmath=sse,387 -pipe -funsafe-math-optimizations"
      ac_add_options --disable-debug
      ac_add_options --enable-default-toolkit=gtk2
      ac_add_options --enable-xft
      ac_add_options --enable-freetype
      ac_add_options --disable-postscript
      ac_add_options --disable-gnomevfs
      ac_add_options --disable-gnomeui
      ac_add_options --with-pthreads
      ac_add_options --disable-ldap
      ac_add_options --disable-xprint

      This config made a world of difference in the usability of firefox, and I'm sure the main speedups are from using the native gtk2 toolkit rather than chrome/xul. For those that aree unhappy with the slowness of the default builds, I suggest trying something like this; it makes a world of difference.

      • -march=pentium4 -O3 -fomit-frame-pointer -ffast-math -mmmx -msse -msse2 -mfpmath=sse,387 -pipe -funsafe-math-optimizations

        What, no -funroll-loops?

        This config made a world of difference in the usability of firefox, and I'm sure the main speedups are from using the native gtk2 toolkit rather than chrome/xul

        You cannot really get rid of XUL in Firefox. It's written in XUL. What you did was to tell it to use GTK2 widgets (GTK1 is another option), which is what it usually does anyway.

      • by cortana (588495)
        You missed -fomit-instructions.
  • And still ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by isometrick (817436) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @12:02AM (#16345073)
    ... no correct ACID2, and no support for SVG images in CSS [mozilla.org].

    Everybody else (besides IE, of course) supports the first, and I'd love Firefox to be the first to support the second.

    Just my $0.02, I'm sure everybody's got their own pet RFEs and bugs.
  • by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @12:07AM (#16345095) Homepage
    {Java/ECMA}Script keeps getting better and better. I'll be happy to bet that by the time Perl 6 is actually "released," and "working" (in the sense that Perl 5.6.1 was working and Perl 5.6.0 was not), JavaScript will be cooler, faster, and more useful.

    I want JavaScript + a Mozilla-like UI that will let me write full-featured locally-hosted GUI apps that can do all the things other local languages can ... read/write local files, and so on.
    • I noticed that 2.0 has a lot better Ajax support. I'm surprised nobody mentioned it since /. has some Ajax support and the "floating thingy" has been bothering me for a while when scrolling down. Also the spelling is nice and I'm sure it will become as annoying as well. On a side note, I have discovered that I have been spelling surprised wrong for years and that thingy is not a word. Yay!(also not a word)
    • by mochan_s (536939)

      HTA has been able to do that forever.

      I think maybe firefox has XUL but it's a pain?

      I sorely wish there was something like HTA for firefox.

  • So, still no roaming profiles, or even bookmarks sharing?

    (No, the bookmark sync extensions don't cut it...)

    • by XMyth (266414)
      Have you tried Google Browser Sync? I love it
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @01:14AM (#16345429)
    the vlc client plugin crashing FF every chance it gets? I think this might be one of those finger pointed issues (i.e. Mozilla saying it's a vlc problem and the vlc team saying it's a FF problem). I'd just like to see it fixed :(.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spacefrog (313816)
      YMMV, I'm still running 2.0b2 on Ubuntu Edgy. A majority of my ffx crashing with the VLC plugin went away with the latest and greatest VLC packages. Seems like the VLC packages were getting updated every day for a while, and it got worse a few times before it got better, but it seems quite stable now.

      Stable enough that I can watch CNN pipeline and switch streams with impunity. Prior to about five or six days ago, switching streams seemed to bomb ffx about 1 out of 5 times. It still happens now, but it's
  • by CritterNYC (190163) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @01:21AM (#16345467) Homepage
    Firefox Portable 2.0 RC 2 has been released [portableapps.com]. For the unfamiliar, Firefox Portable is Firefox packaged with a PortableApps.com launcher so it can be run from a USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, CD, etc and used on any computer. It can also be run from a local hard drive (even your desktop) making it a great way to test out another version of Firefox without impacting your installed version. Grab it from the Firefox Portable 2.0 RC2 Homepage [portableapps.com].
  • As long as Firefox is the only (of the big two) browser that renders the new slashdot comment section correctly, I'll be using it for that ;)
  • I work on a major UK commercial website (and no, it's not the one in my profile:)); it's completely non-IT related and has a very wide demographic, although geographically 95% of visitors are from the UK. The August browser usage stats were:

    IE6.x - 89.06%
    Firefox 1.x - 5.29%
    IE5.x - 2.05%
    IE7.x - 1.51%
    Safari 4.x - 0.92%
    Safari 3.x - 0.37%
    Mozilla 1.x - 0.12%
    Opera 9.x - 0.12%

    Firefox was up slightly from 5.22% in July. It surprised me how low it was, considering I keep reading stories of how FF is up
    • by julesh (229690)
      No matter how wide your demographic is, it'll be self selecting to some degree.

      Here's the stats for a site my company runs; again, no IT-related content, primarily UK visitors, etc., in fact bias is probably towards people who have little interest in IT. Figures are aggregate for last 3 months, because I can't be bothered to run a direct comparison with yours.

      Internet Explorer 6.x 80.91%
      Firefox 6.05%

      Yes, I think 15% is an exaggeration. I suspect the real value (for UK users) might be as hi
  • It's not on the changes list and the source is a bit hefty to search for it when you don't know your way around it, but: Does anyone know whether Darin's "ping" attribute (of WhatWG origin) is included and active? Aside from the auto-active google spyware that would be another nail in FFs (and every Gecko-based browsers) coffin on my systems...

    (On a related note: What other RMS-type "free" alternative do you work on, use or recommend? I'll probably switch to Konqueror as soon as FF2 goes through the update
  • by PingXao (153057) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @03:16PM (#16349957)
    I love Firefox and have used it exclusively (and Mozilla before that and Netscape before that) for over a decade. This 2.0 release of Firefox is leaving me very un-blown away.

    1. Visual Refresh - so what?
    2. Phishing protection - Good for "ordinary users", does nothing for me.
    3. Enhanced search - I can already search pretty well across the internet, so this is bloat.
    4. Tabbed browsing - each tab has its own 'x' close button? I call that a step backwards.
    5. Resume brosing session - who cares?
    6. Web feeds - the ONLY feature I might find useful
    7. Inline spell chacking - Many people will benefit from this obviously, but not me, so it's nothing but bloat as far as I'm concerned.

    There's more, but you get the idea. I am unimpressed by the new features of Firefox 2.0.
  • Detach Tab option? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trogre (513942) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @08:47PM (#16351807) Homepage
    I'm a little disappointed that there isn't yet a "detach" option in the context menu for each tab.

    I like to use one window per topic I'm working on and if one tab leads to another topic I want to look at in more detail it would be nice to just detach that tab to a separate window rather that copy the URL, hit CTRL-N and middle-click in the new window.

    I notice that both Konqueror and Konsole have had this functionality for some time.

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