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Firefox 2.0 RC2 Review 319

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new dept.
segphault writes "Ars Technica has a comprehensive review of Firefox 2.0 RC2. It includes screenshot comparisons that illuminate the user interface changes that have transpired since the second beta, and it examines the similarities between the browser tab implementation from Internet Explorer 7 and the new tab management features in RC2. From the article: 'If RC2 is any indication, Firefox 2.0 is an incremental improvement of the 1.5.x series with performance improvements and a handful of relatively useful features. Based on my own experience, I consider it stable enough for regular use, but I endorse caution for users that rely on a lot of extensions, as most extensions aren't yet compatible with Firefox 2.0.'"
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Firefox 2.0 RC2 Review

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  • Extensions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:34PM (#16372011)
    All but one of my ~dozen installed extensions (largely developer oriented) currently work, with the exception being TBE. Firefox 2 seems pretty good, but it would've been fairer for this to have been v1.5.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kwanbis (597419)
      you know about the many changes on the rendering engine, right? And how about the incredible reduction of memory leaks?
    • Re:Extensions (Score:4, Informative)

      by saridder (103936) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:44PM (#16372765) Homepage
      Less than half of my extensions worked, but even worse was that my theme didn't work. That made me go back to 1.5. And none of the spell check features in the forms worked either. Loved the "tab remember" feature where you can close the browser and it will remember all the pages you had open in the previous session.
      • Re:Extensions (Score:5, Insightful)

        by samkass (174571) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:07PM (#16372967) Homepage Journal
        Loved the "tab remember" feature where you can close the browser and it will remember all the pages you had open in the previous session.

        This was one of my favorite features from Opera 4-5 years ago. Glad to see the idea finally spreading.
      • by morcego (260031) *
        Loved the "tab remember" feature where you can close the browser and it will remember all the pages you had open in the previous session.


        This was a standard feature on Galeon 1 (gtk web browser). I currently have it on Firefox 1.x with the Session Saver extension, which works pretty well (even tho Session support is still not was good as we used to have on Galeon 1).
  • by User 956 (568564) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:35PM (#16372023) Homepage
    and it examines the similarities between the browser tab implementation from Internet Explorer 7 and the new tab management features in RC2.

    One could almost say that they've been "keeping tabs" on the competition.
  • RC2 woes (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheDarkener (198348) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:40PM (#16372061)
    You know, I installed RC2 on my computer last night after I performed the recommended hardware upgrades, and my video drivers wouldn't work, my sound broke and it kept bugging me about activation. It wouldn't even let me download files from my favorite websites!!

    Oh wait.
  • Solid, but no biggie (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kelson (129150) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:45PM (#16372109) Homepage Journal
    I've been using the Firefox 2 betas and RCs since beta 1. It is, overall, better than 1.5, but there's no "gee whiz!" factor this time through. (Though I'll admit inline spell-checking is quite nice!)

    Of course, as a web developer, I'm really looking forward to Firefox 3, which will be built on Gecko 1.9 and should have some good improvements to the rendering engine. (Firefox 2 jumps from Gecko 1.8 to 1.8.1 -- minor changes only.)

    Oh, yeah, on the extensions issue -- admittedly I don't use very many, but most of the ones I rely on have been updated by now. At this point I'm mainly waiting for the HTML Tidy-based validator.
    • by a.d.trick (894813)

      It is, overall, better than 1.5, but there's no "gee whiz!" factor this time through.

      I think that was the point of the 2.0 release. Same old gecko (important thing for use web devs), but hopefully a slightly more useable and stable web browser. "Gee Whiz!" things can be good, but too many and they end up being a pain for the millions of people are trying to keep up with it. Now that Firefox has gone mainline I think you'll see a lot less bleeding-edge stuff in it. The good part of it is that they are in a

      • by jZnat (793348) *
        P.S. do you know what the proper way to mark up phrases like the above that are stolen from foreign languages?

        Ruby? I've never used it (the thing from XHTML 1.1, not the programming language), but that might work.

        Also, I think there's a much better chance of APNG becoming standardised than MNG becoming widespread. APNG will become part of the standard libpng library, and it's much simpler to implement than MNG was.
  • It's kind of ridiculous that they still have such a huge bug at this point, but does anybody know if Firefox's memory leak(s) is(are) fixed yet? I'm really tired of leaving up a browser up overnight, and coming in in the morning to find my machine all jammed up because Firefox is sitting on 200+ Meg of memory for a single web page. It makes me not able to commit my company completely to Firefox (that, and a glaring lack of ActiveX).
    • Why ActiveX? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:56PM (#16372247)
      (that, and a glaring lack of ActiveX)

      ActiveX is a Microsoft technology. Even Microsoft is trying to get away for the security holes they've created with that.

      Sometimes, security means not implementing something if it cannot be implemented securely.
      • Re:Why ActiveX? (Score:5, Informative)

        by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:06PM (#16372367) Homepage Journal
        ActiveX is a Microsoft technology. Even Microsoft is trying to get away for the security holes they've created with that.

        ActiveX [wikipedia.org] is just an implementation of OLE and COM via the Internet Explorer browser. Anyone is able to write an interface that supports ActiveX controls. The idea that they are inherently insecure is an oft-proclaimed falsehood on Slashdot. IE's implementation has had problems, but that's not the same thing as the technology behind it.

        ActiveX : Internet Explorer :: Extensions : Firefox

        It all comes down to implementation of the interactive extension to the browser.

        Sometimes, security means not implementing something if it cannot be implemented securely.

        That is true enough, although the problem is usually between the chair and keyboard. The biggest problem with ActiveX, and the way it got it's bad reputation is users who click 'Yes' to everything. Give Firefox enough market share and it will become profitable for these malware authors to write extensions that screw a computer/browser the same way ActiveX can.
        • by Firehed (942385)
          Well sure, if websites didn't work without a certain extension installed. Or even automatically prompted to be installed for that matter. You have to manually add sites into a whitelist for valid extensions and then wait before clicking yes (hopefully this is thinking time, "do I actually want this installed?"). Not quite the same thing as an automatic "CLICK YES TO INSTALL SUPER PORN GRABBER 3.5 NOW!!!!!!!".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The biggest problem with ActiveX is that it is, essentially, native executable code from an untrusted source executing on your computer. In contrast, Java applets are sandboxed on bytecode level.
    • by Kelson (129150) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:57PM (#16372259) Homepage Journal
      Yes and no.

      Because there is no big fat memory leak. There are a whole bunch of little ones that add up. They've fixed a lot of them. They fixed a bunch of 'em in the 1.5.0.x series, and a bunch more in 2.0.

      I doubt they've got everything, but 2.0 should have less of a memory problem than 1.5.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sleeper0 (319432)
        For what it's worth I believe they still have a ways to go. I write this with RC2 having launched it somewhere between 24 and 36 hours ago. It was using 237MB of memory, but when I closed my other tabs it dropped down to 193MB. Obviously if I closed it and relaunched it on this page it would only be using a fraction of that ram. Compare that to other processes currently running and it dwarfs them all - VMWare virtual center server 2.0 is using 44MB, Sql Server 42MB, Outlook 2007 36MB, Apache 32MB, IE 7
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Paradise Pete (33184)
          It was using 237MB of memory, but when I closed my other tabs it dropped down to 193MB. Obviously if I closed it and relaunched it on this page it would only be using a fraction of that ram.

          Just because it hasn't released it to the system doesn't mean it won't reuse it internally.

    • This makes me wonder why there isn't a widely used browser written in a language with garbage collection like Java or C#*. It would certainly cut down on, if not completely eliminate memory leaks. Granted, it would run a bit slower, but it would be so much easier to port to other platforms.

      *There probably is some kind of browser written in Java, but I don't know of any that fully support all of the web technologies that we have come to rely on, like AJAX and, to a lesser extent, a plugin mechanism.
      • by jafac (1449)
        hotjava was a java-based browser you could download from Sun for free, back in the 1990's.

        Unfortunately, it only meets one of your criteria - the other; it was not widely used.
    • by bunratty (545641) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:56PM (#16372873)
      I'm really tired of leaving up a browser up overnight, and coming in in the morning to find my machine all jammed up because Firefox is sitting on 200+ Meg of memory for a single web page.
      When I leave Firefox overnight, I come back the next day and it's using the same amount of memory as the night before. Even after days of continuous use, it's using only about 100 MB of memory, as all browsers seem to do when I use them for days at a time. If you can show how to reproduce over 200 MB of memory use by having Firefox have a single web page open overnight, please do so. Is it some particular page that causes that memory use?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:01PM (#16372915)
        Probably their myspace page.
      • I have the same question. I've had this firefox session open for days and it's only using 83MB (ONLY, but.. eh). I've never had Firefox leak that much memory.. I simply don't understand what pages people are visiting that would cause that.
  • Almost ready.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:48PM (#16372149)
    After upgrading to V2 RC2, its working pretty good so far. Session restore is pretty handy (now I can install new extensions, restart the browser and start from whereever I had left), and tab management is pretty good too.

    Though there are some bugs - esp the toolbar customization needs to be looked at. My V1.5 toolbar customization is not sitting well with RC2 - esp the Search Engine. Its hogging all the screen from left to right, and I had to move it to its own bar (previously, it was sitting with Google Toolbar).

    And of course, better memory management was a welcome change.

    All extensions except on worked fine (had to disable extension compatibility check for Greasemonkey, and it worked perfectly fine).
  • Tab changes suck! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeFM (12491) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:51PM (#16372187) Homepage Journal
    I've been testing the upcoming version for a while and I hate the tab changes. The tab changes are crappy. I'm an experienced user and I think so and my girlfriend that is a casual user complains about the changes too. Sure, you can make things mostly act the same as we're used to but it takes an effort to reconfigure and still doesn't work very well.

    Having a close widget on each tab wastes space and is more work than a fixed location, the drop down doesn't work very well and should only appear if there are to many tabs, tab scrolling doesn't work very well and is probably not needed with the dropdown listing, and more tabs should be allowed to appear before they start scrolling.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Dr.Syshalt (702491)
      You can disable close widgets. I've figured out there should be the way to do that, checked and here you go

      Go to about:config

      Change the value of browser.tabs.closeButtons

      1 - the usual look
      0 - only the active tab has the close widget
      2 - no close widgets.

      Have fun
    • Tab changes rock! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jdbartlett (941012)
      Mike, I disagree. I can see where you're coming from, but I for one like having the ability to close a tab without first selecting it.
      • by MikeFM (12491)
        It was possible before anyway. I often did the 'right-click tab..close tab' and it worked just fine without needing to over complicate the UI. Reminds me.. I don't like how Firefox now simplifies the right-click menu on tabs to offer fewer options.
    • ...is not a close button, rather it's a PIN. Sometimes I would like to pin a really imporant tab down so that I cannot close it unless I specifially un-PIN it. This doesn't even have to take up UI space... a key+mouse shortcut will do such as ALT-Click.
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      Some people like having the close button on the tabs. You can do this in basically any other browser with tabs, so why not Firefox as well?
  • by arielCo (995647) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:53PM (#16372211)
    Well, I use a lot of invasive extensions, and I only lost Session Manager, which is unsurprising since Fx now includes a similar feature and they would probably step on each others' toes. Survivors:
    • Adblock Plus
    • Video Downloader
    • Inspect this
    • IE Tab
    • IE View Lite
    • JS View
    • EditCSS
    • GMarks
    • Google Notebook
    • Sage RSS Reader
    All in all, I agree that this is mostly an incremental upgrade, and it is somewhat faster, but I'm not sure it deserves the new major version. Several tiny UI bugs didn't get fixed.
    • Well, I use a lot of invasive extensions, and I only lost Session Manager, which is unsurprising since Fx now includes a similar feature and they would probably step on each others' toes.

      Where is it? I've poured through all the menus, all the preference pages...and I can find no mention of it anywhere.

      Oh, I see:

      It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.

      What about

  • by vivek7006 (585218) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:54PM (#16372227) Homepage
    I jst upgreaded to RC2 and I musht say that the neu spellchek feeture works lik a charm
  • by Black Acid (219707) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:54PM (#16372233)
    Probably the most interesting features to programmers are the addition of the SQLite engine [mozilla.org], and significant JavaScript enhancements [mozilla.org] heavily borrowed from Perl and Python. You can use generators (yield statement), Pythonic iterators, array comprehensions, and what the Mozilla people call "destructuring assignment". Some examples from the article for the curious:

    /* Destructuring assignment example - swap two values */
    [a, b] = [b, a];
     
    /* You can return multiple values from functions now */
    function f() { return [1, 2, 3]; }
    var [a, , b] = f();
    document.write ("A is " + a + " B is " + b + "<BR>\n");
     
    /* Easier fibonacci sequences with generators */
    function fib() {
      var i = 0, j = 1;
      while (true) {
        yield i;
        var t = i; i = j; j += t;
      }
    }
     
    /* Array comprehensions */
    var evens = [i for (i in range(0, 21)) if (i % 2 == 0)];
     
    /* New scoping semantics with 'let' expression/definition/declaration */
    if (x > y)
    {
      let const k = 37;
      let gamma : int = 12.7 + k;
      let i = 10;
      let function f(n) { return (n/3)+k; }
      return f(gamma) + f(i);
    }

    Good stuff.
    • by MobyDisk (75490)
      I assume that when we say "JavaScript" we are talking about proprietary extensions on top of the ECMAScript standard. Is Mozilla just adding features to this for plug-in developers? I hope that these features don't exist in the regular browser unless you use the "version=1.7" option because that would introduce incompatibilities. Does anyone know if this is the case?
    • While I am a fan of pushing a language forward, Javascript is not your run-of-the-mill language since, to be useful for web developers, it has to be implemented on the majority of clients. Who is pushing Javascript forward (is there a standards body?), and where are the other browsers as far as compatibility/implementation of a particular version?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GrouchoMarx (153170)
      No, Bad stuff. Are these new features part of the ECMAScript standard? If not, then wtf are they doing in the browser?

      When Microsoft "extends" the web without asking the standards committee, they get vilified (and rightly so). Mozilla shouldn't get a by on it just because they're cool. "Embrace and extend" is bad, no matter who's doing it.

      Gah, just get me a standard that I can bloody use consistently!
    • by DrEasy (559739)
      Will extension developers be able to use the SQLite engine to store extension-specific stuff? In fact, is that the reason for its inclusion, or are there any other uses for it?
  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy&gmail,com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:57PM (#16372263)

    Whoever came up with this idea needs to be slapped. It's not _quite_ as bad as having a close button in every tab (which commits the additional sin of wasting a section of screen space that's already scarce), but it still makes a destructive action (closing a tab) _far_ too easy to trigger accidentally (by clicking _just_ the wrong part of a tab).

    Having the tab bar suddenly become scrollable when you open "too many" tabs is another stupid idea. Took me a minute the first time it happened to realise I wasn't seeing a bug (tabs not being created) but a piece of awful UI.

    • by Kelson (129150) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:04PM (#16372329) Homepage Journal
      Blame it on conflicting usability studies [mozillazine.org] -- or maybe conflicting usability goals.

      Close buttons on the tabs are good from a discoverability standpoint.
      A close button on the end is good from a clicking-in-the-right-place standpoint.

      Firefox has traditionally given discoverability a high priority.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      If we're starting a list of gripes, here's mine: I hate trying to save a download in Firefox.

      First, I hate how it defaults to a fixed location (~/Desktop, which means nothing to my wm), and you have to press a button to "Browse for other folders." Next, I hate how there's no decent way to enter paths using the keyboard and tab completion in the dialog box. (Instead it shows the path as a row of buttons!?) I hate how some arbitrary bookmarks, "Home" and "Desktop", are placed above the nonstandard word "

      • by Kelson (129150) *
        First, I hate how it defaults to a fixed location (~/Desktop, which means nothing to my wm), and you have to press a button to "Browse for other folders."

        Do you use a new profile every time you launch the browser? 'Cause that's one of those settings you change once and never have to touch again, like setting your home page.

      • by jZnat (793348) *
        I fucking hate that file dialogue too, but that's an issue with GTK+ (gnome.org, gtk.org). They're the ones who insisted on that piece of crap for a file dialogue for a long time; I hear they de-shitified it a bit in the latest GNOME release.
    • by caseih (160668)
      From what I can tell, you're in the minority. Most users prefer to have the close button on the active tab, and many prefer to have a close button on every tab. I certainly do. I can easily close off tabs I don't want anymore without have to click on each one to raise it to the top first. Also, having a close button on each tab only really works if the tabs are always the same size. That way you can close many tabs just by clicking in the same area. Before with tab size changing this was impossible be
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nithinsujir (592733)
      I disagree. I love this feature because I can close unwanted tabs without first focusing the tab. yeah, i know you can use middle click, but i prefer this way.
    • To restore your sanity go to about:config and set browser.tabs.tabMinWidth to 50. The default value of 100 is a disaster and just about guarantees that awful scrolling behaviour.
  • useful tip (Score:5, Informative)

    by vivek7006 (585218) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:08PM (#16372387) Homepage
    I found a really useful tip from the article

    Unfortunately, the green arrow button is difficult to remove from URL bar, but it can be accomplished by hitting about:config and tweaking the browser.urlbar.hideGoButton, changing it to "true."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hdparm (575302)
      Not sure about 2.0 (I suppose it's the same) but you could always do it by opening View-->Toolbars-->Customize window and dragging 'Go' button back into it.
      • by code65536 (302481)
        If it was, it would not have generated so much attention.

        The upside, though, is that the Go button is much smaller and compact than before...
        • by hdparm (575302)
          Yes, obviously. That was good tip indeed.

          I just installed it and noticed that non-standard tcp ports are restricted by default now (I don't remember this being an issue for previous versions). If anybody needs fix:

          in about:config right-click, chose new, string and enter:

          network.security.ports.banned.override

          and comma-delimited list of ports as a string value.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:16PM (#16372441)

    I reported this bug years ago and was told "probably won't happen until 2.0" and the bug was promptly closed/ignored:

    In most modern operating systems, lists in dialog boxes can have a range of items selected by holding down shift, and individual items flipped on/off with a modifier key that varies slightly; in OS X, it's the apple/command key. Open up the cookies box, a place where selecting lots of items would be REALLY handy (ie, deleting all the crap cookies that will expire in "2046"), and try selecting multiple cookies. Bzzzzt, no go. And guess what? In pre-1.5 versions, you COULD do this, so it really WAS a bug/feature delete with 1.5. Now, select one cookie and hit the delete key. NOTHING HAPPENS. Why the hell not?

    If you have partially typed anything in the URL bar and hit tab, half the time you aren't taken to the next text box in the browser window. Similar behavior happens elsewhere, only on a page.

    It gets worse: just like older versions of 1.0/1.5, the current release candidate suffers from "keyboard-go-dead-itis." I've had to close Firefox FOUR times today because I could no longer enter text ANYWHERE. Not in forms, not in the URL bar, not in the search bar. Command keys (ie, apple-T for new tab) stopped working as well (1.5 still does this, though now usually only when Flash is on the page. Why Firefox allows flash to intercept command keystrokes is beyond me.)

    Oh, and I still haven't figured out how to do the resume-where-you-left-off bit, despite having poured through the prefs pages several times.

    • SuperBanana wrote:

      Oh, and I still haven't figured out how to do the resume-where-you-left-off bit, despite having poured through the prefs pages several times.

      Tools->Options
      Main
      When Firefox starts: Show my windows and tabs from last time

    • Is there a workaround? The various cookie handling extensions don't look relevant, nothing in about:config seems to bear on it, Google hasn't turned up anything on the obvious search terms. Am I simply missing some way to scroll through a list of cookies and delete a large chosen subset of them, with the option of preventing them from coming back on a case-by-case basis ("case by case" means network.cookie.denyRemovedCookies is too blunt an instrument)?
  • Yes, the one that has been present for as long as I've been using FireFox (2+ years).
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:20PM (#16372495) Homepage
    One of my favorite aspects of Firefox 2 is the new features for developers [mozilla.org], including storage with SQLite [mozilla.org]. This enables neat things like the new Zotero [zotero.org] extension, which stores bibliographic data (a'la Endnote, but with automatic recognition of metadata by programs like refbase [sourceforge.net] and on sites like google scholar).
  • I endorse caution for users that rely on a lot of extensions, as most extensions aren't yet compatible with Firefox 2.0
    I thought - at least, based on what people told me at the time - that each new release breaking extensions was supposed to be a thing of the past once FF got out of beta. Hopefully the FF devs fix this.. it's unacceptable.
    • You're thinking of minor releases. During the 1.0 series, sometimes extensions were broken or disabled going from 1.0.n to 1.0.n+1. This was fixed in 1.5 by adding the extra minor version number and declaring that that number would not change the extension API, and by allowing extensions to specify wildcards (i.e. 1.5.*). So going from 1.5.0.n to 1.5.0.n+1 rarely if ever broke or disabled an extension. (I think there was one release which broke something, and they issued a fixed version the next day.)

      No
  • by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:35PM (#16372663) Homepage
    I have to admit that when I first moved to Firefox from IE, the tabbed browsing was a feature that I didn't know that I needed until I tried it; and then I was hooked.

    I don't really hear about any great new must have features in the RC2 version. Though I do acknowledge that coming up with great new features and ideas that most people appreciate but don't know that they need yet is no easy task, but I really don't see any key features in this version of Firefox to make me really want to upgrade. As I said before, great ideas in the browsing experience may be hard to come by since the idea of the browser and its application are mature. It's a bit like coming up with a great new feature for a word processor . . . a lot of the "low hanging fruit" is already taken.

    What this means to me is that upgrading the browser is like upgrading the word processor; it's not a very high priority because there isn't a very compelling reason to do it (at least IMHO) . . .

  • by slapout (93640) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:46PM (#16372789)
    Why do extensions have to be changed for every release? Does the interface change that much?
  • by maeglin (23145) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:51PM (#16372833)
    Is the 2.0 designation deserved? I suppose that depends on your perspective. At the risk of veering into a largely irrelevant philosophical rumination on the ontological significance of version numbers, I feel inclined to point out that the implications of version numbers vary greatly between various open source projects. In some cases, there is a well-established nomenclature and version numbers can be used to infer all sorts of useful things about the nature and status of a build. In other cases, it may simply be an arbitrary value selected for the sole purpose of making it possible to distinguish between builds. For Firefox, it doesn't seem like there is a fully consistent version numbering model yet. Rather than expressing disappointment about the lack of new features in the upcoming 2.0 release, users should remember that Firefox release numbers aren't always going to be a helpful medium for establishing expectations.

    Sheesh... Judging by the above paragraph it also comes with a thesaurus.
  • I for one... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HawkingMattress (588824) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:08PM (#16372973)
    Finally decided to switch to opera today, and i'm quite happy with it so far.
    The auto satisfaction of the firefox team, marketing gimmicks and now version number pushing finally got me. Well no, in fact those three are the last straw, the real reason is the total crap that ff has become. I've been moaning about the memory leaks for more than 3 years (no, i'm not talking about the slow as hell cache "feature"), pages take forever to parse and display (it seems like 10x faster in opera, really...), and basically switching to opera gave a new life to my venerable Athlon 1.2 / 500M. On this kind of machine, you can really see the difference... Feels like switching from an interpreted BASIC app to C++ one. In fact when you think about with all the XUL code that sits on top of gecko, it's probably the case...
    The only thing I could miss are the developper extensions (which, combined with the inspector are really good), but I'm not into web programming any more for now (happy me !)
  • by iabervon (1971) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:44PM (#16373253) Homepage Journal
    It seems like nobody likes any of the UI changes, which is entirely what I'd expect, because every change to a UI is a major hit to usability. This isn't to say that the new UI might not be more usable for new users. But experienced users will continue to try to use the UI the way that worked before, and it will cause problems for them. This is especially true if the improvement is in discoverability, because experienced users will only benefit in that, when the stupid computer refuses to work like it's supposed to, it's not quite as difficult to figure out what you have to do instead of the natural thing as it might be.

    Of course, it's also good to offer improvements to the UI for users who decide to retrain themselves or for new users. But this should be done by adding configuration options (ideally with UI-driven configuration methods, like the Customize Toolbars dialog), and making the upgrade process configure these options based on what used to happen, not based on the current defaults. (Of course, if you're importing settings from a different program, set the options to match the default or configured behavior of that program, not the local defaults.) The ideal is that, when the user gets a new version of the program, everything looks the same as it did before, but new behavior is available when the user decides that it is desireable.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Vexorian (959249)
      What I really dislike are aesthetics not really the functionality. Bon Echo Alpha had mostly the same functionality but was really beautiful for me, I can't understand what made them chose such an ugly default theme. Seriously.
  • by Augustus De Morgan (619095) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:58PM (#16373373)
    Firefox 2 includes a critical new underlying database engine--SQLite [sqlite.org]--which enables new kinds of extensions, such as the free, open-source citation manager and digital research tool Zotero [zotero.org].
  • by bigpat (158134)
    Full and native SVG support would be a big feature to have. Sure most big sites would still stay away without IE support, but being able to do flash like things without a plugin and having vector graphics that are xml based and scalable would be enough to entice some smaller sites and application developers to start making some cool applications. Which would spur developement further. So far the basic SVG support that they have has been very good since 1.5, but there is still a lot to do apparently:

    http: [mozilla.org]
  • Close button per tab (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaoudaW (533025) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @08:48AM (#16377153)
    Have they fixed or provided a work-around to the close button per tab problem?

    When I tried RC1 this "feature" drove me absolutely batty. All of the other buttons such as go back, go forward, refresh, etc. remain in one place on the user interface, but for some misguided reason it was decided that close tab has to follow the tab. I typically open several tabs at a time then read through them deleting as I go. Having to chase the tab with the mouse is terribly annoying when moving rapidly through search results, news articles or whatever group of tabs I happen to have open. This is especially an issue when I have more than 20 or so tabs showing, which makes the target small and the page title non-existent on the tab.

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