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Mozilla Firefox 2 Alpha 1 Available 327

Mini-Geek writes "Code-named Bon Echo, the first Alpha of Firefox 2.0 is now officially available. You can download it at From the article: 'Here are some new features in Bon Echo Alpha 1 that require feedback: Changes to tabbed browsing behavior, New data storage layer for bookmarks and history (using SQLlite), Extended search plugin format, Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions, Support for SVG text using svg:textPath'"
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Mozilla Firefox 2 Alpha 1 Available

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  • But... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Onymous Hero ( 910664 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:08AM (#14971583)
    Will it use less memory than 0.x / 1.x ??
  • by gurutc ( 613652 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:09AM (#14971597)
    takes me back to the good old days when it was new, fresh, and charmingly not yet seemingly perfect, but so much the best choice!
  • That's all? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:11AM (#14971616)
    Seriously - that's all the new features? How does that warrant a 2.0 label and not a 1.8? Firefox has been pretty innovative or good at putting great features together that Opera and Microsoft haven't done (yet), but now it seems IE7 has caught up in so many ways, but Firefox 2.0 will be just a minor, incremental update. Hell, bigger changes have gone in the post 1.0 releases. Come on...
  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Denyer ( 717613 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:16AM (#14971669)
    Yeah. This isn't a dupe, which we could probably do with a tag for on the article...

    It's still just an alpha though.
  • Firefox 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 56ker ( 566853 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:27AM (#14971761) Homepage Journal
    I just hope that the greater prevalance of Firefox leads to a greater number of sites supporting it. I've had problems with some sites telling me my version of 1.5 needs to be upgraded to an earlier version!!! The site in question was the Comedy Channels's website. To many website designers seem to still design for IE only or use version checking to serve different pages. People should stick to writing valid HTML code that works across all browsers instead of making their websites unusuable for those who don't use IE.
  • by ILikeRed ( 141848 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:45AM (#14971927) Journal

    You don't need a database for sorting algorithms (think gnu sort), but what this will almost certainly do is complicate backup and transfer of bookmarks. I really can't understand what is wrong with a simple text file. Do they not see all the issues Microsoft has because of their registry format??? This is NOT a speed or sorting issue. (I could care less about the history, but don't think that will help anyone other than some possible edge cases there either.)

    This will also almost certainly kill any chance of reusage of bookmark data by other programs - which could be a really inovative area if the barrier to entry is kept low. They need to read the Art of Unix Programming [].

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @11:58AM (#14972021) Homepage
    So how exactly is version numbering related to the speed of development? Linux has been moving along in 0.0.1 increments for over two years now, yet most have been complaining about how much they've added to the kernel between increments. Debian's got a higher version number but I haven't seen anyone complaining about their rapid pace. Version numbering is either a) plain bookkeeping, similar to build numbers, b) some sort of interface/stability indicator or c) marketing, trying to create a perception of how fast it's evolving. I think Firefox squarely ends up on c). Announcing the first alpha 1.5 years after their last major version isn't break-neck speed to anyone except OSS geeks who're used to entire overhauls being 0.1 releases.
  • by PhysicsPhil ( 880677 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @12:14PM (#14972146)
    They're changing features that work great now (tabbed browsing) and adding a whole bunch of features that the vast majority of end users really don't care much about (new data storage layer for bookmarks and history, extended search plugin format, updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions). How Microsoft-esque...

    If by Microsoft-esque you mean that version 1 has the features to keep 99% of the user base happy, you're absolutely right.

    As far as the "average user" is concerned, what features is Firefox actually missing right now? It renders webpages, keeps bookmarks, has tabs and stores webpage passwords. That's enough for the vast majority of the world's users.

    But would you prefer that the development team declare victory and stop coding? The Firefox team could stop development today and Joe User would be happily surfing with Firefox version 1 for many years to come. Any new developments are going to be for that last 1% category, because everyone else is happy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @12:46PM (#14972460)
    This will also almost certainly kill any chance of reusage of bookmark data by other programs - which could be a really inovative area if the barrier to entry is kept low.
    This radically lowers the real barrier to entry. SQLite provides a simple standard interface (a subset of SQL) to manipulate data. You no longer have to parse data out of a flat file, and then keep your parser in sync with the format of a file which will certainly change over time.

    Databases are only intimidating to people who don't understand them. I've never met a developer who, after learning what databases can do, didn't go absolutely crazy for them.

  • Re:ACID 2 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @01:23PM (#14972846)
    I think it's probably a fairly worthless test when you get down to it, overly synthetic tests usually are. It reminds me of a test that was real popular back on the now defunct, a site devoted to MP3 encoding, specificly working on the LAME encoder. I can't remember the name of the test, but basically it was very loud low frequency drum-like sounds followed by high frequency clicks. Turns out, this was really problematic for MP3 encoders. Well because they had such trouble with it, it was seized upon as a good test, and work was done into improving performance on it... Except it turned out that often happened at the expense of normal music encoding. Changing it in such a way it could deal with the oddities of the synthetic test made it such that it didn't work as well for it's oringal intended purpose.

    IMO, the important question for a browser is can it render the kind of HTML you are likely to find on the net well. That includes broken, incorrect HTML. This idea that "well if all broswers mandidated good HTML, sites would fix it" is bunk. People are lazy, they make mistakes, sites will have broken code. The ability to render that well is an asset, just like it's an asset to be able to render complex code that uses cutting edge HTML features.

    So I don't really care how FF ends up working on the Acid test, what I care about is pages looking good when viewed with it, which they do in almost all cases.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll