Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Firefox 2 Alpha 2 Reviewed 551

pcabello writes "Firefox 2 Alpha 2 was released yesterday. Check what's new in this review at mozillalinks.org with screenshots."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Firefox 2 Alpha 2 Reviewed

Comments Filter:
  • Memory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by siplus ( 796514 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:36PM (#15329791) Homepage
    Anyone know if the memory problems that everyone was complaining about in v1.5 is fixed for 2.0?
    • Re:Memory (Score:5, Informative)

      by apollosfire ( 954290 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:44PM (#15329817)
      As reported before [slashdot.org], Firefox does not have memory problems - it has a feature that is very memory intensive. To disable this feature, do the following: 1. type about:config in you address bar 2. scroll down to browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers 3. set its value to 0 (zero)
      • Re:Memory (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#15329835)
        Firefox does not have memory problems - it has a feature that is very memory intensive.
        That's right, it's not a bug, it's a feature!
      • Re:Memory (Score:2, Informative)

        Uh, Dunno about windows n stuff, but Firefox on X has major memory problems, like never freeing pixbufs it stores in the X server. Your "fix" does nothing to solve this.
      • Re:Memory (Score:5, Insightful)

        by acm ( 107375 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:39PM (#15330096) Homepage
        Sorry, but poorly designed caching is a memory leak [msdn.com]. I shouldn't have to restart my browser because it is taking 700mb of memory (no lie). Especially when I only have one window open.

        Everytime a Firefox article gets posted, I see someone post a hack to fix the memory leak problem. I've tried every one of them and none of them fix it on my end. The only externsion I'm running is Google's Toolbar. Regardless though, no one except the most hardcore Firefox users would ever know to look in about:config to turn off this "feature". And they shouldn't have to either.

        • Re:Memory (Score:4, Interesting)

          by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @05:57PM (#15331059)
          If Firefox is using 700 MB of RAM, it's almost certainly not a cache that's causing the memory use. You can check how much RAM the memory cache is uing by going to about:cache. You can make sure the bfcache is using only a little memory by visiting eight simple pages, one after the other.

          I would suspect Google Toolbar, which many Firefox users report leaks memory.

      • Re:Memory (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @02:02PM (#15330183)
        As reported before, Firefox does not have memory problems - it has a feature that is very memory intensive.

        And as mentioned before [slashdot.org] there are bugs for memory leaks that predate the fast back-forward feature. And to say that memory probelms are all becuase of this feature is revisionist history.
      • Re:Memory (Score:3, Informative)

        by westlake ( 615356 )
        Firefox does not have memory problems - it has a feature that is very memory intensive

        So why does this "feature" remain the default?

        To disable this feature, do the following: 1. type about:config in you address bar 2. scroll down to browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers 3. set its value to 0 (zero)

        This is something less than obvious or user friendly. Unlike the advanced options that can simply be checked and unchecked in IE's "Internet Options."

    • <badjoke>Huh? I don't remember anything about any memory problems.</badjoke>

      Didn't they eventually say that the memory issues were intentional and that it was caching the tabbed pages or something?
    • In 1.5? More like since it was called Pheonix around 0.3 beta. In my experience, it's always been pretty bad with memory.

    • Or the "close a tab (or the browser with more than one tab) lets grab 100% cpu for 10-15 seconds" bug? Now I know that's not a long time but why does it do it at all? And a better question is it something I can switch off?
  • Couple of questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caluml ( 551744 ) <slashdot@spamgoeshere.calu m . o rg> on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:36PM (#15329792) Homepage
    Slightly off topic, but probably the best place to ask:
    Is anyone having a problem with recent versions where the URI autocomplete sometimes doesn't work, even if it's an address you often go to (e.g. google.com).
    Or when you click on a tab, it doesn't "release" fast enough, and start moving the tab around?

    Still the best browser though.
    • by ezdude ( 885983 )
      I have some similar problems, but not exactly those. I often find that when I click on a previously visited link from the URL drop-down list, it doesn't go to that site. Also, one thing that annoys the heck out of me is that when I try to close PDF's, which are in separate tabs, it takes forever. I don't know if this is a Firefox issue or Adobe, but it seems worse in more recent versions of Firefox.
      • I have totally had the click a link in the dropdown adress bar and it only reloads the page you are on. Frustrating as hell. I've had it happen on two different computers so either it is something in firefox or one of the extensions i have on both machines.
    • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:46PM (#15329825) Homepage
      Yesssss! The I-didn't-mean-to-drag thing drives me nuts. In fact, general UI slowness is the thing that keeps me from using Firefox instead of Konqueror a lot of the time.

      I know that my processor is "only" 1.3 GHz, but I swear there was a time when a gigahertz-plus CPU was enough to operate a GUI smoothly. But maybe I'm remembering incorrectly...
  • but it will not filter postings that are the first ones automatically, will it?
  • to beat IE (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:40PM (#15329807)
    This release must be renamed Firefox 8 to be better than IE
  • Browser Speed (Score:3, Informative)

    by reporter ( 666905 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:44PM (#15329820) Homepage
    For many users, speed is the most important aspect of a browser. A certain Mark Wilton-Jones [howtocreate.co.uk] has done an exhaustive comparison of browser speeds [howtocreate.co.uk].

    He concludes, " So overall, Opera seems to be the fastest browser for windows. Firefox is not faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice. However, it is still not as fast as Opera, and Opera also offers a high level of standards support, security and features. "

    Wilton-Jones tested both version 1.0 and version 1.5 of Firefox. Does anyone have any thoughts on the performance of version 2.0?

    • Interesting, I hope sure someone will do such a comparison at some point, just to satisfy curiosity. However I have to say that speed is way down on my list, behind security, functionality, reliability, and extensibility. The time spent reading a page is much so greater than the time taken to render it that I really couldn't care less about whether one browser renders a particular page half a second faster than another.
    • Re:Browser Speed (Score:3, Informative)

      by jesser ( 77961 )
      Firefox 2 won't have many performance improvements over Firefox 1.5, since Firefox 2 is a frontend release [typepad.com]. Most of the speed improvements that have gone into the trunk since Firefox 1.5 won't be shipped to end-users until Firefox 3.

      One major exception is the work on memory leaks. Firefox 1.5.0.x releases have been getting [mozilla.org] the simpler (less risky) leak fixes, and it looks like Firefox 2 will get most of the less simple memory leak fixes that are going into the trunk, including the nsIDOMGCParticipant work [mozilla.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#15329827)
  • by handelaar ( 65505 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#15329828)
    Early versions of FF allowed me to Find text anywhere on a page, including inside textareas.

    That's been broken for years now. I don't care about how it renders RSS, I want basic functions to unsuck.
  • by omeg ( 907329 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:48PM (#15329840)
    Okay, so now they placed the close tab button on the active tab itself. I've heard of that being planned. I, however, really don't like that myself. Does anyone know if it's possible to turn off? Because if not, I'm not switching.

    There's no reason to not let the user be able to pick the old way of handling a UI functionality that a reasonable amount of people don't agree with.
    • Turn off the automatic update now, before you forget!

      I'm strongly resisting the temptation to start another "it's more natural" argument....

    • by ElleyKitten ( 715519 ) <kittensunrise&gmail,com> on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:59PM (#15329886) Journal
      Okay, so now they placed the close tab button on the active tab itself. I've heard of that being planned. I, however, really don't like that myself. Does anyone know if it's possible to turn off? Because if not, I'm not switching

      There's an extension for the alpha already that turns it off.

      I like extensions, but sometimes it seems like you have to have 80 of them just to get options that seem like they should be common sense.
      • by Tx ( 96709 )
        Because one man's common sense is another man's stupidity, and they want to avoid having the million configuration options necessary to cater for everybodys views. Having some people need a handful of extensions to tweak the things that bother them, while only having a small number of core configuration options is actually a much neater solution IMHO.

        Personally I've been using the TabX extension to get a close button on my tabs since I started using Firefox, having the close button attached to the thing it
        • by Anonymous Coward
          "Having some people need a handful of extensions to tweak the things that bother them, while only having a small number of core configuration options is actually a much neater solution IMHO."

          Pardon, but are you fstupid? The number of people who hate the completely redundant, spacewasting, cluttering and annoying usage of close buttons on every tab are hardly counted in the "some" people category. Try "lots" instead. I bet you are one of those gnome-heads, since this smacks of the "You-will-use-the-spatial-v
          • I suspect they made that particular change because a large majority of users wanted it, so although I was actually speaking in general terms, yes, the rest are indeed "some people". And BTW I prefer KDE as it happens, Mr Coward.
            • I open about 50 windows at a time, and I like being able to close them all as i read through them with one button in a static position. I don't know where you get the assumption the developers let everyone vote and the majority of the users picked a close button on each tab. No one ever asked my opinion or gave me the option to vote, and I think having a close button for each tab is horrendous. I'm only guessing, but I bet the developers looked at other tab implimentations and went with this because it's
        • It's a conspiracy between IBM and the Firefox team in their eventual move to completely replace Firefox with the Notes client.
    • If they added an option for every single thing people "might not agree with", the preferences dialog would be a 8 MB download on its own.
    • Right above the parent is a post asking for exactly this feature. Now what is a developer supposed to do eh?

      As for there being no reason not to give both options, well there is plenty of reason. The two most significant, it ads complexity to the project to support yet another feature and it asks the user yet more question about how to configure the browser.

      Personally? I like it the way opera does it. On the tab. More logical.

  • 1. Is there a way to make the 'goback' response as fast as opera's ? It could be a little faster.

    2. Why does firefox need XUL gui ? Why not use gtk or something else ?

    Updating the plain default gui would be cool.
    • XUL is a layer, allowing Firefox and its extensions create widgets. All the widgets that are requested from XUL are rendered with the appropriate toolkit: GTK on Linux, MFC (I think) on Windows and Cocoa (not sure) on OS X. This allows Firefox to use the native toolkit on all platforms and allows extension to be used on any platform without rewriting anything.
      • Nope. XUL is rendered using the same rendering engine that renders the webpages.

        Simplest way to prove this is to install the DOM inspector and poke around the various XUL elements and corresponding CSS rules. Another way is to note the differences between how Firefox widgets work on Windows XP and how actual Windows XP widgets work.

        First off, Firefox menus do not fade in and out like Windows menus do. When you open a menu, it's supposed to fade in. Selecting a menu options should cause the menu to f

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ..will 2.0 be released before 1.5 is marked stable for x86 in portage? Seriously, how's SVG support comming along? Last I checked they couldn't add SVG to the accept header because of issues with the rendering backends.
  • Good Work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nicolay77 ( 258497 ) <nicolay.g@gmail.cMONETom minus painter> on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:56PM (#15329875) Homepage
    Although I vastly prefer Opera, anything that can help decrease market share of IE and its broken everything is good.
    • Although I vastly prefer Opera, anything that can help decrease market share of IE and its broken everything is good.

      You're lucky then, a new browser is coming out, which has better security than IE6 (especially on Vista), a lot better standards support, good RSS support and a fresh compact interface.

      It's called IE7...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A new spell-checking feature has been added. Text entered in multiline text boxes is automatically checked for mistypes words, for single line text boxes, you must ask for it (right-click, Spell check this field). Words not found in the dictionary are marked with a red underline.

    It's about time they incorperated a spell checker! Vary nice.
  • by edxwelch ( 600979 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:11PM (#15329946)
    Fixfox and mozilla are unable to resume downloads across sessions. In other words if you have to reboot the PC for any reason, you will have to start that 300mb download from scratch.
    This bug has been outstanding for several years.
    There are numerous other missing features in the download manager, just compare to the download manager in Opera.
  • by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:17PM (#15329981)
    Just about everything in the review is available now, and has been for quite awhile, through extensions?

    It seems that future development of firefox should be on the core application and let the extension developers handle the pretty stuff.

    • I think the problem with that philosophy is that downloading the 'right' set of plugins to get a good experience is too challenging (for most users). You really do want your users to download, once, a package of stuff that yeilds a great experience, so that your reviews will be nice an glowingly positive. Hence, we'll always want to see the best features of the most popular plugins make their way into the core browser.
  • by giorgiofr ( 887762 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:21PM (#15330009)
    ... and there's not a single feature in FF 2 that hasn't been in Opera for ages. The FF team is slacking - they're not innovating anymore. Not that they OWE me anything, of course. Just saying.
    • Question is, does Opera do these features better or will Firefox?

      It isn't so much who had what feature first, it is who does it best. How hard is it to understand that?
      • If history is anything to go by, then probably Opera will. Sometimes, you do get what you pay for, and while Firefox is a great improvement over IE in many respects, it's been trailing Opera for several years IMHO.

      • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @02:45PM (#15330375)
        Question is, does Opera do these features better or will Firefox?

            It does. I like Firefox a lot, but i'm not blind - every single feature that it's available in both and works better in Opera. With a fraction of the memory usage, and much faster to boot. Much more stable too - i only had Opera hangning on me a couple of times (both on Windows and Linux) - when it happens, it promptly apologizes and offers you to open the windows you were browsing at the moment of the crash. Priceless!

            Also, Oprera has a shitload of functionality not available on FF or not needing extensions (gesture browsing, searches in the url bar, etc...). Those are the reasons it has been my main browser of choice for years now.
        • by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @06:28PM (#15331197)
          Too bad there's no way to mod a post as "potentially life changing." I've been putting off trying out Opera since before it went free. Your post made me decide to give it another try, and so far (admittedly only an hour or so of heavy surfing) I love it. I was able to get it to connect to my banking site. It does phpbb better than FF. My machine seems about 50% faster, and memory use is something like 200 megs lower than my FF installation.

          Most importantly, I didn't have to install any extensions to get it to work acceptably.

          If there's one functionality that should be built into FF 2.0, there should be a brainless way to export and import your extensions, forms, passwords and bookmarks in one "FF2go" zipped bundle so that when you reinstall it on another computer, you can get started right away with your old configuration.
  • use a permalink... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Val314 ( 219766 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:34PM (#15330066)
    like this one
    http://mozillalinks.blogspot.com/2006/05/bon-echo- aka-firefox-2-alpha-2-review.html [blogspot.com]
    if you want to link to an article of a blog and not just point to the main page...
  • Spell Check (Score:5, Funny)

    by dark_requiem ( 806308 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:34PM (#15330070)
    Thank god they're putting in an automated spell check for multi-line text boxes. This site should become that much more bearable to read now.
  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:37PM (#15330084) Homepage
    Fucking dammit.

    Why the hell are there buttons ('Move Up' and 'Move Down') for reordering the search plugins. They should be able to be dragged and dropped. It's not like the developers can't do this; the bookmarks can be. Why not this?

    (It would also be nice for Firefox and Mozilla to understand URL files generated by IE. Safari seems to manage.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:55PM (#15330158)
    Firefox has numerous serious focus problems that continue to be ignored.. I hope they fix them in version 2 but I don't hold out much hope given that they've been ignoring them for years. It seems the devs are mouse-only users. A lot of the problems occur when keystrokes are used to open windows, close windows, etc.

    Firefox steals focus constantly under enlightenment. Older versions of Firefox (0.8) do not have the problem.
  • XUL in Python? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dausha ( 546002 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @02:07PM (#15330201) Homepage
    So, does the 2.0 series allow XUL coding in Python instead of Javascript. I have heard about this for some time. However, I've not heard what 'live' Firefox version would start offering this sweet gem.

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Sunday May 14, 2006 @03:06PM (#15330466)
    Multi-threaded UI yet? Anybody? Anybody?


    The longer this is put off, the harder I suspect it's going to be to put it, due to a more complicated codebase.

    Lay the foundation first, folks, PLEASE.
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @07:40PM (#15331435) Homepage
    Where are the major changes to warrant a full major version increment?

    We've just had a massive jump from 1.1 to 1.5 with little improvement. Why aren't they calling this version 1.6?

  • by Wolfier ( 94144 ) on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:06AM (#15332607)
    Here are the important ones.

    1. plugins should have their own thread priorities.  Ever wonder why a lot of Flash applets can slow down Firefox but not IE?  IE runs flash applets in a lower priority thread than the UI.

    2. actions on file types should not have anything greyed out.  people should be able to choose custom actions based on MIME type, extensions, or both, and there must be a text box to type the application path, plus its parameters.

    3. cancelling a save of a file over something with the same name should take you back to the dialog to rename the file, not cancelling the action altogether.

    4. Find toolbar closes on its own after a *hardcoded* 5 second timeout.

    If you check the conversations on bugzilla, the developers don't seem to like to listen at all.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus