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Firefox 2.0 RC2 Review 319

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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  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:48PM (#16372147)
    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).
  • Tab changes suck! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:51PM (#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.
  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gm a i l .com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:57PM (#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 StateOfTheUnion ( 762194 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:35PM (#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 1point618 ( 919730 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:56PM (#16372871)
    As far as I can tell, the difference is that now, instead of having all the normal, handy options you get with hitting ctrl-f, you now get a blank bar at the bottom that doesn't let you search by capitalization, go to the next search term, etc. I'm waiting for an extension to fix this.
  • I for one... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HawkingMattress ( 588824 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:08PM (#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 sleeper0 ( 319432 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:01PM (#16373399)
    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 RC2 27MB. IE would definitely be using more if it had gotten more use, but many of the other applications have been running for at least a week or two.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:10PM (#16373463)
    Actually, just type in about:config in your urlbar, right click in the listing area and add a boolean called extensions.checkCompatibility=false
  • by Andrew Kismet ( 955764 ) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:15PM (#16373863)
    There's also IETab, which lets you run IE windows inside firefox tabs. Very useful for web-design, especially doing what I call the "flicker test", rapidly switching back and forth between the two to see the major differences.
  • Close button per tab (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaoudaW ( 533025 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @09:48AM (#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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