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Firefox 2.0 RC3 Released 238

midkay writes "Firefox 2.0 RC3 has just been released. The release notes cover all the changes since the first release candidate, but RC3 appears to have a new Windows installer and more security in the extensions aspect, among a few other things."
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Firefox 2.0 RC3 Released

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @08:45AM (#16466651) Journal
    After reading this list, I must say that there are more than a few features I don't care about. That's not to say other people don't need them, it's just that I'm not going to benefit from any of these yet. In fact, the only reason I'll upgrade is because it's so easy.

    That said, I wish they would take care of these problems [] at some point. I know on the current Firefox, you can take measures [] to restrict its size but I think it starts to thrash when I go to a largely intensive Flash site. I would rather it not steadily accrue memory as I use it through the day and visit sites that use Flash extensively. I know that Flash is a plug-in and this is one of the leading causes of memory problems in Firefox []. But it's the only extension/plug-in I use and it's so I can see average websites, I don't do anything special or extraordinary with it. You'll probably be able to convince me that this is Flash's fault yet I don't quite see the same effects in IE. Conspiracy? Well, I'm all ears and happy if it is.

    Maybe it's the fact that I have between 5 and 10 tabs open at a time. Although I'm good at closing them, sometimes the memory doesn't seem to be freed up. Maybe that's not Firefox's fault and it's these shady sites (like Slashdot) that allocate resources that can't be freed? Maybe this is an unavoidable problem and IE 7 will experience the same problems--I'm not sure but we'll see I guess. What should worry Firefox proliferation advocates is that I'm willing to try out IE 7 when Windows forces it on my machine just to see if I can use it all day without having it blow up a couple times due to memory leaks.

    So this features list has some intriguing points but the one that would make me squeal like a giddy school girl would be:
    • Large Amount of Memory Issues Fixed.
    It's not a feature but it means the world to me.

    So, in the end, I hope that the development efforts of Firefox 2 are spent implementing better memory management and control instead of introducing more features. More features are probably a lot more fun to develop and I know I get this for free so I'm not in any position to bitch. But if you want to make me an I'm-going-marry-Firefox fanboy, fix the memory leaks that plague the occasional user--I'm not saying all of them, just the ones that large percentages of your users probably experience.

    Does anyone else experience memory issues with Firefox? Does anybody know if development efforts for Firefox 2 have included memory management? I can't seem to find any record of that online.
    • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:20AM (#16467167)

      Dozens of memory leaks have been fixed in Firefox 2. A memory benchmark shows Firefox 2 consumes less memory than IE 7 or Opera 9 [].

      If you're still seeing a memory problem in Firefox 2, what you should do is describe steps to reproduce the problem so the bug can be reported and fixed [].

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ekarderif ( 941116 )
        My Opera runs at a constant 40 MB footprint. Until Firefox stops chewing up more and more over time, I'm not switching back.
      • Yes, these guys complaining about they focusing on features and skipping the bugs are missinformed or jump to conclussions, anyone who upgrades to firefox 2 from would notice that they are slowly improving the stability and memory usage. It is not like they would fix all the problems that cause them in a single update but since Bon Echo until this rc 3 I have noticed improvements.

        Also even in that bugzilla page you can notice that some bugs are getting fixed, then there are some that are the fault

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Osiris Ani ( 230116 )

          Also lately I can hardly make it go higher than 70.0 MB, and I use flash to watch youtube and play games.

          My anecdotal evidence trumps your anecdotal evidence. I'm using Firefox 2.0 RC3 (with Adblock, Talkback 2.0, Flash, and Adobe Reader; I don't keep it loaded down) on WinXP Pro to create this particular post, it's only been running for approximately three hours with intermittent use, and it's already up to 99,756KB of system memory. What's worse, browser.cache.memory.capacity is still hard-code

      • I rarely see Opera which I use regularly, go above 60 MB. Firefox (I'm running 2.0 RC2), on the other hand, which I only use for pages that won't open properly in Opera (Groupwise web access, a few other similar things for school--not Flash intensive stuff), creeps higher and higher as it stays open. The other day, with one tab open, after working on my school's web page manager for several hours it was hogging over 180MB. And Opera, in which I had several tabs open, doing email, reading news, /., and wh
    • by jgc7 ( 910200 )
      A lot has been said about the memory issues in Firefox, and I agree that it probably isn't a "leak" as the developers claim. But why the hell does Firefox continue to cache all of the history for a closed tab in memory. If I close a bunch of tabs, I want the memory freed up! I have no need to be able to instantly reopen a closed tab with all of the history, which is possible today with a simple extension. When I close a tab, I am not going back in the near future, and if I do, Firefox should just reload
      • Whenever I close tabs, I see the memory freed up. If you really want to, you can completely turn off the bfcache feature [].
        • by jgc7 ( 910200 )
          The thing is that when I have lots of tabs open, I want firefox to use lots of memory so I get the benefit of the hyperfast back and forward. I just don't want history cached after I close tabs. With the config settings, I can either turn off the fast back/forward(practically no caching), or limit the total memory usage. Neither of these solutions is proper. When I have 10 tabs open with lots of history, Firefox should use ~200 megs of memory. When I close 9 of the tabs, the memory usage should drop to
          • When I have 10 tabs open with lots of history, Firefox should use ~200 megs of memory. When I close 9 of the tabs, the memory usage should drop to ~30megs.
            Do you know of any browser that actually exhibits this behavior? If so, please list which browser, version, OS, and which 10 URLs to open in the 10 tabs to see it. In my experience, once a browser is using well over 100 MB of memory, nothing will get it to use as low as 30 MB of memory except restarting the browser.
            • by jgc7 ( 910200 )
              yes, IE 6 does this (albeit without tabs.) When I open 10 windows with pages like,,, Memory usage goes in excess of 200 megs. When I close 9 IE windows, memory usage drops to ~50megs. In firefox, when I open a bunch of tabs and surf around, then close the tabs, memory usage barely decreases at all.
              • I tried this in IE 7 (I don't have IE 6 on my computer any more). I opened,,,, and each in a different window. Memory usage went up to 135 MB. After closing all but the window with, memory usage went down to 57 MB. After opening the same pages in tabs, memory use went to 130 MB. After closing all tabs but the one with, memory usage went back to 60 MB.

                I tried the same operations in Firefox 2. It uses 99 MB of memory when the pages

                • by jgc7 ( 910200 )
                  You have to create history to get the experience I am referring to. Instead of just opening a tab, and then one page, then closing the tab. Try the following, and let me know if you have the same experience.
                  start with the
                  open a tab. Go to 4 big sites in this tab
                  open another tab. Go to 4 more big sites
                  open another tab. Go to 4 more big sites.
                  close all but the google tab.
                  Do the same in IE (I only have IE6, so I have to do it with windows.)
                  Let me know if you still get the same results.
    • by BZ ( 40346 )
      > So this features list has some intriguing points but the one that
      > would make me squeal like a giddy school girl

      Historically, the Firefox changelists have tended to not list changes to the core code (like leak fixes) as much as "user-facing" changes. Sort of comes with who's compiling the changelists.

      There are in fact a bunch of memory usage fixes in Firefox 2 as compared to Firefox 1.5.
    • by xtracto ( 837672 )
      I would rather it not steadily accrue memory as I use it through the day and visit sites that use Flash extensively.

      Really, which sites does not use flash extensively, even on slashdot they bother you with the flashy happy 3d smileys add...

      I do experiment with memory issues in firefox. Fortunately I have been using konqueror instead of firefox for some time and along with Privoxy it makes everything I need (and it enters into sites Firefox never entered, like my bank portal).

      I dont plan to upgrade firefox,
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tigerd ( 890439 )
      I simply cannot use firefox 2.0. The thing with little arrows to get to the last of your tabs, when you got to many, sux so bad. I hate it when my tabs disapear, and I have to go and get them. Just stay on the old track, and who cares about the reordering?!? I want FF 1.6 instead of this new "u cant handle the tabs" shit. Dammit
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by slocan ( 769303 )

      [...] Does anybody know if development efforts for Firefox 2 have included memory management? I can't seem to find any record of that online.

      Maybe this MozillaZine Knowledge Base article about memory problems in Firefox [] holds the answer:

      Memory leaks can cause Firefox not to release memory that it is no longer using, especially with older versions. There has been a lot of effort to reduce the leaks in recent versions, and Mozilla developers have have created tools to detect them. [4] [] [5] [] To minimize leak

    • by lbrandy ( 923907 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:22AM (#16468255)
      After reading this list, I must say that there are more than a few features I don't care about.

      I jsut upgarded adn for smoe resaon firrefox uednerlines everyhting in red! WROST FAETURE EVAR!
    • Man if I had 100 mods points I'd give them ALL to you.

      I use Firefox each and every day - for work and for play; but for some reason when ever I visit a site with FLASH my CPU feels the pain. And by pain I mean **100%** CPU usage pain. Well maybe 60% on my new system. Well maybe not every FLASH site, but it seems to be most of them. And why does IE not have this issue? Will someone please help me? Mozilla? Linus? CmdrTaco?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        And why does IE not have this issue? Will someone please help me? Mozilla? Linus? CmdrTaco?

        How about Adobe?

        You do realize the Flash plugin is a 3rd-party piece of closed-source software, correct? And that the IE Flash plugin is different from the Netscape/Mozilla Flash plugin?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jdavidb ( 449077 ) *

      Just a small correction: in general, Flash is not used to view average websites, but subaverage websites.

    • by jafac ( 1449 )
      To me - the memory issues are pretty important too.

      Although, a nice workaround would be the ability to restore all the tabs I had opened if I close Firefox with multiple tabs. Sometimes, I just don't have time to read all the content on all my open tabs, and I don't want to make bookmarks for pages I'm going to read once and close.

      I know that if Firefox terminates unexpectedly, the next time you launch, it asks if you want all your tabs restored - this is a very nice feature, and I wish I could do that whe
  • I do not want t try out this release becasuse all my extensions do not work, and Firefox without those particular extensions is not worth the effort. However, I applaud their coding effort.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by linuxci ( 3530 )
      Give it a few weeks, this is a release candidate and hopefully this one will be ready for release. Unlike Microsoft, the Mozilla project usually mean the release candidates can true candidates for release therefore most extension developers can work on testing their extensions against this release knowing that it's unlikely to break in the final.

      Last year 1.5 had 3 release candidates and 1.5 final was identical to RC3. So hopefully this year they get it right on the third attempt too.

      Anyway, give it a few w
    • by dracvl ( 541254 )
      I do not want t try out this release becasuse all my extensions do not work

      Enter about:config in the URL bar, start typing the word "check" and double-click the extensions.checkCompatibility so that its value is False instead of True.

      Now Firefox will no longer check for the version string in extensions, and you can use all the extensions that you are used to (I haven't found any incompatibilities with 2.0 RC3 yet).

    • I've been using the Nightly Tester Tools to make older extensions compatible. So far, no problems in the ones I use regularly. Themes are a different matter, though...
  • Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sH4RD ( 749216 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @08:49AM (#16466705) Homepage this on Slashdot? This is almost like reporting on a nightly build. Remind me when it actually goes final.
    • by rf0 ( 159958 )
      Well we've had IE7 RC blah and Vista so may as well include Firefox. They could just copy the front page of as well then we can get constant updates on software we've never even heard of
      • But the Firefox RCs are actual release candidates so they are released within a few days of one another. IE7 and Vista RCs are just Betas by another name which are released weeks or months apart.
    • Maybe because Firefox 1.5 RC3 was later renamed to Firefox without any modification (hence that Firefox 2.0 RC3 has high chances to become

      Plus every single IE7 RC made it to slashdot, no reason for the final Fx2.0 not to.

      • I just told my Firefox 2.0rc2 to autoupgrade ; now when I ask "about Mozilla Firefox", it says "Firefox 2.0" - whereas 2.0rc2 said "2.0rc2" . So this , under the hood, is already 2.0 ; IMHO the dev team thinks that, most probably, there will not be a 2.0rc4, so they are betting on this to really be 2.0.
  • Not "new" in RC3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @08:58AM (#16466835) Homepage
    It's a bit obvious from the number of major additions described, but the "phishing protection" and "new Windows Installer" are just new features of 2.0, which were already in earlier release candidates. Compare the announcements of RC3 [] and RC2 [] on the developer blog.

    The release notes page itself seems a bit misleading, since they specifically talk about "Firefox 2 RC3" even in places where they mean Firefox 2 - perhaps someone saved time with a search & replace.


    So while this announcement probably means they fixed bugs and are another step closer to the final release, the major features aren't news.
  • by slib ( 876774 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @08:59AM (#16466859)
    Memory consumption, for one. I've had situations where, upon running the app FRESH, it's shit all over 70 megs of my memory - on RC3. And on /. alone. Opera in the same environment only uses ~30, and even IE, heaven forbid, uses less. Although RC3 does look mighty swanky, I'll take Opera's modular approach to aesthetics any day - let's just hope the gents from Norway get those compatibility problems taken care of (infinitely expanding pages, anyone?).

    Some nice new features (no, I didn't RTFA):

    -auto spellcheck (GREAT idea, especially for your typical slashdotter)

    -session saving (although Opera beat it to the punch like, well, everything else(aww snap -1 troll))

    -security updates... ?

    • session saving (although Opera beat it to the punch like, well, everything else(aww snap -1 troll))

      There have been session-saving extensions for, like, years...

    • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
      Do a fair comparison - run IE in Wine.
  • by coldcanofbeer ( 820296 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @09:20AM (#16467173) Homepage
    A guy has created a handy searchable list of the extensions / Add-ons that are compatible with Firefox 2.0:

    Here is the link: Bill's Big List of Firefox 2.0 Compatible Extensions []

  • I guess this will be what will eventually become IceWeasel 2?
  • by pugdk ( 697845 )
    and each tab will now have a close tab button.and each tab will now have a close tab button.

    I seriously hope they have changed the preferences this time so that is easy to change back to the pre 2.0 behavior (its doable but its quite a hassle - using about::config to enter a new option that does not exist is not really that user friendly).

    God, having to move your mouse to close a multitude of windows just UBER sucks.. the last beta I couldn't even change the behavior to full pre 2.0 behavior - when I
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sepodati ( 746220 )
      If all of the tabs you want to close are in a row, then yeah, a single button in the same location is great. For myself, though, it's usually a couple of tabs scattered throughout the ones I have open that I want to close. Having the button on each tab makes this easier overall, although I'll admit it took a few days to get used to.

      If you use a mouse with a middle button (I'm on a laptop w/o a mouse), then middle-clicking anywhere on the tab will close it. That's the easiest overall. I wish my laptop had a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tackhead ( 54550 )
        > If all of the tabs you want to close are in a row, then yeah, a single button in the same location is great.

        99% of the time, that's my use case.

        Pop open 20 or 30 tabs from various boards, one discussion thread per tab, and read 'em in sequence. One mouse click, and no mouse movement, per tab-closing.

        Having to move the mouse to each tab would be a dealbreaker.

        If, as the release notes suggest, "Power users who open more tabs than can fit in a single window will see arrows on the left and right

  • I was using RC2 which worked alright, although I actually preferred the way older versions did some things, like I don't like the way you have to scrolling through tabs now, instead of just making them smaller.

    But with RC3 any URL I enter is opened in the first tab - its impossible to open pages in other tabs it seems. I'm amazed how this kind of massive bug made it into a release candidate.
    • by mcbevin ( 450303 )
      A further bug I noticed after posting that is that I can't navigate forwards, only backwards. Time to go back to a stable version I guess .... so are other people having the same problems?
  • It seems that page loads are even snappier in RC3 than they were in RC2?
  • 12 hours of always up useage...(I have the flu..and can't sleep)

    Youtube, Veoh... lots of other sites.

    It's using 90 Megs now, which I'm pretty sure would be 250+ megs idle under previous versions.

    And this is on XP Pro.
  • What good is the yield/next iterator?

    Every example that I've seen shows how to convert one loop into two loops totalling more statements. Can anyone explain to me how it makes my JS code simpler?
  • by code65536 ( 302481 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:14PM (#16470793) Homepage Journal
    I've been using the release candidates for nearly a month now, starting with the first candidate of RC1 (yes, they do release release candidates of release candidates ;)). There were some things that took a bit of getting used to, but within an hour, I was loving it.

    1/ It seems faster. It also has a MUCH better memory footprint.
    2/ Session-saving and undo close tabs is now built-in. This is great, because I used to get this from an extension, and that extension was a horrible memory leaker (this might contribute to #1).
    3/ New tab management. I often have lots of tabs open, and it's nice to be able to scroll the tab bar now or to get a drop-down of all the open tabs. The close button on each tab is annoying (that's what middle-click is for) and the wider minimum tab width is wasteful, but both of those settings can be changed in about:config.
    4/ Speaking of about:config, there is a new hidden setting that lets you disable compatibility checking for extensions. Oftentimes, an extension marked for 1.5 will work just fine for 2.0, but the author hadn't updated the extension's manifest to say that, so FF2 would refuse that extension. Not anymore. :) No more need for NTT or for manually bumping up the maxVersion of such extensions.
    5/ Button to restart Firefox after installing an add-on. And the new session saving kicks in to restore all your tabs and even what you have filled into forms after the restart. Makes installing stuff much less painful.
    6/ Spell check! No more copying-and-pasting into word to check for typos.
    7/ Better RSS management
    8/ Better password auto-fill
    9/ I personally love the look of the new theme. The old tabs looked rather ugly on Windows Classic. Now combined with ClassicFox [], Firefox looks stunning on Windows Classic. But that's a matter of personal taste.

    Personally, I didn't care much for the other features like anti-phishing (I have it disabled 'cuz I think I can protect myself, but it's good for Joe Sixpack), live titles, or the search suggest (which I also have disabled). Anyway, at the risk of sounding like some sappy endorsement, I really love Firefox 2. Once I got used to it and tweaked the settings, I can't believe how I ever managed to get along with 1.5.
  • by cetan ( 61150 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:52PM (#16471621) Journal
    Does anyone have an extension or a way to "un-fix" the tabbed browsing changes? I actually prefer the original method of tabs getting smaller.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer