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Firefox 2.0 To Debut Tuesday 445

An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 2.0 for Tuesday, says the Seattle PI. They give a quick recap of some of the new features, and discuss the ongoing IE vs. Fox debate." From the article: "Version 2.0 also improves on the tabbed-windows interface that Mozilla innovated and that Microsoft introduced for the first time last week with IE7, its biggest upgrade since 2001. Analysts said IE7 is a significant improvement over its predecessor, but the big question is whether it will stem Firefox's growth at Microsoft's expense. Firefox's share of the browser market has grown to 9.8 percent of the U.S. market this month, from 2.9 percent in October 2004."
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Firefox 2.0 To Debut Tuesday

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  • innovation? (Score:5, Informative)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:21PM (#16539144) Journal
    geez, "tabbed-windows interface that Mozilla innovated" that is beginning to sound like microsoft innovation. Long before firefox existed, I was using tabbed windows in opera. Give credit where it is due.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xymor ( 943922 )
      And I've been using since 1997 [] with IE
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MrP- ( 45616 )
      Not only has opera had it before firefox, it works better too.

      I love Opera, it's my primary browser. I wish it was as popular as firefox

      (and yes i know opera didnt invent tabs either but still)
      • Re:innovation? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @08:04PM (#16540540) Homepage
        The only thing that makes me like Firefox more than Opera is the idea of Extensions. The fact that the browser can be enhanced by the users creates a big advantage in my mind. I wouldn't want all those features built into the browser, because it would be huge and bloated, and there's a lot of extensions that without them my life would be a lot harder. The web developer extension makes my life so much easier, but i'm sure that 99% of internet users in the world would have absolutely no use for.
    • Re:innovation? (Score:5, Informative)

      by dvice_null ( 981029 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:29PM (#16539220)
      So, to whom should the credit go to?
      "Web browsers are notable for implementing this kind of interface (called tabbed browsing). BookLink Technologies pioneered this interface design in its InternetWorks browser in 1994" []
      • Re:innovation? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:42PM (#16539318)
        BeOS had tabbed-windows system-wide since it was released. What year was that? It also had to be around 1994 or so...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Is taking tabs and applying them to web browsing all that innovative anyway? Surely the first program to interface a tabbed interface or equivalent (ie. switchbar), whatever it's purpose, is the true innovator and the first web browser to make use of them was simply "a good idea".

        Tabbed web browsing in itself doesn't seem to be a milestone of great significance. Certainly no more so than tabbed text editing or tabbed image viewing etc.
      • by mnmn ( 145599 )
        Doesnt matter where the credit goes, as long as it is 'not Microsoft'.

        As far as browsers are concerned, I agree with you, Opera was the first one IIRC.
    • MDI (Score:5, Informative)

      by jonasj ( 538692 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:31PM (#16539230)
      Not that it matters who came first, but Mozilla did actually have tabs earlier than Opera. What you were using in Opera back then was actually MDI [], not tabs.

      But of course other browsers had tabs far earlier than any of these two.
    • Re:innovation? (Score:5, Informative)

      by unixmaster ( 573907 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:34PM (#16539244) Journal
      It was first introduced in NetCaptor [] browser, more history here [].
      • I remember netcaptor, the tabbed interface was what drew me to it. I used it for a while until it became fairly standard (everything except IE). Real innovation, for sure.
    • .. is that it actually lets you decide how much memory is used for cacheing. Firefox, on the other hand, has no such limit and I've seen its memory usage go sky-high, both in Windows XP and OSX.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )

        Firefox, on the other hand, has no such limit

        So what is this "50Mb" limit I see in the Cache section of the Advanced / Network tab of the Options dialog?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bunratty ( 545641 )
        Firefox also lets you decide how much memory is used for caching []. The problem is that all images on all currently displayed pages are stored uncompressed in the memory cache [], even if the storage exceeds the maximum size you've set. It's not a memory leak, so in practice the memory usage is a problem only when you're displaying pages with lots of large images, but it can cause hundreds of megabytes of memory usage on certain pages.
    • "Version 2.0 also improves on the tabbed-windows interface that Mozilla innovated" That is seriously debatable. I will NOT upgrade to version 2.0 till they offer the old version again. It's seriously harder to use for power users.

      NetCaptor has had tabbed browsing far long than Mozilla.
  • Tuesday? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dvice_null ( 981029 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:23PM (#16539160)
    Tuesday? The day when security patches for IE are released?
  • Minimum tab size (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 42forty-two42 ( 532340 ) <`bdonlan' `at' `'> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:30PM (#16539228) Homepage Journal
    One of the annoying things about the new firefox interface is you can't have as many tabs in the bar at once anymore. Sure, it has a scrolling interface, but I liked the sort of spatial representation of the old system. Is there a way to change the minimum size of the tab headers in the new firefox?
  • Hey Folks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:37PM (#16539268)
    ...Firefox's share of the browser market has grown to 9.8 percent of the U.S. market this month, from 2.9 percent in October 2004."

    Hey Folks,

    They're both free apps under Windows! How does it really hurt MS if FF gets 100% marketshare? In fact, if FF were to take over it might actually benefit MS. How? IE has been their worst blackeye of the past couple of years. More problems with than than everything else. If MS could make all the bad IE press go away, don't you think that would be a positive? I realize this is like suggesting to Apple to let Dell build their hardware, but does that make it a bad idea? As long as FF adheres to Open Standards, everyone can compete with web-sites equally with it.

    • Re:Hey Folks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dvice_null ( 981029 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:41PM (#16539314)
      > How does it really hurt MS if FF gets 100% marketshare?

      If all the people use Firefox, there won't be that many IE-only applications. This means it will be a lot easier to switch to other operating systems, which usually means that people stop using Microsoft software. Microsoft's strategy is to force people to stick with their system. Why else do you think they are always making their own version of standards?
      • Re:Hey Folks (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:58PM (#16539466)
        This means it will be a lot easier to switch to other operating systems

        Only if IE is the most compelling reason to remain on Windows, which I suspect is not the case for most people.

        Why else do you think they are always making their own version of standards?

        There are plenty of possible reasons:

        * It's easier
        * It lets you do stuff that you consider useful/necessary/cool but that isn't in the spec
        * Not Invented Here syndrome
        * As you suggest, lock-in
        * They're arrogant enough to think they know best and big enough to get away with it
        • by Udo Schmitz ( 738216 ) on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:31AM (#16543456) Journal
          Only if IE is the most compelling reason to remain on Windows, which I suspect is not the case for most people.

          As long as there are web sites that are built for IE (important stuff like online banking) this is a reason for people to stay with IE and Windows. I hear it all the time. As IE looses more marketshare, companies are compelled to think about shutting out potential customers. That will lead to their web sites being compatible to web standards. That will make one less rason for people to switch away from windows. That again will lead to some chair throwing in Seattle.

    • Re:Hey Folks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by C0vardeAn0nim0 ( 232451 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:46PM (#16539356) Journal
      IE is a loss leader, just like the Xbox. they make up by selling other stuff, like devopment kits for activeX applets and other stuff.

      plus it's an anchor to hold people to their products.

      how many people you know have computers only to check e-mail and browse the web ? if all these people switch to firefox, how soon they'll realize they can use FF running in linux, freebsd, mac, etc ?

      what MS wants is joe sixpack to think that "internet == internet explorer" so they can keep shoveling windows on the unsuspecting masses
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If through shifts in market share every popular Windows app becomes crossplatform, then people will realize that they don't need Windows. That would really hurt MS.
  • by JavaManJim ( 946878 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @05:38PM (#16539288)
    Its Sunday after all right now, so why not pray for FireFox? This is FireFox 2.0 Beta running on my Windows XP PC.

    1. Starts without maximizing itself to the full PC screen area. Always leaves space available. In contrast SeaMonkey correctly occupies the full PC screen area when starting (but SeaMonkey makes me create a new profile except for once.). FF thinks its full screen according to its maximize/window button but is mistaken.

    2. FF fails CSS rendering because it uses an antique CSS engine. []

    Those are my FF issues. What are yours?

    Jim Burke
  • But where can I get my IceWeasel 2.0 ?
  • Here's hoping. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @06:01PM (#16539486) Homepage
    I hope it won't leak quite so much memory. That'd be nice.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @06:08PM (#16539534) Homepage Journal
    Firefox's share of the browser market has grown to 9.8 percent of the U.S. market this month

    This has gotta be one of the weirder (mis)uses of the term "market". After all, the competing "products" aren't for sale, and a "market" is usually a place where people sell things.

    Of course, it can be difficult to establish a market when the "market leader" does the ultimate price-war thing and gives its product out for free. They did kill Netscape Corp, of course, but somehow they still didn't capture the "market".

    There are some bizarre (bazarre?) economic theories at work here, I think.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I just think it's funny that everybody thinks that IE exists largely to keep people from moving to another OS. As if everybody walks into Best Buy and notices that only the Windows machines have IE and then say, "Oh well, I guess I'll have to buy a Windows machine then."

      Most ordinary users aren't even aware of the browser wars. It's mostly irrelevant to them. As long as they can surf the web they don't give a crap whether they click on a big "E" icon or or an icon of a curled up little fox to get there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by freeweed ( 309734 )
        You should go check out a business sometime.

        If I could run every intraweb site/application on Firefox, I could convert my desktop to Linux. If I could run Linux, most of the rest of the company could, too. Most businesses don't play games, use photoshop, or some obscure DVD-ripping software that is only available on Windows. Most businesses are stuck on Windows due to the Office stack (which is getting to be replacable) and IE-based applications. Where the business machines go, the home users will follow.

  • We've been heavily using the SessionSaver plugin feature with Firefox 1.5. When (not if, when) Firefox 1.5 uses up all the system memory and Linux kills it, we restart a minty-fresh new instance of it and all our windows come back.

    It turns out that SessionSaver doesn't work with Firefox 2.0, and it doesn't really need to because Firefox 2.0 has a session saver feature built in. I have several dozen pages open, and I'm wondering: is there any convenient way to bring those pages forward? Basically I just w
  • by Mike_K ( 138858 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @06:31PM (#16539722)
    I'm a Windows user. I used to think that Firefox used too much RAM - I have about 30 tabs open in 2 windows, and it consumes over 140MB. In my book that's A LOT.

    Few days ago I installed IE 7. I know, installing brand new MS software is a bad idea. But I'm reinstalling this OS soon anyway, so I wanted to give it a try. I opened the same tabs in the browser. Some of them didn't have my cookies, so slightly different pages loaded. But to my surprise, IE7 was taking up over 400MB of RAM. That's almost 3 times as much as Firefox. It got sluggish compared to Firefox. (I have a gig of RAM in a decently fast computer)

    I'm sticking with Firefox. I'll test out 2.0 when it comes out, and baring bugs or bloat, I'll be using it as my main browser on all 3 computers I use.

  • Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edmicman ( 830206 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @06:52PM (#16539926) Homepage Journal
    So 2.0 drops on Tuesday, and the biggest topic /. has to discuss about it is whether or not Mozilla actually pioneered tabbed browsing or not? Come on....

    I've been using the 2.0 betas since they were publicly available, and have to say it's a big improvement. The individual tab closing button (it's nice...just give it a shot), the spell checking, improvements in the preferences interface....all around, a very nice job!
  • Who cares? (Score:3, Funny)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Sunday October 22, 2006 @06:58PM (#16539976) Homepage Journal
    Let me know when IceWeasel 2.0 is out. Now *that* will be a great browser!
  • I'm a web developer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @07:26PM (#16540230)
    For me the big question as such is:

    should we care to support Firefox 1.5 now?

    We know we'll have to support IE6 for years to come, even IE5. But Firefox users typically upgrade their browser quickly.
    So: do I check my sites in FF 1.5? Do I even keep it?

    Before you tell me "but they all render perfectly and the same": it's not true. I keep Firefox 1.07 for this reason here, since it handles quite a bit of elements/CSS in a different manner (even clearing floats differs a little in some cases).

    There's also lots of bugs fixed in 1.5, but not in 1.07. And there's also new oddball behaviours in 1.5 not present in 1.07...

    FF has 10% market share. I'm just split if it's worth it going into so much detail.. maybe I'll just support 1.5 for a few months and move to 2.0.

    Please share your opinion.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 22, 2006 @08:12PM (#16540608)
      The 1.x branch of Firefox used Gecko 1.7
      Fx 1.5 uses Gecko 1.8
      Fx 2 uses Gecko 1.8.1, so a much smaller change (as in no new feature in HTML/CSS, just bug fixes I think). The new features are in SVG (textPath support), JavaScript (1.7) and Client-side session and persistent storage []
      Fx 3 will be the next big jump to Gecko 1.9, with the reflow that will fix Acid 2 and incremental layout bugs, plus more CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 support.
  • by William_Lee ( 834197 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @08:16PM (#16540626)
    I am a big fan of Firefox in terms of philosophy and features, but have been driven to Opera (which I actually prefer for most things) due to the ridiculous amounts of memory that Firefox consumes. With multiple tabs open, I can routinely see Firefox over the course of a day or two of remaining open consume upwards of 900K, and it will continue to grow until it is shutdown and restarted. This is a serious issue for many Windows Firefox users, and the developers seem either unwilling or unable to focus on fixing it. This should have been the number one priority for version 2 in my opinion. It results in a shoddy product that would be unacceptable in a commercial application. Why is it that this elephant just sits in the room while FF developers pretend it's not there. Restarting an application should not be the solution to any problem, let alone one this serious. It's widespread and should have been addressed a long time ago!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by freeweed ( 309734 )
      I can routinely see Firefox over the course of a day or two of remaining open consume upwards of 900K

      Yeah, 640K should be enough for any web browser!
  • Firefox 2.0 Themes (Score:4, Informative)

    by aplusjimages ( 939458 ) on Sunday October 22, 2006 @10:48PM (#16541762) Journal
    They already have Firefox 2.0 themes out.
  • by Chicane-UK ( 455253 ) <chicane-uk.ntlworld@com> on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:32AM (#16543462) Homepage
    I've now used Firefox exclusively for about a year and a half and as far as i'm concerned Microsofts neglect for IE for so long means that on principle alone, i'll never go back.

    But I do some website testing and as a result felt it was in my interests to install IE7 now that it is released and see what its like.

    Yes - shameless UI tweaks borrowed from Firefox and Opera (did we expect anything else?) but the one thing I do really like is the new magnifier feature for web pages. It just works really rather well and seems to handle most pages well.. and doesn't break formatting at all on any site I tried it on. It even scaled up Flash movies to 400% without making my machine die on its backside.

    So certainly for people with sight issues, it'd be hard not to reccomend!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes - shameless UI tweaks borrowed from Firefox and Opera (did we expect anything else?)

      One could say a similar thing about FF 2.0.

      Restore session after crash and individual tab closing buttons - both have been in Galeon for some time...

      While true innovation is admirable, improving by learning from others is also a good thing. The users benefit, the "ecosystem" is improved overall.

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.