Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3.0 Review

Here's my extended review: Yuck.

Here's my concise review:

  • The interface has barely changed, but the back button is now big and ugly for those who don't have a skin applied.
  • My old skin wasn't supported. When I tried install a few other skins, they required me to register with Mozilla. Bad enough, except that the registration didn't work; they were supposed to send me an email to confirm my registration, but I never received it, even after asking them to send it again. (No, it's not in my spam bucket. Update: Got it several hours later.)
  • Speaking of which, half of my plugins were also not supported. And they're not obscure plugins.
  • The URL bar has a star icon to bookmark a page, but if you accidentally click it, good luck "unbookmarking" the page. It took me half a minute to figure out where the heck it went in the bookmarks. It's too much trouble to allow you to unbookmark a page by clicking on the same star? Update: see comments.
  • There's a recently bookmarked menu, which replaces what used to be called "the bottom of the list". I organize my bookmarks, so I don't see the point.
  • When I typed in part of a URL, I used to get back previous URLs that matched what I typed. Now I get back any page whose URL or title matches what I typed, and boy is it hard to find anything in that mess. It's now two lines per item, includes the favicon, and it's not ordered in any sensible way that I can discern. I now have to type is a whole lot more to find the item I need. And I didn't see any way to turn this "feature" off.
  • Some people report that browsing is faster. I didn't notice this. Of course, I live in Israel, which may trump any gains that a browser provides.

And that's it. That's it? That's what they call a 3.0 release??? Back in the days, a whole number increase meant something. You young'uns are spoiled, I tell you.

Yehuda

12 comments:

Sean said...

Yehuda,

There is a way to get rid of he changes to the address ("awesome") bar. There is some information over on Download Squad on how to do it.

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/06/17/dont-think-the-firefox-3-awesome-bar-is-awesome-heres-how-t/

Yehuda said...

Thanks, sean. There seems to be a disagreement on how exactly to implement this solution. I'll try it out later.

Yehuda

Mikko said...

They lost me by only supporting OS X versions from 10.4. - I'm happily (well, actually, increasingly unhappily) running 10.3.9.

carnadine said...

It seems faster to me, and I don't think it's just wishful thinking. I run a mac though, and it might just be that they brought it up to a Windows level of speed (Firefox has always run faster on windows comps than on macs because it was originally written for a windows system). I guess that's one of the things they fixed this release; they've been talking about it for a while.

The "Awesome Bar" pissed me off for the first few hours, but try leaving it on for a day or two. I found that the suggestions improve. I personally like the idea of an address bar that searches page titles as well as addresses... guess I'll see how convenient that turns out to be in practice.

Greg W said...

You can remove a bookmark by clicking the star again then pressing the button "Remove Bookmark" on the popup that appears.

Silvermink said...

It's reasonably easy to remove a bookmark through the same star icon. Just click it again and hit "Remove Bookmark" in the pop-up. Not quite as simple as just re-clicking it, admittedly, but I guess they figured the functionality of editing a new bookmark to reclassify/tag it was more critical than the ability to remove it in a single click.

Yehuda said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I noticed that if you click an item that is already bookmarked, you get the Remove Bookmark button. But if you double click it, you don't!

I was double clicking it, and that's why I never saw the Remove Bookmark button.

Yehuda

silvermink said...

Strange. The whole double-vs.-single-click model is irritatingly variable from program to program.

meowsqueak said...

Odd. Perhaps because I watched an 'intro to new features' screencast I knew what to expect, and after trying it for myself I really like it. The browser is MUCH faster, especially with AJAX apps like Google Mail. Also, the memory footprint seems to be considerably smaller than 2.0 - I often would restart Firefox2 because it was using over 300 MB of RAM - FF3 seems to be using around 100 MB for the stuff I do.

I've been following Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox for about 12 years and based on the last couple of days I think this is the best web browser ever. I know that sounds fanboyish, but I really think it is.

Yehuda said...

Ok, ok, you win. I'll give it a few days to get used to it and see how it goes.

Yehuda

Yehuda said...

Sean,

I can confirm that changing the RichResults value doesn't return you to the old style bar. :-(

Yehuda

meowsqueak said...

Yehuda,

You might find this useful:

http://lifehacker.com/396517/four-extensions-that-tweak-firefox-3s-awesomebar

There are other Firefox3 tweaks mentioned in other articles on that site too.