Monday, 14 January 2008

Firefox 3 Beta 2, ready to download despite Mozilla's caution

Something I haven't logged a comment about before, making the most of computers. Though I have no technical knowledge whatsover, I am on an upward curve in terms of how to make the most of computers and the options on offer. I've recently downloaded the latest beta version of Firefox (Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 2) from here

Mozilla have not greatly publicised this, and refer to it as a Beta edition only suitable for their testing community. However, Beta seems like a meaningless description given the amount of generally available stuff designated in this way. Why is any of it more 'beta' than the non 'beta' stuff which replaces it but is periodically updated?

I urge everyone with a Firefox browser to download. I currently have Firefox 2 button on my side bar, but if Mozilla don't make the 'beta' a general release soon I'll try to make my own button for Firefox 3.

  1. Amazing, even while working up this post, and posts on the Facebook Firefox community,an updated British English dictionary downloaded. A point that was going to be listed as a disadvantage is now resolved. If things are moving this quickly Mozilla really should put this on general release very soon.
  2. Very integrated feel, tabs seem to be part of a continuous surface (matching the best aspects of Safari and Opera).
  3. Very clearly designed icons and lettering mean that they are smaller but legible, and the bars can take up less space and the general window is larger, which also creates an uncluttered feel. Also window in browser bar is very wide, even when like me the user activates nearly all the icons.
  4. All webpages now perfectly match the window, irritating sideways scrolling a thing of the past (which used to be a distinctive feature of Opera).
  5. Even now there is some choice of themes, some for Windows XP, but not Vista yet though there is at least one Fox2* theme for Vista, and at least one for Mac. I chose MicroFox which accentuates the feature of small icons and lettering and is still very clear. Also very cute icon of a fox which is activated while downloading. Great attention to detail, every icon and feature gets creative design attention.
  6. Browser bar now include book marking function
  7. Restore closed tab feature works better for me than on the last version of Firefox 2.
  8. Pointing towards an url now includes a very clear indication if that url has been visited before with a quick link.
  9. Live bookmarks now includes 'Smart Bookmarks' feature which lists: Most visited, Recently, visited, Recent tags.
  10. Holding mouse pointer over url now gives a more clear and attractive legible little window.
  1. At present Facebook plug in/tool bar does not work. Attempts to substitute with Google and Yahoo desktop widgets have proved very unreliable.
  2. After the end of downloading the X icon in dialogue box does not delete download from the box. However, clicking on the download does give working options to delete that download or all remaining in there.
  3. Google accelerator not compatible at present. The accelerator speeds up browsing and turns the main Google site in California into a proxy site. I found this very useful for accessing very respectable websites, which are affected by libel actions brought in Turkey against sites sharing the same server. Oddly the block does not work on university servers. The accelerator does not completely solve the problem, interactive functions are still a problem. I now use a website proxy which is less convenient and seems to be mainly aimed at sleazebags blocked from MySpace (a motive of no relevance to me, honest). Nevertheless, it feels like browsing is now faster rather than slower.
Really, the verdict is clear. If you have Firefox 2*, download Firefox 3 now, from the icon above. If you don't use Firefox, try it and you won't be disappointed. Very few who start using Firefox turn back. It really does download very quickly and on any OS still in widespread use, even on Microsoft/Windows computers which will not download Explorer 7. You don't lose anything with Firefox and you gain a lot in aesthetics, choice, flexibility, and general user friendliness. For example, the last time I tied to save passwords on Explorer, I had to download an application which was highly disruptive and annoying to use. Saving or not saving paswords of your choice in Firefox is very very easy. It's clear evidence that Microsoft are now a dinosaur company that it's easier, and better, to use Firefox on their computers than MS's own Explorer browser. I still normally only use MS computers, but that should be changing later this year, as I am now a full convert to the Bill Gates is Darth Vader school; that claim is certainly becoming more and more true over time. More on this in a later post I hope.

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