Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Experience with Mozilla Firefox 3

I've always been excited over new web browser releases.  I still remember the early days of Netscape where I promptly downloaded each new release as it became publicly available.  Now that Netscape is gone, I've been quite excited over the upcoming version of Firefox i.e version 3.0.

The Browser War

In the mid 90s, Netscape used to rule the browser war until IE came along.  I've been an IE fan since.  However, of late, IE seems to be having some serious competition.  I have all the mainstream web browsers on my main desktop i.e. IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari.  Since I develop web applications, having those browsers for testing are necessary.

I admit, I wasn't too excited over the early versions of Firefox and it wasn't only until the release of version 2 that I took Firefox seriously.  Last night, I've decided not to wait for the final Firefox 3.0 release on June 17; instead, I decided to give Firefox 3.0 RC2 a try after reading that the release candidate is stable enough.

First Observations

The following are some of my own early observations of Firefox 3.

  • The new UI is more in sync with Vista's desktop theme;
  • Speedier browsing especially with Javascript or AJAX-oriented sites;
  • Smarter autocomplete functionality in the location bar;
  • Early beta versions of Silverlight plugin will cause Firefox to crash; however, the latest Silverlight plugin (Beta 2) works fine;
  • Firebug extension won't work (a new version of Firebug is in development and will work with Firefox 3 but I couldn't get to the Firebug download site at time of writing);
  • Consistently consumes less memory than IE7;
  • Able to save tabs for the next start on closing down Firefox.

Speedy Gonzales...

I've read of the multifold speed improvements in Firefox 3 and on subjective testing, the statement holds quite true.  This is probably the strongest reason to upgrade to version 3.

So, go give Firefox 3 a try or wait till June 17 for the final release!

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