Print 33 comment(s) - last by dilz.. on Jul 12 at 10:50 AM

Mozilla's Firefox browser moves closer to its official 2.0 release

For you Firefox fiends out there, Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 RC has been released. Microsoft has been garnering a lot of attention recently with the public betas of its Internet Explorer 7.0 browser, so the Mozilla Foundation can now steal a bit of that limelight.

According to Steve' Bryant's blog over at eWeek, there are versions of the new browser available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X even though the official announcement isn’t expected from Mozilla until tomorrow. Features included with this latest release include anti-phishing technology, built-in spell checking, session restore, Undo Close Tab and scrolling tabs.

The people over at CyberNet have already posted a tweak guide for Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 RC, so be sure to check it out to see all of the latest perks and quirks with the new browser. And as always, be careful as this is still experimental software.

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By RandomFool on 7/10/2006 9:49:40 AM , Rating: 4
I have to say I'm kinda disappointed FF2 isn't a bigger step forward. FF is a great browser but IE is working hard to catch up with them. FF should have added a ton of new features and really out shined IE.

RE: DIsappointing
By Smurfer2 on 7/10/2006 9:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
Um, I must ask, what feature would you want that isn't included?

RE: DIsappointing
By RandomFool on 7/10/2006 10:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't know. I never would have wanted tabs/rss until FF came along, and I'm sure there's other stuff out there just like that. I also remember reading about a couple features that were dropped from ver. 2 in favor of waiting until ver. 3. I was also hoping for a better looking interface, but so far its just more of the same. I realize it's just a beta right now but I was hoping for something more exciting with 2.0.

RE: DIsappointing
By rushfan2006 on 7/10/2006 3:50:12 PM , Rating: 1
LOL what features does anyone want any browser to have....

Its a friggin' browser -- not an view webpages with it.

But keep complaining about lack of features -- its entertaining at least.

RE: DIsappointing
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 9:57:38 AM , Rating: 3
I'd rather not see Firefox get too bloated by putting everything and the kitchen sink into it at once - I think the changes in 2.0 are pretty good. What exactly is it that you think should have been added?

I think FF is at the point where it really just needs polishing rather than tons of new features. They decided to focus mainly on the user interface and features for this release while putting the new technologies (Gecko 1.9, Cairo, Places) into 3.0.

RE: DIsappointing
By Inkjammer on 7/10/2006 10:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'd love to see Firefox get better skins support and more options for customizing the UI, but as it is, the browser does everything I need it to as it is. Speed and security are the main featuers I want in a browser. Everything else is just icing.

RE: DIsappointing
By stncttr908 on 7/10/2006 10:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well, thanks to its open source nature there can always be new features added by end users. That alone gives it an edge over IE, which is limited to Google Toolbar a few other 3rd party (usually not free) applications.

RE: DIsappointing
By oTAL on 7/10/2006 12:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
ACtually the new IE supports extensions... not that imagine switching back, but ppl at MS know what they are doing... if they could replicate the features in a more stable, pre-installed package then I wouldn't bother installing FF (as wouldn't 80% of current FF user).
Right now I love FF, and apart from the small memory leaks and sluggish performace with over 3 windows (20 tabs+ each) it does almost everything I want it to. The embbeded things I really wanted to see are exactly the ones that were added. Only one is missing, which is some kind of secure RoboForm like intelligent form filler. With that I'd be in browser heaven. And I hope they get 2.0 less a memory hogger than 1.5... it's not a huge deal, but I sometimes have to restart the browser to go down to acceptable memory levels (about twice a week).

RE: DIsappointing
By kelmon on 7/10/2006 10:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
From my perspective I'd have liked Firefox to act like a Mac application on the Mac by supporting functions like Network Preferences, Keychain Services and using the built-in spell checker (why should I have to teach another spell checker a word?). OS neutral features are a little hard to think of but one that occurs is automated form completion along similar lines as that implemented in Safari (complete a "basic" form field, such as First Name, and the browser completes the rest automatically). Beyond this I would expect that other must-have features that I want can be accommodated by Flock (such as an RSS reader) since I really am not a fan of extensions. In this respect I see Firefox more as a solid foundation for other browsers to build on rather than as a browser that I'd use on a day-to-day basis.

Still, restoring sessions is a very nice function...

RE: DIsappointing
By vortmax on 7/10/2006 10:32:35 AM , Rating: 2
New features always introduce new bugs. For once, I'd like a software company to introduce a couple of new features and a lot of bug fixes, instead of vice-versa. I hope FF2 follows this...

RE: DIsappointing
By segagenesis on 7/10/2006 10:55:18 AM , Rating: 3
FF is a great browser ... FF should have added a ton of new features and really out shined IE.

Stop right there. If it's already so great then why change it? I'm going to work against the grain here and ask this... what are these new features that you speak of? I could be using Firefox 1.0 or IE 6 which are "old" yet I do not see a difference in normal daily browsing. Hell even the abandoned IE on older Mac's lying around the office still works fine... the only real "issue" you might come across are rendering errors on a select few sites. Last I checked the IE that came with Windows 95B is the only one thats so old that sites do not display at all correctly. As far as new features I read that list and this is what first came to mind...

Spell checker: I don't see this putting a dent in "I R ASK U WHAT U LIEK?".
Session restore: Stop opening 50 pages at once.

And so on. Simplicity rules and if my browser starts looking like Headline News with all the extra whistles then I'll pass. And no, I'm not a IE7 fan either... I would almost dare say that both browsers should take a page from Opera before trying to fight with each other.

RE: DIsappointing
By bersl2 on 7/10/2006 6:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox 2.0 was developed from the same line of code as 1.5, so only less invasive changes were made. Firefox 3.0 comes from the main development branch, so features requiring more radical changes can be done.

RE: DIsappointing
By robvdl on 7/10/2006 6:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
...yet IE7 is still shockingly buggy with CSS as I have tested in IE7 Beta 3 and M$ have said they won't fix these issues before the final release anymore.

It kind of annoys me that so many reviews of FFox 2 vs IE7 disregard CSS when they review/compare the browsers, they all praise IE7's for it's new features such as tabs and so on... but what good is a browser that still can't render webpages properly and causes web developers like myself headaches?

IE7's rendering engine is still inferior to Mozilla's by far, CSS support is lacking and XHTML mime types are not even supported. Web standards are very.. very.. important, I don't see why so many reviewers (including THG) have missed this important feature from their reviews. It's because most reviewers look at it from a users perspective and don't look "under the hood" that much, like a mechanic could do when reviewing a car.

IE7 would be like a modern car, with an old reconditioned engine in it, dating back to 1985 or something. FFox 2 on the other hand has it's engine refined over the years through continues tweaking, fixing and optimisation, they have not suffered from the amount of years IE development has been dormant.

By lwright84 on 7/10/06, Rating: 0
RE: awesome
By rrsurfer1 on 7/10/2006 9:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yea. Those are already extensions, looks like they are integrating those features into the release.

RE: awesome
By Smurfer2 on 7/10/2006 9:50:53 AM , Rating: 3
My favorite feature is spell check. Spell Check FTW!!!

RE: awesome
By PT2006 on 7/10/2006 12:21:52 PM , Rating: 5
My favorite feature is spell check. Spell Check FTW!!!

Mandate this for DailyTech? Yes?!

RE: awesome
By dilz on 7/12/2006 10:50:04 AM , Rating: 2
i tink ur on too sumting!

(I lieu of another feature...)

RE: awesome
By bobdelt on 7/10/2006 9:56:31 AM , Rating: 3
Cool. Now it will have almost as many features as the Opera browser.

RE: awesome
By ZeeStorm on 7/10/06, Rating: -1
Improved RSS?
By Sunday Ironfoot on 7/10/2006 11:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
Have they improved support for RSS feeds in this release of FF? One area IE7 really shines over FF1.5 is in it's support for RSS feeds.

RE: Improved RSS?
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 1:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
They were improved a lot in one of the alphas - not sure if they've changed in this beta or not.

By fubarbundy on 7/10/2006 12:11:56 PM , Rating: 4
There are several ways in which Firefox could be improved, and by that I don't mean bloating the current feature set (which would be a bad idea(tm)).

- More intelligent cookie handling - e.g. refusing cookies silently unless a specific cookie from a specific site is whitelisted. That way, you can still log into your gmail without google's everlasting tracking cookies, or third party advertisers' cookies (somewhat fulfilled currently by the CookieSafe extension).

- Whole page zooming, ala Opera. This should be pixel by pixel scaling, as any css-based scaling falls down in some situations (see what happens when you augment the ctrl+ text zoom with the Image Zoom extension).

- Script whitelisting (see NoScript)

- Cross-session downloads (resuming after re-opening the browser)

- Fixes for some atrocious page rendering times with associated UI freezes. To test, open several tabs from DailyTech in quick succession, and see how long it takes for the browser to return to responsiveness. Maybe each page should have its own thread, so that rendering one tab doesn't freeze the whole lot.

- More intelligent onclick handling in terms of tabs - middle-clicking or ctrl-clicking a javascript link should inherit the previous tab's environment so that for instance a middle-clicked javascript pop-up image actually works!

- Per-tab alerts that don't hold up page loading or drag the user over to the tab that creates the alert. This could be implemented any number of ways, including something like the current find/plugin strips.

- More prevention of anti-user scripting - onclose alerts should be tightly controlled, and right-click/middle-click alert() should be absolutely, totally killed. NO-ONE has a legitimate, user-serving use for the latter (it is only used to try and stop the user from saving an image by throwing up a ridiculous copyright message which only serves to annoy the determined user anyway.

- Allow the user to disable the autocomplete=off tag. This is supposed to be used by banking websites to stop the user's password from being saved, and so there was a bunch of politicking a while ago leading to Firefox ignoring user's wishes on this one, and as a consequence now any website can disable Firefox's form completion whether or not they have a legitimate and serious security concern (e.g. Yahoo Mail).

These are all either fixes for serious/legitimate problems, or refinements of existing functionality, and I've only cited 3 of the 9 extensions I use, as others add features that might be considered outside Firefox's core functionality (Adblock Plus, Plain Text Links, Download Statusbar, RIP, SmartSearch etc.)

Better download manager.
By sandytheguy on 7/10/2006 12:50:47 PM , Rating: 3
I've been wishing Firefox had a better download manager since I started using the .9 beta version. Mainly the ability to resume downloads as was previously stated by someone. Opera 9 has a good download manager.

PS. I love how the spell checker thinks "Firefox" is misspelled.

RE: Better download manager.
By bunnyfubbles on 7/10/2006 1:26:41 PM , Rating: 1
FF extensions FTW...

By bbomb on 7/10/2006 1:09:08 PM , Rating: 2
Did yall intend to direct link to the file instead of the download page? A lot of sites dont like that.

Already got it
By Xponential on 7/10/2006 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Most of those features are already in a very popular extension that I use now, Tab Mix Plus. Makes it more convenient now that it's integrated though.

2.0 Beta 1 RC?
By Lord Evermore on 7/10/2006 3:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't "2.0 Beta 1 Release Candidate" logically describe a version that is being considered for possible release as a Beta 1 version? Release Candidate usually is used to indicate something is on the verge of being released, not that it's anywhere near Beta 1.

RE: 2.0 Beta 1 RC?
By smitty3268 on 7/10/2006 3:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, this is technically just a RC, although the exact same code will be released tomorrow as the official Beta 1 unless some huge problem is discovered before then. Since lots of people have been using this since last night, I'd say that it will be the same.

By JBDan on 7/10/2006 12:34:47 PM , Rating: 1
Opera...meh...IE6...meh. Have used FF for over year it...gave IE7 a try...Its very nice. For those FF users out there like me, give IE7 a's a free world if you don't like it uninst. it...I think IE7 will win back many FF users.

By bunnyfubbles on 7/10/2006 1:25:22 PM , Rating: 1
Win back? How is it better? FF has so many extension and customizable features, Opera is another superior choice to IE7.

IE7 fixes what Microsoft should have done AGES ago, but was too stupid to do anything and thus lost enthusiast user base and should continue to lose other users.

Even if IE7 is “just as good” (which it isn’t and most likely never will be) you aren’t going to have people switching back for no good reasons (brand loyalty isn’t something that Microsoft readily commands...)

And while the thought of having multiple browsers sounds cool, it just isn’t practical, you only need one and thus only use one. I have all 3 major browsers installed (IE, FF, Opera) and I find myself using FF most of the time, Opera occasionally just to mess around, and IE only whenever there’s a broken website (which are dramatically shrinking in number with new web standards)

Spell checking...
By Goty on 7/10/2006 2:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone noticed that the spell checker doesn't recognize "Firefox"? 0_o'

no thanks
By Wwhat on 7/11/2006 11:26:41 AM , Rating: 2
I don't like that "anti-phising technology" they put in 2.0, I don't want google to be my big daddy and to check every godamn site I visit thanks.
So no 2+ for me.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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