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Firefox 3.5 hit 4 million downloads early this morning, capping an impressive debut.  (Source: Mozilla.org)
Firefox's new browser is a hit

While still not as ubiquitous as Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's new Firefox 3.5 browser was just released yesterday and is off to a great start.  The browser was met with mostly positive reviews.  Reuters stated, "There's no doubt that version 3.5 of Firefox is significantly faster than version 3...All in all, this is a major improvement over Firefox 3. Even if you're not currently a Firefox user, you'll want to give it a try."

CNET was slightly more measured commenting, "Firefox 3.5 is a much-needed improvement to the world's most popular alternative browser... While some of the improvements, such as the HTML5 and other developer enhancements will continue to make the browser their first choice, many of the other changes merely keep it in-line with the competition."

At the end of the day, though, Firefox 3.5's hot new features like HTML5 support and a faster JavaScript engine won over users.  Downloads were blazing at 100 per second for much of the day yesterday.  Mozilla's servers performed admirably under the load.

The new browser hit 1 million downloads within a couple hours and 2 million downloads in 7 and 1/2 hours.  By this morning it had 4.3 million downloads.  You can view the progress yourself on the download tracker found here

The U.S. leads the world with 1.1 million downloads, with Germany in second with 496,000 downloads.

While the new Firefox is certainly very popular, it failed to surpass its own Guinness World record set by Firefox 3, which recorded 8 million downloads worldwide in 24 hours.  Firefox also faces reinvigorated competition -- Apple claims that 11 million copies of its new Safari were downloaded in 3 days, and Opera is gearing up for a big 10.0 release



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Nice release...
By The0ne on 7/1/2009 10:04:42 AM , Rating: 4
I like the HTLM5 support and the improve web loading. I was switching between Chrome/Opera and Firefox but now I'm content with just Firefox as my browser again.




RE: Nice release...
By smackababy on 7/1/2009 10:10:36 AM , Rating: 3
I tried Chrome and didn't like it. I just had a nicer experience using FF. I think it was the add-on ease that really pushed it over the edge. Hopefully, the load time decreaseds


RE: Nice release...
By Sazar on 7/1/2009 10:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
Chrome is definitely a love/hate type of browser :D

It took me about 2 weeks to actually warm-up to the streamlined interface but once you get hooked on the raw speed, it can be a deal-breaker :D


RE: Nice release...
By smackababy on 7/1/2009 10:42:19 AM , Rating: 3
I just didn't like it at all. I have an SSD and in order to set the cache, I had to put a command at the end of the executable. What is up with that? At least have some form of options.


RE: Nice release...
By Sazar on 7/1/2009 11:26:49 AM , Rating: 1
It is a beta still :D

I have to do all kinds of interesting things to use it under windows 7, x64, so I completely empathize with you.


RE: Nice release...
By smackababy on 7/1/2009 2:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
I was using Windows 7 x64 as well. As far as beta, I mean come on. Gmail is still in beta...


FF>>Opera>>>>>>>>>>>Chrome>>>>IE
By Villains on 7/1/2009 5:21:25 PM , Rating: 3
I still find IE garbage in comparison to FF or Opera. I used to use IE all the time but when FF2 came out, i went full over to it and left IE behind and have been happy with the choice.

I still have 4 browsers i use but FF gets used the most by far. Opera is getting more use lately and i like where its headed. Chrome doesnt get used much at all and IE is only used in the rare case a site defaults and opens something in IE.

Everytime i use IE though, i get some kind of problem. From pages not loading correctly to slow load times to just locking up on me.

FF will be my main broswer for the forseeable future. Opera a close 2nd unless its "Greasemonkey" features get better.




It crasehed!!!
By slider169 on 7/1/2009 1:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
It crashed right after the update because 50% of my add-on aren't compatible.




By amandahugnkiss on 7/1/2009 1:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
I innitiated the download four times before it completed succesfully, did each attempt count or just the completed one?




By Integral9 on 7/2/2009 11:21:53 AM , Rating: 2
http://downloadstats.mozilla.com/
Almost 8 million now and it's not even noon EST.




Tried it out yesterday
By Spivonious on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Tried it out yesterday
By armagedon on 7/1/2009 10:25:39 AM , Rating: 5
Everyone has his favorite but FF add-ons are unmatched by any others. I will gladly concede some speed just for that but in normal use, I can't see any significant difference in page loading time between all the recent browsers.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By mmntech on 7/1/2009 1:25:23 PM , Rating: 1
One particular addon especially which I know has revolutionized my web surfing. Personally, I can't stand IE anymore. It supposedly has a lot of compatibility issues for web developers.

Firefox page loads can be sped up significantly if pipelining is enabled. Go to about:config then enable pipelining, proxy.pipelining, and set pipelining.maxrequests to 30. Leave pipelining.ssl alone.

I noticed that Firefox 3.5 now incorporates pinch zooming in OS X if you have a Mac with a multitouch trackpad.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By ChronoReverse on 7/1/2009 5:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
Don't bother setting it to anything above 8 since Firefox limits it to 8 even if you set it higher.

Supposedly some empirical testing has shown that even 8 is too high to be beneficial overall. It would probably be a better idea to use the default of 4 instead.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Sazar on 7/1/2009 10:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
I think I will have to agree with you.

I was running IE8, Chrome, Opera 10 and FF3.5 side by side yesterday. FF was usually slower but not noticeably, and it clearly used more memory, but again, it didn't affect my overall performance.

What I did miss were things like speed-dial and a simple bookmark setup. I don't understand why the STANDARD browser doesn't have some of the most rudimentary functionality in other areas that it's competitors have had for a while. Also, some sites were just not being rendered correctly (for example, TheHobbyLounge, the menu was rendered correctly on the other browsers, but not on FF3.5).

The positives are that it is faster than before, has a vastly improved tabbed experience by default (i.e. you no longer have to fumble through extensions to actually get a GOOD tabbed browsing experience).

The thing is, Opera and Chrome and IE8 have already brought many of the features to the table and most already have other features that you cannot get without extensions in FF3.5

While the extension support will continue to give FF the myriad of options many crave, FireFox no longer appears to be the trendsetter it was back in the day, content to pull a Microsoft back in the day and dawdle along, introducing features that merely bring it back to par instead of surging ahead :(

Currently using all 4 of the browsers (just for variety).


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Oregonian2 on 7/1/2009 10:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
While the extension support will continue to give FF the myriad of options many crave,


Exactly their strength, and also probably why feature'itus is less needed in FF than in others -- features are added en masse through the plugins (or whatever they're called now).

The biggest improvement probably is the one that's not visible -- the new improved support for developers of those plugins.

As to speed, if I were on a netbook it'd probably be more important to me, but on my desktop even the twice-as-slow javascript on FF 3.0 is fine with me speedwise.

With FF I can go to foodnetwork.com (foodtv channels' website) and transfer a web-page recipe there into my Mastercook recipe program with just two or three mouse clicks in FF. Photos and all (will do that for dozens of major recipe sites too). :-)


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By The0ne on 7/1/2009 11:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
Definitely missed the extensions when using Chrome and Opera. Heck I miss seeing my Persona on the browser! hahaha It could be better though. One thing I would like them to have is a extension manager. I use the same extensions for all my PCs and would be glad to have a manager that I can just transfer the extensions on a new install rather then having to download/install all of them again...after a search of course. Secondly a feature to let you know you already installed a extension while browsing for extensions would be nice...like Yahoo widgets :)


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By jwbarker on 7/2/2009 3:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just copy your profile over?

This is one of the things I love about FF. When I set up a new machine I just copy the files from the profile on my old machine over the top of the default profile created when running FF for the first time and BAM, all bookmarks, all settings, all extensions, easy.

If you don't know, see here to find your profile folder:
http://support.mozilla.com/en-us/kb/Profiles


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Oregonian2 on 7/4/2009 2:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
There's a Firefox (of course) extension that will backup all current extensions into .xpi installable file(s) for backup or other-machine installation (might make a single one for all of them as well, but I don't remember). There's an extension made for backup/sync'ing of different machines' extensions. And there are others (did some browsing of extensions this morning after having updated to 3.5).

I think there was one that saved/transferred personal configurations/options of the extensions as well, but I'm not positive of that.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Zshazz on 7/1/2009 3:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I agree that the default firefox should have something like speed-dial... but at least the extension that adds that functionality is extremely well done... it's not like they could really improve it much by adding it to the browser by default.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By ChronoReverse on 7/1/2009 5:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
What about TheHobbyLounge is rendering incorrectly? I just compared it in Chrome, IE8 and FF3.5 (new profile) but didn't see the issue in FF3.5


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Sazar on 7/1/2009 6:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
The menu bar shows correctly with 3-D effects in the forum view in Opera, Chrome and IE8. In FF, it shows with a flatish shape and a different color.

Not sure if you can open the link but I have screenshots posted.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=203...


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By ChronoReverse on 7/1/2009 8:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
Strange, I have the 3D effect in my FF3.5

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/3681/thehobbyloun...


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Sazar on 7/1/2009 9:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
That is not the forums :)


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By ChronoReverse on 7/1/2009 10:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Sazar on 7/2/2009 1:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, yours does look correct.

Weird that mine and that other guys don't :)


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By ChronoReverse on 7/2/2009 3:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried out a clean profile with a clean install? Often times settings that are being carried over could fubar things up.

FWIW, I'm running the default 32bit build on Win7 RC1 x64


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Quinton McLeod on 7/1/2009 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Pros: Page loading times were slightly faster than IE8. Cons: Still extremely slow to load, even with no add-ons. Web slices aren't supported. Copies IE8 features like private mode, phishing checks Menu/toolbar takes up more space than IE8 Not as robust cookie handling as IE8 I think IE8 wins this round.


Are you kidding?? Firefox had phishing checks since Firefox 2. That was way before IE7 was even thought of (which was the first IE browser to support such a function).

Web Slices is an IE only function. Getting upset because FF doesn't have that feature is like being upset that FF doesn't support Active X. Until people feel that Web Slices are a necessity, you won't see wide support for it.

Private mode, if I understand, was released first on Opera and not IE. So, Private Mode (pr0n mode) is not an "IE" copied function.

Takes up more space? You can alter the UI like there's no tomorrow. You can remove the RSS toolbar if you want. This is a non-issue.

I have a feeling you just don't use Firefox. Robust Cookie handling? Go into the FF options menu and choose Privacy. You have a plethora of different options available to you.

Why not compare the browsers where it matters: W3C compliance. Which browser is better at rendering pages than the other? You can't tell me IE8, because it still doesn't support CSS 3.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Mitch101 on 7/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Spivonious on 7/1/2009 12:09:18 PM , Rating: 3
Looked it up and according to Mozilla themselves, phishing protection debuted in Firefox 3, released June 2008. IE7 was released in October 2006.

Web Slices are a fantastic feature, and I hope more sites start using them. The provide much richer content than simple RSS feeds can. I also like the Accelerators feature. Since Microsoft lets anyone create accelerators and web slices, it's hard to believe that other browsers can't utilize them.

Maybe Opera had private mode first, but regardless Firefox is playing catch-up.

I use the RSS toolbar so I don't want to remove it. I want to hide the menu bar, but Firefox doesn't give me that option.

IE can prompt me when a site wants to set a cookie and I can approve/deny it then. With Firefox I have to block all cookies and then whitelist sites manually. Same result in the end, but a lot harder to set up.

W3C compliance? Have you read the standards? They can be interpreted in so many ways it's no wonder that sites look different between IE, Firefox, and Opera.

CSS3 is still under development, so it doesn't make sense to support it. And before you bring it up, it's the same with HTML5.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By adiposity on 7/1/2009 1:21:36 PM , Rating: 4
I disagree that "copying" a useful feature of another browser is a "con." They aren't going to be first with everything. The question is, how good is the implementation now, and do we want it?

It is not a con if a feature is well implemented, useful, and desirable, but just happened to be on another browser first.

It may be disappointing that Firefox 3.5 was released after IE8, but now that it is released, it is not suddenly worse because IE8 already exists. Back when 3.5 was not out yet, you might have had a point. But if you are going to compare Firefox 3.5 to IE8 today, the date of release is not really relevant.

-Dan


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By adiposity on 7/1/2009 1:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
IE can prompt me when a site wants to set a cookie and I can approve/deny it then. With Firefox I have to block all cookies and then whitelist sites manually. Same result in the end, but a lot harder to set up.


Tools / Options / Privacy : "Use Custom Settings"
Keep Until : "Ask me every time"

Now it will ask you every time it needs to set a cookie (or modify it) unless you whitelist the site (which you can do when it asks permission to set the cookie).

-Dan


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Spivonious on 7/1/2009 3:38:28 PM , Rating: 1
"Keep Until Ask Me Every Time"

Gee, that makes a whole lot of sense. In any case, I still see no advantage to using Firefox over IE. Now back when it was Firefox 2 vs IE6, there was no contest; Firefox destroyed IE. Since IE7 came out though, I've had very little use for an alternative browser.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By adiposity on 7/1/2009 4:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
"Keep until" lets you choose how long to keep cookies (it's under a subcategory of "Accept Cookies from Site," by the way.

The three options are:

Keep until: They Expire
Keep until: I close Browser
Keep until: Ask me every time

Granted, the last one does not parse perfectly as an English sentence; I'm sorry you didn't understand it. I do think it's fairly clear what it does, though.

I'm glad you are happy with IE; I just don't want your inexperience with Firefox to inform others as to Firefox deficiencies that don't exist. Since you clearly aren't that much of a Firefox user, maybe you shouldn't assume you know its capabilities.

Don't worry, I was happy to correct you :)

-Dan


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By ThePooBurner on 7/1/2009 1:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
IE can prompt me when a site wants to set a cookie and I can approve/deny it then. With Firefox I have to block all cookies and then whitelist sites manually. Same result in the end, but a lot harder to set up.

Funny, FireFox asks me every time a site wants to set a cookie and i can choose to accept or deny it then. Only it goes a step further and will let me choose allow the whole site at once if i want. It will also let me choose if i want to always allow it (perm white list) or allow it only for the session (temp white list to prevent any tracking between sessions). You should probably learn more about what you are talking about next time.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By The0ne on 7/1/2009 3:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely a good thing in Firefox. Use it all the time to deny scripts that does nothing but track you, put ads, etc. Very flexible as you've stated whereas IE is not.


RE: Tried it out yesterday
By Quinton McLeod on 7/2/2009 8:52:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Looked it up and according to Mozilla themselves, phishing protection debuted in Firefox 3, released June 2008. IE7 was released in October 2006.


Seems to me that your research was in vain.

Firefox 2 Phishing Filter:
http://www.mozilla.org/security/phishing-test.html
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing#Browsers_ale...

quote:

Web Slices are a fantastic feature, and I hope more sites start using them. The provide much richer content than simple RSS feeds can. I also like the Accelerators feature. Since Microsoft lets anyone create accelerators and web slices, it's hard to believe that other browsers can't utilize them.


Lets reword that:
Active X is a fantastic feature, and I hope more sites start using it. It provide much richer content than simple Java scripts can. I also like the auto-install feature. Since Microsoft lets anyone create auto-installers and Active X scripts, it's hard to believe other browsers can't utilize them.

quote:

Maybe Opera had private mode first, but regardless Firefox is playing catch-up.


Firefox playing catch up to who?? Opera and Webkit? Certainly not IE8! Like I said before, IE8 still isn't nearly as compliant to the W3C standards as Firefox.

quote:

I use the RSS toolbar so I don't want to remove it. I want to hide the menu bar, but Firefox doesn't give me that option.


Simple. View --> Toolbars --> Uncheck "Bookmarks Toolbar".

Or better yet, hold CTRL and press B. It'll bring up the sidebar. Your RSS stuff shows up there too! Press it again to hide it. Problem solved.

quote:

IE can prompt me when a site wants to set a cookie and I can approve/deny it then. With Firefox I have to block all cookies and then whitelist sites manually. Same result in the end, but a lot harder to set up.


All websites use cookies in one form or another. You're saying you want your browser to annoy you to death with cookie prompts for each site you visit? I dunno if I would consider that "easy", but whatever. IE: 1 pt - Firefox - 10 pts

quote:

W3C compliance? Have you read the standards? They can be interpreted in so many ways it's no wonder that sites look different between IE, Firefox, and Opera. CSS3 is still under development, so it doesn't make sense to support it. And before you bring it up, it's the same with HTML5.


You're a bit confused. W3C standards are interpreted one way and one way only. That is why they are called STANDARDS. If someone is interpreting the standards differently, then they are interpreting them wrong.

CSS3 still being under development is no excuse to not support it. The purpose of supporting stuff is to help the developer and not screw with him/her. If I create a website for one browser, it should look good in ALL the browsers. I should never have to make my page look good for Firefox and then have to "hack" it so it looks good in IE.


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