Firefox 3: Hot or Not?
June 17, 2008 10:57 AM   Subscribe

A major new release: Firefox 3 is now out in your language. (RC3 is said to be identical to the Final 3.0.0.0 version). Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Firefox 3. Firefox 3 Versus IE 8 Beta An opposing view: Hold Off on Firefox 3 (the chicken!). Alternative view? Flock catches up with Firefox 3. PS: (As you might expect from something expected to set a World Record for number of downloads today, he Mozilla sites are currently getting crushed, apparently ).
posted by spock (244 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
spock: "As you might expect from something expected to set a World Record for number of downloads today, he Mozilla sites are currently getting crushed, apparently."

Which is why this very moment was the ideal time for you to make an FPP, right?
Also, it's 3.0.0.
posted by Plutor at 11:01 AM on June 17, 2008


I am so torn right now. FF3 or Opera 9.50 which just came out and is even faster than it was? I love them both. I keep switching back and forth between them. I am driving myself crazy!
posted by lysistrata at 11:02 AM on June 17, 2008


You should NOT HAVE POSTED THIS yet. Wait for the real 3.0. The phrases 'said to be' and 'is' are not the same thing.

There is nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Wait for the real release.

Shame on you spock, for making a lot of noise about absolutely nothing.
posted by Malor at 11:03 AM on June 17, 2008


I'm using RC3 right now. It's a fantastic improvement on the Mac, very, very quick, and lots of little tweaks that have improved usability no end.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:04 AM on June 17, 2008


Haven't we been here before?
posted by JaredSeth at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2008


Please don't download the old Release Candidate 3 that spock linked to. If you want to help Firefox (and get the official version), hold out a few more hours and download during their official Guinness World Records run.
posted by anthill at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2008


FF3 pros:

- Save password dialog after successful login
- Save tabs on exit

FF3 cons:

- new address bar
- Save tabs on exit doesn't always work, so it's still better to kill the process
posted by DU at 11:08 AM on June 17, 2008


new address bar = mega-pro
DU = heretic
posted by Plutor at 11:09 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It does seem like a huge speed improvement over Safari 3 on my Mac Pro tower.
posted by eperker at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2008


Well, Gmail seems noticeably faster with the new JS engine under windows.
posted by CaptApollo at 11:12 AM on June 17, 2008


Maybe my problem is that I'm thinking of it as a "URL bar". Apparently it's really a "Random Searchable Text From The Page And Visible From Mars bar".
posted by DU at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why did the FF people screw up download day so royally?

1) They choose some arbitrary time (10 am PCT) instead of Midnight UTC, for example.
2) They don't mention this before the actual date.
2) They fail to explain any of this on their website.
3) They also somehow fail to consider the hammering their servers' are going to get. "Service Unavailable". Nice.
via.
posted by signal at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]




I've been using pre-releases for a few months now and have been very pleased. It's much faster and more stable than 2.5 and it doesn't seem to want all of my CPU and RAM.
posted by octothorpe at 11:15 AM on June 17, 2008


Also, your link to the 'free book' doesn't seem to be what you describe.
posted by CaptApollo at 11:15 AM on June 17, 2008


Spreadfirefox.com is already dead, but maybe someone here can answer this: How does my automatic upgrade under Ubuntu get counted?
posted by DU at 11:16 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Firefox 3 for the Mac is exceptionally ugly.
posted by influx at 11:16 AM on June 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


FF3 sounds like a big improvement over FF2, but I think I'll stick with Safari and Opera 9.5 for my needs.
posted by gyc at 11:18 AM on June 17, 2008


Firefox 3 brings ugliness to the Mac.

That's the kind of madness that gives Mac users a bad name. "Standard Firefox button - notice the difference on the edge". No, I don't actually?
posted by smackfu at 11:18 AM on June 17, 2008 [19 favorites]


The Mac version seems like it's trying to hard to be Mac-y. Not all of us like pixel chrome, but I imagine it's skinnable.
posted by drezdn at 11:18 AM on June 17, 2008


I'm confused. How is this not a real release? It's, you know, released.
posted by Caduceus at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2008


Yeah, I like Firefox, and I wish them the best, but if you're trying for a World Record download day having servers capable of handling the strain seems to be a good idea....
posted by sotonohito at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2008


The site is up now, but clicking on the big "download" button takes me to the FF2 dl page.
Again: nice.
posted by signal at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2008


sveskemus: "Firefox 3 brings ugliness to the Mac."

Good god. I would have never even noticed those differences.
posted by octothorpe at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2008 [8 favorites]


They moved my tab button back to where I don't want. Otherwise few complaints so far. It definitely seems faster.
posted by drezdn at 11:20 AM on June 17, 2008


mmmmmmm... Mars Bar.
posted by The White Hat at 11:20 AM on June 17, 2008


Any particular reason I should switch from using the Safari/Flock combo?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:21 AM on June 17, 2008


I'm confused as well. I got an email from Firefox 46 minutes aso telling me to go bananas and download.
posted by yeti at 11:23 AM on June 17, 2008


Just got the official FF Download Day email, with a link to download FF2.0.0.14.
posted by signal at 11:23 AM on June 17, 2008


Oldbar (apparently hosted on the same Commodore PET that the main Mozilla page is hosted on) gets at least some of the FF2 functionality back into the location bar. While I otherwise like FF3, I really hate what they did with the "awesomebar." In 20 minutes of using the "awesomebar", it never once guessed correctly about where I wanted to go.
posted by mikesch at 11:25 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I just downloaded the so-called " FF2.0.0.14." It's definitelyFF3.0.0 but they screwed *that* up.
posted by yeti at 11:27 AM on June 17, 2008


Um, Malor, what the hell kind of drugs are you on? Firefox 3 is out. Not the release candidate. It. Admittedly, their server is utterly crashing at the moment (bit of a dumb move, trying to beat a world record and then not prepping for the most massive server load ever in existence). Mozilla released it three minutes after Spock made his post. Are you trying to go for that Mefi-weird-brand-of-ironic-snark thingie or something?
posted by WCityMike at 11:27 AM on June 17, 2008


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posted by jckll at 11:27 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


The new address bar is, indeed, horrid, as is the new SSL exception system. No, fuckwad programmer, presenting what looks like a 404 does NOT MAKE MY LIFE EASIER. Nor does FORCING ME TO GUESS WHAT YOUR HALF-ARSED SEARCH TOOL WILL THROW UP AT RANDOM INSTEAD OF THE SITE I WANT when I start typing an URL.
posted by rodgerd at 11:30 AM on June 17, 2008


Or even a comma. Unless you were thinking "we will not in Firefox"?
posted by WCityMike at 11:30 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hated the new address bar behavior at first, but then I got used to it in next to no time. It's not yet a habit to actually use the new functionality of it though.
posted by tomcooke at 11:30 AM on June 17, 2008


In 20 minutes of using the "awesomebar", it never once guessed correctly about where I wanted to go.

At least oldbar fixes the EXTREMELY LARGE SIZE problem.
posted by DU at 11:31 AM on June 17, 2008


Am I missing something w/r/t the "30 page book" link, "The Website Revenue Maximizer"?
posted by anazgnos at 11:32 AM on June 17, 2008


mikesch: "Oldbar (apparently hosted on the same Commodore PET that the main Mozilla page is hosted on) gets at least some of the FF2 functionality back into the location bar. While I otherwise like FF3, I really hate what they did with the "awesomebar." In 20 minutes of using the "awesomebar", it never once guessed correctly about where I wanted to go."

It learns from your use. Maybe you could also learn to use it? Just because it takes time to learn how to ride a bicycle doesn't mean it's shit. I admit it took me at least week to get used to using it effectively, but the few times I've had to go back to Fx2 (usually just when I'm on Solaris machines), it's been agonizing.

Aside: Why are people so judgmental that a company with twenty employees that's offering you a free product is having some problems handling jillions of simultaneous clicks on their servers?
posted by Plutor at 11:33 AM on June 17, 2008


The new address bar is basically a keyword-learning system. Whichever link you use the most for a particular search, that's the one that will be at the top. "Mefi" now brings me here, the name of my town takes me to my weather, the first three letters of my favorite forum take me there, "g" takes me to Google...

Once you get used to it, you'll love it. Give it a week.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:35 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's the kind of madness that gives Mac users a bad name.

I'm not sure how to respond to that. For me, UI consistency is important. I want my programs to look and behave alike and I would prefer it if they looked good. Especially the browser since I use a browser for many hour each day. The buttons in Firefox 3 look different than they do in any other program on my computer. I find that annoying because I notice it every time.

I find it surprising that there exist people who notice a lack of rounded corners, but don't notice the lack of an apostrophe after an introductory "Well".

You mean a comma. He's Swedish, English is his second language. I might have made that same mistake since the grammatical rules are quite different in my native language.
posted by sveskemus at 11:35 AM on June 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


I grabbed the release candidate a few days ago, and the URL bar threw me off too...but I'm giving it a chance. I universally use the 'type the first few letters of whatever site I'm going to' method over bookmarks or anything else, and while it was an adjustment, it hasn't really impeded me in any way yet.
posted by anazgnos at 11:36 AM on June 17, 2008


Firefox 3 brings ugliness to the Mac.

Wow. This is exactly what I think of when I think of crazy Mac zealots.

Standard Firefox button - notice the difference on the edge

What, does he have bionic eyes or something? Because those two buttons look exactly alike. I shudder at the thought of the hours spent by this Mac afficionado comparing the two images pixel by pixel before exclaiming "I KNEW IT, IT'S DIFFERENT! LOOK AT THE EDGE!!!"

Here’s the standard Firefox window. Notice how the gradient is BRIGHTER in the middle!

MY GOD! How can you use this piece of software when it's a SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SHADE OF GRAY! UNUSABLE!
posted by splice at 11:37 AM on June 17, 2008 [14 favorites]


Why are people so judgmental that a company with twenty employees that's offering you a free product is having some problems handling jillions of simultaneous clicks on their servers? posted by Plutor

Because maybe they should have anticipated jillions of simultaneous clicks after challenging everybody to "beat the world download record"
posted by 543DoublePlay at 11:38 AM on June 17, 2008


WHOOPS! See what happens when you post and go to lunch? Here is the CORRECTED LINK to the free Firefox 3 Book(let): http://firefox.s3.sitepoint.com/ff3-revealed.zip.
posted by spock at 11:39 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find it surprising that there exist people who notice a lack of rounded corners, but don't notice the lack of an apostrophe after an introductory "Well".
We also notice when non-native speakers are writing.

The "pregnant" gradients on the toolbars are really picking at me. It's like a Mac app straight from the uncanny valley -- feels more like using some Linux knock-off Mac theme than actually using the Mac. There's also something odd going on with the font hinting, that I can't quite put my finger on yet.
posted by bonaldi at 11:39 AM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why are people so judgmental that a company with twenty employees that's offering you a free product is having some problems handling jillions of simultaneous clicks on their servers?

Because they were like "DEAR JILLIONS, PLEASE COME DOWNLOAD OUR PRODUCT ON THIS DAY" and then first it wasn't available, with no explanation on their site, and then it was presumably available but their sites couldn't handle the jillions they invited.
posted by cashman at 11:39 AM on June 17, 2008


It appears that they've fixed the Version text on this page.
posted by booksherpa at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2008


Anyone know if there's a working version of the Google Toolbar for 3.0 yet? It crashed all the release candidates.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2008


So is there a way of forcing FF3 to use incompatible extensions that were designed for FF2 (as suggested in the comments at the 'holdoff' link)? Because the last beta I tried wouldn't allow me to use various greasemonkey scripts and extensions that I rely on.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2008


Here's a good video showing off some of Firefox 3's new features. The awesome bar (what some people are calling the new address bar) really has to be seen in action. It, like tabbed windows back in the day, is a serious leap ahead of the competition, i.e. Explorer.
posted by oddman at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2008


The date on the win32 build on the mirrors is June 11; can anyone confirm that this is the final release?
posted by PueExMachina at 11:41 AM on June 17, 2008


This link worked for me...just gotta navigate by folders:
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:41 AM on June 17, 2008


Oops, sorry. Here's the "any OS" folder you can start at.
http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.0/
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:42 AM on June 17, 2008


@PeterMcDermott: You can do that with the Nightly Tester Tools.
posted by PueExMachina at 11:42 AM on June 17, 2008


Once you get used to it, you'll love it. Give it a week.

I've had it several weeks and it's true it has largely gotten out of my way. But why should it have been in my way in the first place? The old address bar also learned my URLs. The most often used ones floated the top, but instead of matching all possible text on the page it matched on the URL. It's amazing how much faster the software learns when it only pays attention to the relevant part.

Also, being able to predict what hits are going to show up when I type $X is nice when my boss is looking over my shoulder. When I start typing "this" for "thispageisworkrelated.com", I don't want "timewastinggames.com" to pop because "this" once appeared in a game review.

The old address bar also didn't take a full inch of screen height for each line.
posted by DU at 11:42 AM on June 17, 2008


543DoublePlay: "Because maybe they should have anticipated jillions of simultaneous clicks after challenging everybody to "beat the world download record""

That's understandable. I can understand that. That's rational. *breathes*
I've been on the other side of one too many disastrous release days, I think.
posted by Plutor at 11:43 AM on June 17, 2008


I find it surprising that there exist people who notice a lack of rounded corners, but don't notice the lack of an apostrophe after an introductory "Well". Takes all kinds, I guess, takes all kinds.

Well that's why there are people who, both being detail-oriented, go into completely separate but analogous career paths. There are a lot of designers (UI and otherwise) who use the mac and who will notice the small details that are basically their livelihood, and there are lots of writers and copyeditors who notice every time someone misuses a comma.

And then there are type wonks who seem like the spawn of the two...

Anyway, the difference between those two buttons is in the top edge (line) of the button. In the OS X version, it's a crisp 1px line. In the firefox version it is blurry as all hell and looks like someone smeared bacon grease on my screen.


(I am a UI designer :P)
posted by danny the boy at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


PeterM. the "Nightly Tester Tools" add-on will let you force FF3 to use any so-called incompatible extension. Use it at your own risk.
posted by oddman at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2008


FF3's default theme is ugly. That's why I make it look like Safari.
posted by sillygwailo at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the awesomebar takes a while to get used to. When I started thinking of it like Quicksilver for my browser, that helped.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:45 AM on June 17, 2008


Wow. This is exactly what I think of when I think of crazy Mac zealots.

Crazy Mac zealots have standards. Linux users who are grateful for what the free software community can be bothered to give them end up stuck in the shitpile that is the Linux desktop environment mishmash.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:45 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


DU, the "all possible text on the page" is what makes it good and different. The old-style bar is entirely URL-based, so if you frequently visit a site with a difficult-to-remember URL you're basically forced to use a bookmark. If it has an easy title, however, now you can just enter a word from the title and you're there.

I find the "screen real-estate" thing to be a bit of a red herring, as well. When you're typing in the address bar, what does it matter how much screen real-estate the search takes up? You're using the address bar. Presumably, you're done with the page you're on. The bar actually takes about fifty pixels per search result, meaning that the top third or so of your screen is related to the piece of the UI that you're using. This seems like good, effective design, especially given that it doesn't draw slowly or lag during the search.

As for your history contents, that's your own lookout. You could turn it off when you're at work, or you could just, I don't know, not visit non-work-related sites? :P
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:49 AM on June 17, 2008


Yeah, that's for the mirror links, because when I went to their actual site while it was briefly working, I definitely got 2.0.0.14. And it wasn't 3 in disguise, it was the 2.0.0.14 release.
posted by Caduceus at 11:49 AM on June 17, 2008


Crazy Mac zealots have standards have to rationalize that their OS is Right because they're stuck with it. Linux users who are grateful for what the free software community can be bothered to give them end up stuck in the shitpile that is the Linux desktop environment mishmash have options.

FTFY.
This is going down a bad path.
posted by Plutor at 11:49 AM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Currently at 379876 total downloads, or 13,500-ish downloads per minute.
posted by tapeguy at 11:52 AM on June 17, 2008


In case it's not clear, the link in the main post goes to Mozilla's "release candidate" page. (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-rc.html), which up till a minute ago, provided links to download version 2.0.0.0.14.

The correct, official link to the current version is in big type on the main Firefox page. The correct link, which spock presumably meant to post, is http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html. Strangely, I don't think anyone has linked to it yet in the comments.
posted by designbot at 11:53 AM on June 17, 2008


Firefox has always stuck out on my (very consistent and attractive, IMHO) linux desktop, but it's getting better.
posted by PueExMachina at 11:54 AM on June 17, 2008


What I found most annoying about FF3, actually, was that I had to press arrow down to autocomplete URLs. Safari has really spoiled me in that department.

FTFY.

Please don't do this.
posted by sveskemus at 11:54 AM on June 17, 2008


Firefox 2.0.0.0.0.14, now with even more zeroes.
posted by Plutor at 11:55 AM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Plutor: I'm judgmental because they bumbled the release to no end. Don't get me wrong, I love Firefox, it saved me from using IE, but they're the ones who decided to stage a massive publicity drive without the capacity to handle it. They're also the ones who announced a release date without ever informing anyone of the actual time. And when they did specify a time, it happened to be completely arbitrary, possibly based on when they could get everyone into the office.

I appreciate and love Firefox, but it doesn't help anyone if you screw up a release like this. The capacity issues can even be forgiven, the Commodore PET comment was just snark on my part, but the screwed up release time on something you've spent weeks publishing? They have 20 people working for them and not one of them decided that specifying the time of the release might be a good idea?

As for the location bar, there was nothing wrong with the way I used mine before. I know the sites I want to go to and have no problem typing enough characters that things can autocomplete out of my history. The new location bar might be great for some people, but they decided to force change down my throat with no way to go back to an older setting, or (to my knowledge) the flexibility to allow me to choose the sources that the bar uses for its completion. I don't like it when software tries to be smarter than me and fundamentally change the way I've worked for the past 12 years with one broad stroke. It makes me a bit tetchy.
posted by mikesch at 11:55 AM on June 17, 2008


(Please don't turn this into a Mac vs. Linux flamewar, that is.)
posted by sveskemus at 11:55 AM on June 17, 2008


Crazy Mac zealots have standards have to rationalize that their OS is Right because they're stuck with it need to stop being so fucking nitpicky. Linux users who are grateful for what the free software community can be bothered to give them end up stuck in the shitpile that is the Linux desktop environment mishmash have options need to pick the fucking nits out of their creepy Gandalf beards.

FTFY.
posted by bunnytricks at 11:55 AM on June 17, 2008 [13 favorites]


I'm confused. Thank you designbot.
posted by stbalbach at 11:56 AM on June 17, 2008


I bet some of you complain about the long lines at Ben & Jerry's on free ice cream day, too.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:56 AM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


The best part is how Google was just like, "No, we're not going to really update Google Browser Sync. Fuck you."

Does anyone know of any alternatives? Foxmarks seems ok, but isn't as full featured. I've heard good things about Mozilla Weave, but haven't tried it yet.

BAH.
posted by kbanas at 11:57 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, "standards". I like a narrower range of things, so I am better than you.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:59 AM on June 17, 2008


I just typed "mefi firefox" into the awesomebar to get back to this thread fast.
posted by Plutor at 12:00 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just got it - very speedy.

And I like the look, too.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:00 PM on June 17, 2008


So I installed Firefox. What new feature do I turn off to make the text not blurry and headache inducing?

Ow.
posted by bunnytricks at 12:00 PM on June 17, 2008


When you're typing in the address bar, what does it matter how much screen real-estate the search takes up? You're using the address bar. Presumably, you're done with the page you're on.

When you presume, you make a pre of u and me. As a matter of fact, I *often* start typing in the URL bar when the content being displayed is still relevant to me. And when I don't, if my search result is N lines down I have to move my eye that much farther. ("Have to move my eye a few extra pixels" probably rivals "gray is slightly incorrect" in the annals of FireFox complaints, but still--why move backwards in usability?)

You could turn it off when you're at work...

How? And can I turn off just the "awesome" parts?
posted by DU at 12:02 PM on June 17, 2008


The misunderstanding about the "(RC3 is said to be identical to the Final 3.0.0.0 version)" comment probably stems from Mozilla's policy that the final product is identical to the last release candidate, so that the released product has gone through an entire test and release cycle before being officially sent off to the public.

It prevents them from getting caught by those tiny little "it's a small change, doesn't really touch anything, doesn't really need to be tested" bug fixes that have unexpected repercussions that are often severe (see the eve online problem from a while back where a small change and a misguided choice of file name started making their user's systems unbootable...) and always embarassing.
posted by mhoye at 12:02 PM on June 17, 2008


Posting from FF3 -- what up with the weird autocomplete function in the address bar?

I like how the add-ons seem to have transferred well.
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:03 PM on June 17, 2008


MY GOD! How can you use this piece of software when it's a SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SHADE OF GRAY! UNUSABLE!

WHAT? Someone has higher standards than me? But my standards are the baseline!
posted by bonaldi at 12:03 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


PeterMcDermott wrote: So is there a way of forcing FF3 to use incompatible extensions that were designed for FF2 (as suggested in the comments at the 'holdoff' link)? Because the last beta I tried wouldn't allow me to use various greasemonkey scripts and extensions that I rely on.

Nightly Tester Tools will let you force compatibility (though it might break a few add-ons in the process - all mine work fine except Google Browser Sync, which is very old indeed, and seems to have been abandoned).

Re: the 'zealotry' thing - a huge part of why I like using OS X is the consistency of the UI across my apps (though Apple themselves, with apps like Garageband, and those "Delicious Generation" twits are doing their best to fuck that up).

Seems like a pretty reasonable thing to expect in an OS, since it makes it easier to use a new app out of the box, so to speak, and stops you being distracted by non-standard UI elements. I started using Linux more heavily last year, and am constantly slowed down by, eg., the fact that pasting in one app is done by hitting Control + V, but by hitting Shift + Ins in another, or that I have no way of knowing where commonly-used menu items might be hiding. Admittedly it's a minor hassle having to learn how to use each app individually, rather than having to learn a way of working common to all applications, but it's still a hassle.
posted by jack_mo at 12:05 PM on June 17, 2008


holy crap, FF3 is WAY faster. i love it. anyone notice that gmail doesn't freeze up for a bit when you close the tab, like it did with FF2? wonderful! and i didn't have to finagle it to get my (windows media based (ugh)) xm online radio thingamabob working. thanks, mr. mozilla!
posted by Mach5 at 12:06 PM on June 17, 2008


Dave Faris: If Ben and Jerry's was trying to set a record for number of ice cream cones given away for free at one of their stores, told people about it months in advance, and then decided not to open until 3pm with a single septuagenarian manning the counter and the ice cream hidden in the back, I think some people would be upset.
posted by mikesch at 12:06 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


When I upgraded from Firefox 1.x to 2.0, I did so on the first day of its release. Nearly all of my add-ons didn't work/needed to be re-coded for the new version. Since the user-created add-ons are really what make FF my browser of choice (heck, I have three Greasemonkey scripts for MeFi alone), I think I'll wait a bit before getting the new version.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:09 PM on June 17, 2008


mikesch: I find it surprising that "a couple hours late" is equivalent to "bumbled the release to no end". I would reserve that epithet for releasing a piece of software that deletes your files and downloads child porn. I do recognize that this release has been delayed and the not-released-when-I-woke-up was a strange thing. You'd think midnight GMT or some such would have been the plan.

sveskemus: "(Please don't turn this into a Mac vs. Linux flamewar, that is.)"

Didn't intend to. It just, you know, slipped out. I love both Macs and Linux, and nit-pickers and nit-picking. It's been agonizing watching the reaction of the Firefox community to this release, and it's making me tetchy.
posted by Plutor at 12:09 PM on June 17, 2008


sveskemus: "Firefox 3 brings ugliness to the Mac."

Speaking from the opposing camp of windows-users, I just have to say that I appreciate the detail-orientedness that so many Mac enthusiasts have, and only wish that I had the funds to enjoy the same benefits without having to go through so much trouble to change a simple system folder icon in Vista so it's not such a fugly OS (which was not designed for such things, it seems, and so makes it nigh-impossible).
posted by tybeet at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2008


Look... to them, it's just as great to say "we had so many requests for our new program, our servers were overwealmed!" as it is to say "we had x-godzillion downloads on our first day."

Just because they emailed you the link to tell you it was out, it doesn't mean you need to click on it and download it today, you fucking lemmings. If you want it badly enough to try and download it today, then quit complaining and contemplate how miserable your life is because you're upset about the distribution method of FREE browser software. Otherwise, wise up, and wait until later.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:13 PM on June 17, 2008


And woo! Firefox. It's too bad I've switched to Opera after the network bugs I've run into with FF 2.5.
posted by tybeet at 12:13 PM on June 17, 2008


In other news, it looks like it's finally up and ready for record-making.
posted by Plutor at 12:14 PM on June 17, 2008


My download appears to be stuck at 40%.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:15 PM on June 17, 2008


I can see how the "awesomebar" is going to cause problems, especially with us nerdier types who tend to remember URLs, and half-type them before tab-completing. However, knowing how a more average computer user (my wife, or my mother, for example) uses the taskbar makes me think that it's generally going to be a good thing™.
posted by god hates math at 12:17 PM on June 17, 2008


Mozilla.com still links to Firefox 2... this is retarded, I was going to send all my friends to get Firefox 3 today but now there isn't any point of even sending the link. Why on earth didn't they use S3 or at least provide a torrent, this is embarrassing.
posted by furtive at 12:26 PM on June 17, 2008


To disable the new features of the location bar:
  1. Enter about:config in the location bar.
  2. Enter urlbar in the filter bar.
  3. Change browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped to True.
  4. Change browser.urlbar.matchRichResults to 0.
You're turning off an awesome feature, but if you're going to be a stick-in-the-mud, feel free to do so.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:27 PM on June 17, 2008 [17 favorites]


maxRichResults, excuse me.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:32 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone know of a mirror for the Nightly Tester Tools add-on? The mozilla site isn't responding, and I'm dying without mouse gestures.
posted by team lowkey at 12:32 PM on June 17, 2008


Thanks, smm. I'm probably stick-in-the-mud, but I don't get it -- what makes it so awesome?
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:32 PM on June 17, 2008


DU, the "all possible text on the page" is what makes it good and different

Well, it's what makes it different, anyway. And, no doubt, is no small part of the reasons SQLite bloat and fsync() caused such grief, too. And makes it crapulent for those of us that like to type a few letters into the address bar and get back what we expect, not what Firefox thinks it might be nice for us to get.

And it wouldn't have killed anyone to have classic addressbar behaviour as an option, unless 'anyone' is so bloated in their own UI arrogance that they think their One True Way is the only way. The name 'awesomebar' gives me some hints...
posted by rodgerd at 12:33 PM on June 17, 2008


en-US windows direct link
posted by PueExMachina at 12:33 PM on June 17, 2008


Why are people acting as though a) Mozilla is giving away free cocaine, and then b) as though it's actually turning out to be baking soda, and finally c) bitterness as though they'd paid for it?
posted by everichon at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


furtive: "Mozilla.com still links to Firefox 2"

Looks like it's Firefox 3 to me. Might be a local cache issue? Are you behind a proxy?
posted by Plutor at 12:36 PM on June 17, 2008


It's not named the awesomebar. The testers nicknamed it that, rodgerd. And please read my last two posts.

AwkwardPause, I use a few sites very routinely. I had previously been a fan of the URL-matching behavior, but the fact that FF3 learns your preferences makes it worthwhile. I can enter my town name, and it will go to the weather; 'mefi' to come here; 'g' to go to google; 'gm' to go to gmail; 'li' to go to LibraryThing. I've tagged all of my webcomics bookmarks "wc," so I can enter 'wc' and get a list of the comics I like to check.

The old bar worked to do this, but it was inferior. Take the Order of the Stick site, for example. It's a nerdy web comic with an unfortunate URL I always had problems remembering. Now, I can just enter "wc" and pick from among my tagged bookmarks, or "stick" and go to it directly.

Basically, it's a UI enhancement that takes some "training." It won't be good the first time you use it, but over the course of a few days of browsing, you will train it and, hopefully, find it useful.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2008


I found a show-stopping bug (for me) in less than a minute. FF3 is incompatible with my dvorak keyboard layout. The correct menus flash when I do keyboard commands (it's not interpreting them as qwerty, which some dumb apps do), but despite the menu flash registering the command, *nothing* happens. If I change the layout to qwerty, everything is fine.

Sorry, I can't live without keyboard copy and paste, at the very least. The only shortcuts that work are the ones which are the same in dvorak and qwerty – cmd-0 (zero) and cmd-(cursor keys).

It is noticeably faster than FF2.
posted by D.C. at 12:42 PM on June 17, 2008


Thanks for the pointer to nightly tester tools, people. As soon as the Mozilla sites start responding again, I'm there.

Though I'll be sorry to lose Google Bookmark Sync as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:42 PM on June 17, 2008


It was definitely linking to 2.0.0.14 for a while there, though the title said it was Firefox 3. It seems to have been corrected now, though. Yeah, at this point it's probably a caching problem.
posted by team lowkey at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2008


Looks like it's Firefox 3 to me. Might be a local cache issue? Are you behind a proxy?

Strange, I get FF2 as well. I'm not behind any proxy that I know of.
posted by sveskemus at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2008


And it wouldn't have killed anyone to have classic addressbar behaviour as an option, unless 'anyone' is so bloated in their own UI arrogance that they think their One True Way is the only way.

This the "classic" bar that takes one-word terms and silently google-lucky-searches on them instead of going to www.{term}.com? Classic indeed.
posted by bonaldi at 12:47 PM on June 17, 2008


The new del.icio.us extension is so intrusive I may finally stop using the site entirely. (They offer a classic mode, but last time they had an update it reverted back to take-over-your-browser mode).

The new version of Tab Mix Plus is here and not on the main page. It's less necessary these days, but I'm still used to the old Ctrl+F12 "undo tab" and some other features.
posted by Gary at 12:53 PM on June 17, 2008


Well, I'm not going to download it until I'm sure it has an "original firefox" skin. I hate changes in program appearance.
posted by Citizen Premier at 12:53 PM on June 17, 2008


Fucking non-native UI widgets. Why can't they use native edit boxes like every other app? Then maybe the arrow keys would work properly (specifically word selection, but plenty of other details as well).
posted by ryanrs at 12:54 PM on June 17, 2008


SMM: I got the url bar to work like the FF2 bar by only setting browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped to True. If I set browser.urlbar.maxRichResults to 0, as suggested, then its behavior was broken.
posted by jedicus at 12:55 PM on June 17, 2008


I don't really care.
posted by matteo at 12:55 PM on June 17, 2008


This the "classic" bar that takes one-word terms and silently google-lucky-searches on them instead of going to www.{term}.com? Classic indeed.

Hey, they fixed that!

I just downloaded it; it seems ok except for the not-quite-so-sharp-looking font that I'm reading this page in, and a few other minor quibbles.
posted by Forktine at 12:56 PM on June 17, 2008


Forget Firefox, when's Android going to be released? Or Opera 9.5 Mobile?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:57 PM on June 17, 2008


I actually switched back to Safari from Firefox 3 RC3 not two days ago. I downloaded it anyway, though, because a) I can't seem to use the same browser for more than a couple of months, and b) I think the world record thing is kind of clever.
posted by danb at 12:58 PM on June 17, 2008


Fucking non-native UI widgets. Why can't they use native edit boxes like every other app? Then maybe the arrow keys would work properly (specifically word selection, but plenty of other details as well).

This is the issue, really. After three major revisions and innumerable buggy in-between betas, Mozilla still doesn't respect Mac users enough to care to follow Mac UI guidelines for a Mac application.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:00 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


With the spaceship-like toolbar and the Guinness book of records attempt, I can't help thinking that Firefox is heavily targeting the male under-12 market.
posted by beniamino at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


My apologies, jedicus. Apparently that worked in one of the older nightlies.
posted by sonic meat machine at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2008


What? No one has bitched about the back button looking like a reversed quicktime play button?

I guess logically, going backwards is like playing something backwards, but this hurts my brain. I feel like I'm looking at my computer in a mirror.
posted by kamelhoecker at 1:03 PM on June 17, 2008


I think the world record thing is kind of clever.

I don't know, it's kind of a lame record. If they had the world's fattest twins download it while riding the tallest unicycle while wearing the largest beard of bees, then that would be a record I could get excited about.
posted by Gary at 1:05 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm going to wait a week until all this hype dies down and everyone else can tell me how to use it.
posted by desjardins at 1:05 PM on June 17, 2008


Aside: Why are people so judgmental that a company with twenty employees that's offering you a free product is having some problems handling jillions of simultaneous clicks on their servers?

It's because they invoked such strong powers to begin with. They delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of the internet. Server crashes and snark.
posted by Tehanu at 1:07 PM on June 17, 2008


I've been using it for a couple weeks and I'm sold. One glaring issue though is when I've got multiple tabs open and I close the one I'm on, it will automatically go to the tab listed to its left.... not the last tab I was using. Which is really friggin annoying.
posted by premortem at 1:08 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can shrink the Back button (OSX) by:

1. Right clicking on the gray area between buttons
2. Select Customize
3. Check off the "Use Small Icons" checkbox.

Presto! Looks a bit more like Safari.
posted by furtive at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been using FFox 3 for a few months now (early betas) and truly love it.
posted by furtive at 1:11 PM on June 17, 2008


furtive: Do you have any idea how much it would cost them to host this on S3? All the google search payoff money in the world wouldn't be able to cover that bill. But you make a good point, a torrent would have gone a long way.
posted by bertrandom at 1:12 PM on June 17, 2008


Mozilla still doesn't respect Mac users enough to care to follow Mac UI guidelines for a Mac application.

And without native UI widgets, I doubt they ever will. The preferences window looks completely out of place on my laptop (which still runs 10.4.11).
posted by ryanrs at 1:15 PM on June 17, 2008


Crikey. Now I know why they call it Firefox 3. On my MBP, the previous Firefox took 16 seconds to load my Gmail Inbox. Firefox 3 took THREE SECONDS. (And I have them installed in separate locations and cleared my Private data to empty cache/cookies before firing up Firefox 3).
posted by spock at 1:16 PM on June 17, 2008


Does anybody have a direct link to the FF3 dmg? Because the Mozilla website insists on serving me the 2.0.0.whatever file.
posted by sveskemus at 1:21 PM on June 17, 2008


I'm going to wait a week until all this hype dies down and everyone else can tell me how to use it.

That might not be a bad idea. I also bet that within a couple of weeks there will be a flock of extensions that make it more useful.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:30 PM on June 17, 2008


sveskemus: "Does anybody have a direct link to the FF3 dmg? Because the Mozilla website insists on serving me the 2.0.0.whatever file."

http://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-3.0&os=osx&lang=en-US
posted by team lowkey at 1:32 PM on June 17, 2008


Thanks, team lowkey.
posted by sveskemus at 1:35 PM on June 17, 2008


Didn't someone post a way to get FF3 to mimic the old behavior above?

it never fails to amuse me how conservative software users are when it comes to change. (Not that I'm generally any better.)

Perhaps software dev, alon with rock music, is best left to the young to play around with.
posted by maxwelton at 1:37 PM on June 17, 2008


Tried it, broke about 2/3 of my extensions & now I'm back to v2. I may try that nightly tester thingy, thanks for the pointer. I can get used to the rest but losing most of my extensions is a deal-breaker for me.
posted by scalefree at 1:40 PM on June 17, 2008


premortem: when I've got multiple tabs open and I close the one I'm on, it will automatically go to the tab listed to its left.... not the last tab I was using.

That's the way I prefer it, personally, but if you install the Tab Mix Plus extension, you can control this behavior (and also tell Firefox to clone the current tab and all of its history when you open a new one, which is pretty cool).

Also, it's not a FF3 thing specifically, but the coolest ever overlooked feature of Firefox is that if you close a tab by mistake you can hit Control-Shift-T (at least on windows) and undo the close, bringing the tab back again.
posted by whir at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


That speed improvement is worth the price of admission alone. That price was the loss of ConQuery, Paste'n'Go + GoogleImagesRelinker. Not such a bad trade off. Thanks for the Nightly Tester Tools linky.
posted by peacay at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2008


To disable addon version checking from about:config, see this article.
posted by harmfulray at 1:45 PM on June 17, 2008


Looking at the 'world record' page, it seems kind of odd that there are countries with 0 downloads.
Not 1 single nerd with insomnia and a net connection in Niger, Turkmenistan, Myanmar, French Guiana, etc? Not even the president's geeky son?
posted by signal at 2:01 PM on June 17, 2008


Okay, so I've tried it for a few minutes. It doesn't seem to be much faster (if faster at all) than Safari for me. Or maybe I just haven't noticed because Safari is fast enough for me not to be bothered by the lack of speed.

The font rendering seems... a bit off. Especially inside text input boxes. I can't put my finger on it exactly but it sort of looks like Windows. The theme linked above makes the chrome appearance less hideous but it's still less than beautiful. For example, the "close tab" buttons look wrong. They are too big compared to the text and I don't like how Firefox wants to show the favicon on every tab. Firefox still makes me press down arrow to autocomplete URLs which I find terribly annoying.

I can't look up a word by right-clicking it like I can in Safari. I actually use that feature so that's annoying. The autocomplete feature in the Google search in the upper right corner is alright but it is far inferior to Inquisitor for Safari.

Clicking on the favicon in the "awesomebar" displays identity information for the current website and clicking somewhere in the URL highlights the entire URL. I very much prefer Safari's way of doing it where clicking the favicon highlights the entire URL and clicking somewhere in the URL places the input thingy where I click. That one-click-highlight-everything thing seems un-Mac-like to me.

One thing I do like, though: I really like how cmd+1 changes to the first tab, cmd+2 to the second, etc. If Safari has keyboard shortcuts to shift between tabs please tell me about it because that is one thing that has been driving me mad.

All in all I think FF3 is an improvement but it still doesn't seem good enough that it will sway me from using Safari. I'll try using it for a few days to see if I change my mind, though.
posted by sveskemus at 2:02 PM on June 17, 2008


Astonishing. Apple is known for the most aggressive plans of feature and function obsolescence and "This is the future" feature rollouts out of any company in the tech scene. And that is why they produce fantastic innovative products. Accusing Firefox of arrogance for the same thing is pretty ridiculous.
posted by potch at 2:02 PM on June 17, 2008


sveskemus, command+shift-[ and ] to go between tabs. I do prefer Firefox's Ctrl-tab since I don't have to take my hand off the mouse to do it, though.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:05 PM on June 17, 2008


I think it looks and works just fine on Mac. Safari has always felt too limiting to me. Yes, they keep adding features, but Firefox always remains at least one step ahead of them.
posted by zsazsa at 2:11 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm never a fan of software thinking it knows what I want better than I do. Like the disappearing menu items in Windows or the way Google automatically assumed I didn't really want to search for what I typed and displays the results it thinks I wanted instead.

I use a computer every day for a good portion of the day, I like it when the same sequence of key strokes or mouse movements does the same thing every time.

One nice thing FF3 has that Safari / Webkit should steal is that it doesn't get in your face about saving passwords, and gracefully handles when you type in the wrong password. Points for that.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:12 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


As of 4:12 PM CDT (2112 UTC) they are approaching 1.25 million downloads today.
posted by spock at 2:13 PM on June 17, 2008


Space Coyote: "sveskemus, command+shift-[ and ] to go between tabs. I do prefer Firefox's Ctrl-tab since I don't have to take my hand off the mouse to do it, though."

Hmm, do [ and ] get their own keys on an American keyboard? Because I have to press alt+8 and alt+9 to get them. And cmd+alt+shift+8 or 9 does nothing. I wonder which keys I could use on a Danish keyboard.

(Woohoo! Using the Mefi quote Greasemonkey script. Greasemonkey is one of the things I sort of miss when I use Safari.)
posted by sveskemus at 2:13 PM on June 17, 2008


Is there a way to map a keyboard shortcut to get to the Home page? I hate blank tabs and Mozilla still hasn't fixed this bug.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:15 PM on June 17, 2008


The download counter. If they reach two million before midnight they save the orphanage from Old Man Ballmer.
posted by Gary at 2:22 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


sveskemus: [ and ] do get their own keys on an American keyboard. Also, if you want to compare speed (particularly Javascript and image rendering speed), try the SproutCore Photo Gallery demo. SproutCore will be/is the basis for the new MobileMe web applications.
posted by jedicus at 2:27 PM on June 17, 2008


Oops, Tapeguy already posted it.
posted by Gary at 2:27 PM on June 17, 2008


Blazecock Pileon: Here are the Firefox keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Going to the home page is either Alt+Home or Option+Home. If you want to change the shortcuts, use Keyconfig.
posted by jedicus at 2:30 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


jedicus: "if you want to compare speed (particularly Javascript and image rendering speed), try the SproutCore Photo Gallery demo."

I do see a difference! Gmail doesn't seem faster on FF3 than on Safari for me, though.
posted by sveskemus at 2:31 PM on June 17, 2008


My normal pattern is to use the latest Firefox on my Windows work machine, and Safari on my Mac. And then I start to really like the Firefox features, so I switch to Firefox on the Mac too. Then at some point later either Apple adds the features to Safari, or someone writes up a hacky extension to do it, and I switch back.

OTOH, I've never had any desire to use Safari on Windows.
posted by smackfu at 2:32 PM on June 17, 2008


If you want to change the shortcuts, use Keyconfig.

Doesn't work. Ah well, thanks anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:35 PM on June 17, 2008


I'm actually sort of digging the awesomebar. I can type "recent (down arrow)" to go to my MeFi recent activity.
posted by sveskemus at 2:39 PM on June 17, 2008


BP: This is the issue, really. After three major revisions and innumerable buggy in-between betas, Mozilla still doesn't respect Mac users enough to care to follow Mac UI guidelines for a Mac application.

True, on the other hand, Mozilla has been fairly up-front about the fact that it considers development of its own little XUL universe to be more important than OS integration. And given how Apple changes the look and feel with every release (and sometimes between releases) your only hope of getting a full MacUI browser is to use something that hooks into the Cocoa UI libraries. But that sacrifices most of the XUL-ECMAScript plugin goodness.

Which is one of the reasons why I grumble in my browser hopping. I don't see the situation changing in the near future, and users of FF and Opera will have to put up with the almost-but-not-quite imitations of native OSX UI. If you really want something OSX-like, you need to be using Camino, OmniWeb, Shiira, Safari or even DevonAgent.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:40 PM on June 17, 2008


For the people who use Flock... don't "upgrade" to the beta. It's uglier and clunkier than 1.2. Wait for the final release.
posted by Memo at 2:42 PM on June 17, 2008


A kinda random sampling (as of the date/time of this post):

Iraq: 37 downloads
N. Korea: 0
Nigeria: 240
Cuba: 289
Afghanistan: 0
Sudan: 26
posted by jabberjaw at 2:42 PM on June 17, 2008


The experience when dragging tabs is far superior in Safari. Is it not possible to drag a tab into a new window with Firefox?

Okay I'm obsessing. I'll try to restrain myself from commenting anymore in this thread.
posted by sveskemus at 2:43 PM on June 17, 2008


Seems pretty nice. I didn't have any problems getting it at all, and it does seem to be a bit faster.

Now, as a demonstration of my appreciation, I will remove the pins from all my voodoo dolls of the developers.

They can thank me at their earliest convenience.
posted by quin at 2:44 PM on June 17, 2008


flock is still around? that's pretty neat.
posted by boo_radley at 2:53 PM on June 17, 2008


Crazy Mac zealots have to rationalize that their OS is Right because they're stuck with it. Linux users have options.

Huh? Macs can boot OS X, Windows, and Linux. No other computers allow all three of those options.
posted by Shakeer at 2:54 PM on June 17, 2008


and whose fault is that?
posted by boo_radley at 3:01 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just saw that there isn't actually a Guiness(TM) Certified(C) World* Record for "most downloaded software" yet. So the Firefox crew would succeed in setting the record even if Firefox isn't downloaded as often as other software has been in the past (think Windows Security Updates). In fact, they'd set the record even if only jwz and his mohawk-sportin' metal-lovin' robo-dog downloaded it. Which makes the whole world record thing even more idiotic.
posted by beniamino at 3:17 PM on June 17, 2008


The Awesome Bar is a small incremental step toward the full-text search of Opera’s address bar. I am still missing a functional replacement for IE5 Mac’s nickname feature, in which one could, for example, set up a nickname like askme to go to http://ask.metafilter.com/. FF3 is halfway there, actually. Every recent browser has had a unique UI feature that other browsers should steal wholesale.
posted by joeclark at 3:26 PM on June 17, 2008


WHAT? Someone has higher standards than me? But my standards are the baseline!

I assume you apply these same standards to what you actually use the browser for, and are constantly infuriated that every website you visit doesn't follow the Mac user interface guidelines and doesn't have correctly drawn grey gradients.
posted by Jimbob at 3:28 PM on June 17, 2008


Huh? Macs can boot OS X, Windows, and Linux. No other computers allow all three of those options.

Purely because the Mac operating system places restrictions on what is allowed to boot it.
posted by Jimbob at 3:29 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


One thing that is a great (bug) fix, and a long time in arriving--if you had a form buried in the z-order of a page, FF would lose the caret in that form in any text entry box. This made certain forms very hard to use, as you simply couldn't see where your cursor was.
posted by maxwelton at 3:33 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jimbob: "WHAT? Someone has higher standards than me? But my standards are the baseline!

I assume you apply these same standards to what you actually use the browser for, and are constantly infuriated that every website you visit doesn't follow the Mac user interface guidelines and doesn't have correctly drawn grey gradients.
"

I'm pretty annoyed when websites don't live up to standard behavior when it comes to things like links, for example. Or copying and pasting. I'm thinking of a bunch of crappy Flash sites here.

I assume you're being willfully obtuse here but you do realize that the gradient thing has to do with the fact that the Firefox browser chrome is supposed to look like any other program so it won't steal the focus from what's actually important (the website it's rendering), right?
posted by sveskemus at 3:36 PM on June 17, 2008


Oh shit, I commented again!
posted by sveskemus at 3:37 PM on June 17, 2008


I just lost the game
posted by sveskemus at 3:37 PM on June 17, 2008


Am I the only one who keeps reading FF3 as Final Fantasy 3?
posted by dd42 at 3:37 PM on June 17, 2008


anyone else use folders to organize bookmarks on the bookmark bar? anyone else think those huge arrows next to the bookmark folder buttons are a waste of space, not to mention ugly as sin? place the following in userChrome.css and banish them:

/* remove big ugly stupid arrow from bookmark toolbar folders */
toolbarbutton.bookmark-item > .toolbarbutton-menu-dropmarker { display: none !important; }

much better!
posted by quonsar at 3:42 PM on June 17, 2008


I assume you apply these same standards to what you actually use the browser for, and are constantly infuriated that every website you visit doesn't follow the Mac user interface guidelines and doesn't have correctly drawn grey gradients.

Yes, just like I'm constantly pissed off that I don't push my left pedal to brake on my bicycle, mr category mistake.
posted by bonaldi at 3:43 PM on June 17, 2008


Oh shit, now I just lost the game.

See, I can't quite get my head around why every application has to look exactly the same. Wouldn't it get confusing? Looking around my screen now, I recognize Firefox by it's particular colour and style of navigation buttons, as much as by the window title and icon. I also have Acrobat open, and really, if they both had a perfectly identical visual style, with the same looking icons...Firefox and Acrobat would actually look very very similar.

Not that I'm really going to get confused, but it's never bothered me that different pieces of software look different. The various remote controls scattered around my couch look different from each other as well, and I find that immensely useful.

Maybe it's just that I'm so used to Windows. Maybe I associate "The Windows Look" with software released by Microsoft, and therefore are more than happy to use software that looks different.
posted by Jimbob at 3:45 PM on June 17, 2008


So the Firefox crew would succeed in setting the record even if Firefox isn't downloaded as often as other software has been in the past (think Windows Security Updates).

Windows Updates? Pfft. Compare with http://www.google-analytics.com/urchin.js
posted by ryanrs at 3:45 PM on June 17, 2008


Yes, just like I'm constantly pissed off that I don't push my left pedal to brake on my bicycle, mr category mistake.

Hey, the web is the software, nowdays. I'm surprised Mac users aren't demanding a native Mac-looking theme for Gmail or Flickr.
posted by Jimbob at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2008


I am still missing a functional replacement for IE5 Mac’s nickname feature, in which one could, for example, set up a nickname like askme to go to http://ask.metafilter.com/.

I think this is a longstanding Firefox feature under a bookmark's properties. Right click on the bookmark, then choose Properties: type your shortcut in as the "Keyword."

Overall, FF3 seems much faster (until I tried to make this comment—the textbox is outrageously laggy, but it could be a conflict with Live Preview). I really like how the zooming feature remembers individual sites so I can have the New York Times website, for instance, fill my wide screen.
posted by stopgap at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon: "Is there a way to map a keyboard shortcut to get to the Home page? I hate blank tabs and Mozilla still hasn't fixed this bug."

<alt> Home works for me.
posted by octothorpe at 3:49 PM on June 17, 2008


Jimbob: "See, I can't quite get my head around why every application has to look exactly the same."

For me it's not that every app has to look exactly the same but that the elements which behave similarly should look the same. What I don't get is why the bits of UI which aren't really that important should be allowed to attract attention to themselves by having different colors, etc. But to each his own I guess...
posted by sveskemus at 3:50 PM on June 17, 2008


Jimbob: "I'm surprised Mac users aren't demanding a native Mac-looking theme for Gmail or Flickr."

See here and here. :)
posted by sveskemus at 3:53 PM on June 17, 2008


Not that I'm really going to get confused, but it's never bothered me that different pieces of software look different. The various remote controls scattered around my couch look different from each other as well, and I find that immensely useful.
It's a bit of a broken windows thing. By demanding extra polish from their apps, Mac users get apps with extra polish. Apple has gone in all sorts of directions since the launch of OS X, but even they have caved an are selling "one window style" as a feature of Leopard. It's also safe to say that aesthetics matter, to a lot of Mac users.

Hey, the web is the software, nowdays. I'm surprised Mac users aren't demanding a native Mac-looking theme for Gmail or Flickr.
They are. There's a thread here somewhere about it. But in the main, people have lower standards for websites. Though if Matt moved all the navigation controls so that they were totally different between MeFi, MeTa and Ask, wouldn't you be aggrieved?
posted by bonaldi at 3:53 PM on June 17, 2008


Firefox still makes me press down arrow to autocomplete URLs which I find terribly annoying.

Enable Inline Completion in the Firefox Address Bar

Some other things to make Firefox more Safari-like:
Fission - Loading adress bar
Stop or reload button - combines stop and reload button
Peers - apparently this is somewhat like Inquisitor except uglier

Still looking for a nicer-looking icon.
posted by snownoid at 3:55 PM on June 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Another upgrade...and I still can't play Flash videos (e.g., YouTube). Goddamn you FF and/or Adobe or whomever. Back to IE -- or to Opera?
posted by micropublishery at 3:55 PM on June 17, 2008


snownoid: "Enable Inline Completion in the Firefox Address Bar

Some other things to make Firefox more Safari-like:
Fission - Loading adress bar
Stop or reload button - combines stop and reload button
Peers - apparently this is somewhat like Inquisitor except uglier
"

Thanks. That inline completion thing didn't work for me, though, and stop or reload seems to be for an older version of Firefox. But Fission is nice.
posted by sveskemus at 4:00 PM on June 17, 2008


Extension fans should note that with Firefox 3's long release candidacy, huge numbers of extensions are already FF3 compatible. And for those that aren't you can try to force the issue with Nightly Tester Tools, as noted above, or MR Tech Toolkit -- I'm doing that now with the Stop or Reload extension that snownoid just mentioned.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 4:03 PM on June 17, 2008


Hmm... Inline completion seems to work with some URLs but not with others. It will autocomplete politiken.dk for me, but not facebook.com.

Oh, apparently you need to type the URL exactly as Firefox knows it. I have visited http://politiken.dk before which is why it knows to autocomplete when I type pol but Facebook redirects me to http://cbs.facebook.com so I need to type cbs to go to Facebook. MeFi redirects to www.metafilter.com so that's out as well. Shit. That makes this feature all but unusable for me. :(
posted by sveskemus at 4:08 PM on June 17, 2008


Enough talk, I'm going to go see if I can find a PortableApps version of Firefox 3...
posted by Jimbob at 4:11 PM on June 17, 2008


If you really want something OSX-like, you need to be using Camino

Absolutely. Which is why I everytime a new version of Firefox comes out, I give it a try for a while, and always end up back using Camino before too long. I'm waiting for them to implement support for Greasemonkey scripts, after which I'm not sure I'll have any reason to be tempted by firefox ever again.
posted by Arturus at 4:12 PM on June 17, 2008


Well, it's not just a matter of gradient and color. The first thing that pops out at me is that FF3 puts the close tab button on the right side, in contrast with Apple HIG which puts it on the left analogous to windows. And some icons are clipped in weird ways on my bookmarks library. And of course, no access to services.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:13 PM on June 17, 2008


Whoa, try two-finger scrolling (Mac trackpad feature analogous to a mouse scrollwheel). Zero readability, even at very slow scroll rates. Feh.
posted by ryanrs at 4:31 PM on June 17, 2008


Are you on a MacBook, by any chance? They have such shitty screen refresh that anbody using smooth scrolling suffers from this (Safari does as well). FF2 used jerky scrolling, which completely avoided it. You can minimise it with a custom calibration setting, but it's a limitation of the flat panel.

(Try dragging this image around in any browser to see what I mean)
posted by bonaldi at 4:41 PM on June 17, 2008


(when I say drag the image, I mean the window that it's in!)
posted by bonaldi at 4:42 PM on June 17, 2008


No, the problem is Firefox's 10-pixel jump scrolling.
posted by ryanrs at 4:53 PM on June 17, 2008


Crashed 10 times in a row on my Mac {1.8 G5 running 10.4.9} every time I touched a tab. FAIL!
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2008


Ah, interesting, they've turned smooth scrolling back off. FWIW, that's much easier to read on my screen.
posted by bonaldi at 5:04 PM on June 17, 2008


Cycling through tabs uses ⌥⌘⇄ instead of ⇧⌘⇄. I don't like that either. Grumble, complain, etc. :)
posted by ryanrs at 5:11 PM on June 17, 2008


I am still missing a functional replacement for IE5 Mac’s nickname feature, in which one could, for example, set up a nickname like askme to go to http://ask.metafilter.com/.

Saft adds that feature to Safari.
posted by snownoid at 5:26 PM on June 17, 2008


Feature X is not implemented the same way it is in browser Y on operating system Z! OMG!!!!
posted by signal at 5:28 PM on June 17, 2008


On the other hand, Firefox 3 appears to have better unicode support. The previous version wouldn't correctly draw U+1D5A MODIFIER LETTER SMALL TURNED M (not on Mac OS, anyway).
E*Ǝ
  ᵚ
Firefox: now textse compatible.
posted by ryanrs at 5:49 PM on June 17, 2008


I just installed it and (slaps self on head for being impulsive) and drat, there is no updated version of Firebug. I just screwed myself bigtime.
posted by dougzilla at 5:52 PM on June 17, 2008


DOH!
Totally wrong, Firebug 1.2.0b3 is available for Firefox 3 and it is lovely.
When I installed Firefox, it did not automatically update like the other add-ons and I assumed the worst.
posted by dougzilla at 6:03 PM on June 17, 2008


If I use the Qute theme, there are no scroll bars. The default theme is really unattractive. And it hides all of my favicon bookmarks I had dragged into my toolbar. This is going to be an annoying transition.
posted by popechunk at 6:03 PM on June 17, 2008


This puts the favicons back.
posted by popechunk at 6:14 PM on June 17, 2008


Is there a way to tag more than one bookmark at a time? If you select a bunch of them, the tag window goes away :-(
posted by popechunk at 6:22 PM on June 17, 2008


Ah, shoot. I upgraded to Firefox 3 and now the iFox Graphite skin I was using doesn't work anymore. Boo. I shoulda waited.
posted by dnash at 6:27 PM on June 17, 2008


This thread reads like a parody of Mac users. Come on guys, own up, you're really all Windows guys trying to give Mac people a bad name aren't you?
posted by markr at 6:37 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


hateAwesomeBar++;

I tried the beta a while back, encountered annoyingBar, and went to the mozilla forums to plead with them for a trivial way to switch back to the non-loathsomeBar. My pleas fell on deaf ears. I was really sad, because FF3 finally got rid of the decadent memory consumption in FF2, but I really, deeply hate the new address bar. I'd donate $100 to mozilla if they'd kick everyone responsible for that thing off the team.
posted by mullingitover at 6:40 PM on June 17, 2008


I am still missing a functional replacement for IE5 Mac’s nickname feature, in which one could, for example, set up a nickname like askme to go to http://ask.metafilter.com/

Firefox has had this since 1.* so far as I recall. Bookmark http://ask.metafilter.com. Go to the bookmark's properties and set its keyword to 'askme'. (I'm pretty sure I had an extension in Firefox 2 that had the add bookmark dialog box prompt me for it when it first came up.)

This gets much more useful with queries and substitutions.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 6:43 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


3.0 is sweet. I love the url feature. I can type "godfathere wikiquote" and it heads right there. Fantastic.
posted by Fizz at 6:46 PM on June 17, 2008


Fizz writes "3.0 is sweet. I love the url feature. I can type 'godfathere wikiquote' and it heads right there. Fantastic."

Firefox has always done "I'm feeling lucky" search if you type a non-url into the address bar.
posted by mullingitover at 6:59 PM on June 17, 2008


No worky with Panther. Oh well. I'm happy with my current setup.
posted by loiseau at 7:06 PM on June 17, 2008


Just downloaded it. Seems like it loads pages fast, definitely faster than Safari for Windows, or, god forbid, IE. On the other hand, it left 3 shortcuts on my desktop that are being resistant to deletion.
posted by jtron at 7:29 PM on June 17, 2008


Wow, I don't think any of these features are very exciting at all. I can look at different websites! And I can go to them! Wow! 90% of the time I just do a google search rather then typing a URL now anyway (using the Google search box in firefox). A new URL typing bar won't do me much good.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 PM on June 17, 2008


Lynx still works pretty well, you pampered ninnies.
posted by peeedro at 8:09 PM on June 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


delmoi: you clearly haven't installed the handjob extension. If you're not impressed by that, I dunno what would do it.

obSnark: must all firefox themes be godawful?
posted by boo_radley at 8:19 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, what I've always wanted, dragable tabs! Yay!

It's a damned shame that Pinball Modern theme isn't getting updated for FF3 =(
posted by porpoise at 8:41 PM on June 17, 2008


Hah, firefox three just got the "colbert bump".
posted by delmoi at 8:54 PM on June 17, 2008


Ah, what I've always wanted, dragable tabs! Yay!

I just tried dragging a tab in firefox 2, and... it worked. I was also able to drag it to another window (which simply caused the other window to move to the page that the tab was on, rather then moving the actual tab, but whatever)
posted by delmoi at 9:01 PM on June 17, 2008


A new URL typing bar won't do me much good.

I've dived into the URL bar, and have found it to be pretty useful.

My previous method of getting to Metafilter recent activity, for example, was:

- Go to URL bar
- Type "meta"
- Repeatedly hit the down arrow, looking for "Metafilter Recent Activity" in the midst of all the other metafilter pages

Now:

- Go to URL bar
- Type "meta rec"
- Hit enter

It's a bit of a leap of faith that it will actually work, but it does.

Maybe I should just bookmark this stuff.
posted by Jimbob at 9:25 PM on June 17, 2008


sveskemus writes "What I don't get is why the bits of UI which aren't really that important should be allowed to attract attention to themselves by having different colors, etc."

You mean like how Safari on Windows not only looks completely different than any Windows app, but goes so far as to use it's own implementation of text rendering? I personally find Apple's insistence on using Mac-specific UI design for Windows apps to be a hell of a lot more annoying than the trivial differences between FF3 and "native" OS X apps. Or, for that matter, the incredibly awful UI used by Mac Office. Basically, what I'm saying is that FF3 on my MBP might not look exactly like Safari, but that isn't a bad thing. Safari on my Windows box looking just like Safari anywhere else? Ick. Out of it's native OS, it looks like hell. At least FF tries to fit in - and gives you plenty of ways to change it if you don't think it fits in well enough.

sveskemus writes "I don't like how Firefox wants to show the favicon on every tab."

That's because having visually distinct tabs makes it easier to select the one you want. This is a good thing, and visual identification cues are one of the reasons that sites implement favicons to begin with.

KirkJobSluder writes "The first thing that pops out at me is that FF3 puts the close tab button on the right side, in contrast with Apple HIG which puts it on the left analogous to windows."

You use the buttons? I'm either cmd-W-ing to close them, or just middle clicking with my wheel mouse, same as I do on Windows. Still annoys me that Safari won't treat a middle-click anywhere in the tab as a shortcut to close it. Every other tabbed browser I have used has implemented this.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:18 PM on June 17, 2008


I keep seeing people rave about functionality that FF already had...

1. Add bookmark to Mefi Recent Activity page
2. Get Info, type mefi in Keyword field, click OK
3. Profit???

Then when you want to go to Mefi just command+L (ctrl-L) and type mefi, then hit enter.
posted by loiseau at 10:19 PM on June 17, 2008


Thank you, Gary, for the Tab Mix Plus link! You saved me from being sad that my second-favorite add-on was unavailable. (The first-favorite being Adblock Plus oh lord how does anyone tolerate ads at all they are worse than run-on sentences geez.)
posted by Nice Donkey at 10:28 PM on June 17, 2008


it doesn't seem to want all of my CPU and RAM

octothorpe,
Can I have all of your CPU and RAM, then? KTHXBAI.
posted by lukemeister at 10:38 PM on June 17, 2008


I personally find Apple's insistence on using Mac-specific UI design for Windows apps to be a hell of a lot more annoying than the trivial differences between FF3 and "native" OS X apps.

Of course. Apple apps aren't trying to fit in with the Windows environment. They're just advertisements for Mac OS. That bullshit is exactly what I'm talking about.
posted by ryanrs at 10:39 PM on June 17, 2008


the most massive server load ever in existence

It's at most a massive bandwidth load.

And it'd still dwarfed by any of the big monster sites' load and traffic.
posted by flaterik at 10:49 PM on June 17, 2008


So the Firefox crew would succeed in setting the record even if Firefox isn't downloaded as often as other software has been in the past (think Windows Security Updates).
Guinness would probably phrase it in terms of the number of non-software-initiated (read: person downloaded) downloads in 24 hours. If people aren't actually clicking something it's a pretty meaningless download record.

More to the point, everyone should go download Docvert because that was released today too. Come on, I'm sure we can beat Firefox.
posted by holloway at 11:18 PM on June 17, 2008


caution live frogs: "You mean like how Safari on Windows not only looks completely different than any Windows app, but goes so far as to use it's own implementation of text rendering?"

Sure, Safari (like iTunes) is a very bad Windows citizen. Lots of Windows users seem to not mind that much, though. Back when I used Windows I remember lots and lots of apps that had a completely non-standard look. Even stuff like the control panel for my video card drivers would look totally crazy.

Firefox on OS X uses its own text rendering engine as well. So does Photoshop and Illustrator. It's not that unusual.

Anyway, the point I came back here to make is that just because Safari for Windows (mostly) sucks that doesn't mean that I should love Firefox for OS X for having the same flaws.

Non-rhetorical questions because I'm actually curious: Do Human Interface Guidelines or something similar for Windows even exist? Either they must be pretty damn loose (even Microsoft releases lots of non-standard stuff) or nobody pays much attention to them. Why is that?
posted by sveskemus at 12:53 AM on June 18, 2008


Hmm. Bummer. They support Windows 2000, but not OS X Panther, which was released in 2003. My wife runs Panther on an old iBook, and is not pleased.

Oh well, Camino it is.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:38 AM on June 18, 2008


Mac ugliness: try the Camifox theme. Less ugly than the FF3 default OSX theme, or any of the Safari-aping alternatives. At least it fixes the god-awful combined keyhole back/forward button. Not a fan of Apple's descent into butt-ugly brushed metal - OK, I could see the point when they used it to delineate the iApps from everything else, but making it the standard over the lovely Pinstripe was just stupid. Even Apple seem to agree on this, as they've been toning it down ever since. Hopefully someone will revive/update Kevin Gerich's old Pinstripe OS X FF2 theme for FF3.

Speaking of which: yeah, combined up/down history makes perfect sense. Quick - up and down; which is forwards and which is back? It's one of those UI decisions which is going to annoy ~50% of users whichever you decide. Do people think of climbing back up the chain of visited sites, or descending into the history? Dumb choice, when the old separate histories worked so well...

Don't get me started on the Awesomebar (which, I'm led to believe from the Mozillazine forums, is the official name for it now). When it shows signs of learning that when I type "as", 90% of the time I want to go to ask.metafilter.com, not slashdot.org (or, even more perversely, youtube.com) - and yet, typing "sl" brings up qut.edu.au first, visibledust.com second, and slashdot.org third - I'll start treating it as awesome, and not the iodine-deprived child of a couple of hillbilly cousins. Yes, AskMe/Slashdot/Youtube are in my bookmarks; yes, I visit AskMe a few times a day and only visit /. and YouTube a couple of times a week; yes, this has persisted in all betas since b3; yes, I've created new profiles for each beta install; and yes, it happens across 3 different machines (2 Macs w/10.4.latest, 1 PC w/XP).

On the plus side, it is faster - apart from the odd times that it stops and has a little sleep for 10~30 seconds. Not as beach-ball-y locked up as FF2 got, just ... away with the fairies. At least with FF2 it only seemed to do it when it had a reason to (i.e. Flash, large page with lots of JavaScript, etc) - FF3 seems to just do it at random for no reason. I thought it might be updating bookmark favicons or something stupid like that in the background, but I turned that off & it still does it.

For now, Camifox + oldbar extension + modified browser.urlbar settings make it tolerable, but overall for me it's a step backwards from FF2.
posted by Pinback at 2:48 AM on June 18, 2008


As a die-hard Explorer user I'm sold, a straight switch. Deciding factor for me is FF now starts up as fast as explorer, or near enough for me anyway...
posted by gallagho at 5:13 AM on June 18, 2008


When I installed Twitterfox in FF3 it broke it. Had to reinstall. Lost years' of bookmarks and password info because I was stupid and didn't save them beforehand. Now they're gone, forever. I should have waited.
posted by Poagao at 5:59 AM on June 18, 2008


Extensions are the best and worst features of FF, just spent half my morning figuring out which extension was causing FF to lockup and ignore Force Quit commands when started.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:55 AM on June 18, 2008


Hey now that fits in with the Mac.
posted by bonaldi at 11:04 AM on June 18, 2008


Iran has more FF3 downloads than Canada?!
Off to google more on Iran as i seem to be missing some interesting information here.
posted by ST!NG at 4:14 PM on June 18, 2008


Space Coyote writes "Linux users who are grateful for what the free software community can be bothered to give them end up stuck in the shitpile that is the Linux desktop environment mishmash."

Well, my FreeBSD box has Xfce for the desktop. I love it. It's somewhat gnome-related, but it can be used without that support, but if you want you can run apps from KDE or gnome.

The Mac OS X desktop is shiny and elegant, but it's not nearly as fast nor as configurable as Xfce. Then again, I can't run Aqua on FreeBSD (although I can make my desktop look like it, but it would lack its other features). The only desktop support I miss on a regular basis is lack of Flash support that isn't two versions behind their official release. I can still watch YouTube, but most other Flash stuff these days doesn't work. Still, Firefox builds are typically only a day or two behind the source and binary releases on mozilla.org, and show up in ports very quickly.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:53 PM on June 18, 2008


sveskemus:

Here is an article by a former windows programmer lamenting the fact that there are no guidelines for UI design in Windows. Particularly the fourth page of the article, about Vista.
posted by nushustu at 7:36 AM on June 20, 2008


For those like me who want to keep a foot on each side of the line, try MultiFirefox (OSX only), a little launcher app that lets you choose between multiple versions & profiles so you can make the change gradually or even just keep the old version around for those special extensions that aren't supported at all under V3.
posted by scalefree at 10:04 AM on June 20, 2008


Here's an blog entry about turning on screen color management, a new feature with Firefox 3. This flickr set links supposedly shows the difference between Firefox 2 and 3, though I flipped the switch, and I haven't detected that much of a difference yet, so YMMV.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:30 AM on June 22, 2008


Here is an article by a former windows programmer lamenting the fact that there are no guidelines for UI design in Windows

If there were strict UI guidelines... then of course Apple would be violating them on Windows with Safari and iTunes.
posted by smackfu at 8:36 PM on June 23, 2008


smackfu: "If there were strict UI guidelines... then of course Apple would be violating them on Windows with Safari and iTunes."

Or maybe they wouldn't, who knows.

"If it were illegal to do what you're doing you would be breaking the law right now!"

Yeah, or maybe I wouldn't be doing it... :P
posted by sveskemus at 5:24 AM on June 24, 2008


We do know... they don't even follow their guidelines on OS X. They just make new designs to make it look pretty.
posted by smackfu at 7:00 AM on June 24, 2008


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