Firefox 3 beta 5 mini Review

image Firefox 3 beta 5 is shipping soon or maybe already shipped, either way I got my hands on it today to play around.  It’s much further along then the last 3 beta I tried (2,3?).  Extensions don’t work and never will unless each extension developer updates their stuff to either tell firefox it is compatible or actual code changes to make it happen.  I’m not a fan of the architect of their compatibility system, I think things should try to work and if not let you know an extension broke firefox and let you disable it.  Microsoft Outlook does this very well.

Fast

Firefox 3 beta 5 is silly fast, so much so that I was browsing an internal web app today, thinking, "hey who ajaxified this thing?".  Turns out the web app is still doing traditional post backs but FF is so fast you can’t tell, the screen never "refreshes" only by looking at the green loading indicator at the bottom can you tell.

Gmail has become paininfully slow on FF 2.  With FF 3, the thing is blazing fast again.  You know the FF & Google guys must be working on things together like this. Gmail search is still slow though.

Memory

Better then FF 2 which is a memory hog but still not great, it easily got up to 100 mb after an hour of using (2-3 tabs open at once).

Conclusion

I’d be using this thing as my main browser if my extensions would all work, at last I’m back to FF 2 because I’m tied to my extensions.

Tim

A .NET, PHP, Marketing Guru authority, at least I hope I am. Reach me at tboland@gmail.com

11 thoughts on “Firefox 3 beta 5 mini Review

  1. WebUser says:

    You can use non-compatible extensions with firefox 3 beta versions by disabling the compatibility screening in the about:config. I’m not sure what the exact entry is, but I have been using a number of extensions in FF3 with no problems.

  2. Tim says:

    #1 – Yes, I’ve done this bug it caused FF 3 to crash

  3. [...] status. It feels even faster than before, and includes over 750 fixes over Firefox 3 Beta 4. It’s getting rave reviews. Progress, [...]

  4. [...] status. It feels even faster than before, and includes over 750 fixes over Firefox 3 Beta 4. It’s getting rave reviews. Progress, [...]

  5. Morbus says:

    @ the author
    It’s still lighter than Safari in pretty much everything, and manages to be faster too. About the extensions, you might want to disable the compatibility check. Add a new boolean line in your about:config as false “extensions.checkCompatibility”.

  6. Tim says:

    Morbus,
    I’m on windows so Safari isn’t an option, their current windows version doesn’t count ;) . I did do the extension check but one of my extensions must be breaking it cause it crashed on start up repeatedly. Their bug submitter wasn’t real clear on what the issue was either.

  7. Frank says:

    If you take the xpi file for the extension (it’s just a compressed file, I think it uses zip) and open it up in a program like winrar or winzip, you can edit the install file and change the “max version” from what it is to 3b5 (I think that’s it) then load the new xpi in Firefox and it will install just fine.

  8. Tim says:

    Frank,
    Thanks. Yes this does work, but I use ~8 extensions and this seems like a lot of work ;)

  9. [...] days after Hardy, but Firefox 3 beta 5 is very useful and pretty stable for day-to-day use. Just look at the reviews. And I’m sure we’ll be able to install Firefox 3 as soon as it comes out [...]

  10. Nice review, I am going to start using firefox and will leave using IE….

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