Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Review (vaguely): Firefox 3 beta

I posted this over on my blog, but then decided to move it here (and BamBi willing, maybe over to DMM at a later date) as it probably has a more appropriate reader base here.

I thought I'd do a quick review of Firefox 3, which is currently in beta 5 (whatever that means, I assume there have been 4 other iterations of this beta).

I haven't really played around with it much, but it has an updated GUI and a few new features. The main reason I installed it was for the new Smart Bookmarks feature. These work similar to the smart playlists on iTunes, but obviously with bookmarks. The premiss being that you have some set filters for bookmarks, ie. most viewed, and then the smart bookmarks update accordingly to display say your 10 most visited bookmarks. They can be edited but it requires a small amount of coding knowledge, in a sense of the word. I'm not overly sure how I came across this link now but, I did. Further info regarding codes can be found here. To be honest I'm not sure what use these will have, at the moment they're just annoying as they're where my feeds used to be (which are now the button next door) so I keep clicking the wrong one, this is easily remedied, but I haven't got round to it yet. Maybe I'll find a good use for them later.

Aside from a crazy robot as their new mascot, the old firefox logo remains but the robot pops up in various places looking like a strange tin, moustached vampire, there are a few additions for web developer and the like. Firefox 3 has extended support for CSS3 features, some DOM improvements and support for javascript 1.8 (this is all from their welcome page), which I mostly understand. This is focused at web designers/developers, which I technically am, so I'm mostly interested. It doesn't support all of the older add-ons, in particular fireftp which I use relatively frequently (but isn't overly important) isn't yet supported, but it's only a matter of time really and considering it's a beta it's not a major issue. There's also a button that is meant to give you details about the site you're viewing but so far I haven't found a site that uses this feature, not even their own website.

Also for XKCD fans, they've finally made the roll over image text display the whole thing instead of "blah blah blah something long and inter..." which was always annoying, meaning you had to right click and go properties. Someone was asking me about this, I think it was Joe, so there's the solution, Firefow 3 beta!

Verdict: Nothing over the top mind blowing that makes this anything much better than 2 as far as I can tell, maybe smart bookmarks will be really useful in some way, but it's not like it's taking a step back either so it's all good. It may be best for the majority of firefox users to wait until it's out of beta mode, but for those interested in what's to come go get it.

I can't really give this a rating out of 10 so I wont.


TheTelf said...

You keep saying DMM, when I think you mean DYM.

And yup, Firefox ftw, though it's going to be a while before CSS3 features are useful, since about 0.1% of the web population will be able to interpret it atm. Back to good old CSS1 for anything public-facing...

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

YES! stupid me. Got it in my head as Drink My Milkshake, probably something to do with that stupid song, grrrr.

I'm not overly sure what stuff's CSS1 and what's CSS2, but I reckon I used CSS2 stuff quite frequently, to hell with people who don't update their browsers!