Monday, May 19, 2008
Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 has been delivered, and with it comes a faster browsing experience. Although I've been reluctant to install Firefox 3 because many extensions don't support RC1, there's a noticeable decrease in the time webpages take to render, and it looks like Firefox's notorious memory hogging tendency has been reined in somewhat. Some websites like Gmail may even load twice as fast.
Other new Firefox features include a nice visual refresh of the browser interface, better security, and integrated search. For instance, you can find out more about a website by clicking on its favicon to see who owns it and whether your connection is secure. There is also better forgery and malware protection.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature is the the revamped location bar, which now ties together your bookmarks and browsing history with integrated search so you can quickly find the website you are looking for. This feature, so far, doesn't seem too helpful since it brings up a lot of random results, but there is supposed to be an adaptive algorithm that will slowly learn to deliver more relevant results.
If you want to use extensions or add-ons, which don't support Firefox 3, be sure to install Nightly Tester Tools to force compatibility. There's no guarantee that they'll still work, but most of my extensions have kept working (except the crucial Tab Mix Plus).
The Firefox 3 RC1 release notes list other improvements and fixes.