Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Firefox 2 released

It must be the season for it; after IE7's launch two weeks ago, the new Firefox 2 was launched a week later.

Details of Firefox 2's new features are on the Mozillazine and it's available to download from Mozilla in numerous languages.

I took it for a quick test drive on the weekend and like Firefox 1.5 it's pretty rock solid stable. Much of the user interface is identical to earlier versions although there's a cool autocomplete on the search engine box and some of the extensions I used to use (e.g. to autosave tab sessions, to provide a drop-down list of all the tab contents, and an Undo Close Tab feature enables re-opening of previously closed tab) are all now provided out of the box so I removed the now redundant extensions. Other big new feature is anti-phishing as per IE7 and Opera 9.1 - good moves to make the web a safer place.

One improvement I noticed over IE7 was that printing now prints any background colours set (the fact that IE6, IE7 and Firefox 1.5 don't has been a bugbear of mine as I used background colours heavily on our Gite availability page to show the different rental rates and whether dates were booked or not - this simply doesn't come out if you print the page in anything other than Firefox 2).

One thing I didn't like was that if you've got a lot of tabs open (like I always seem to do - as I'm typing there are 30 open tabs in my browser) then Firefox 2 won't shrink the tab size below a certain size and instead shows left/right scroll buttons. I personally prefer the control options provided by the 'Tab Mix Plus' extension which just keeps on shrinking the tab button size. Unfortunately TMP doesn't work with Firefox 2 right now (and neither does the 'Download Manager Tweak' extension) - I guess these'll be fixed soon now that Firefox 2 is out and being used in anger.

In all I still stick to my earlier point of view that I prefer Firefox over IE7, new features and general usability of Firefox 2 still put it ahead of the Redmond camp.



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