3 April 2008 |

Firefox development ploughs on with Beta 5

Firefox 3 beta 5 was released yesterday hopefully bringing it one step closer to finally being released. And now the news coverage coupled with my increased frustration with Firefox 2 hanging and crashing finally made me switch to using the new beta in the hope that it would solve these problems and improve my life.

Well as I waited about a minute for Firefox 3 to load I was getting sceptical – it didn’t seem to load any faster than FF2 – although to be fair it was loading for the first time. However, once it had loaded, it was quite impressive. It’s actually quite a lot prettier in many subtle ways, and it really does seem much smoother.

One of my main worries was that none of my favourite extensions would be support. However it does seem that since FF3 has now been in beta for a while, most of the most popular extensions are in fact supported. Although the (arguably) most useful developer tool, Firebug, remains unsupported. I hope this will change soon.

So I would recommend that anyone who is constantly frustrated by Firefox actually do switch to the new beta. It doesn’t install over Firefox 2, so you can in fact keep both on your computer, although you can’t run both at the same time.

Here is a feature list for the new beta of FF3. Enjoy.

Tamar Staff Member

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  • http://robinwinslow.co.uk Robin Winslow

    I descovered that there is actually a firebug 1.1 beta which works with FF3. :). That’s all the really important extension covered:
    http://fireclipse.xucia.com/files/fireclipse/firebug-1.1.0b10.xpi

  • http://www.binarycomponents.com/ Stu Smith

    Unfortunately developers can’t submit extensions that are marked as ready for FF3, only as ready for the latest beta. So as an extension developer, I’d potentially have to update my extension six times, just to remain compatible with the betas. Speaking for myself, I simply don’t have that sort of time to spare, so I’ll update my extension when FF3 is released for good.
    Perhaps Mozilla should consider having a release candidate build after the last beta? Because otherwise, with Firefox relying on extensions so much, it isn’t really possible for people to test the betas, knowing that many extensions haven’t been updated and won’t work.