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Firefox Two

The crazies over at Mozilla apparently staged the v2.0 release of Firefox on their big-pipe servers, in preparation for tomorrow's release. When I saw that this had happened, I figured it'd be a good idea to be part of the problem and spread the word, as well as download the new browser.

In the interest of fairness to Microsoft's product, I thought I'd say a couple words about this browser too.

The install, as always before, is a snap. Just double-click the icon you download, and follow the very simple instructions, and the actually file-copying takes only a couple of seconds. Since no system files need to be reinitialized or anything, no reboot is required, of course. You're ready to browse roughly ten seconds after running the installer.

With Firefox 2.0 you get all the previous advantages that the Firefox browser has, including my favorite: not being directly linked to the operating system's inner-workings. I'm not going to talk about anything that's already old news regarding the browser though. I have three complaints.

First, two of my many many extensions didn't make it through. This isn't really that big a deal though. They're just not compatible with the newest version of Firefox. They will be soon. So, I can live without them while the developers fix the wagon, as they're both much more for aesthetics anyway.

Top Left The second and third complaints have to do with useless things taking up screen real estate. The second complaint as to do with the unmovable green arrow next to the url bar, which is equivalent to the "Go!" button in Internet Explorer. There is no option to get rid of it. If I customize my toolbar, it's included in the "location bar." That means that if I remove the annoying green arrow the entire url bar disappears too.

Tabs My third complaint is those little X-marks that they put on every single tab. To my knowledge, they cannot be removed either. Perhaps I'll root around in the "about:config" area, and see what I can find. I say this is annoying because they naturally truncate the readable text in the tab, and because they're completely unnecessary. I can close the tabs by right-clicking them and clicking on "close tab," by hitting Ctrl-F4 when I'm looking at the contents of the tab, or my favorite: simply middle-clicking the tab, whether I'm looking at it or not.

One parting shot/supporting complaint isn't really about version 2.0 per se, but rather about Firefox in general. Every time I run an install- that is, every time I update, search plugins are automatically restored to their original state, including several that I never use. I don't use them, so I delete them. Amazon, Yahoo, Ebay, Creative Commons, and Answers.com all get reinstated when the browser updates. That's a minor annoyance though.

Actually all the complaints I have with Firefox 2.0, and Firefox in general, have to do with little minor annoyances, all of which are forgivable. I haven't been using Firefox 2.0 for that long now, but I have nothing to indicate anything that different from previous releases. I have encountered no show-stoppers. It renders pages perfectly, so I really have no complaints, except about stupid crap small stuff.

Bottom line: go ahead and upgrade to 2.0 if you're using Firefox. If you're still voluntarily using Internet Explorer, and aren't stuck in a no-choice situation(like, for instance, your place of employment doesn't allow you to install software), then what the hell are you waiting for?

3:50 PM, Oct 23, 2006

11 comments

bahua said:

about:config wins!

Change "browser.urlbar.hidegobutton" to true.

4:52 PM, Oct 23, 2006

chicus offered:

that fixes the green arrow, what about the tab-level "x"?

5:26 PM, Oct 23, 2006

bahua replied:

Still looking.

5:57 PM, Oct 23, 2006

Jeff took the time to say:

what's this "two" business? it's "2.0"

lets see if they made the mac version any more stable since last week's RC3. I was not having a good time.

10:41 PM, Oct 23, 2006

ralfonso was sure you'd want to know:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.tabs.closeButtons

8:42 AM, Oct 24, 2006

bahua had this to say:

about:config

Is there nothing it cannot do?

8:50 AM, Oct 24, 2006

Brian had this to say:

about:config/browser.tabs.closeButtons; It can have a few values.

0 means close button on current tab only

1 is default, and means close buttons on each tab.

2 means no close buttons (middle click or right-click/close only)

3 means one close button, like FF 1.5 default

I don't think anything else means anything.. Could be wrong..

9:40 AM, Oct 24, 2006

bahua replied:

It goes to eleven.

9:48 AM, Oct 24, 2006

Brian brooked no delay in saying:

Now.. how to get rid of the go-button on the search bar..

10:05 AM, Oct 24, 2006

tim wasson commented:

Safari 4-eva!

11:33 AM, Oct 24, 2006

chicus brooked no delay in saying:

nice catch on the values for browser.tabs.closeButtons

tim - are you having any problems with text rendering on the Mac FF? In 1.5 and 2.0 some in-line links are basically backspaced 3-4 spots and writes on top of other text. (sorry no examples, I am on my pc right now)

9:55 PM, Oct 24, 2006

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