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Firefox 2.0 Release(and IE 7)

The recent release of Firefox 2.0 has created a lot of buzz in the blogsphere. And, as it is my favorite browser, it would be unfair if I did not give it a write up. In short : The update was more of a response to IE 7.

IE vs Firefox

As you may already know, Microsoft have released their latest browser - IE 7. Many have speculated how it will affect the popularity of Firefox. Perhaps this scared the Mozilla foundation to release a new version of Firefox - just to keep up with the buzz.

Take a look at IE 6 and IE 7 - the difference is obvious. You have trouble believing it is the same browser - even the logo is changed(slightly). Now look at Firefox 1.5 and Firefox 2.0 - you have to stare really heard before you can make out a single difference.

That said, let me assure you that I have no plans to move back to IE - I am not suicidal.

New Features in Firefox 2.0

I am not saying that Firefox 2.0 was just a marketing hack - it has some new features. Some of them that caught my attention are...

Search Engine Plug-in Manager

After a long wait, the firefox team have included a feature that must have been in the browser from the first release - a Search Engine Plug-in Manager. Using this you can delete search engines from the browser. I would have liked to see an option to create and edit the plugins too - but something is better than nothing.

Previewing Feeds

This is one of my favorite features in the new version. You can click the 'Subscribe feed' button in the address bar and preview the feed. More importantly, you can copy the feed URL into you favorite RSS reader. That was not possible in the previous versions.

Inline Spell Checking

Another must have for all browsers - the spell checker. This will check for spelling mistakes in all the textareas on a page when you are typing.

These are the features that are helpful to me - there are more feature - but they are not for me.

Built-in phishing protection

Must be heaven send for many 'normal' web surfers - but we geeks know how to recognize which site a URL belongs too. It is very hard to fool any geek with a disguised URL - possible - but very hard.

JavaScript 1.7

Don't get me wrong - I love javascript. But despite the upgrades, I will not be able to take advantage of the newer features as it is not supported on other browsers.

Broken Extensions

The thing I hate most about Firefox Upgrades - a lot of extensions stop working. Fortunately, this upgrade did not break too many extensions. The broken extensions(in my system) are...

  • PrefBar
  • Tab Mix Plus - The developers of this extension have promised an update within one week. [Update : Works now]
  • Nuke Anything -
  • This extension was reported as incompatible with Firefox 2.0 - but the authors have upgraded it - so it is working fine now.


So, should you upgrade? There are some new feature - but there are as many reason why you should not upgrade. I have upgraded - and it is my opinion that the upgrade is worth it.

Oh, by the way, if you use IE, please, please upgrade your browser. Upgrade it to Firefox. If you can't do that, at least upgrade it to IE 7. That upgrade is definitely worth it.


SultanArun said...

Opera is better. Now gmail and google reader is perfect in opera.
IE and ff takes too much unwanted RAM. Just load 4 pages and press Alt+Ctrl+del to check the usage.

Anonymous said...
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Binny V A said...

Gmail works on Opera - but I don't think you can use the chat feature in gmail in it. Not sure, but I recollect reading something like that. Anyway, Opera is a great browser.