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Firefox 4 RC1 Released

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the final-stretch dept.

Firefox 189

IgnitusBoyone writes "Mozilla has now released Firefox 4 RC1. For most beta participants the update should be automatic, but for those holding out until it gets closer to feature freeze, now is likely a good time to test the next major release. Aside from a complete redesign of the user interface, Firefox 4 offers several new features (release notes) including an integrated sync manager, improved methods for tab-switching and organization for tab-heavy users."

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189 comments

UI is still sluggish (1, Interesting)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35441994)

It looks like they made Firefox look exactly like Chrome. However, there is one problem - Firefox's UI still feels sluggish, just like before. Personally I love how fast Opera's UI is and it makes the browser feel lightweight too. Chrome is close to that, but both IE and Firefox lag behind. Maybe it's XUL or something else, but it needs to be improved.

Oh yeah, and Firefox is the only browser that doesn't support H.264 even if it's installed in the system. How am I supposed to watch those HTML5 H.264 videos?

Re:UI is still sluggish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442080)

The entire FF UI is built from XML, Javascript and CSS, the other browsers likely use more native UI code, FF4's UI is faster then the one in FF3, though somethings like the add-ons window are cluttered with really stupid things (why do I need software-alpha mixed with software-gradient?).

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442634)

There was some dude here not long ago with a comment on how JavaScript/XML and all that "mostly-interpreted" hallabaluja (which IS a life saver often, I'll admit) doesn't matter with UIs in particular. Wonder where he is now :-)

Then again, since it was exactly JS speed that is improved in FF4, assuming they apply it to their XUL as well (i know they do), it can only mean that the UI should get the speed benefit as well.

Re:UI is still sluggish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35443910)

Google seemed to make it work. I don't know the percentage but much of Chrome's UI is HTML & JS.

XML doesn't often matter anyway since it's treated as a serialization step not an underlying describing format.

Re:UI is still sluggish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442092)

Hey, troll, didn't get enough h264tard trolling in yesterday? Google owns Youtube which uses WebM. It's over. Real open standards won you all just don't know it yet.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442120)

Real open standards won you all just don't know it yet.

H.264 is supported universally in millions of devices, from mobile phones to professional video editing hardware, consoles and HDTV's. WebM is too late in to the game this round. They still have a change to gain it in future codecs, but now H.264 has already won.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442182)

Why are they, "too late", when ever indicator, and I mean every indicator, says the exact opposite of what you're saying? So why should we listen to you versus the market forces which are actually shaping, you know, the market?

Re:UI is still sluggish (1, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442300)

The iPhone and Blackberry were the top two smartphone plans... until the open Android system destroyed them in the market place in record time.

Re:UI is still sluggish (2)

rfdparker2002 (1192421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442326)

Thousands of devices that'll never support the HTML5 video tag anyway (many of which don't have a browser even). I'm sorry but the future of web standards shouldn't be shackled to the demands of (what in my opinion is) a protection racket, just so it's using the same codec as a Blu-ray player.

Re:UI is still sluggish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444036)

Wait, what?

H.264 is produced, managed and licenced by a consortium of companies with excellent documentation and a low barrier to entry of said consortium. Patent liabilities are well-known.

WebM is produced by one firm, controlled by one firm, has had no real determination of patent liability, and is documented well by... no-one.

In organisational terms, WebM is closer to Flash and H.264 to HTML. In patent terms, WebM is undefined: a single corporation's promise is meaningless (going to hand over control of WebM to a non-profit consortium to be developed by a working group or some such? thought not) and there has been little to no effort to determine who may be owed what (legally speaking) for its implementation or deployment.

tl;dr H.264 is far more open than WebM.

Of course, the "open" solution is allowing lots of competing plug-in technologies rather than dropping support for everything which doesn't support your desire for control and resultant bottom line. Google, as the new Microsoft, are learning to take the latter approach.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442108)

HTML5 H.264 videos

Where? The only site is Youtube, and it's beta and for testing. Name a site with over 10000 visits per html5 video that has regular support for HTML5 h264 video.

I'll give you a hint, it's a loaded question because no sane site advertises full support for this because it's not a set standard yet!

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442134)

Well, YouTube for example. If you stream using iPhone, you get H.264. In fact, you get H.264 even with the normal flash player.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442930)

YouTube also serves up WebM, which Fx4 supports, so who gives a shit?

And you just contradicted yourself: Fx4 does support H.264 if you have a plugin that provides that functionality. Your plugin is named "Adobe Flash Player".

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442248)

With that logic, the Internet doesn't exist.

HTML5 is an emerging standard. You're argument is it can't be because the world doesn't look like what didn't exist. WTF? I don't think you understand how technology adoption works.

YouTube is an extremely huge chunk of the online video market. WebM is finally becoming available on hardware. Future generation hardware is likely to provide yet additional performance boosts. Video quality has achieved parity with H.264. WebM is faster to decode than H.264 and likely to be much, much faster in future releases. This means better battery life when compared to H.264. WebM is now multi-core ready and likely to continue to increase its scalability in the future.

About the only place H.264 has a clear advantage over WebM is its significantly faster at encoding. But frankly, given the ratio of content creation to consumption, I'm honestly not sure that matters for the vast, vast majority of consumers.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443660)

Engadget, Slashgear, and quite a few other gadget blogs. They only supply it if your user agent is a non-desktop string (iPad/Pod/Phone, Android), of course, but they have it available.

Re:UI is still sluggish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442124)

I don't understand what this means. The UI is sluggish? Are you running it on a Pentium 3 or something?

Re:UI is still sluggish (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442158)

Oh yeah, and Firefox is the only browser that doesn't support H.264 even if it's installed in the system. How am I supposed to watch those HTML5 H.264 videos?

Not for long though, google chrome [engadget.com] is also dropping this patent trap.

I just don't understand H.264 cheerleaders (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35443316)

What stake do they have in this? It's not like they're going to be left out in the cold if WebM succeeds. After all, the whole point of WebM is to provide a truly open standard that everybody can use, whether commercial or not. So can somebody pinpoint exactly what the H.264 cheerleaders are fighting for? My best guess is that they simply don't like change, same as anybody else -- only they get downright nasty about it for some reason. If you notice, these are the same people that aree vehemently opposed to Theora, as if their lives depended on it. Perhaps some of them are paid shills, but surely that doesn't include all of them.

Again, what in the world are they fighting for?

Yup (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442250)

Work has a Hudson server set up for automated tests. It's godawful slow with firefox 3, so I gave it a try with Chrome. Chrome is just ridiculously faster with it. It's usable with Firefox 4, but there are still places where the browser just freezes up for a second or two. So far I'm just using chrome for that Hudson server, but it wouldn't take much for Chrome to unseat Firefox as my default browser, and I've been using Firefox for as long as I can remember.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442274)

It looks like they made Firefox look exactly like Chrome. However, there is one problem - Firefox's UI still feels sluggish, just like before.

and yet if I install Chromium alongside it, pages still actually load faster in Firefox than in Chrome. I don't know what Google is doing instead of trying to load the page right away but I don't like it.

Does Notscripts work correctly yet? I might try actually doing regular testing of Chromium again if so.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442366)

If you want all the features of Chrome without the nasty stuff Google put in, try SRWare Iron.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442446)

If you want all the features of Chrome without the nasty stuff Google put in, try SRWare Iron.

Iron has all the same features, except that it sends you to some useless add-on market with like 10% of the stuff that's in the real add-on repo. They might turn stuff off by default but it's just an outdated build of Chromium for Windows. And BTW, I run Linux. I could run Iron under Wine but that would be dumb. Your clue was that I said "chromium" repeatedly.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442744)

Ooops, I missed that. :) And you're right, that they send you to that other place for extensions is not good, the second thing I dislike in Iron so far (the first is that there is no autoupdate function, but as Google chose to do that with their stupid updater service, and not inside the browser like FF, that would require a more extensive coding).

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443420)

Having update code inside the browser would lead to the same obnoxiousness that firefox has-- non admin users getting pestered to update, and then unable to actually perform said update (as the browser would be running as a non-admin user).

Having the updater running under an admin account seperate from the browser makes a lot of sense, as the updates actually are applied regularly (again, unlike firefox where out of date browsers are QUITE common).

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35443146)

SRWare Iron is basically a scam. The changes they made have never been privacy issues in the first place. Maybe it's different since then, but here's what it looked like back in version 4 [hybridsource.org]

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

zixxt (1547061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443334)

Thanks for saving me the trouble , SRware is nothing more than Chrom(e)ium with a light editing of build options and source code.

Re:UI is still sluggish (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443390)

I dont understand this. People want to use Google's product, but dont trust the company (who incidentally has a pretty clear "heres what we do with your data, and how to disable it in chrome). So instead of grabbing the open source Chromium and unticking the "send my data to Google" boxes, you go to a completely unvetted third party who claims "we've removed the nasty bits, and did some unspecified tweaking to make it faster and better!" and download their binaries? Which, I note, have no source code available to actually check?

What makes you think SRWare is trustworthy? Wheres THEIR privacy policy, I note their site doesnt even list one? Has anyone actually audited the thing to make sure its not leaking info to SRWare?

I dont know about you, but Id much rather just untick chrome's "send my info to Google" option boxes than trust some unknown 3rd party with neither history nor published privacy policy.

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443574)

I use Chrome for this and that and don't worry about it, but it appears that the SRWare privacy policy is simply to not collect any user data.

Re:UI is still sluggish (4, Informative)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442382)

Oh yeah, and Firefox is the only browser that doesn't support H.264 even if it's installed in the system. How am I supposed to watch those HTML5 H.264 videos?

Um... wget/curl? Any download manager + VLC/MPlayer? It's not hard. There's a million different ways to play H.264-encoded content outside of Firefox. Inside, though, I'm sure it's possible to write a plugin that replaces embedded H.264 HTML5 tags with an external player (like Microsoft did).

Regardless of the possible workarounds, this isn't a battle of functionality, this is a battle of rights. Mozilla isn't supporting H.264 even if it's a system codec because it wants to make sure that all Firefox forks and related projects can use the codecs without fear of patent infringement. Then there's also patent licensing and things like that, which are a huge hurdle for open source software in the USA. VLC, for example, is based in France so there's no fear of patent infringement (software patents don't exist over there). Firefox/Mozilla is based in the USA, so anything that they distribute must be legal. Including H.264 would cost Mozilla $5,000,000 per year, content creators would still have to pay license fees (eventually) for H.264-encoded content, and any and all forks/related projects of Firefox would not be able to include H.264 without breaking the law (unless they're based where software patents don't exist).

Mozilla supports WebM/Theora/Vorbis not for technical reasons; it supports them for ideological and economic reasons. I completely agree with their decision and I hope that software patents are abolished in the USA as well someday so we can get H.264 playback... :/

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442610)

Oh yeah, and Firefox is the only browser that doesn't support H.264 even if it's installed in the system. How am I supposed to watch those HTML5 H.264 videos?

H.264-supporting browsers:

  • Safari
  • IE9 RC

Non-supporting browsers:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Opera
  • IE8

Hmm... looks like 4 to your 1.5.

Re:UI is still sluggish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442672)

It looks like they made Firefox look exactly like Chrome.

Actually they made it look exactly like Opera .... Look at Opera 11 and FF4 and they are nearly identical ... apart from Opera puts the Home button on the left of the nav bar and FF puts it on the right

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443854)

The RC certainly starts up a lot quicker than the latest 3.x release, which was so slow it was actually comical (the other day my boss and I stood and laughed while we waited the ~30 s for Firefox to start up).

Re:UI is still sluggish (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443996)

Chrome and Opera don't have H.264 either by default. On Windows Microsoft allows you to install something which makes Firefox have H.264 (Windows includes a license for H.264 supposedly, but Microsoft is part of that 'band of brothers' anyway).

FF 4 is nice so far (3, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35441996)

I have to say that so far I'm very impressed. Once I'd moved the tabs and buttons back to where I like them it was great. Memory usage is much better and the speed compared to 3.x is incredible. Sync is nice as you can run your own server.

I prefer the old buttons and liked having a status bar but i'm sure somebody will create add-ons to fix that.

Re:FF 4 is nice so far (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442350)

the speed compared to 3.x is incredible

I tried FF4 and the sites are loading as fast as in FF3. What have you done so that you can browse the web faster?

Re:FF 4 is nice so far (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442806)

Some sites I visit often took a few seconds to create menus and are almost instant now. Its probably more to do with JavaScript speed though.

Re:FF 4 is nice so far (1)

ppz003 (797487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442486)

In the last beta, they put the same text you would get hovering over a link in a popup that appears in the same position as the old status bar. Aside from some addons that resided in the status bar (now called addon bar), I've been happy with the recent change. Trying to put that text in the location bar just didn't work, and they fixed it.

Re:FF 4 is nice so far (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442950)

FF4 on linux, using the .mozilla folder setting directly from iceweasel 3.5 recognized history, cookies, flash, noscript and video downloadhelper extensions, shows the statusbar at the right place and keeps the custom UI font. The only thing I'm waiting for is... er... the red cats theme.

I hope the UI changes made on windows will be easily reversible on all platforms.

And it hasn't crashed by browsing slashdot which is likely a good test...

Re:FF 4 is nice so far (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443726)

Memory usage is much better and the speed compared to 3.x is incredible.

Oh hell yes. It's become downright usable... average memory usage has dropped from 800MB to 450MB... I'm ecstatic. :)

Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442020)

if you want all you extensions to work. Half of them will be disabled in the new version because their authors haven't had time to release a version that this particular version of FF4 will accept. I suggest waiting until FF4 becomes mainstream if you want the transition to be seamless.

If you don't care that much about extensions however, go right ahead: FF4 is *great*: it's quick and less memory hungry, if nothing else. I've been loving it since it came out.

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442076)

Adblock has worked for at least the past 3 betas, and that's the one I care about.

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (4, Informative)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442084)

Power users -really- use FF -without- disabling compatibility checking? Amazing.
I've been using FF4 nightlies with "incompatible" add-ons for over a year, now... Most work fine, occasionally something wont, but that's usually fixed by getting a beta from the addon author's site.

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442648)

Unless that addon is vimperator.

Damn you, vimperator.

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

BSG_72 (446556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442808)

Check out Pentadactyl [sourceforge.net] a fork of vimperator by several of the developers. I currently am using it on 4.0RC1. Additionally, the nightly builds of vimperator have been working reasonably well on the 4.0 betas; I assume they would work well on the RC, too, but I haven't tried yet.

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442384)

I use Adblock Plus, Download Statusbar, FireFTP, Greasemonkey, and Torbutton. The only one that didn't work when I installed the beta this morning was Torbutton (which I rarely need anyway).

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442512)

I switched when the beta 10 was released. Most of my extensions worked right away, especially the vital ones (Adblock Plus, NoScript). For some, like Firebug or FEBE, I had to switch to the dev/beta version. The only thing I really missed was Extended Statusbar, but it just took some time. And I found a better cookie extension (Cookie Monster), because I didn't want to wait for an update for my old one (Cookie Culler).

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442520)

This is a really weird thing, to me. It happens *every* major version of Firefox release, too, and usually results in some addons being abandoned and replaced by one that supports the new version. I'm an addon developer and my extension has had support since the betas were available to set as a version in addons.mozilla.org. There's been plenty of time, and I doubt they've been breaking addons *that* often.

Re:Now is the time *not* to try Firefox 4 (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443756)

Tab Mix Plus works, NoScript works, ABP works, Grab and Drag works, Fox to Phone works... all without turning off compatibility checks. I'd say they're doing pretty well...

Ditto Mozilla SeaMonkey 2.1 (3, Informative)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442032)

RC is scheduled for later this month.
(But of course there won't be a / vertisement for it.) SeaMonkey 2.1 final will be based on Gecko 2.0.1

Re:Ditto Mozilla SeaMonkey 2.1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442296)

RC is scheduled for later this month.
(But of course there won't be a / vertisement for it.)

Scandalous! Maybe Mozilla should call for the European Union to investigate this evil monopolistic conspiracy between Slashdot and whatever shadowy company is behind the Firefox browser.

Re:Ditto Mozilla SeaMonkey 2.1 (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442600)

It's like having Firefox but without all the shitty UI changes!

Performance Much Better (1)

mangusman (778529) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442064)

There's no question that the performance has increased and pages are rendered much quicker, but it does come at a cost. Memory consumption and memory leaks are STILL a problem. Having said that, Chrome's memory usage isn't much better, and neither is IEs.

Re:Performance Much Better (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442176)

Actually, Chrome uses more memory than Firefox with both just one tab and several tabs.

Re:Performance Much Better (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442608)

Actually, Chrome uses more memory than Firefox with both just one tab and several tabs.

How do you quantify that it "uses" more. Most browsers look at how much memory you have and then reserve a chunk of it to optimize their performance. e.g. longer session history, uncompressed image bitmaps, memory cache, cached JS code, larger heap for JS etc. Stuff that saves time if a user reloads a page or whatever. Just because a browser appears to use more memory doesn't mean it is hurting the system. Most browsers have special memory pressure monitors which will flush out this stuff and adjust downwards if real memory gets tight.

FF4 vs. Chrome... Use both (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442094)

I've been using FF4 since about beta 7. I really hope they got the stability issues fixed, especially with Tab Candy, which has been quite glitchy for me during the betas.

Chrome still *feels* snappier, but the JavaScript tests I performed showed them about equal for the most part.

Chrome's WebGL is faster, but glitchier (re-draw issues with non-webgl components on the screen?).

Either way, it's an awesome product. I use FF4 and Chrome daily, so it's not like I am "choosing" one or the other. Both are stellar products.

And ultimately, I feel more comfortable with FF4, because it's not produced by an advertising company.

Re:FF4 vs. Chrome... Use both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442424)

I have been using the nightlies for a while amd I am really happy with it. I am dumping chrome for good now, it is unstable enough to make any speed gains not worth it.

Feature Bloat (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442146)

I've been using FF4 since one of the earlier betas (I think beta 4?) and so I've seen the new features as it comes in. Is it me or does a lot of the new features, especially the UI features seem completely unnecessary? I've only used app-tabs maybe once and Panorama twice just to see what they do, and after that, I completely disregarded them. I haven't used Sync at all. Is this experience common with other Firefox power users? Or am I just being a bit of a Luddite in not using them?

Re:Feature Bloat (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442190)

welcome to the world of software development. lots of features only a small subset of users use. i dont follow firefox but i thoughts thats why they were trying to move everything to extensions.

Re:Feature Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442216)

If these new features where setup as default enabled extensions I think everyone would be happy, those who don't need or want them can disable/remove, and those who like them can keep them.

Re:Feature Bloat (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442242)

For that matter, Firefox 2.x was just about as feature complete as you'd want a browser to be. All they really needed to do was fix the memory issues and keep the rendering engine up to date, but I guess we can't have nice things.

Re:Feature Bloat (4, Interesting)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442312)

Firefox suffers from its constant desire to meet or beat Chrome and the gajillion UI features Google throws into the browser every other day. It's too bad, really, because it's gone way off-mission. I'll still use it over Chrome, any day (because I don't trust a company that makes its money by tracking my web movements and my web browsing habits to keep its mitts off of my web movements and browsing habits), but I don't recommend Firefox as enthusiastically as I used to back in the day.

Re:Feature Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442470)

I realy don't like the sync feature since they're spying on what you think is interesting and have bookmarked. Chrome also seems to have it now with their latest releases. Why that feature is imposed on us is obvious. It should be included in the form of plugins.

Imo, firefox 4 now looks more like IE 9 than chrome, all with the normal menus neatly tucked away in a place so safe you'd need a map to find them at a later date.

I just downloaded it on a linux x64 box, unzipped and double-clicked on the run-mozilla.sh. Nothihng hapened. Next..

Re:Feature Bloat (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443856)

I realy don't like the sync feature since they're spying on what you think is interesting and have bookmarked.

This is Mozilla, not Google.

Synced data is encrypted and you can use your own server if you want.

Re:Feature Bloat (2)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442550)

To be fair, there are a lot of things that could be considered "feature bloat" in a browser. The download manager, bookmarks, heck, even tabs could be bloat depending on how you look at it. Tab Groups was included because Firefox knows that it has a large share of power users as well as normal users. For those people with hundreds of tabs, Tab Groups are a godsend. For those who rarely go over 5, simply don't use it. While you might say that this is better as an add-on than a default feature (and to a point I agree with you), the reason they included it is so that Add-ons can integrate themselves with the feature. Providing information at a glance, adding their own buttons to it, and things like that. In fact, if you get the Read It Later [readitlaterlist.com] extension and open Tab Groups, you'll see a place where you can simply drag-and-drop websites so they'll be added to a "read it later" list. I for one think that's a very useful feature; whether or not you do is completely relative ;)

Re:Feature Bloat (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442554)

Panorama might be useful if you have 23237234 tabs open, otherwise yes, it's just a waste of time and space that belongs in an extension rather than bloating Firefox. App-tabs are dumb because websites aren't designed like that, when you open another site from that site the metaphor breaks. It's the reason why Jolicloud Linux is dumb. (Including netbook fixes is good; the HTML5 launcher is 'tarded.) I don't use Sync at all and before I didn't use an extension which handles Sync.

On the other hand, I am running Firefox 4 because it provides acceleration even on Linux so long as you have nVidia, which I do. It seems both Intel and ATI's path to OpenGL is total shit.

Re:Feature Bloat (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443704)

I happen to like app tabs. The name sucks, but the functionality of putting commonly used tabs off to the side with only their icon cleans up some space on the tab bar. It's best if you don't think of it as an app tab, but a "stored" tab.

Re:Feature Bloat (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442736)

I've been using FF4 since one of the earlier betas (I think beta 4?) and so I've seen the new features as it comes in. Is it me or does a lot of the new features, especially the UI features seem completely unnecessary? I've only used app-tabs maybe once and Panorama twice just to see what they do, and after that, I completely disregarded them. I haven't used Sync at all. Is this experience common with other Firefox power users? Or am I just being a bit of a Luddite in not using them?

Panorama is utterly useless in its current form and (a worse sin) is the source of many of the bugs delaying FF4.0. It should have gotten the chop. Perhaps if groups were remembered or something it might have some purpose. Perhaps if the "Group your tabs" was some kind of funky springloaded popup making it natural and easy to flip between groups or arrange them. But expecting people to arrange groups of tabs and see that all disappear when the browser closes is just a waste of time.

App tabs are useful for saving space, but again they're not persistent. Why can't I pin an app tab to my browser and have it there when I next open it? Why does clicking the Home button not take me back to the first url the app tab is associated with? Why can't I edit a bookmark and say it's an "application" url, so that opening it in a new tab does so as an App tab. Again, it needs some work.

Despite these issues FF4.0 overall is a huge improvement. The layout is hugely more efficient on small displays (e.g. netbooks) and the UI feels a lot more responsive. Beta issues such as the incredible disappearing status bar have been adequately resolved. Some of the HTML5 demos are awesome. I'd have no hesitation recommending it.

Re:Feature Bloat (1)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444044)

As soon as I started using FF4 at the last beta (12), I started using all of those features. I keep GMail and Google Calendar in app-tabs, I love sync because I have Firefox instances in many VMs and on many machines, and the Panorama tool (which I thought would be gimmicky before I actually tried it) turns out to be very useful. I am happy with such "Feature Bloat" - what the hell to I have 4 gigs of RAM for anyways?

Old news is old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442170)

RC1 has been out for a week now

Re:Old news is old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442198)

and yet they 'forgot' to publish teh news on mozilla's hp until today?

Re:Old news is old (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442578)

RC1 has been out for a week now

Correction: the first test build of RC1 has been out for a week now. They had to test it and make sure it was good enough for the official RC release, which is a huge deal considering the time and effort put into this release (3.6 was released in January 2010).

Tabs! (2, Interesting)

bulletman (254401) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442222)

Please let new tabs open alongside the current tab! With a bunch of tabs, it makes navigation between the parent and child tab so much easier.

Re:Tabs! (1)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442332)

I'm a little confused about placing tabs at the top of window above the address bar. They say it gives the tabs top visual priority, but it seems the opposite to me. If you are browsing webpages amongst different tabs, then surely placing the tabs at the bottom is better since that reduces the distance between the tabs and the content on the page. Plus, tabs at the bottom reduces visual interference from a largely irrelevant address bar. I'm hoping this will be customisable, but putting it at the top of the page as a major feature seems daft.

Re:Tabs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444018)

Even Opera got this wrong in the new release. Usability guidance is to put related content close together, so tabs should be close to the viewport (where the web page is displayed). Intervening objects must only be items that are more closely related to content of the web page. The address bar could be argued to be more closely related, except that it is frequently used for navigation to new content, so as a navigation object it should be further away from the viewport.

Re:Tabs! (3, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442646)

Did they change it again? In 3.x, browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent is true by default.

I DON'T GET IT !! WHERE'S THE APPLE TIE-IN ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442284)

Steve Jobs is going to make your life a living hell NOW !!

Even worse than before !!

millions departing planet, no transportation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442450)

murdered? up in flames? under water? starved?

most of the remainder of the innocents will be escorted appropriately. sheesh. all of their spirits dead/re-claimed, are thinking of us, & willing to help. never a better time? try to get a handle on that; how many dead babys is ok? notion. thanks

It's been a while... (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442570)

It's been a while since I've used Firefox (I believe I stopped using it just as version 3 was either being finish or just released-- switched to Opera and then Opera/Chrome).

I've gotta say, the RC isn't bad. I hate that they've completely gone the Chrome route with the UI, though (although Opera did about the same thing). If some of my plugins (Logmein in particular) worked on it, I'd probably even keep using it (as it is, Logmein only works well with Internet Explorer and stable builds of FF).

Have they fixed the fonts looking blurry? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442616)

Have they fixed the fonts looking horribly blurry? Wait, actually, I can check this.
 
...wow, the download is slow...
 
...Nope.

In the previous thread someone managed to blame Microsoft for the fact that Firefox 4 fonts look like blurry crap on Windows 7, but honestly, I don't care whose "fault" it is, as long as Mozilla recognizes that it's an issue and works to fix it.

Someone also said you could fix it by disabling hardware acceleration, sadly, THIS NO LONGER WORKS. Instead Firefox 4 uses the same crappy font renderer no matter what mode you set it to.

Making the new Firefox 4 essentially a harder to read, less stable, more memory intensive version of Chrome. Oh well.

Re:Have they fixed the fonts looking blurry? (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442724)

I'm actually curious as to what you mean by the fonts looking blurry? They look the same to me as in any other application...

Re:Have they fixed the fonts looking blurry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35442934)

Are you using Windows 7? It's an issue specific to Windows 7 (and Vista, I think), that has to do with the new hardware accelerated rendering engine (apparently). Which means it might also be video-card specific.

But you should easily be able to see the difference by comparing a web page opened in Firefox 4 with one in Firefox 3.6. Firefox 3.6 will use sub-pixel rendering and look nice and crisp, Firefox 4 will use some weird antialiasing algorithm that just makes the fonts a blur. (The letter "I", for example, becomes double-wide and half as dark - a well-known problem with unhinted antialiasing.)

At first I thought I was just going blind, but other people have pointed out the same flaw. It's there, it's real, and apparently, Mozilla blames Microsoft.

Again: it only happens under Windows 7/Vista, so if you're using any other OS and don't see it, that's why. If you are using Windows 7/Vista and don't see it, then I guess you're just lucky. I don't know the specifics of what causes it, just that it's new as of Firefox 4.

Will they just release this thing already? (2)

QCompson (675963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442652)

It's probably due to the over-saturated coverage on slashdot, but I feel like FF4 has almost been released for the past year now.

Re:Will they just release this thing already? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443926)

Yeah, my first thought was "1? I thought they were up to 10."

Then, oh, right, we've moved from beta to RC. For pete's sake, I'm going to wait for the actual release because the existing browser works well enough and I don't want to be a bug-tester. Do I have to hear about each and every point-point-point release?

It is still only a RC (1)

Jrvarsity (1698324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442730)

For bragging about the speed of the browser so much, I did a few loads with Firefox 3.6 and 4RC1 and my home page opened quite a bit faster with version 3.6, in fact almost twice as fast! Although I must say, I do like the new look, very similar to Chrome (like many have stated).
 
I think I'll hold out for the actual release of 4.

Does bookmark sync *really* work? (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442790)

The sync plug-in for FF 3.6* makes a mess of my bookmarks. I use several computers at home and at work. Screwing up my data is NOT an option.

Can anyone report whether the bookmark sync is robust in the 4 RC? I like the idea of the feature, but Xmarks does it better.

Re:Does bookmark sync *really* work? (3, Informative)

greeze (985712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442904)

No, it's crap. I love Firefox 4, but bookmark sync is pretty friggin' awful. I've lost entire folders full of bookmarks, which wouldn't be a problem if there was a way to roll back to previous versions. There isn't. Once they're gone, they're gone. Luckily I still had my Foxmarks account and was able to bring back most of what I'd lost. Until there's a way to view your sync'd data in a secure online account, and to roll back to previous versions, I suggest you stay far far away from Firefox Sync if you value your data.

Re:Does bookmark sync *really* work? (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443810)

By now I am completely happy with it. Running nightlies and playing with Labs projects for the past few years I got burned quite a few times when the developers changed vital parts of the sync protocol or the way encryption is handled, but since the last big change a while ago when they stabilised the feature for the last betas I did not experience any issues. Syncing between four installations on two dual-boot machines (each Windows and Ubuntu) works like a charm.

Upgrading Concerns (1)

ozone702 (1243146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35442926)

Does anyone know if Firefox will support upgrading from the previous version, including all add ons, extensions, plug ins, etc. that are available in the new version?

I miss "I'm feeling lucky" feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35443496)

I want that back!!
If only because it always gave me another way to score bragging rights over Chrome users

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