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Firefox 3 In Alpha

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the Gran-Paradiso dept.

Mozilla 366

illeism writes to note that, a mere six weeks after the launch of Firefox 2, Firefox 3 is now available in alpha. CNet reports that it is currently recommended only for software developers and testers. The big change is the upgraded Gecko rendering engine (the UI is unchanged from version 2). From the CNet article: "Firefox 3 will include some significant changes. It uses version 1.9 of the Gecko rendering engine — which itself hasn't been released yet but which includes the Cairo graphics layer. Gecko 1.9 has been in development since before the release of Firefox 2, and it provides vector-based rendering on all platforms. As the Gecko 1.9 road map explains, Cairo will 'bring modern, hardware-accelerated 2D-graphics capabilities to the whole of the Web without requiring proprietary plug-ins or rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.'"

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It's not really a Firefox alpha (5, Informative)

davidmcg (796487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221562)

It's more of an alpha of Gecko [browserden.co.uk] than of Firefox. There's no front end changes in this release, all the changes are to the backend which are shared with all Gecko browsers (Camino, Seamonkey and other Gecko apps like Thunderbird).

Development has been going on the trunk since the Gecko 1.8 was branched (sometime in 2005) - Gecko 1.8 was the basis of Firefox 2 and 1.5. So there's a lot of backend work been going on that's not been tested by a wider audience. While lots of frontend changes were made on the branch for Firefox 2, most of the backend work was restricted to the trunk.

Future alphas and betas will have more UI changes in them so can more accurately be called Firefox alphas.

Re:It's not really a Firefox alpha (3, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221752)

This is more than ie7 was, ie7 was a frontend change with only a handful of bugfixes in the backend, and even the top 10 list of worst bugs was not fully fixed.

Re:It's not really a Firefox alpha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222028)

haha lol u r 1 faggot troll haha

Re:It's not really a Firefox alpha (3, Informative)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222390)

OK, the fact that all the "new" features in IE7 were implemented in the front end was news to me, thanks for the info. However would it not be better to argue how this release fits in the generally accepted definition of an alpha release http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release [wikipedia.org] rather than flogging a dead horse, just because it happened to be in the same field?

Re:It's not really a Firefox alpha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222142)

There's at least 5 Slashdot headlines in what you just posted - keep up, editors! I can't wait for the day that there's an RSS feed from Firefox's CVS log on the main page.

will not run.. (2, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221564)

> this release will not run on Windows 95, 98, or ME, or OS X 10.2 or earlier.

That's nothing. IE7 doesn't even work on Windows 2000!

Re:will not run.. (1, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221954)

When you boil it right down, anyone using one of the older versions of Windows (and I count 2000 in this, as MS doesn't support it anymore) is going to have to face up to the fact that technology advances, software changes, and no matter how much they love their old machine/OS, they're going to get left behind. Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

Re:will not run.. (4, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222068)

> face up to the fact that technology advances, software changes, and no matter how much they love their old machine/OS, they're going
> to get left behind.

I don't love my old OS, but I have to use it (sometimes) at work because it's the OS that deployed apps use. No point in retesting huge apps on different OS's just to get a new browser. It doesn't bother me - I now use Firefox on those machines anyway. It seems a little odd, though. Aren't browsers just displaying text and graphics, and running scripts? (I don't include plugins such as Flash and Qtime as the run as seperate executable code invoked by the browser).

> Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

Hmm. You could also write "Pointlessly adopting new technology leads to the need for frequent bug fixes and faster CPUs".

Re:will not run.. (2, Insightful)

wwwojtek (246402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222426)

Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

It depends on the stage of development. Knowing that you'll have to maintain backward compatibility leads to forward thinking - you have to design in a way that makes it feasible

Re:will not run.. (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222552)

But why do you have to maintain backward compatibility? Maybe for something like Word this is desirable, as you'd like to be able to open old Word documents with a new version and edit them. But a browser is just rendering text and pictures, and if there's a better way to do it that your machine doesn't support, then that's just too bad.

Backwards compatibility is a crutch -- it keeps users chained to old formats and bogs down code with all sorts of exceptions that have to be programmed in to allow older things to keep working. I say: make sure you build in the functionality to convert old data to new and go from there -- stop dragging around old code. I suspect backwards compatibility leads to a lot of the bugs and holes you see in products like Word, Outlook, etc.

Re:will not run.. (3, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222638)

Shame really, 2000 is a decent OS (and I'm still going to have it around for a bit.)

But I guess it's time to start getting on the horse with Linux, because it's also the last MS OS I'll be using.

Re:will not run.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222648)

You say that like it's a BAD thing.

it's not. from any point of view but wannabe webmasters.

Too bad (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221570)

Because of the new Gecko code, this release will not run on Windows 95, 98, or ME, or OS X 10.2 or earlier.

One of the great strengths of OSS compared to proprietary software is the ability to make use of older hardware. Not so with this new release of Firefox. But then it's the same with other "heavyweights" like KDE, so I guess there's a trend there. That's too bad...

Re:Too bad (5, Informative)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221602)

It's because cairo is not compatible with win9x they decided that it wasn't worth the effort to support this platform any more (they still support Win2k - they only dropped support because supporting win9x was holding them back). If anyone is able to contibute coding skills to make it work they have no problem accepting it. It's a technical rather than a political decision.

Re:Too bad (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222482)

But something tells me that after Firefox 3 is released, they will no longer be doing security updates for Firefox 2. That'll be annoying to anyone still running win9x.

Re:Too bad (1)

smallguy78 (775828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222558)

Who seriously still uses Windows 98? Especially the type of people using Firefox - they aren't the kind of people still using Windows 98. Win98 was/is a billious bag of poop and even Microsoft have admitted it (not in those exact words). It doesn't deserve support, spit spit spit

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222526)

I just hope someone will keep patches on Firefox 2 going for a while.

Or... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222624)

...economical decision, which is the reason why MS stopped supporting Win98. Or perhaps a decision based on a sane choice: why support an OS with a browser that tries to be as secure as possible, while at the same time knowing the OS you're targeting is unsupported and thus prone to severe compromise ? What good would that do other than perhaps put the browser in a bad light of day ? Though I must add that is a bit of a political reason :)

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

makapuf (412290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221642)

Why ? To each program its own target.
KDE has never been "for older hardware". However, perfectly nice & actively developed Desktop Environment exist for older hw (xfce by ex.).
Same here, OpenSource is about making use of older codebase, so nothing prevents anybody to patch FF2.x !

Re:Too bad (5, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221740)

Yes, I guess you're right. There was a time when OSS software was the solution of choice for those who didn't want to throw away semi-obsolete hardware in working order to dance the Microsoft forced upgrading dance. I suppose this means OSS solutions have gained enough traction and have become credible enough that they justify requiring newer hardware to run them, which is good.

I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.

But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date. I'm sure the FF/Gecko guys have perfectly good technical reasons to leave the old platform behind, but in a sense I hope someone will fork off a Win9x tree of FF and keep developing it, otherwise it would mean OSS is no better than Microsoft with regard to software obsolescence.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221886)

otherwise it would mean OSS is no better than Microsoft with regard to software obsolescence.

Well, no, it would mean that firefox developers are no better than microsoft's developers. There are still plenty of OSS applications that don't require a 2GHz processor and all the latest whizbang.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222016)

Yes, I guess you're right. There was a time when OSS software was the solution of choice for those who didn't want to throw away semi-obsolete hardware in working order to dance the Microsoft forced upgrading dance. I suppose this means OSS solutions have gained enough traction and have become credible enough that they justify requiring newer hardware to run them, which is good.
 
I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.
 
But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date. I'm sure the FF/Gecko guys have perfectly good technical reasons to leave the old platform behind, but in a sense I hope someone will fork off a Win9x tree of FF and keep developing it, otherwise it would mean OSS is no better than Microsoft with regard to software obsolescence.
 
So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes? 2 more years? 5? 10? 20? Until there aren't any more Win9x users? But if all of the Win9x users have their OSS software continue to support Win9x, what incentive do they have to upgrade? They obviously don't care about bugs or viruses if they're still using Win9x software after all these years.

Re:Too bad (2, Informative)

crazyjimmy (927974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222564)

So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes? 2 more years? 5? 10? 20? Until there aren't any more Win9x users? But if all of the Win9x users have their OSS software continue to support Win9x, what incentive do they have to upgrade? They obviously don't care about bugs or viruses if they're still using Win9x software after all these years.


How do you reach that conclusion? Win9x isn't any more virus prone than WinXP (in fact, you could argue it is less so since it's no longer the main target). As far as bugs, it has it's share, but again, so does WinXP (I just did an fresh install of XP on my wife's computer that didn't take, and is causing all sorts of minor headaches like disabling the sound server every-other time the comp is started).

What 9x has that XP does not is full Dos support. No biggie if you only want to do the latest of the late, but some members of my family have been buying and using software for decades, and would rather keep using what they know and understand rather than buying the latest, less-useful bit.

Geez, stop being a software bigot :D :D

--Jimmy

Re:Too bad (2, Informative)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222622)

So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes? 2 more years? 5? 10? 20? Until there aren't any more Win9x users? But if all of the Win9x users have their OSS software continue to support Win9x, what incentive do they have to upgrade? They obviously don't care about bugs or viruses if they're still using Win9x software after all these years.

Until there's a good technical reason not too? It's not your responsibility to give people incentives to upgrade. In a lot of cases it makes more sense to continue using an already working system than to upgrade for upgrading's sake. And if viruses were a concern, they wouldn't be using any version Windows.

As another poster said, there's a good technical reason for Firefox no longer supporting older Windows. But when there's not, with a little care while programming, software for Win XP will usually run on Windows 9x without modification, so why not support it?

Re:Too bad (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222080)

I suppose this means OSS solutions have gained enough traction and have become credible enough that they justify requiring newer hardware to run them, which is good.

Granted. The lowest specs I'd bother installing Win2k on are a 500mhz P3 w/ at least 128mb ram. This is hardly cutting edge. Grandma's 486 DX2-66 running Win95 (oh the pain . . .) is both a.) miraculous its power supply hasn't failed or a cap busted on the mobo and b.) probably much better off running Damn Small Linux anyway.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222130)

I take this as you haven't actually tried using KDE on older hardware. It's actually usable if you have at least 128 MB ram, which isn't exactly even yesterday's standard. Granted it'll be a somewhat limited experience - forget about 50 tabs in konqueror, amarok etc - but it's still usable.

Some will at this point say that XP and windows 2000 are probably better matches, but comparing the latest of kde to 5-6 years old systems is hardly fair.. Also, if you stick to pure kde applications the code reuse really helps keeping resource usage down.

Hosed? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222156)

if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.


Hosed how? If you know of any other environment where I can run a collab suite, an office suite and as many instances of Web browser as my work requires at any given time for a smaller footprint than that of KDE [kde.org] , please kindly let me know. My machine here at work is an old piece of slow crap and KDE is the only environment thus far than has coped with my workload on that aging chunk of hardware. :/

Re:Too bad (2, Insightful)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222268)

But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date.

If lots of people run Firefox on old PCs, there will be lots of people to develop patches for Fx 2.x.

It works the same as any open source project. The more common the scenario of your use of the project, the more likely lots of other people will be working on it.

In other words, you have nothing to worry about if in fact lots of people run Fx 2.x on old PCs.

Re:Too bad (1)

acgrissom (1002693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222472)

Maybe. I'm not sure, though. Firefox, unlike IE, is not bent in encouraging web developers to use the next big thing, with regard to web features. Firefox, along with Opera, as well as a handful of other browsers, have certainly filled a voice for older operating system users who want to access the Internet with support for the latest standards. Opera, after all, is still supported on OS/2 Warp. I think that, by the time Windows 95/98's versions of the browsers become completely obsolete, it won't matter, because almost no one will be using that software anymore, except, perhaps, for a couple of people who still have a useful word processor. One might even argue that, with the preponderance of more varied web browsers and devices with which to access the Internet, things will become more standardized and compatible, so that it won't matter so much. The Wii, DS, PSP, cell phones, PDA's, etc., all tend to have varied web browsers with unequal capabilities. If a web site wants to reach the largest possible audience, perhaps it will forgo technology X and simply provide the service. For the past few years, in any case, Flash has been the differentiator in this regard, as well as some other technologies such as CSS. Even newer technologies, such as JavaServer Faces and the like offer the benefit of a backend renderer into HTML. Likewise with other OpenSource software: At least it gives us something, and there is always the possibility that someone should will it to an older platform, should the demand aris.

Re:Too bad (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222626)

I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.

You are also hosed if you want to run Quake3 on a 486, but I don't see the problem.

Are you arguing that software should never take advantage of available hardware for fear that someone out there may not be able to run it? To me the beauty of open source is that there IS software out to run on pretty much anything. You can still use an Sun Ultra1 as a decent workstation as long as you do not have illusions of running openoffice, mozilla, and xgl 3d window managers on it at lightening speed. Open source has given us alternatives such as abiword, dillo, and the like for those cases.

But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date.

These people are running an 11, 8, or 6 year old OS, all of which have been out of date, unsupported, and full of unpatched bugs and vulnerabilities for a long time now. Why on earth would having the absolute latest browser be a concern?

I hope someone will fork off a Win9x tree of FF and keep developing it, otherwise it would mean OSS is no better than Microsoft with regard to software obsolescence.

If it is needed badly enough, I am sure someone will. However the OSS community did not make the decision to make Win9x obsolete and change the existing versions of windows in such a way that they are incompatible (from a development perspective), Microsoft did.

Finkployd

Re:Too bad (3, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222634)

I have a feeling that the 2.x.x branch of Firefox will live on for a very long time, and will continue having bugfix and security updates. If you're running Win98, it will certainly not be the weak point in your system in terms of security or stability! My point is that if by your standards you consider Win98 good enough to use, there will always be a version of Firefox that far exceeds your standards. And I mean, by many miles.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

MountainMan101 (714389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221688)

One of the great strengths of OSS compared to proprietary software is the ability to make use of older hardware.

This doesn't happen automagically when you license something by GPL (or similar). It takes work. The strength of OSS is that no one is stopping you from making it work on older hardware. All the code for older firefox versions, and the code for gecko 1.9 is available. Just because Mozilla team is dropping support doesn't mean they won't add patches to fix this if someone else does it. Now compare that with say Windows Vista - you have no way of patching that to run on an old 386.

Moral of the story... don't be so quick to bitch about stuff.

Re:Too bad (1)

Vardamir (266484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221930)

Of course, this problem has nothing to do with older hardware.

On a slightly related note, I'd like to know why Java 1.5 doesn't run on the ancient and outdated platform that is OS X 10.3...

Re:Too bad (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222434)

Apple want you to pay $99.

Re:Too bad (-1, Redundant)

KodeSlut (890122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221784)

Yes,
but will it run linux?

-sorry, just had to say that!-

Re:Too bad (0, Offtopic)

KodeSlut (890122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221858)

ok

i need to protest the redundant comment.
i know it is an oft over used line, with no hurmor value, but i did check before i posted and i saw no linux comment in this article.
or is the linux comment now just redundant by default?

Re:Too bad (2, Informative)

mwaggs_jd (887826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222502)

I didn't see anything about FF3 not running on older hardware, only older OS's. I have a laptop that shipped with Win98 on it, and it will run FF3 with no problem I am sure, since it is now running a very modern version of Linux. If you want FF3 and you are running ME, just drink the koolaid and install Linux.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221828)

While I understand your gripe, let me introduce you to Firefox 2.0. It was just released, and likely going to be around for a long enough time to outlast your computer with the P200 chip w/MMX technology that still has windows 98 installed.

Re:Too bad (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221830)

Well, Win2K will run quite nicely on a Pentium 166 with 64MB of RAM, so this point is moot.

I don't know about you, but I'd be embarassed to even be running that, let alone something older. You'd have to be running a 486 to be incompatible with Firefox at this stage of the game, and even then, Linux will still feel right at home, and - again - run Firefox.

So what's the problem?

Re:Too bad (1)

OfficeSubmarine (1031930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221938)

It's evidence of both strength and weakness. While perhaps unfortunate to see those platforms droppeed, any number of developers would be happy to keep things working if the community was willing to actually pay them for their work. I don't know if the end users can really claim any right to complain unless they're willing to put their money where their mouth is. Heck, I'd be happy to get it running on windows 95 if there were enough people willing to pay me enough to live on something other than raman noodles while I do it.

Re:Too bad (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221968)

Another one of the great strengths of OSS is that if there's enough of a demand for something, people can work on it without any legal worries. This is discouraged in businesses that concentrate on maximizing profits.

Re:Too bad (1)

orra (1039354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222110)

One of the great strengths of OSS compared to proprietary software is the ability to make use of older hardware. Not so with this new release of Firefox.
No, one of the greatest strengths of free software compared to proprietary software is that it's free. Why should running on proprietary platforms, let alone obsolete ones, be a priority of a free software project?

Re:Too bad (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222186)

You mean, older "software", right? Because Win 98, ME, and OSX are not exactly hardware, per se.

In any case, it's probably not a big deal except for the Mac folks. If I were still running OSX 10.2 or earlier, and didn't want to upgrade, I'd probably be a little irate. Other than that, as far as the MS operating systems go, those aren't even supported by Microsoft in any kind of real capacity any longer...and ME just plain sucks. If you're using it and somehow manage to be productive, congrats. But just to let you know, if you bought it, you probably WERE ripped off.

If you DID mean hardware, then yes, I do understand that upgrading your graphics card does kind of suck. However, vector based rendering is definitely worth paying literally a few bucks for a card that supports decent 2D rendering...though if you're running OSX, Win32, KDE, or Gnome, if you don't have a decent 2D card, I'd wonder why exactly you want a state of the art web browser on your file server. ;)

Re:Too bad (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222286)

They didn't say it wouldn't run on older hardware, they said it wouldn't run on older versions of some operating systems. Big difference.

Re:Too bad (1)

pokemonkiller (1039364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222396)

I think you are missing the fact that this is an Alpha. The actual shipping product will likely not be out until 2008! By then we will have had Vista out for over a year, and we will likely be looking at at least one additional versioning of OSX.

Re:Too bad (1)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222538)

I agree that it would it be a good idea to keep full support across the windows platforms but i also concede that for innovation's sake you have to march forward. Maintaining backward compatibility is great but don't sacrifice innovation to maintain it. There's plenty of ammo for both sides of the argument but that's my position.

No Acid 2 YET (1)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221586)

Heard that the new Gecko engine passed [cybernetnews.com] Acid2, but seems like the patch wasn't included in this build.

Re:No Acid 2 YET (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221660)

It will in alpha 2.

Re:No Acid 2 YET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221750)

Alpha releases != Trunk releases

gecko 1.9 (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221596)

"without [..] rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.'" Maybe not, but it sounds like it will render obsolete most computers developed before the past 5 years. Nothing before Windows 2000 is compatible with the new version of Gecko? It sounds like something is wrong with that.

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221670)

Old computers can run Linux. So they can run FireFox 3.

Re:gecko 1.9 (-1, Offtopic)

oedneil (871555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221710)

Come on, you and I both know that's not a realistic solution right now.

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221678)

There'll still be firefox 2 which will have updates a while after 3.0 is released. That's still a major improvement over IE6 which is their only option.

Re:gecko 1.9 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221746)

>> It sounds like something is wrong with that.
Yes. What's wrong is having users who still scream for compatibility with their old OS. XP was out in 2001. Win2000 was out in '99. That's 7 years. I really doubt much software when Win2000 was RTMd was still compatible with Windows 3.0 of 1992...
For how many years should we cripple innovation in open source projects just to support DOS 3.3 on 286 ?

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221758)

I think your time scale is a bit off, winXP itself is 5 years old, and ff 3 still runs on win2k as you said...

Re:gecko 1.9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221940)

They can install Linux, for free, if they want to run the latest Gecko. We don't need to support old proprietary software, so stop slinging FUD.

Re:gecko 1.9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222012)

What happened to the point releases, like 2.1, 2.2, etc.? Why have developers gone away from that? Was it due to marketing types who wanted "clean" #'s to show that something was actually revoluationary in that release?

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

paskie (539112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222166)

If you want it, patch it or pay someone to patch it for you.

That's the choice you get with opensource.

Re:gecko 1.9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222204)

It doesn't render the computer obsolete, just the OS. When it finally comes out, you should be able to install the new Firefox on a current Linux release on old hardware and it will run just fine. Also, I have run XP on older hardware, 733 Mhz PIII, and it really was quite fine, even though it was a six year old box. Firefox 3 will work on that.

So keep the OS dependency separate from the HW dependency.

Re:gecko 1.9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222210)

XP can be setup on older PCs, you just need to be frugal with the install. Extra ram helps too. I just setup XP on a Celeron 600 with 256mb of ram, with all the visual pretty shit turned off, it runs surprisingly well.

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

MrByte420 (554317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222370)

And should they be porting back to DOS too? At some point you need to make a break and I don't see this as a bad thing. The only OS that might still be in use would be ME and there are so many reasons not to be running ANY of those OSes, atleast on the MS side..

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222474)

Maybe not, but it sounds like it will render obsolete most computers developed before the past 5 years. Nothing before Windows 2000 is compatible with the new version of Gecko? It sounds like something is wrong with that.

Pre-Win2K? Sure! People can install stable Debian, build Firefox 3 from source, and yep, it works... =)

(Kidding. I'm a Debian user.)

I guess the statement was just meant to say that this page's [w3.org] rendering doesn't break. =)

Re:gecko 1.9 (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222488)

"without [..] rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.'" Maybe not, but it sounds like it will render obsolete most computers developed before the past 5 years. Nothing before Windows 2000 is compatible with the new version of Gecko? It sounds like something is wrong with that.

If you're still using Win 98 in 2 years when this thing is out of beta, may God have mercy on your soul.

Computers haven't been sold with Win Me since early 2001 I believe, and by 2008 when FF3 is out, such a computer would be 7 years old at least. If your computer is that old, I'm OK with ceasing support to prevent the bloat that would require accomodating 2 rendering engines.

fix the memory leaks first (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221674)

I wish they would just focus on fixing the memory leaks first. FF2 is much worse than FF1.5 (default installs without extensions), after about 2-3 days of running FF2 it will be using 1GB of RAM -- this is a complete joke. I wish for a day when we can get a modern browser which is resource efficent. Unfortuantely Opera 9 is too unstable.

Re:fix the memory leaks first (1)

davidmcg (796487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221738)

I wish they would just focus on fixing the memory leaks first. FF2 is much worse than FF1.5 (default installs without extensions), after about 2-3 days of running FF2 it will be using 1GB of RAM -- this is a complete joke. I wish for a day when we can get a modern browser which is resource efficent. Unfortuantely Opera 9 is too unstable.

Try running the alpha (but just in case use another profile [browserden.co.uk] ). Some of the improvements to gecko will make things more reliable, less memory leaks, etc. However, as it's an alpha you may run into other problems that's why you should separate the profiles.

Re:fix the memory leaks first (1)

nra1871 (836627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222092)

Why is it that I don't have these same memory leaks that everyone else seems to have? I run FF2 on my work XP machine, and on my OS X laptop at home. Rarely do I see FF take up more than 120MB of RAM, and I leave it on all the time, with Adblock and Flashblock running. In fact, I found FF2 to be much more memory efficient than 1.5.

Re:fix the memory leaks first (1)

uncl_bob (529354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221778)

I second this. My FF2 is eating ram like crazy. No add-ons installed.

Re:fix the memory leaks first (2, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221988)

Unfortuantely Opera 9 is too unstable.

I keep hearing this... don't know why, but in my Linux box, Opera 9.02 is rock solid - it haven't crashed once since i installed it. I experienced a couple of crashes back then with O8 though, but the session management (restores your session completely after a crash) rendered them relatively painless.

I must say all versions of FF i've tried were perfectly stable aswell, but the insane memory requierements (among other peeves) prevents it from being my main browser.

I use this (-1, Offtopic)

DoctorEternal (189062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221690)

Live Bookmarks [tinyurl.com]

Cairo (4, Interesting)

astralbat (828541) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221700)

Glad to hear that the rendering will now get some hardware accerlation. Does anyone know how faster this will be? Will it lead to smoother scrolling as on my Linux machine 'smooth scrolling' is very jerky - especially so with flash adverts.

Re:Cairo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222108)

Firefox rendering is already accelerated. Cairo WILL SLOW IT DOWN... just as it has done with GTK.

Cairo is a pig... a fat, slow one at that. It was a total disaster when the GTK developers decided to ditch their old workhorse X code and use Cairo instead -- and the users paid the price, since every version of GTK since 2.6 is a performance disaster area... and consequently, even version of GNOME based post GTK 2.6 is a colossal fuck up.

So yes -- Cairo sucks, the GTK developers are a bunch of clueless fuckwits... and the GNOME developers who trusted the GTK developers not to fuck things up when their prematurely committed to GTK2.8 are gullible idiots. The users, as always, have paid the price since. And no-one trusts GTK developers any more.

Re:Cairo (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222138)

On my machine this alpha is in a worse state rendering than FF2.
Portions of pages that need to scroll smoothly underneath a fixed area on a webpage cause this fixed area to flicker when scrolling.

Acid2 (5, Informative)

savala (874118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221706)

Before someone else brings it up, no, this doesn't pass acid2. Purposefully, as the build from two days later does. This Gecko alpha (not Firefox alpha) was released so there'd be a good reference for people to test with before several rather major changes were landed on trunk, one of which was the reflow branch that made Gecko pass the acid2 test.

Re:Acid2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221906)

This Gecko alpha (not Firefox alpha) was released so there'd be a good reference for people to test with before several rather major changes were landed on trunk

Er, what's the point in testing before "several rather major changes"? Surely it's the changes themselves that require testing?

Re:Acid2 (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222212)

Testers will test after the changes. This alpha will give them a good reference point to pull up and verify that the major changes in subsequent versions were what caused any new bugs, rather than the bugs being preexisting and previously undiscovered. Much like a control group in social sciences.

Acid 2 (-1, Redundant)

waterford0069 (580760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221846)

But will it pass Acid 2?

Re:Acid 2 (3, Informative)

matlhDam (149229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221998)

But will it pass Acid 2?

My understanding is that this alpha won't, but the next alpha should. The reflow refactoring branch [mozilla.org] was merged back onto trunk [mozillazine.org] recently -- this is a rationalisation of the layout code that fixes a lot of bugs, which also gets Acid 2 rendering properly.

Another positive review at ZDNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17221856)

There's another quite positive review of Firefox 3 on ZDNet [zdnet.com]

No problems installing it Stability seems on par with Firefox 2.0
Speed seems on par with Firefox 2.0
Memory leak (bug/feature) still seems to be present (during normal browsing memory usage went from about 30MB to 130MB and then only went down to 75MB when web pages were closed, and them over the period of an hour the memory usage climbed to 95MB)
Interface is almost identical to that of Firefox 2.0
The browser passes the Acid 2 test with flying colors

The core's looking good.

ACID test (0, Redundant)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221952)

For your information, this release *finally* passes the ACID test! Now that's good news and I know that this is where most slashdotters and I will find agreement.


http://tech.cybernetnews.com/index.php?s=Alpha%20F irefox%203%20ACID%20test&submit= [cybernetnews.com]

Re:ACID test (2, Informative)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222082)

No, it didn't RTFA you linked.

Also, the recently released Firefox 3 Alpha 1 does not pass the test

What is the value-add? (1)

john.mull (790526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221996)

Bleeding edge is fine, but there's got to be a reason.

What does this mean? (3, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222088)

Sorry, I left my marketspeak chip in the other bot. Can anyone translate this to English:

Cairo will 'bring modern, hardware-accelerated 2D-graphics capabilities to the whole of the Web without requiring proprietary plug-ins or rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.
Without my marketspeak chip I translate that to say "We'll be doing things faster and still supporting HTML." Please tell me I got that wrong. Do they really need to specify "We support HTML" in a browser engine? And even if they did, why did they need to translate it to marketspeak? Do they have a brand new marketing droid they just couldn't wait to use?

Re:What does this mean? (1)

tfinniga (555989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222320)

I think it means something along the lines of "We'll be doing faster rendering. Also, the way other people have done it sucks."

SVG support, probably. (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222530)

I think it means "SVG support without a plugin or other hackery", but as you said, it's market-speak, so who knows for sure?

Another reason to switch to Linux? (1)

Loplin (1037544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222104)

So FF3 won't be compatible with Win Me or older.. that might be a good thing. I wonder how many people are contemplating the switch, but arn't quite sure. This could cause a small influx of Linux newbies who were recently on the fence. This nicely complements users we might get because of the fact that Microsoft stopped supporting the older OSes.

Re:Another reason to switch to Linux? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222180)

Sadly, it's more likely that that more people will stick with IE. Most lusers just aren't willing to make the effort to find a *good* browser (or OS for that matter). That's why IE still exists.

performance improvements (4, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222116)

This version is much faster and resource friendly - opening a test google spreadsheet page went from 52 MB of RSS to 43, and almost 4 seconds less to render it.

Lots of javascript benchmarks are faster too (depending on the benchmark - other parts are slower)

Gecko 1.9 has been being developed for a long time (the "reflow branch" is 2 years old it has been said!) so I guess it's expected that it improves things so much!

How much ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222556)

4 seconds less ? What was the original time ? 1000 seconds ? Or...5 seconds ? You can better tell the percentage improvement, much clearer ;=)

Cairo is kind of slow now (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222122)

I have tested Cairo for my project and at this moment it is slower than I needed. I was looking for a good canvas to draw a graph on, but I had to settle for something else. I like the features of Cairo, the idea of being able to render to PDF or to the screen, and so on, but it is just not fast enough. Perhaps the attention from the Gecko engine will get some more development going on the Cairo side as well...

Re:Cairo is kind of slow now (2, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222534)

Yeah, I totally agree. I'm also hoping that Gecko coders will turn their attention towards optimizing Cairo, because its current performance is unacceptable. According to this benchmark [blogspot.com] , Cairo's rendering performance isn't just somewhat slower than its open-source rival Qt. It's something like 700% slower. If that doesn't improve dramatically before Mozilla's 3.0 release, it will account for dreadfully many wasted CPU cycles.

I understand the decision to go with Cairo, but like you said, I hope it's coupled with a commitment to seriously fix Cairo.!

Compatibility (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222134)

If it's "just" the Gecko engine which is incompatible with older OS', I wonder whether it would be possible to combine Firefox 3.0 (once it's out) with an older version of the rendering engine. Then again, if there are bugs found in Gecko and not in the Firefox code, this would still mean a major support commitment for somebody.

OTOH, I'm glad I don't really have to care since I run neither of those legacy OS' :)

If it means decent Zoom... (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222174)

If this means Firefox will have decent support for higher dpi displays, then I just might jump at it once it goes Beta.

As it stands, the rest of my Linux desktop is perfectly readable at 1280x1024 on a 21" monitor from 10' away. The browser is the only part of the experience that gives me trouble. Sure, I can increase or decrease my font sizes to make the text readable, but that seriously borks most sites' CSS layouts, and doesn't do squat for image-based text.

Firefox 3.0 Alpha (0)

KrayzieKyd (906704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222222)

Firefox 3.0 Alpha has been available since August 31, 2006. I love posting every Firefox update as much as the other guy, but get on the ball or don't bother.

window trails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222242)

lets hope they do something about the window trails when working via remote X

Fix The Problem With Firefox 2 First (0, Troll)

jack_csk (644290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222350)

Yet they leave a security vulnerability unpatched [secunia.com] , and they are developing the next version?!
Who said that Firefox is secure?!

Acid2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222546)

To get the builds that have the reflow branch [mozilla.org] landed (hence passing Acid2 (although the nose is 1px off)) you need to use the nightlies [mozilla.org] which are named Minefield.

Take note of the codename for it before trying it, though recently it has been quite stable.

Details on the vector capabilities? (1)

jdevivre (923797) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222594)

Excuse me for my ignorance/laziness, but I wonder if the /. gang can give me a point to what the vector capabilities of the new engine are? Are we talking better SVG support, or a more powerful Flash replacement? Despite being busy as hell of late, the thought of developing vector-based media and supporting tools _without_ Adobe/Macromedia is very motivating...
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