Playing with Firefox 3 (Beta)

I downloaded the Portable Firefox 3 from PortableApps the other day, to run on my external harddrive and see how the new version was going without overwriting my current installation. Before running it I copied my profile over from my current installed Firefox to get my bookmarks, extensions, theme and details copied over. Unfortunately my passwords didn’t seem to copy over, but well it is only a test version.

First impressions are great. It’s much quicker at rendering pages. I love when you log in to a site it doesn’t pop up asking if you want to save the password but instead a bar along the top of the page appears asking instead, leaving the page to continue loading. This allows you to check and see if the page logs in (ie. the user details are correct) before clicking Remember (you may be able to do this on Firefox 2, I’ve not really tried it though!). I’ve often saved a username and password several times before I get it right! Another great little feature is that on the page info window you can view all the passwords stored for that particular site/domain. This will come in very handy after the amount of times I’ve scrolled through my saved passwords, searching for the correct username/password combination for a particular page or site.

At present very few of my extensions work, StumbleUpon, Stylish, Server Spy and that’s about all. Even my theme doesn’t work with it, but the default theme isn’t so bad. They’ve tidied up the icons along the top a little which looks quite cool. I’ve also found one client site that has a couple of items in the wrong place, so not sure about their CSS support with Firefox 3, but I’ll leave Dave to worry about that when it’s officially released (plus it may just be a bug).

The great thing about this at present is that things that stopped working correctly on my installed version such as target _blank pages opening in the same tab as the page I was on, so every external link in Google Reader had to be Ctrl+Clicked, plus my spell checker, are now working again. Probably some extension issue, but it’s nice to have a few defaults back, even if it’ll just be for a short time until I manage to break them again 😉

There is also a new folder on the bookmarks toolbar, called Smart Bookmarks, which seems to offer a frequently visited list of sites, a list of recently bookmarked sites, and also a recently tagged list. Not sure about the latter and how that works just yet. I’ve also noticed that I can’t seem to manage my bookmarks (unless I’m being totally blonde and missing where to click!).

Finally, they’ve also improved the drop down on the address bar. It lists both the page title and URL, and as you type in your address it not only lists the recently visited addresses that match that, but also any from your bookmarks too (don’t ask why I would type in an address if it’s in my bookmarks, I just do!).

So all in all, looking good, and can’t wait for the release of Firefox 3 🙂

6 Responses

  1. Adam Dempsey says:

    Yea I’ve tried out the portable version of the last few betas and I’m looking forward to the full release!

    I like the new location bar and the finding addons from directly within the addons window!

  2. Sarah says:

    Hey Adam, haven’t taken a look in the addons window (besides trying to get my extensions to update). Will have to take a look at that, cheers 🙂

  3. Ian says:

    I tried one of the earlier Firefox 3 betas but gave it away because most of my add-ons didn’t work with it. But I’m sure I’ll be downloading the full release as soon as its available.

  4. Mike says:

    I dont know…but i love firefox…beta or full they still seem to beat by far IE Opera and the other big players…IMO

  5. Sarah says:

    Mike, I completely agree. Just installed Beta 4 as a portable app on my laptop (the other was on my external drive). Have to say, it’s so much better than the current firefox let alone any other browser. Just need to get those extensions upgraded. Annoyingly, most will probably work, but if the version number in the extension doesn’t match it for the firefox version it won’t work automatically.

  6. Sarah says:

    Just to add, am now on Beta 5 and much prefer it over v2. Also, my main extension HTML Tidy has been upgraded on the author’s site – http://users.skynet.be/mgueury/mozilla/ (it’s not available on Mozilla yet though, go to the site and you can get it direct).

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