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Mozilla, the non-profit group that has become one of the biggest thorns in Microsoft’s side, will ramp up its assault on the world's largest software developer tomorrow when it releases a new version of its popular Firefox internet browser. (...) The launch of Firefox 2.0, which Mozilla expects to accelerate the product's uptake, come just days after Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7, an updated version of its own browser, to mixed reviews.
Even minor updates tend to require updated extensions, due to Firefox's strict versioning requirement for extensions. You can get around this - with caution - by using the Mr. Tech Local Install extension, which allows you to ignore the version check.
I have some concern that there could be some major change in 2.0 that would require updated extensions. However, I did a search, and I do see that people have been using Mr. Tech's "make compatible" feature successfully with most extensions under 2.0 beta versions.
Getting past the GUI Firefox 2 does not have a new Gecko (though Gecko 1.8 fixed a few exceptionally obnoxious bugs and is mostly free of ancient bugs with a couple exceptions). Regardless the restore session and spellchecker make a new Firefox without a new Gecko actually worth looking forward to. The spellchecker could use a bit of tweaking but it is the first time (in my knowledge) that a spellchecker has been used inside of a browser without it being an extension.
I don't like Mozilla changing extensions to addons (lame). Also returning to GUI issues they bloated the icons making the icons themselves smaller but adding horizontal padding wasting space compared to Firefox 15.'s default GUI skin (icons with text).
Firefox 2 is ultimately an improvement in my view.
Some say that FF2.0 is to released 24-Oct-06 at 11:00am GMT, whilst the BBC says it was available at 01:00 BST.
But the mozilla / firefox sites all say Download 1.5 now or get the sneak preview 2.0 RC3 (which is not the official release).
So is it released or not?
The installation was as simple and painless as could be. It automatically overwrote the earlier version of Firefox, but kept all of my bookmarks, passwords, and everything else intact.
The only issue was that the existing version of the Adsense Notifier extension was not compatible, so it found the newest version and installed it.
I like the built-in spell checker. It caught two typing errors I made (using a keyboard with smaller keys) in this post.
So far, there's nothing I dislike about 2.0.
The best new features include restore session for when Firefox (or Windows) crashes which allows you to reopen lost tabs when restarting Firefox. The stability of Firefox has also increased dramatically. It also includes a spellchecker which is more useful then annoying though it could use some improvements. Firefox 2.0 is a branch which means there will be no new Gecko. Firefox 3.0 is a trunk and will include Gecko 1.9 sometime in 2007.
Note that "unclosing" tabs is now a built-in function. From the built-in Help Tabs section:
Firefox windows keep a list of tabs you closed recently. You can restore any tab by selecting it from History > Recently Closed Tabs. You can restore all tabs by selecting History > Recently Closed Tabs > Open All in Tabs. Press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+T to open them one by one in reverse order.
You can also use the "Nightly Tester Tools" extension to "force" older extensions to be considered compatible. Note that all this does is to override the Firefox/extension version checking -- It does not actually make incompatible extensions compatible. But many extensions declare that they are compatible only up to the then-current FF version, and so are shown as "incompatible" every time a FF update comes out. So, you will often find that the extension does actually work with the new version, but of course, you have to test it carefully, and there are no guarantees...
[edited by: jdMorgan at 12:47 am (utc) on Oct. 25, 2006]
It still uses quite a bit of memory. I have had it open all day with half a dozen or so tabs and 90MB used. Still this isn't much these days. I don't like the pale icons, makes it look like they are disabled.
Overall a nice improvement... and another reason not to upgrade to Fista.
If I navigate away to different full size pages and then go back to main A and click the pop up link again pop up 1 does not come into focus. grr.
It was really annoying when that happened 6 months ago and it is disappointing to see it still happening now.
Rollin' back to 1.5 .......
No, I want specific popups to work.
With 1.5 it does, with 2.0 it does not.
Firefox 2's Phishing Protection feature was developed from the Google Safe Browsing feature of the Google Toolbar for Firefox using code donated by the search giant. By default, the Phishing Protection feature checks every page you visit against a local blacklist of known phishing sites and displays a warning if the site is fraudulent. This list is periodically updated by Firefox while the feature is enabled
With this feature enabled, the URL of every page visited is sent to Google for checking over a secure connection
Mozilla Specs [mozillazine.org]
Google has always been quite up-front about privacy issues; Turning on the PageRank checker does send data to Google, and they warn you emphatically about that. But from the description above, it looks like the checklist is downloaded from Google, and the sites you visit are checked against that local downloaded list...