beta 3, the beta you can't resist

| 43 Comments

Firefox 3's third beta release is now available. Let us know what you think.

43 Comments

Anyone have a link to a portable version?

Anyone have a link to a portable version?

Josh, Mozilla doesn't produce a portable version of Firefox.

- A

Regarding the new visual styles, I certainly don't mind the direction Firefox 3 is heading with it's OS integration, but I hope there is more polish planned. I have checked out the Windows and Mac versions and both still need a little cleanup. Otherwise, things seem to be coming together nicely!

Hopefully we won't see a ton of people flooding comments everywhere about how the theme looks like crud on Windows - there's still a load of stuff to be added.

I like it, but there are two problems:

1. Mozillazine doesn't load when I click on the bookmark. I had to enter the address by hand.

2. The icons are too small, especially the "new tab" icon.

PS: I forgot to add that the icons are too small on the Mac version of Firefox 3 Beta 3. Check out iCab (www.icab.de) for a Mac interface that is in the same direction as yours, but works better.

Josh, you can download a portable version of Firefox 3 beta 2 at portableapps.com and let it update to beta 3.

I'd love to use it, but it breaks Tab Mix Plus - one of the few extensions I really can't go without :( Sticking with b2 for now

Well, the theme looks like crud on Windows (sorry, Ben Basson!). Since apparently a lot of work still has to be done on it, so I will refrain from nitpicking, but IMO the Firefox theme has been going downhill since Winestripe. The 2.0 has uglier icons (so I just installed the Winestripe theme).

Oh, and I do hope the extension maintainers get up to speed on the Fx 3 betas soon. Using it without my favorite extensions has been kind of a PITA (though Fx 3 is to be commended that it's still so much better that I've stuck with it on my primary laptop for the last few weeks).

Portable Version:
John Haller et al have been very quick. Look here under "What's New" column:
http://portableapps.com/

Tab Mix Plus:
I don't think the latest versions here break FF3:
http://tmp.garyr.net/dev-builds/
I've been using "tab_mix_plus-0.3.6.0.071228.xpi" ... having said that I'm moving towards ditching TMP for my work profile.

I agree about Windows theme going downhill.
All other advancements kinda make up for it, though.

It seems to be a nice version.

But the Linux theme is ugly !

Yes, I acknowledge, I'm a KDE fan ;-)

1. Windows default theme is visually and aesthetically ugly. I do appreciate UI team effort (http://blog.mozilla.com/faaborg/2007/11/15/the-shape-of-things-to-come/), but the result is like change in sake of change. “Keyhole” as main visual ID of FF3? BS. Good news is that with small icons the "keyhole" is gone;
2. I like the bed bookmarking system;
3. Middle-click on bookmark folder doesn’t open bookmarks in tabs anu more :-(
4. “Go” button is gone. It is visible only when entering URL. But now I cannot open a current page in new tab (CTRL-GO button);
5. It seems that FF3b3 is quite fast and hopefully able to manage RAM better than FF2

Cannot wait for the final ;-)

Is there a way to get the old Mac theme back? I prefer to have the same interface on all platforms, as much as possible.

François, on linux, Firefox follows you gtk theme (settable from KDE with at least gtk-qt-engine), and your gtk icon theme (which should be inherited from your KDE settings); if it doesn't, it's a bug, and we want it fixed (though perhaps not for Firefox 3 if it's too invasive, it depends on the fix we find). There also are missing things that we need in qtcurve (like the handling of rtl-specific icons) for example, so you may have been bitten by those.

Mozilla had to pick a toolkit but we aim at being as cross-desktop-environment as possible.

François, on linux, Firefox follows you gtk theme (settable from KDE with at least gtk-qt-engine), and your gtk icon theme (which should be inherited from your KDE settings); if it doesn't, it's a bug, and we want it fixed (though perhaps not for Firefox 3 if it's too invasive, it depends on the fix we find). There also are missing things that we need in qtcurve (like the handling of rtl-specific icons) for example, so you may have been bitten by those.

Mozilla had to pick a toolkit but we aim at being as cross-desktop-environment as possible.

François, on linux, Firefox follows you gtk theme (settable from KDE with at least gtk-qt-engine), and your gtk icon theme (which should be inherited from your KDE settings); if it doesn't, it's a bug, and we want it fixed (though perhaps not for Firefox 3 if it's too invasive, it depends on the fix we find). There also are missing things that we need in qtcurve (like the handling of rtl-specific icons) for example, so you may have been bitten by those.

Mozilla had to pick a toolkit but we aim at being as cross-desktop-environment as possible.

Strange, it said it couldn't find comment.cgi, but posted nevertheless.

Why does everyone ramble about the looks? Thats the reason skins exist... You dont like it? Make your own, or take one, that someone else made. Personally, I like the direction it is going. The unified back and forth button is really good. I only wish it would be a onsie, even, if i want to use small icons (So, the same buttons, only smaller!!). The above comment about the icons being to small is completely beyond me. I'd like the buttons to be half the size they are right now (I guess, I myself have to go build a theme soon).

All else on the beta seems to be fine. It wasn't such a bummer for me though, cause at home I tend to use nightly's all the time and only here at work run with the betas. So I've "been there, done that" all the time, as one might say.
All looks very well up until now and I really look forward to the release and the pile of questions I will have to answer to people, after that (Yeah, I'm kinda like an admin for my family and friends, so to speak. But I like that somehow).

Only crucial thing for me and almost everyone I know (the ones, that look under the hood, not the moms, dads and sisters) still is the concern about the memory usage and leakage. At this moment writing this comment the count is up to 42.948k memory, which is way too much, considering, that only this page here is up and running. Nothing else. You really have to trim that down somehow.

I don't like the readonly location bar on popups (like IE7s "inthenameofsecurity" bar, although better)

I'm not big on the merged Back/Fwd arrows (again, looks like IE7s mess)

I like the location bar! very nice!

I'm hoping that the "Portable Apps" folks can make a portable Firefox 3, because I want to test my applications out with it, but I need Firefox 2.x for my main testing too. (I installed the beta at home, not work)

Can't wait till all my extensions get updated so I can browse properly. ;-)

Still not a fan of putting the Home button on the Bookmarks Bar -- I've got enough stuff there, thank you -- but at least it's easy enough to move back.

Gotta agree with Steve on the merged back/forward dropdown, through.

beta3 seems to be a huge speed improvement over beta2 on WinXP. Well done.

beta3 seems to be a huge speed improvement over beta2 on WinXP. Well done.

4. “Go” button is gone. It is visible only when entering URL. But now I cannot open a current page in new tab (CTRL-GO button);
Alt+Enter.

I like the merged back/forward buttons. I'm glad you folks have the audacity to rip off that feature from Internet Explorer.

I can open Yahoo Mail with no problems now.

Looks good :-) I actually like the new theme. The only gripe I have is that the Ctrl+Page Up/Down no longer changes tabs. It worked in FF 2.

I like the whole L&F on OSX. This beta is amazing!

Is there a bug tracking the fact that the grey areas of the chrome don't move the window?

BTW, about:crashes rocks - good call getting that in. :)

I like it! It feels speedier than beta 2 or Fx 2.0 across platforms. And I really appreciate the OS spell checker integration on Macs. Does that include the grammar check too?

I got screwed by the "Home" button being moved. I keep looking for it in the wrong place out of habit. However for me, this kind of change makes sense, since it's logical. I don't mind a period of awkwardness and relearning if something makes sense. Since "Home" is a bookmark, it makes sense to put it with the bookmarks.

Since I always use tiny icons I didn't realize how ugly the big icons got. After reading some comments here I switched to big icons and saw the "keyhole". WOW! What a piece of sh*t that is! Whoever designed that needs to have their thumbs cut off (j/k), but seriously... Let's keep UI serious and express fun through color and not through wacky non-standard shapes. Usability and legibility must come first. Form follows function. Keep this in mind. Firefox is a tool -- it's not a statue. Don't go all art-wacky on it please.

Other than that I love how FF3 is coming along. Slashdot looks broken on it though, when you expand the posts there is sometimes empty space. This might be a bug in Slashdot's code or in FF3, I don't know.

Also, performance is terrible for extremely large pages (by extremely I really mean extremely, like thousands of lines long, where each line can be a table row with some td's potentially containing other tables, etc. Once it renders you can move it up and down quickly, but hitting zoom in or zoom out on a page like that kills the computer and browser stops responding for a long time.

FF3 needs to improve threading behaviors. For example when RSS live bookmarks are loading, UI should be smooth and responsive. FF3 should not freeze during a task such as loading RSS feeds, etc. UI should never freeze, basically, no matter what happens. And this is not yet the case.

I installed B3 to a mac laptop and my wife was telling me that She has opened Safari instead of Firefox accidentally (Actually it was Firefox, but she didnt realize that).
Although improvements under the hood are very very good, I am now sure that this whole "blend in with platform by copying almost everything visually from that platforms producers browser" is very wrong. Seeing Firefox losing its identity is indeed a sad feeling for me.
Also some windows icons are in quite bad shape.. (horrible Lock, door handle? , Reload and stop) To me, most Gnome icons are surprisingly better.
And I don't agree with people telling "Install a new theme if you dont like it" Only a fraction of users installs new themes.

I installed B3 to a mac laptop and my wife was telling me that She has opened Safari instead of Firefox accidentally (Actually it was Firefox, but she didnt realize that).
Although improvements under the hood are very very good, I am now sure that this whole "blend in with platform by copying almost everything visually from that platforms producers browser" is very wrong. Seeing Firefox losing its identity is indeed a sad feeling for me.
Also some windows icons are in quite bad shape.. (horrible Lock, door handle? , Reload and stop) To me, most Gnome icons are surprisingly better.
And I don't agree with people telling "Install a new theme if you dont like it" Only a fraction of users installs new themes.

I just tried zooming in and out on some relatively small pages and I notice very inconsistent and jerky performance. Since I have poor eyesight I use zooming often (but not all the time, since I just leave it "zoomed in" most of the time), so zooming is important to me.

The beta I downloaded today doesn't even start on my win XP... Anyone can help?

The lack of a fix for the "See all results" in the new AMO integration pane is pretty crap.

The combined back/forward sucks though for reasons that are no doubt very particular to my tastes.

I've had one friend report that the perf issues are not fixed on Linux and worse - animations for all prompts for password saving and so on LAG massively.

The icons and layout of toolbars on Linux may be consistent with the clunky and ugly GNOME/Tango icons, but that just means they are ugly whereas the normal Firefox 2 theme is quite nice. There is nothing AFAIK that brands the browser as Firefox in Linux so it seems at this point Mr Faaborg has failed in his attempt to provide platform-native theming that also retains a common Firefox branding.

The privacy icons on everything but Mac are craptacular.

The download manager seems to finally be worthy of version 1 status. Only two versions too late!

It's nice to have the plugins 'tab' in the Add-Ons manager. That is an overdue consistency fix.

One-click bookmark is a huge 'meh' for me. All I wanted was immediately access to folder creation and selection and still haven't got that because the lead engineer preferred to dumb-down the interface.

Awesome bar is sensible but clunky-looking (the drop down is very fat, could easily be improve by reducing padding and/or margins and font sizes) and it's shitty that it doesn't automagically select the first result and re-start the search when the user types new characters or use the backspace key. That is like having auto-complete that, well, **Doesn't Auto-complete!**. This is consistent with the approach taken to remembering form data though. Perhaps a function button could be assigned to select and load the first listed option? Also the simple domain name of a site should be prioritised first over any history items from the same site.

Although there is the new Get Add-Ons 'tab' in the Add-Ons Manager, one of the search widgets in the main search pane should be AMO search. Every single time I install a new version of Fx I go straight to the quickest way to install this widget and use it to progressively install all my extensions. I'm not sure the (arguably) dumbed-down results of the new Get Add-Ons 'tab' will satisfy everyone. So add an AMO search widget to the search box. Just do it! No arguing! I mean am I the only person who can see the stupidity of going to all this 'Extend Firefox' competition effort when you don't even give users a search widget to AMO? I think it's called shooting yourself in the foot.

Anyway having said all that, the only really important issue with Firefox 3 is fixing the perf issues. Previous versions of Fx have leaked memory like an incontinent geriatric. It has been so hard to evangelise Firefox to date when leaving it open with just 19 tabs, for a few days, causes up to 850MB of memory usage.

I updated to beta 3 on one profile, and it uses the new theme for that one. When I switched to another Firefox profile, it still uses the old theme. When I create a new profile, it uses the new theme. Is this on purpose, or something gone haywire?

I feel that Beta 3 is the best Browser that Mozilla has come up with. All of the whining that I am reading appears to be from users that do not know how to use the product. For one thing the home Icon can be moved to anywhere you want it to be. Anyone that would leave any browser open with 19 tabs for a few days will have issues that Firefox can't fix. Only a fraction of users install new themes? I wonder if these same users install extensions??? Keep up the good work and as for the nay Sayers--Go back to Opera.

I am using nightly builds and Firefox is indeed getting better, although both IE x64 and Opera 9.50 still feel faster. I agree with the focus on performance, Firefox has fallen behind competition in this respect and needs to catch it up. The new interface is not too bad either, although I find the new large font used in the address bar distracting.

I find that beta3 (portable version) plays embedded video from Youtube, etc. with more pauses than FF2. In fact, FF2 plays without any pauses if I leave the browser alone.

It may not be a big problem but when I browse some Arabic websites in Firefox 3 beta, the Arabic letters aren't connected and very hard to read. Even though it works perfectly fine in Firefox 2.

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