Firefox 1.5 Final now released

Great news! Firefox 1.5 has been released today. Head over to www.getfirefox.com to download it (5.0 MB).

Seemingly (according to my lovely, getting-geekier-every-day friend James Frost) Firefox 1.5 is exactly the same as Firefox 1.5 RC3, which means that they obviously didn’t find any other major bugs since Release Candidate (read: nearly finished version) 3– good skills! This is a major upgrade from the previous version (1.0.7.) and as well as including a number of security updates and bug fixes, it adds moveable tabs, improved pop-up blocking, and automatic updates of extensions and also for the browser itself.

A word of warning, however. If you use a lot of extensions (installable add-ons that extend the capabilities of your browser) check whether these have been updated for Firefox 1.5 before you upgrade. In Firefox 1.0.7 I had fifteen extensions installed. So far I now have twelve, including the two that installed by default.

My Firefox extensions Top Ten for Firefox 1.5:

  1. Download Manager Tweak 0.7.1 – A modification of the Firefox download manager that changes its appearance and allows it to be opened in a separate window, a new tab, or the sidebar.
  2. ForecastFox 0.8.2.4 – Get international weather forecasts and display it in any toolbar or statusbar.
  3. Google Toolbar for Firefox – Adds a toolbar giving access to useful Google functions including the essential AutoFill options for quickly filling in online forms.
  4. IE View 1.2.7 – Launch pages in Internet Explorer from Firefox.
  5. Image Toolbar 0.6.1 – Provides easy access to common image functions.
  6. Image Zoom 0.2.1 – Adds zoom functionality for images.
  7. Spoofstick 1.05 – A simple way to detect spoofed websites. (Note: I had to manually edit the maxVersion setting in install.rdf to get this to work in 1.5.)
  8. Tabbrowser Preferences 1.2.8.7 – Enhances control over some aspects of tabbed browsing.
  9. Tab X 0.9.2 – Adds a close tab button [x] to each of the browser tabs.
  10. Web Developer 0.9.4 – Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.

Updated extensions that I’ve not found so far include PrintPreview, AutoFill (which is more comprehensive than the Google Toolbar offerings) and PDF Download. However, it looks like a million people and their brothers are trying to update all their extensions too as Mozdev is running very slowly indeed.

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 RC3 released

The latest Release Candidate (RC3) of the Mozilla Firefox web browser has just been released. As it says over at the Mozilla HQ:

Firefox 1.5 Release Candidate 3 is now available for download. This is the second release candidate of our next generation Firefox browser, to be released later this year, and it is being made available to our developer and testing community for compatibility testing and to solicit feedback.

Firefox 1.5 can’t be that far away; the current version is Firefox 1.0.7. This is confirmed by this article on Ars Technica posted on Wednesday.

Firefox 1.5 includes a large number of critical new features and bug fixes. Users can look forward to complete support for ECMAScript for XML (E4X), drag and drop tab placement support, browser cache enhancements, massive improvements in rendering performance, a fully operational automatic update system that can finally do patching, and support for rendering pixel graphics (Canvas) and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

It appears too from that article that Mozilla Firefox has now gained a 10% share in the browser market that has been dominated for years by Microsoft Internet Explorer, having been downloaded now more than 100 million times since the official launch of v.1.0 twelve months ago, in November 2004. Which I helped in a little way (US $30) to finance.

Browser updates

Time to upgrade again, folks.

Mozilla Firefox is now at version 1.0.7 — the latest version being a security update.

And Opera is now at version 8.5 — but this time the full application is now free. And it’s a great application; see my review of version 8.

If only someone would either update Opera for EPOC beyond 5.14, or port Firefox to EPOC R5. If I could, I would.

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 1

Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 is now available for download.

Firefox 1.5 Beta 1

This is the first Beta release of the next major Firefox upgrade, which is due to be released sometime later this year. (Not bad considering that 1.0 was launched in November 2004.)

This isn’t the final release of Firefox 1.5, it is the Beta 1 version, still in the development stage and has been made available for testing purposes only. A quick test as to whether you think you should download and install it: if you think you are a geek, then yes. If you have trouble finding how to open a graphics file in Lotus WordPro, then you’d be better sticking with Firefox 1.0.6.

I’m a bit of a geek! So I’ve downloaded and installed Firefox 1.5 Beta 1. I’m impressed with it so far. It feels much faster (but that could also have something to do with my having very few extensions installed). I like the drag-and-drop rearrangement of tabs feature. It supposedly has better support for web standards (always a good thing in my book), and has a new button: “Report Broken Web Site” which reports web sites that are not working in Firefox so that Mozilla can work with their web designers to iron out any problems.

A couple of improvements I would like to see.

  • I would like the option for new tabs to automatically open with my Home page. This is available as an extension for 1.0.x, but I’d like to see it built in.
  • I really like the “tab x” extension, which allows you to close tabs quickly by clicking on the ‘x’ that appears in the top-right of each tab. That would make a great built-in feature.

But apart from those, and the fact that most 1.0.x extensions won’t work with 1.5, it’s a pretty good browser.