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Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta 4 Review (linux Version)


H.O.D

I started a thread about the new Ubuntu 10.10 Beta, but that wasn't a review in the real sense. This, however is a review, i.e., I'm writing this after trying out the beta software myself.

 

The first thing I need to say is that apparently, there are some differences between the Windows version and the Linux version of this beta. The changes aren't major, and most of the changes are customizable, which is a good thing.

 

As soon as I started Firefox 4 for the first time, I was shown a video about Firefox Sync which I'm seeing for the first time. It's something like cloud computing, but here, instead of the data in your computer, you can carry around the data in your browser and use it on any computer in the world using Firefox Sync. So all your bookmarks, history and saved passwords can come along with you wherever you go. You need to create a Sync account for this first. Since I'm not going anywhere now I haven't tested it out yet

 

The next new feature is that the bookmarks toolbar has been condensed to a tiny button beside the address bar, allowing a drop-down menu to show all the toolbar bookmarks. There's an option to show the entire toolbar and I chose that right away!

 

Another change I noticed was that there's an option to put the "tabs on top" of the page. This reminds you of Chrome and I think it's a useful feature, though some might disagree. In Windows I think this appears automatically, but in Linux I had to go to the view menu and change this setting. One change which is present only in the windows version is that the menu is one big button now instead of the whole toolbar (not available in Linux)

 

The next change is graphical. While a page is loading, its favicon shows a loading graphic, somewhat like a pie chart, and after the page has loaded the website's favicon is displayed. Not a huge thing but it looks neat!

 

Since this is a beta version, Mozilla obviously wants feedback from users! For this they've included a drop-down box at the right of the address bar where users can report what they like and what they don't like. Apart from this I got a pop-up survey, or "test" which doesn't open in a tab but a small window without disturbing the user's work. You can either close off the window or fill out the survey; its useful to do the latter since it's to improve the software.

 

In terms of speed I didn't notice anything great - as fast as ever - but then I'm nobody to test technical aspects; this is just a review of what I've noticed from using it so far. The only downside of this so far is that most of my favourite add-ons, including themes do not work I guess this will depend on the developers mostly, but I hope it will be better in the final release.


grim reaper1666

well i m using firefox 4 beta 4 and i think it is good. although i wish that when you make app tabs they stay when you open firefox another time. instead of being back to normal the next time you go onto a new instance of firefox. so overall i'd give this new firefox a 7/10 good but not perfect hopefully by the official release it will be good enough to achieve 9/10 or higher from me.


ZeneRobina

According to my experience I tried it was seems to be grate at beginning…but then I initially I found difficult to use my online banking website….which I use so often. There fore had to remain switching to i.e. just to use it. so I went back to firefox 3.6.


yordan

This topic is rather old. However, the subject is still interesting.For instance the fact that new versions or newer browsers which are not compatible with the daily use in your office or reaching your banking account.However, the current Firefox is not version 4, it's Firefox 5.


mahesh2k

I heard from some of the IRC mozzilla maintainers that they're quickly going to release future versions in upcoming weeks. they're actually following pattern of "release early, release often". I guess that way they're keeping the community active. I don't know how many bugs and issue are likely to pass if they come up with firefox 6 and 7. But they did announced that they're going to post version 7 soon. So expect the update about the new versions upto end of this year. I dont think the new versions are going to be any better. Besides there is also issue of add-ons and for the same reason maintainers feel that there should be decent gap between two updates. Many add-ons during 4.5 were broken and i think they're not even updated in 5 th update. So it's possible that they may take some time between version 6 and 7. As for new version not capable of backward compatiility between office suits or banking account. I doubt that in future versions. If they're on old updates like FF3 or so then they need to update eventually. I mean HTML5 is making things easy and clean. So they have to update the browser compatibility atleast once in year. Most of the mozzila updates are always work for some of the changes with webpages for year or so. Some sites which are not updated for years may see some less benefit. But i doubt that bank websites will have any issues. They're likely to run fine on updated versions of mozzila. That is for sure.


yordan

You are fully right. Firefox 6 is available today, I received a pop-up suggesting to update.-----Edit---The topic title was talking about "Unix Version", and I am talking about Windows version, almost off-topic. At least we are still talking about Mozilla Firefox.


mahesh2k

You're using windows version ? Because i'm also using windows version and it is not asking me for the update. Maybe you opted for nightly updates ? there is also nothing mentioned on their website or blog about this update. Atleast there is nothing for me to see. They may update the site today or tomorrow for this. As for their official notes on version numbering you can check this entry. As for off-topic, i guess we're on firefox topic, so platform hardly matters because both platforms are likely to have same version numbering and the releases. There is a lot discussed about the firefox and the version numbering and quick releases here as well. Most of the issues are related to the add-ons and the previous updates being comptible with the windows or any platform version. I guess it is good that they're not expoliting platform features and keeping browser only to the restricted use of browsing and not communicating much with the desktop of the respective platform. I hope that they give enough time to the developers of the add-on to make add-ons compatible with the new version of ff. Otherwise same set of add-ons will be incompatible for quite some time and it'll remain the same situation for atleast months and developers are likely to discard the add-on updates and move onto something other projects. There is always this chance with mozzila or any other browser which makes such things related to the version upgrades.


yordan

You're using windows version ? Because i'm also using windows version and it is not asking me for the update.

Here below is the "big" pop-up I receive.

I have also a quite small (one square centimeter) appearing during one second at the bottom righ edge of the Firefox screen and then vanishing.


mahesh2k

I just checked the about link in the help> about firefox. I found that it started updating on its own from there. I failed to stop it because there was no way to do that other than restarting firefox. I think they're officially keeping people under release channel. You'll find this line in Help> about firefox box. "You're currently signed under release update channel". I don't know how they signed me under that and how am i supposed to get out of it. So just updated the firefox without thinking much about the add-ons. Most of my add-ons are upgraded without any glitches. My add-ons are : ad block plus, ghsotery, lazarus, personas, xmarks etc. So they're all working fine for me as of now. I heard some folks are having issues with lastpass. I am not using it on firefox as of now. So it is basically not usable for me. I think you can upgrade to version 6 if your add-ons are supporting it. They also came up with new plugin checker version that checks the plugins on firefox and if they need any update. They open new web page and ask you to update any player or plugin if it is not upgraded at all. I think most of us can find it easy that way. Other than that there are not much of changes and i guess this release was made to clear the bugs in the system. I don't know why they're obsessed with weekly or monthly releases. Anyway, let me know how update goes for you.


yordan

I just checked the about link in the help> about firefox. I found that it started updating on its own from there.

Funny. I clicked the link, and it did not start the update. It first told me the plugins that would be deactivated, and waited for my action.So, I did not do the update, and I went to my test system and updated Firefox on the test system.

mahesh2k

Check this image of my about firefox dialog box. This is how it is going on for me right now.

 

Posted Image

 

You can see the note of "You are currently on the release update channel". This seems to be the issue as of now. Not sure if this is good thing or the bad thing. I mean if it is going to start update every time i click on about box then it is bad i guess. I don't want forced update unless there is security issue. Mozzila seems to be obsessed with the updates related to the version numbers. Also what is this release update channel ?. is this notification you're also getting ? or is it just few selected folks like me getting annoyed with it ?. I want to know what the hell is going on with their new updating policy. This looks pretty much annoyance than convenience to me.


Quatrux

I remember I just updated to Firefox 5 from Firefox 4, which I used to test pages and as I don't really use it, so I manually updated it to Firefox 5 and after some time I saw the news that Firefox 6 is announced and you can updated, I thought, so what is the difference between them, I can't see to much differenced between firefox 4 or 6, it seems that maybe it faster, but I don't feel it, I just guess it's more buggy and they can release Firefox 2000 or even 3000, but it won't make the browser better, it will still be Firefox :lol:Even though, I don't understand the versioning of software sometimes, but Opera has 11 version, Google chrome is 13 version, when I remember I used to use Opera 9 and 10 not so long ago, Google chrome 7 also not so long ago and I don't feel anything to much, the style usually changes a bit, but I guess browsers nowadays are just being optimized to be faster and that's really good, better algorithms! Better performance!Every half year firefox says, it's 20% faster, it's 30% faster! Try to download Firefox 2 and browse, so will it be over 9000 faster? I doubt it (trolling) maybe they buy new computers every year which are faster (trolling over)Also, it seems that Google chrome updates itself not even notifying about it you, firefox seems to moved this by default too, Opera also usually wants to updated next time without notice, but I always remove the check-box to do that Even though, nowadays it's maybe better to have the latest version of the browser, sometimes the new versions removes bugs in the old version, sometimes it offers you new bugs which can annoy you Even though, I think they have powerful testing units to test their software for bugs.



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