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Firefox 3.0: A look at features, add-ons, and record-setting

Hear what bloggers are saying about Firefox 3.0's new features and add-ons. Plus, find out how you can help set a Guinness World Record by joining in the Firefox Download Day.

Today is the scheduled launch of Firefox 3.0. For a look at the latest version of Mozilla's browser, check out the post from ZDNet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in which he discusses new features and provides his first thoughts about the final version. Also, take a look at his photos of Firefox 3.0:

TechRepublic blogger Steven Warren suggests that you check out the Firefox 3 Add-ons manager. He writes, "What I am really enjoying about Firefox 3 is the ability to search Add-ons right from the window."

And, if you're interested in helping set a Guinness World Record, don't miss TechRepublic blogger Jack Wallen's plea for open source advocates to join in the Firefox Download Day. He asks, "But I wonder something...what about those people (like myself) that tend to install with apt-get. Will those downloads count? Or what about the fact that some will download it once and install it on many machines? Ah, there's the rub when trying to tally up numbers for Linux." Be sure to take Jack's poll to share whether you plan to download Firefox 3.0 today.

Additional Firefox 3.0 resources

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

30 comments
sysop-dr
sysop-dr

The new Firefox is good, fast and has a nice clean look. I just wish people who made the plugins had downloaded the betas and RCs and gotten their plugins out on time.

foreigner
foreigner

I have been using FF v.3 betas for months and naturally imagined that by final release date all/most ?add-ons? would be up-to-date compatible. This is far from the reality! Of the 26 ?add-ons? that I use in FF v.2, merely 10 have been actualized for FF v.3! I struggle to explain this reality. Considering that numerous persons spent much time and intellectual energy to develop socially useful products and were proud to share them with the world and attach their names to them, it now appears that many have given up caring. [It causes me to think of all the bicycles around my city inexplicably abandoned for months/years locked to poles, fences & trees. Did their owners get so drunk as to forget where they parked them, or even that they had travelled by bicycle?] Months have passed and in a few cases, the required work might have been as trivial as augmenting the Max Version compatibility parameter in the code. Desperate hackers among you may see an instructive example concerning the "Skype Toolbar for Thunderbird" at: http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=89028&st=0&p=425945entry425945 During the betas at least, it was possible to install v.2 and v.3 side by side and to use each (in my case) on the same profile (file structure). FF v.3 has finally improved remarkably the manipulation of bookmarks and radically changed the related files. Be aware that the traditional ?bookmarks.html? appears to be inoperative and to be replaced by a quite different file nomenclature and all that that represents.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

'Considering that numerous persons spent much time and intellectual energy to develop socially useful products and were proud to share them with the world and attach their names to them, it now appears that many have given up caring." Maybe they got lives :-) Seriously, I've often thought this was a potential weakness in the open source development model. If the original author loses interest, and no one else cares about updating the code, then these plug-ins (and eventually other applications) are obsolete and users may be out of luck. Among the possible options is to learn how to update them yourself or to pay someone else to do so. Both of these are affected by how strongly you want to see the app / plug-in remain viable.

VAR1016
VAR1016

I found that in FF3 RC3 one had the option in the backup tab to export bookmarks either as JSON or HTML - thank God as I am now back with FF2.0.14 for the reasons explained above Paul

n3ur0
n3ur0

Today its also Firefox D-Day, we geeks n users are clubbing together to download Firefox to make a new guinness world record of most downloaded Software in a day. So lets do this thing, to make it possible.

Keighlar
Keighlar

What was the goal number of downloads, and was it met?

VAR1016
VAR1016

As I wrote elsewhere, I am annoyed with the latest release (FF3 RC3) since it will not work properly with Gmail. It so happens that over the past week I have done a number or clean reinstallations of the OS (XP Pro) and trying to incorporate RC3; every time, usually after an hour or so, when I attempt to log out of Gmail the (FF) program freezes. I did not have this trouble with FF3 beta 5 or RC2. Now I have to use FF2 which is not as good (apart from the bookmarks arrangements which are much nicer to use). Anyone got a FF3RC2 installation package? Paul

martian
martian

Actually, I've been using FFox 3 all thru the betas starting with 4 or so and even with final version 3 still having no issues with Gmail whatsoever, so you may want to look elsewhere for the cause of your troubles. Otherwise, Filehippo keeps copies of older versions of most software in case you want to use an older version...

VAR1016
VAR1016

Thanks again. I downloaded FF3 RC2 from FileHippo - and got the same problem (still works perfectly in Portable Firefox 3.0). So I then downloaded FF3 Beta 5 from FH. Works fine!! Thanks again, Paul

VAR1016
VAR1016

Most helpful: in fact I downloaded Portable Firefox 3, which was described at this CNET page: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13554_3-9970448-33.html as being FF3 RC2. He must be right because it works perfectly. I cannot see where else the problem can lie: clean OS installation (same day) anti-virus, firewall, Spybot, Lavasoft and as I said the problem only began (in other OS installations) with the release of FF3 RC3! Paul

VAR1016
VAR1016

Just installed FF3. System is a clean install on formatted disc done this morning. And yes, Gmail freezes (and FF too) as soon as I try to sign out of Gmail. Now I have to try to get back to 2.0.14 and reinstall ALL the add-ons again Grrrrrrrrrr ARE YOU OUT THERE FIREFOX? BRING BACK RC2! Paul

jdclyde
jdclyde

Ever since you posted this the other day, (a few times) you are still the only one to report having this problem that I have seen, here on TR. I, and several others have all been using ff3 AND gmail without fail ever since release day. The problem has to be a odd combination on your system for others to not be encountering the same problem?

VAR1016
VAR1016

I just restarted my computer having uninstalled the useless and entirely incomprehensible Windows Search 4.0 so now I can actually search for a file once again. Anyway, on restarting, Firefox, without my consent, upgraded me from FF3 Beta 5 to FF3. I groaned, but so far it works perfectly. I am baffled. Paul

VAR1016
VAR1016

"The problem has to be a odd combination on your system for others to not be encountering the same problem? " I agree: that appears to be the logical explanation, but why only after the release of FF3 RC3? I now have 3 Beta 5 running and it's absolutely fine (like Firefox 3 Portable!). I know I have posted several times but this is really because there are several threads running. Paul Paul

Junx
Junx

I have to disagree. I have just changed to FF3 and my Gmail is going fine, in fact is, as promised, even quicker than when using FF2. I am a bit upset about losing some of my add-ons but I knew this was gong to happen and planned ahead and got some alternative ready. So from a personal point of view, I'm happy with FF3 though this is my first day using the final version.

n3ur0
n3ur0

hi, there is no such error reported so far, my gmail is working pretty fine.. can you take the screen shot of the problem send it to the feedback team of firefox.

VAR1016
VAR1016

OK, briefly: I ran FF3 Beta 5 for some weeks and then changed to RC2 - they were fine (except as I wrote, for the new bookmarks arrangements). Following a new OS installation I was obliged to use FF3 RC3, since it was not possible to download RC2. Since then I have had this Gmail problem. Over the past week, for a variety of reasons I have done a number of clean reinstalltions of the OS (Now XP Pro SP2). Every time I have installed FF3 RC3 or now FF3, I have the smae Gmail problem - I cannot sign out with out the program freezing and I have to ctrl/alt/del. There is nothnng to show on a screen shot - Gmail opens fine, it just won't close - about 8 times out of ten. All I get is the little dotted "box" around the words "sign out" and that's it!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If only Adobe would catch up and release the 64bit native flashplayer. (off topic but it's the pain in my .. this week, I may have to put the 32bit FF on my 64bit OS just to see the brainfrt that is Flash on websites I require) As for FF, a final release is welcome, I'll watch for it in my OS repositories and see how it stacks up against the others.

gob3939
gob3939

Filehippo.com downloads it with no delay Gob3939

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I try to stick with native repository packages too keep things clean so my waiting is more on the part of the repo maintainers once they have a chance too package it into a rpm with proper install path mappings and such. I will likely grab the win32 shortly for the count though.

jdsegarra
jdsegarra

Yeah I saw that too but I don't know if that counts towards their record download goals which is kinda part of the "fun"

Izzmo
Izzmo

I totally agree with that. They need to get with it.

JandNL
JandNL

We use Mozilla's Firefox most of the time because it works well and is the most secure browser. We definitely want to get Version 3 ASAP!

bdfew
bdfew

I am unable to use the latest hotmail and have to resort the the classic version. Hopefully that will be fixed soon. I can live with it for now. But I still have the option to go back to 2.0.0.14

Keighlar
Keighlar

As of 2:00 PM EST, http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord is not connecting. Anyone have news on this? Nevermind. It only connects in Firefox. :D lol

Neil Higgins
Neil Higgins

I am in the UK,and just keep getting "Timed out" messages.I guess I shall have to stay with Firefox 2,until the 100 billion "downloaders" have had "their fix"

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The entire planet is encouraged to download it at the same time, and then the connection's down. I'm shocked, shocked! Yet another reason I've opted to not bother for a couple of weeks.

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