Nice article about Firefox 3.0. You greatly detail the new features and your criticisms are objective but still feel like you couldn't find anything wrong with the browser to really criticize on. I agree with the offline functionality but the problem is like you stated the web developers. Webslices in IE8 is proprietary in part, but an extension does exist for Firefox 3.0 to have the same functionality. And with a little help from Greasemonkey and a few scripts can be a very powerful extension. It is called Webchunks.
So like I said, nice article. Oh and the "intelligent bar" is commonly known as the "Awesome Bar".
how can you say that it forces you to make it the default browser? the option is very clear not in any way hidden but by default already selected. Yes it doesn't popup asking you the question but seriously everyone else is fighting dirty.
Also doesn't opera have the zoom feature and has had it for years?
FireFox definately has a good PR department, I'll give it that. As far as innovation in functionality and features, I'll give it a so-so rating. Opera has had most of these features for years, and included all the new ones (and many others) in it's recent 9.50 release this week (overshadowed by FireFox hype unfortunately). Cloud Opera Network? you bet, store those bookmarks where you really need them, online. Zoom? That's been in Opera since I started using version 6.0 years ago. Same with session restoration (and session saving). Opera has the secure Password Wand. Opera has preview's of the tabs. New with 9.50 is an intelligent address bar that searches not just web addresses but webpage content. I'm not saying FireFox is a bad browser, I've just never seen the need to use it since Opera out much longer. I suppose you can use FireFox to replace IE, that is if you didn't already stop using IE years ago.
Before I begin I'd like to give some credit to the author for at least acknowledging the fact that he didn't do any speed tests for the new release of Firefox. That being said, the lack of quantitative evidence is unacceptable - especially since this is an attempt at performing an objective review for Firefox 3. The release candidates for FF3 have been available for months, so there really should be no excuse for not testing.
Also, why is it that the new browser must be overflowing with new features? I think the author unfairly criticizes Firefox in that regard. As it is, most people complain about the feature creep which is starting to manifest itself in Firefox. I think it is nice when useful new features are added, but the devs should focus on providing increased speed, security, and stability (which, to their credit, they have done). If with every release they cater to the demands of people who want more features, we will soon end up with a bloated browser that no longer does its job well. A hammer works best when it is used as a hammer: one does not add a saw blade to a hammer because they think it might be a good idea. The same principle applies here.
I also used Opera for quite a long time, and I agree on hellwig's PR opinion. Firefox was felt far inferior compared to Opera, until the Firefox 3 came out. Opera 9.50 is a very great browser (though I don't feel much different with 9.27), but then the speed issue is one truly strong point of Firefox 3 (along with other 'Opera already has' enhancements) that makes me try to get used to it. So far I'm feeling this browser is awesome and better then Opera 9.50.
I also agree on Zorak to some point. A browser is nice when it's light, clean and having only necessary features. But I see that what Firefox has added and Toms' suggestion are helpful to many users, and thus I don't see it walking towards being a bloated browser. IMO complimenting them won't change the direction much.
FireFox 3 is very nice, but Opera 9.5 has increase its qualities and is yet the best browser... and in my opinion by far.
FireFox users do know now what is the mean of "fast", Opera users know that for years, and keep the "fastest" status.
Several speed benchmarks have been done by other websites. Currently, latest Safari, Opera 9.5 and Firefox 3.0 are pretty much equivalent (faster here, slower there) - depends on context, but they are all generally 2-5 times faster than IE 7, with still better standards support. So, what's left to compare them with?
- with its mobile orientation, Opera's cloud platform was a no-brainer feature. It really was logical for Opera to add this, and to host it. It also has a small enough user base to host the cloud, and is "fixed-function" enough (ie. you can't really extend Opera) to remain stable.
- its integration with Apple systems makes Safari the ideal iTunes+Quicktime companion; if you have a Windows machine crawling with Apple apps, Safari is a good choice for UI consistency. However, chances are you'd already have a Mac.
Still, these browsers really are faster: loading Yahoo!Mail, Gmail or Hotmail on any of these browsers is now an order of magnitude faster than on IE. Firefox 3 got a great speed-up over 2 in this area (DOM-heavy, standards-compliant websites).
One feature that sux so much is that when I\ve deleted a security certificate it also deleted it from my security device. No warning, no choice. It just killed it because I've forgot the warning of the certificate issuer. It's beyond comprehension!
It's nice I've been using it since Beta 3 but I don't agree that is is very stable it crashes quite often like 1.0 used to and also I hate some new security features. And it alays crashes when I leave a page with silverlight.
I am working on a Web application, and one of our QA persons complained that our application is much slower in FireFox 3 than in either FireFox 2 or IE 7. I can't reproduce it on my own PC, but on hers the difference is enormous. She can just run the same thing on FF3, then FF2, then FF3, then FF2 again, etc and it's very obvious and consistent.
This is really annoying...
On the bright side, we only had to do very minor tweaks for our app to work in FF3. That is, it was working fine in FF2 and the backward compatibility seems to be almost perfect.
I've been a strict IE user since version 3 and recently installed FF3 to see what all the fuss was about. While I do notice some improvements over IE 7, my favorite aspect of FF3 is it's plugin support. YES you cab bloat your browser with unnecessary plugins/enhancements however, I catch myself frequently thinking, "hey, that's pretty cool - I think I'll add that too!". I honestly find FF3 a refreshing change over IE and would recommend it to anyone (as of this writing) - at least to give it a try and see what they think.