Saturday, July 12, 2008

What I like about Firefox 3

On June 17 of this year, Mozilla released the launch of Firefox 3. I've been using it for about a week now and I'd like to share what I like about it. (And maybe what I don't like about it, but it's kind of hard not to like Firefox.)

What I like about it:
I'll start with the address bar. A lot of browsers today have the feature that when you type in what you're searching into the address bar (fire, for example), hit enter and you get a page of the search results by your chosen search engine. But what if you type "fire" and you could see the matching search result pages being populated as a list as you type? That's the new feature in Firefox 3.

As described from Edward Lee:
"Firefox will remember the text you typed and the page you selected, so next time when you give a similar input, Firefox will give a higher rank to those pages. It even matches partial inputs, so I can even type just "p" from planet, and Firefox knows to put that above other pages that just happen to also match "p"..."
Here's an overview of what you can do with the new address bar in Firefox 3 (from Firefox 3 Revealed):
  • Search your history and bookmarks for any combination of words while you're typing
  • Restrict your searches to bookmarks, history or tagged pages only by prep ending your search terms with "*", "^" or "+" respectively.
  • Match whole phrases by enclosing words within double quotes
  • Provides search results ordered by frequency and recency.
Also, it is rumored that the address bar will replace the search bar in later versions of Firefox :)

Next is the Places feature, which you can organize your History and Bookmarks. I don't have a need for this, nor have tried it out, but it looks like it has a boatload of options. Instead I use Bookmarks in the Google Toolbar.

The Download Manager has been improved in Firefox 3. It now lets you pause downloads to resume later, especially large downloads. And they will stay paused when you close Firefox and restart it back up.

Well here is something I don't like about Firefox 3; that you still have to restart Firefox when you install an add-on (extensions, themes, plugins). According to Firefox 3 Revealed from,
"This feature was planned but didn't make the cut because it involved core changes that were too invasive."
Oh well. Maybe next time.

Okay. Now for my favorite part: CSS Improvements.
Firefox 3 now supports more CSS2.1 and it seems a lot of bugs have been fixed. Such as support for negative z-index values and inline-block. (IE7 still doesn't support inline-block.)

These are just a few things I wanted to point out with the new Firefox 3. Of course, there are tons of other stuff like, HTML 5, APNG (animated portable network graphic) , Microformats, and SVG (scalable vector graphic) support. Be sure to get a copy of Firefox 3 Revealed from

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