Linked by David Adams on Wed 7th Jul 2010 19:36 UTC, submitted by fran
Mozilla & Gecko clones Firefox 4 Beta (version 1) considered to be stable and safe to use for daily web browsing, though the features and content may change before the final product release.
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No flash in 64-bit
by theosib on Wed 7th Jul 2010 20:49 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

According to Apple, we're supposed to eschew Flash entirely. Unfortunartely, some websites still use it. The 64-bit build of Minefield (Firefox beta) doesn't support Flash on some platforms because there is no 64-bit flash. This isn't a problem for Safari, which runs Flash in its own 32-bit helper process. So why can't Firefox do this?

Edited 2010-07-07 20:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: No flash in 64-bit
by Maners on Wed 7th Jul 2010 21:30 UTC in reply to "No flash in 64-bit"
Maners Member since:
2005-07-26

It can do it through a 3rd party plugin called NSPluginwrapper

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No flash in 64-bit
by theosib on Thu 8th Jul 2010 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE: No flash in 64-bit"
theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

That's fine for Linux, but what about MacOS? Of course, Mozilla has always put Mac support on the back burner. Still can't use Firefox without running down my battery -- it prevents the computer from going to sleep after a period of inactivity. This bug has been in the database for a LONG time with no attention.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No flash in 64-bit
by nt_jerkface on Thu 8th Jul 2010 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No flash in 64-bit"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Mozilla should just drop the Mac version entirely.

I can't believe how many bugs I came across that were FF/Mac specific. You'd think the rendering engine would be consistent across platforms but...not really. I came across other bug reports from people who assumed that testing in FF/Windows meant it would work fine in FF/OSX. Mozilla really treats the OSX version as second rate.

Oh and with the same ajax project Chrome had zero cross-platform issues. Chrome was just a pleasure to work with. IE8 wasn't a big deal either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: No flash in 64-bit
by handy on Thu 8th Jul 2010 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No flash in 64-bit"
handy Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry to say but i think this is because Apple users are mostly users (leechers). VLC has the same problem with there Mac version, to few people who contribute to the platform in result that the Mac version is not as far as the other platforms.

No flame, just a my couple of euro cents left in my wallet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: No flash in 64-bit
by arpan on Thu 8th Jul 2010 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No flash in 64-bit"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

VLC & Firefox are two very different products.

Mozilla makes money when people use Firefox (and use the search box). More users, means more money.

With Chrome becoming more popular, and Safari adding plugin support, Mozilla has got to up their game if they don't want to lose users.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: No flash in 64-bit
by bousozoku on Fri 9th Jul 2010 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No flash in 64-bit"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

Mozilla should just drop the Mac version entirely.

I can't believe how many bugs I came across that were FF/Mac specific. You'd think the rendering engine would be consistent across platforms but...not really. I came across other bug reports from people who assumed that testing in FF/Windows meant it would work fine in FF/OSX. Mozilla really treats the OSX version as second rate.

Oh and with the same ajax project Chrome had zero cross-platform issues. Chrome was just a pleasure to work with. IE8 wasn't a big deal either.


Mozilla could just put their Mac OS X development time into Camino and be done with it since it has always been the light, quick browser that sparked the development of Firefox. I'd use Camino, but without Mozilla's push, things lose momentum.

I've been using 3.7a6pre/4.0b2pre for a while now and it's quite good but there is no hope that Mozilla will wake up and give Mac OS X a good effort.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: No flash in 64-bit
by nt_jerkface on Fri 9th Jul 2010 01:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No flash in 64-bit"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I'd rather see Gecko based browsers fall out of favor.

Mozilla should just bite the bullet and switch to Webkit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: No flash in 64-bit
by lemur2 on Fri 9th Jul 2010 02:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No flash in 64-bit"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'd rather see Gecko based browsers fall out of favor. Mozilla should just bite the bullet and switch to Webkit.


Why, exactly?

Gecko is integrated into the rest of Mozilla's code. Entrenched might be a better word.

With soon-to-come hardware accelerated page rendering, Firefox claims the title of fastest gpu-accelerated upcoming browser, easily outclassing Google Chrome and Opera, and beating even IE9:

http://blog.gsmarena.com/firefox-3-7-claims-title-of-fastest-gpu-ac...

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/06/24/4-way-html5-speed-test-fire...

When the Jaegermonkey technologies for accelerating Javascript performance are integrated together and added to Firefox, it may also take the crown for fastest Javascript performance:

http://arewefastyet.com/
http://arewefastyet.com/faq.html

Firefox has always has had the best and greatest range of extensions.

Firefox 3.7a6pre (which is an alpha version of upcoming Firefox 4) scores 97% on acid3 standards tests, which is not quite up to webkit but good enough not to worry about it all that much.

Why exactly should Mozilla drop their best-of-breed browser technology and move to webkit?

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: No flash in 64-bit
by sj87 on Fri 9th Jul 2010 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No flash in 64-bit"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

With soon-to-come hardware accelerated page rendering, Firefox claims the title of fastest gpu-accelerated upcoming browser, easily outclassing Google Chrome and Opera, and beating even IE9.


ON WINDOWS, maybe. Might even succeed on Mac, too. Linux is a completely different job. I don't myself trust on OpenGL to be the right technology for the job. XRender sucks because the mainstream drivers totally blow with it (Nvidia...).

Linux needs fast software rendering. WebKit has that. Gecko is - currently -ridiculously slow in rendering and as long as Mozilla concentrate on keeping the fuzz on with Windows & Direct2D, there's no hope in the Linux world.

Firefox already feels much slicker on Windows than on Linux when using KWin and OpenGL-based compositing with Nvidia drivers. Chrome and the others don't suffer of the same blow in rendering performance.

Edited 2010-07-09 05:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: No flash in 64-bit
by nt_jerkface on Fri 9th Jul 2010 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No flash in 64-bit"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Firefox 3.7a6pre (which is an alpha version of upcoming Firefox 4) scores 97% on acid3 standards tests, which is not quite up to webkit but good enough not to worry about it all that much.

Well that would be a moot point if FF, Chrome and Safari used the same engine.


Why exactly should Mozilla drop their best-of-breed browser technology and move to webkit?


It's your opinion that it is best of breed. As I stated before I came across all kinds of bugs in the OSX version. Wasn't the web supposed to simplify cross platform development? With Safari and Chrome I could just test in Windows but with FF I needed to boot up the Mac due to Mozilla not caring about keeping the rendering engine consistent. You can go look through the Mozilla bug reports yourself to confirm this.

Keep in mind that just because a browser follows W3C specs on paper does not mean that it is free of rendering quirks. Browser engines are very complex and W3C standards are only guidelines to follow.

If Mozilla switched to Webkit it would be a major boon for web developers.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No flash in 64-bit
by Fergy on Thu 8th Jul 2010 07:53 UTC in reply to "No flash in 64-bit"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

According to Apple, we're supposed to eschew Flash entirely. Unfortunartely, some websites still use it. The 64-bit build of Minefield (Firefox beta) doesn't support Flash on some platforms because there is no 64-bit flash. This isn't a problem for Safari, which runs Flash in its own 32-bit helper process. So why can't Firefox do this?

A better question right now is why you absolutely need to use the 64bit version when it is absolutely not ready. Do you often hit that 2GB memory limit?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No flash in 64-bit
by No it isnt on Thu 8th Jul 2010 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE: No flash in 64-bit"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Hit the 2 GB limit? Flash? Yes.

Not that it would help giving it access to more. The 64 bit version would consume all available RAM (and then some) when I tried to access sony-ericsson.com.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No flash in 64-bit
by Fergy on Thu 8th Jul 2010 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No flash in 64-bit"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Hit the 2 GB limit? Flash? Yes.

Not that it would help giving it access to more. The 64 bit version would consume all available RAM (and then some) when I tried to access sony-ericsson.com.

Even with the separate process for flash that was introduced with 3.6.4?
fyi I have never seen firefox go beyond 700MB

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No flash in 64-bit
by theosib on Thu 8th Jul 2010 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: No flash in 64-bit"
theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

No. I switched to the 32-bit version. I'm just saying that this is an oversight on their part.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No flash in 64-bit
by mesomaan on Thu 8th Jul 2010 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No flash in 64-bit"
mesomaan Member since:
2006-01-04

This is an oversight on who's part? Seems like an oversight on Adobe's part for not having 64 bit flash for the Mac. You are asking Mozilla to place some 32 bit hack into the browser because Adobe is slackin?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No flash in 64-bit
by theosib on Thu 8th Jul 2010 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No flash in 64-bit"
theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

Yeah, I'm basically suggesting that. Adobe does very poor work, leaving it up to the rest of us to work around their problems. People just need to accept that until we can replace Flash with something else.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No flash in 64-bit
by lemur2 on Thu 8th Jul 2010 11:54 UTC in reply to "No flash in 64-bit"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

According to Apple, we're supposed to eschew Flash entirely. Unfortunartely, some websites still use it. The 64-bit build of Minefield (Firefox beta) doesn't support Flash on some platforms because there is no 64-bit flash. This isn't a problem for Safari, which runs Flash in its own 32-bit helper process. So why can't Firefox do this?


I'm running Minefield 3.7a6pre on x86_64 Kubuntu 10.04.

I have a 64-bit Flash plugin installed.

File: libflashplayer.so
Version: Shockwave Flash 10.0 r45

Minefield supports it just fine.

Reply Score: 2

Feels like the FF2 days of yore...
by phoenix on Wed 7th Jul 2010 21:27 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Remember the "bad ol' days" when IE6 was considered the "fast" browser, and Netscape 4 was just too clunky to use, when the upstart Firefox browser was released? Remember the "wow" factor from using a web browser so many times faster than IE?

Use FF4 for a bit, and you'll experience that feeling again. ;)

I used to think FF 3.0/3.5/3.6 was a fast, light browser. Then I used Chrome and I realised just how slow and clunky FF had become.

Using FF4 is like using FF2 after years of using IE6. It really makes you realise just how slow FF3 is for JS-heavy sites.

Haven't used it too much, can't really comment on the UI (although it's nice to have a default UI that doesn't waste 3" of vertical screen space). But, many, is the JS engine ever speedy ... even on Linux and lowly ol' XP.

Reply Score: 5

another_sam Member since:
2009-08-19

the list of improvements for developers is quite impressive
http://hacks.mozilla.org/2010/07/firefox-4-beta-1-is-here-whats-in-...
but what i've specially appreciated, and I'm sure more people will do, is greater UI responsiveness.

adblock plus is yet updated to work with this beta so I encourage all non-critical installations to backup their profiles and start to use it on a daily basis.

Reply Score: 2

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

Remember the "bad ol' days" when IE6 was considered the "fast" browser, and Netscape 4 was just too clunky to use, when the upstart Firefox browser was released? Remember the "wow" factor from using a web browser so many times faster than IE?


Some of us were using a browser many times as fast as IE years before Firefox even existed.

When Firefox was released and over hyped I was utterly underwhelmed. Opera was offering a better feature set in the late 90s, and Firefox was slow and unstable in comparison.

To me it just seemed like Netscape+ rather than a new browser with "wow factor".

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Yeah, I used Opera 3.x back in the day, running it off a floppy in the university Windows 3.11/95 labs. It was nice! Things went downhill starting with Opera 4.x, though, and that's when I gave up on it (altough I do run each major version for a few days to see what's new/improved/worse/etc).

However, that has absolutely nothing to do with a discussion about Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

By the time of IE6, Opera still had that horrendous ad in their shareware version.

So it was not Firefox who overtake Opera through hype, but Opera himself who killed their own chance to became the second most used browser today in one of most crucial moments of the browser wars, and as a side effect, made Firefox the only usable non-annoying free alternative to IE6. =)

Reply Score: 3

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

If that is actually true, I may actually switch back. Haven't used firefox since the day chrome came out.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If that is actually true, I may actually switch back. Haven't used firefox since the day chrome came out.


The Firefox 4 beta has not yet included the JaegerMonkey JIT compiler for accelerating javascript performance. This is still in work, but it is getting there:

http://www.arewefastyet.com/

Note for the worried: the tracer JIT (orange) and method JIT (black) are not yet integrated. Once integrated, the merged branch will be faster than either branch individually. They are complementary.


Apple nitro and Google V8 are both still faster than Firefox, but the developing trend for JaegerMonkey technology in Firefox is quite promising.

http://www.arewefastyet.com/faq.html
"JaegerMonkey" is the code-name for a new JIT being developed for Mozilla's JavaScript engine. Jaeger means "hunter" in German. "Tracing" is the original JIT. "Jaeger+Tracing" is them both turned on, working together. "Interpreter" is Mozilla's JavaScript engine without any JITing. "Google V8" is the JavaScript engine for Google Chrome, and "Apple Nitro" (aka JavaScriptCore) is the JavaScript engine for Apple's Safari browser.


Edited 2010-07-08 13:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

New interface looks like Opera
by nt_jerkface on Wed 7th Jul 2010 21:55 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

FF has become clunky, I'm not at all surprised that it is no longer gaining marketshare.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by motang
by motang on Wed 7th Jul 2010 22:15 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

Using it right now on all my Windows machines, and anxiously waiting for the Linux version to be released so I can use it on my all my Ubuntu machines. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by motang
by another_sam on Thu 8th Jul 2010 15:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by motang"
another_sam Member since:
2009-08-19

it is already avaliable for linux
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

you have to extract the folder, put it where you want (eg: /usr/local/firefox4) and edit your typical shortcut to point to the executable file (eg: /usr/local/firefox4/firefox). I much more prefer to install things through Ubuntu Software Center or apt-get, but for Firefox 4 betas I am doing an exception.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by motang
by phoenix on Thu 8th Jul 2010 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by motang"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

If you just want to test the beta without affecting your normal FF profile, you can install the FoxTester extension. Point that at a directory, then copy the .tar.bz2 file for whatever version you want to test into that directory, and then you can access them via the FoxTester menu.

Run multiple versions at once, without installing any of them. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by _xmv
by _xmv on Thu 8th Jul 2010 01:04 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

that's kind of funny cause ff4 doesnt feel any faster than ff3.6 here.
Now ff3.6 didn't feel slow at all. But ff4 has a new interface.. and i'm 99% sure its what gives the "wow" feeling to ppl.

Same reason they use Chrome. Nothing to do with clunkyness. Now, the new interface isn't bad anyway, I got used to it rather quick and I find it more comfortable for me than Chrome which has no title bar (and it annoys me lol)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by _xmv
by adkilla on Thu 8th Jul 2010 02:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by _xmv"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

I hate that new confusing web icon used in the address bar in the new Chrome builds.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by _xmv
by phoenix on Thu 8th Jul 2010 16:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by _xmv"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

that's kind of funny cause ff4 doesnt feel any faster than ff3.6 here.
Now ff3.6 didn't feel slow at all. But ff4 has a new interface.. and i'm 99% sure its what gives the "wow" feeling to ppl.


Try accessing a Zimbra account using FF3. Then try accessing the same Zimbra account using Chrome. Then try accessing the same Zimbra account with FF4. After that, you'll realise just how slow and clunky FF3 JS engine really is, how fast the Chrome JS engine is, and how far the FF4 JS engine has come.

Try the same with a GMail account. Or a Slashdot account.

Same reason they use Chrome. Nothing to do with clunkyness.


No, it has very little to do with the interface, and a whole lot to do with how crappy the FF3 JS engine is, compared to Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc.

Now, the new interface isn't bad anyway, I got used to it rather quick and I find it more comfortable for me than Chrome which has no title bar (and it annoys me lol)


Chrome has a title bar is you want it. Just enable system title bar in the options.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by _xmv
by Zifre on Thu 8th Jul 2010 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by _xmv"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

No, it has very little to do with the interface, and a whole lot to do with how crappy the FF3 JS engine is, compared to Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc.

Actually, the only reason I use Chrome is because of the interface. There is NO way I could ever use a browser without tabs on the top again (much faster mouse access). I really can't notice much of a speed difference between Chrome and Firefox.

Most people I know the use Chrome use it for the same reasons, and can't really notice any difference in speed.

I should note that once Firefox supports tabs-on-top with Linux, I will probably move back to it instead of Chrome.

Edited 2010-07-08 22:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by _xmv
by phoenix on Thu 8th Jul 2010 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by _xmv"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I should note that once Firefox supports tabs-on-top with Linux, I will probably move back to it instead of Chrome.


FF4 allows you to select tabs-on-top (default) or tabs-under-addressbar.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by _xmv
by Zifre on Thu 8th Jul 2010 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by _xmv"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

FF4 allows you to select tabs-on-top (default) or tabs-under-addressbar.

Yes, but AFAIK, not on Linux yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by _xmv
by lemur2 on Fri 9th Jul 2010 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by _xmv"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"FF4 allows you to select tabs-on-top (default) or tabs-under-addressbar.
Yes, but AFAIK, not on Linux yet. "

Yes it does, on Linux. On Linux Firefox pre-releases, right-click on the menu bar away from the menus themselves, and apart from the ability to turn the navigation toolbar and the bookmarks toobar on and off, there is now an option to display "tabs on top".

Out-of-the-box default settings are: the Bookmark and Navigation toolbars are enabled, and "tabs on top" is disabled.

Edited 2010-07-09 00:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by _xmv
by Zifre on Fri 9th Jul 2010 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by _xmv"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Yes, there is "tabs on top", but it actually doesn't help me with anything. There is still a menu bar and a title bar above the tab bar.

Until I can change tabs with my mouse at the top of the screen, I will continue to use Chrome, which is unfortunate, because I prefer Firefox in nearly every other way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by _xmv
by sj87 on Fri 9th Jul 2010 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by _xmv"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

Until I can change tabs with my mouse at the top of the screen, I will continue to use Chrome, which is unfortunate, because I prefer Firefox in nearly every other way.

Just install Compact Menu or whatever extension you prefer and stop fudding, please.

While not all extensions have official support for Fx 4.0, most of them work fine after manually editing their max version strings. Compact Menu 2 has a Git-branch with official Firefox 4.0 support.

Chrome features a title bar too, what's your point? Meaningless moaning about beta software.

Edited 2010-07-09 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by _xmv
by phoenix on Fri 9th Jul 2010 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by _xmv"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

There are several different extensions that hide the menu bar. I use HideMenu and Personal Menu to put all that crap behind a single icon in the addressbar.

Once those are updated for FF4, it'll be very difficult to tell Opera, FF, and Chrome apart.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by _xmv
by phoenix on Fri 9th Jul 2010 05:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by _xmv"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I'll double-check when at work tomorrow, but I'm almost certain that feature is there and can be toggled.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by _xmv
by nt_jerkface on Fri 9th Jul 2010 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by _xmv"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Most people I know the use Chrome use it for the same reasons, and can't really notice any difference in speed.


I notice a difference when I have a bunch of Flash and Javascript heavy pages open, but it isn't significant.

I use Chrome because it rarely crashes and has an interface that stays out of the way.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by _xmv
by phoenix on Fri 9th Jul 2010 20:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by _xmv"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

that's kind of funny cause ff4 doesnt feel any faster than ff3.6 here. Now ff3.6 didn't feel slow at all. But ff4 has a new interface.. and i'm 99% sure its what gives the "wow" feeling to ppl.


I'm not the only one who finds FF4 to be a lot faster than FF3:

http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7822

Reply Score: 2

noscript
by knowmad on Thu 8th Jul 2010 04:01 UTC
knowmad
Member since:
2010-07-08

Is there a version of noscript that will work with it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: noscript
by adricnet on Thu 8th Jul 2010 14:11 UTC in reply to "noscript"
adricnet Member since:
2005-07-01

yes, or I wouldn't be here posting this ;)

Seriously though, NoScript does a great job keeping up with Mozilla APIs and has working version for trunk nightly builds and the beta, in my recent experience, on Win,Mac,Lin (32bit all).

hth,
adric

Reply Score: 1

Old menus?
by whitehornmatt on Thu 8th Jul 2010 07:32 UTC
whitehornmatt
Member since:
2005-07-07

Is there any way to get it with the old interface on Windows? I don't use Chrome because I don't like the tabs on top and am just used to the old menu format.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Old menus?
by Kroc on Thu 8th Jul 2010 08:07 UTC in reply to "Old menus?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Right click on the toolbar to toggle tabs on top, and press Alt to show the menu and choose View > Toolbars > Menu to keep it on.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Old menus?
by whitehornmatt on Thu 8th Jul 2010 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Old menus?"
whitehornmatt Member since:
2005-07-07

Thanks. Off to upgrade then...

Reply Score: 1

OS X Theme
by arpan on Thu 8th Jul 2010 10:02 UTC
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

One tip for Mac users. If you want Firefox to look like a native app go here: http://takebacktheweb.org/

and install the theme GrApple Yummy. There is a a version available for beta1 at the bottom of that page. There is an option to have the tabs at the top if you like it that way.

Reply Score: 1

Firefox 4 is more than just WebM
by lemur2 on Fri 9th Jul 2010 00:07 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://infoworld.com/d/applications/first-look-firefox-4-beta-1-shi...

Many of the enticing new features open up new opportunities for AJAX and JavaScript programmers to add more razzle-dazzle and catch up with Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, and other plug-ins. The CSS transitions, still "partially supported" in Firefox 4 Beta 1, give programmers the chance to set up one model for changing the CSS parameters without writing a separate JavaScript function to do it. The browser just fades and tweaks the CSS parameters over time.

There are plenty of other little parts of HTML5 that have been slowly arriving in previous versions of Firefox but are now being more fully integerated. MathML and SVG data are now a bit easier to mix right in with old-fashioned text. The Canvas and optional WebGL layers can create custom images at the browser without waiting for a server to deliver a GIF. A handful of new tags like <header> and <figure> offer a more document-centric approach, so the browser can present information more like the data on the printed page. The <figure> tag can be matched with a <figcaption> tag and the browser will keep the two together and try to put the results near the <mark> tag.

These are just some of the options that programmers can use to add more zip to static text. Firefox 4 also adds an implementation of the Websockets API, a tool for enabling the browser and the server to pass data back and forth as needed, making it unnecessary for the browser to keep asking the server if there's anything new to report.


By the time they add in the Jaegermonkey JIT Javascript compiler, Firefox 4 will once again be right at the cutting edge of browser capabilities and performance, IMO.

Mozilla's release notes say that a better JIT (Just In Time) compiler for JavaScript and layered rendering engine (i.e. hardware accelerated page rendering) are "coming soon."

There are areas in which Firefox still leads. Firefox's collection of extensions and plug-ins is still broader and more developed than any other. Firefox 4 nurtures this advantage by making it possible to turn the different extensions on and off without restarting.


Edited 2010-07-09 00:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

we hit the point of diminishing returns a while back.

Just because a browser gets a 10% gain in a synthetic benchmarks does not mean that anyone can tell the difference in daily browsing.

GPU acceleration will be the next big improvement in browser technology. IE9 is going to provide Mozilla with some serious competition.

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

That is if every browser hasn’t already released a version with HW acceleration by the time IE9 actually comes out. Besides the time frame, yes, I think IE9 is going to raise the bar because of tight integration with Windows’ capabilities.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

we hit the point of diminishing returns a while back.

Just because a browser gets a 10% gain in a synthetic benchmarks does not mean that anyone can tell the difference in daily browsing.

GPU acceleration will be the next big improvement in browser technology. IE9 is going to provide Mozilla with some serious competition.


Firefox actually beats IE9 performance when it comes to GPU acceleration.

Firefox with Jaegermonkey will soundly beat IE9 performance when it comes to Javascript. One cannot get enough Javascript performance when it comes to web applications ... aka "the cloud".

Firefox handily beats IE9 when it comes to standards compliance.

Firefox has a native, built-in player for HTML5 video (with either Theora or WebM video).

Firefox can also do many other things that IE9 (or Google Chrome for that matter) simply do not allow you to do:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006/

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Sigh.

IE9 isn't even in beta yet. Geez.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Sigh.

IE9 isn't even in beta yet. Geez.


IE has had years and years, with the field virtually all to itself, in which to develop and advance browser technology. Instead, it stagnated development of the web for years, for example refusing to implement stuff like SVG, until it got spanked by an open source, Johnny-come-lately upstart.

Deal with it.

It is exceedingly unlikely that IE9 will even be close to competitive with any of the other major browsers at versions that will be released either before it this year or at about the same time.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


IE has had years and years, with the field virtually all to itself, in which to develop and advance browser technology. Instead, it stagnated development of the web for years, for example refusing to implement stuff like SVG, until it got spanked by an open source, Johnny-come-lately upstart.

Deal with it.


Deal with what? Unlike you I'm not emotionally attached to a browser. Open source advocates like you make the mistake of assuming that there are bizarro opposites of yourselves that are equally zealous of closed source. I use Chrome because it meets my needs and I will use IE9 if I find it better.


It is exceedingly unlikely that IE9 will even be close to competitive with any of the other major browsers at versions that will be released either before it this year or at about the same time.


Not so because MS has the advantage of being able to break from XP and rebuild their browser around DX11. IE9 could end up being a lot lighter due to Mozilla having to keep their codebase cross-platform.

Remember also that IE9 doesn't have to be the best at synthetic benchmarks, it just has to be "good enough" for people to not download Firefox or Chrome.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"
IE has had years and years, with the field virtually all to itself, in which to develop and advance browser technology. Instead, it stagnated development of the web for years, for example refusing to implement stuff like SVG, until it got spanked by an open source, Johnny-come-lately upstart.

Deal with it.


Deal with what? Unlike you I'm not emotionally attached to a browser. Open source advocates like you make the mistake of assuming that there are bizarro opposites of yourselves that are equally zealous of closed source. I use Chrome because it meets my needs and I will use IE9 if I find it better.
"

You make the mistake of assuming that I am touting for one browser or another, or that I am touting against IE. I am not.

What I promote is the idea that there should be many browsers operating to the one open set of standards for all things. Despite your ramblings, it is true to say that Webkit, Gecko and Presto (Opera's engine) are very, very close to this ideal.

From a developer point of view, it is pretty trivial to write a web page (once) with rich content and tweak it a bit so it works fine on all three engines.

The ONLY rendering engine that is still a problem is trident. Fact. Deal with it.

It is NOT Gecko that one should be hoping is dropped, it is trident.

It is exceedingly unlikely that IE9 will even be close to competitive with any of the other major browsers at versions that will be released either before it this year or at about the same time.


Not so because MS has the advantage of being able to break from XP and rebuild their browser around DX11.


What has this got to do with anything? DX11 deals only with drawing some elements on a screen. This is a tiny part of a browser.

IE9 could end up being a lot lighter due to Mozilla having to keep their codebase cross-platform.


Doubtful. Mozilla uses OpenGL for hardware acceleration, which works cross-platform. Unfortunately, OpenGL on Windows is (probably deliberately) abysmal performance, and so Mozilla got ONE PERSON to write a Direct2D backend for Windows only. That backend happens already to out-perform IE9 beta, BTW. One persons effort. Not a big deal at all.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Platform/GFX/HardwareAcceleration
http://blog.mozilla.com/joe/2010/05/25/hardware-accelerating-firefo...

Remember also that IE9 doesn't have to be the best at synthetic benchmarks, it just has to be "good enough" for people to not download Firefox or Chrome.


Too late, one would think. Net applications is an extremely biased source, but even they plot the long term trend for IE very clearly:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/Usage_shar...

The overall number of computers, and therefore browsers, and therefore Windows machines, goes up all the time. IE share percentage drops all the time, even net Applications has it as dropping by 30% over the past five years.

Given that most people who had a Windows machine and were using IE five years ago are probably still using IE, this means that a lot more than 30% of people shun IE and install another browser on their new machine.

I think you might find that when Firefox 4 comes out, Firefox's share will climb again at a rate similar to the boost that came when Firefox 3 came out. Chrome will also continue to rise, probably sharper than Firefox.

It won't be long before even Net Applications has to admit that the equation has become:

(Gecko + Webkit) > Trident

That means that developers will be able to write fancy, rich content web pages, such as YouTube-like sites, and cloud apps, that work on most browsers without any plugin required.

Some of that "cool stuff" will be beyond the capabilities of IE9.

This will only accelerate the trend of people installing a browser other than IE (most people will install one in addition to IE).

One they install another browser, and discover extensions that allow them to do things they want to actually do, then word-of-mouth will even further accelerate that trend.

Edited 2010-07-11 01:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


From a developer point of view, it is pretty trivial to write a web page (once) with rich content and tweak it a bit so it works fine on all three engines.


That's only for simple websites. Start working with complex AJAX web apps and you'll understand the limitations of W3C specs.


It is NOT Gecko that one should be hoping is dropped, it is trident.

That isn't an realistic expectation and you know it.


What has this got to do with anything? DX11 deals only with drawing some elements on a screen. This is a tiny part of a browser.


By focusing on DX10/11 and WPF they can keep their code lighter and faster.


Some of that "cool stuff" will be beyond the capabilities of IE9.

This will only accelerate the trend of people installing a browser other than IE (most people will install one in addition to IE).


Ok you have gone into fantasy land with that statement. No for-profit website is going to ignore IE just to have a flashy interface.

Reply Score: 2