My Initial Firefox 4 Thoughts

Initial Review of Firefox 4

Well, I have finally made the switch to Firefox 4 as my primary browser. (Firefox 4 – Beta 9 to be exact) I figured with the big Firefox 4 release date being next month, it was about time I got used to the new way of browsing with the latest incarnation of the Mozilla browser.  So what are some of my initial thoughts?

  • Fonts seem clearer to me.  Not exactly sure why, but they do.
  • When you right-click on a link, it looks like they have switched the positions of "Open in a New Window" and "Open in a New Tab".  This is going to get some taking used to.  All day yesterday, I kept opening new links in new windows instead of new tabs.
  • I like how the add-ons menu now opens in a new tab, rather than a new popup window.  However, I would like to see them do the same for downloads, the bookmark manager, options and everything else that pops up at me.
  • The "Private Browsing" mode is a little easier to access.  All you have to do is hit the Firefox button, and then click "Start Private Browsing".  Might actually use it now that it is not hidden.
  • In the Add-ons menu, there is a way to get add-ons without having to visit the Firefox Add-ons website.  You have a mini extensions and themes resource built right into the browser.  Hopefully this doesn’t hurt independent add-on review websites like Firefox Facts.
  • I have mixed feeling about having no status bar.  I like that when you hover over links, they still show you a preview in the address bar – but it is going to take some time to get used to.

After using Firefox 4 for a day, these are the only real issues or complaints I can come up with.  I am looking forward to the public release coming in February (cross your fingers) and seeing how the Firefox community at large reacts to this brand new browser.  Firefox 4 is going to be the biggest overhaul to Firefox we have seen in a long time – are you ready?

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15 Responses to My Initial Firefox 4 Thoughts

  1. slk Jan/18 at 8:23 am #

    What about the extensions? Half of them are still incompatible with Firefox4.

    Beside this, the lack of status bar is a big minus for me also. Hope someone will fix soon this

  2. EdwardG Jan/18 at 8:42 am #

    Well, I rather enjoy not having the status bar and still being able to preview links. That’s all i used it for, and i never got to like how it stole my precious screen space.

    Also, I know this is old news, but have you come to try clicking links with the middle mouse button (“mouse3″, or how some like to call, the “mouse scroll”)? It has the very same effect as right-clicking, and then selecting “open in a new tab”. Talk about a time-saver!

    All in all, i rather enjoyed every single bit of the new version (Okay, i’m not too fond of that *HUGE*, orange, “Firefox” button, but that can be fixed with some small tweaking in userchrome.css), but I specially loved how the new UI looks. It rendered invalid about 70% of the addons i used to keep (Since they were aimed at grabbing for me that little bit of extra screen space), and, although I feel a little bad for discarding them as soon as I realised they were not needed anymore, I think that mozilla did get things just about right this time. It couldn’t have been better! (Okay, it could. That orange button is just a little…)

  3. Filipe Palha Jan/18 at 3:31 pm #

    No status bar + add ons still not ready makes the Fourth not worthwhile, for now ofcourse.

  4. zzzsyk Jan/18 at 6:16 pm #

    I love Firefox 4, been using it since the first beta. There´s a fix for everything on FF 4, for example to make work incompatible addons just install this addon:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/es-ES/firefox/addon/add-on-compatibility-reporter/

    To have the statusbar options of FF 3.6 on FF 4 just install this addon:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/es-ES/firefox/addon/status-4-evar/

    Bookmark Manager on a tab:
    chrome://browser/content/places/places.xul

    Options on a tab:
    chrome://browser/content/preferences/preferences.xul

    Downloads:
    chrome://mozapps/content/downloads/downloads.xul
    (Not totally functional)

    History panel on a tab:
    chrome://browser/content/history/history-panel.xul

    Firefox 4 rules! more customizable than ever!

    • Boersenfeger Jan/20 at 9:18 am #

      Cookies on a Tab
      chrome://browser/content/preferences/cookies.xul

  5. Ben Jan/18 at 6:42 pm #

    @Filipe Palha Status bar 4 evar restores the status bar to firefox 4. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/status-4-evar/

    • Mitch Jan/19 at 8:35 am #

      Great find, thanks Ben! :)

    • Boersenfeger Jan/20 at 9:10 am #

      The newest Version get it from here:
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/status-4-evar/versions/
      For showing hoovered Links in the Add-on Bar, navigate to View–Navigation-Toolbar–Customize– and push the STATUS TEXT-Icon in the Add-on Bar. Now, when you hoover a Link, you see the Target-Site on the Addon-Bar, like in Firefox 3.6.13. :-))

  6. turo62 Jan/18 at 8:24 pm #

    i find firefox 4 beta 9 terrific 95% of my add ons work fine unlike beta 4 or beta 6.. It seems quicker than say firefox 3.6 see its benchmarks. SO far no outstanding negatives Also starts much quicker from a cold start than lower betas

  7. Filipe Palha Jan/18 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks Ben!
    i figured it was a matter of time untill that add-on exists ;)

    • Ben Jan/20 at 10:46 am #

      No problem. The main reason I use this addon is to remove the link target display from the location bar:)

  8. Philip Seyfi Jan/20 at 4:44 pm #

    What do you think about the removed RSS button?

  9. Catherine Smith Jan/25 at 9:06 am #

    After two days of bugs, slowdowns, crashes and
    150 messages from irate users, enough is enough.

    Back to 3.whatever until they clean it up.

    Let the pros clean it up and discuss it
    among themselves. I have other things
    to do.

    • Tim Feb/01 at 7:52 pm #

      Hi Catherine!
      I have had no problems and can not see much difference. I am not a high power user by any means. If it aint broke, I do not worry about it. I did gripe to FF techs that it did not pick up my Yahoo Tool Bar shortcuts and 2 days later, like magic, they appeared.

      So far no problems and I am not going back…..good luck, Tim

  10. doug greene Jan/28 at 6:51 am #

    I downloaded FF4 and tried to use it. Tragically, as a blind user, I was totally UNABLE to use it! Fore reasons well beyond my understanding, the text on web pages would not read with my TTS program, Zoomtext. This has never happened with FF before. Curiously, it did happen in Pale Moon when I tried that. I can only hope that Mozilla will fix this enormous problem when FF4 is fnally released to the public.