Tag Archives | beta

How to Install Firefox 4 on a Thumb Drive

Install Firefox 4 on Thumb Drive

Everybody seems to be raving about how great Firefox 4 will be, but have you seen it yet? By installing a portable version of Firefox 4 on a USB thumb drive, you too can test it out and see if you like this latest innovation from Mozilla.

Here is a step by step guide on how to install Firefox 4 on a USB thumb drive.

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App Tabs in Firefox 4

Firefox 4 App Tabs

The exciting Firefox feature to be added in the release of Firefox 4: Beta 2 was App Tab support.  The idea behind App Tabs is simple.  You are able to keep a favicon only tab open and pinned to the browser at all times.  Now yes, you can do this with the help of add-ons in Firefox 3, but I am excited to see this feature make its way into Firefox 4.

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Add-on Compatibility Reporter

Want to help your good friends at Mozilla do a little add-on testing?

Does you Firefox add-on need updating?

It takes a lot of work to see if add-ons still work or not, so you can do your part by installing the Add-on Compatibility Reporter.  Help the Firefox team make sure your favorite add-ons get updated for upcoming Firefox releases with this tool. 

Here is a little more about the add-on from the Mozilla team:

After installing the Add-on Compatibility Reporter, your incompatible extensions will become enabled for you to test whether they still work with the version of Firefox or Thunderbird that you’re using. If you notice that one of your add-ons doesn’t seem to be working the same way it did in previous versions of the application, just open the Add-ons Manager and click Compatibility next to that add-on to send a report to Mozilla.

Also worth mentioning is that Mozilla only recommends this add-on for alpha and beta users only. So if you like to stay on the cutting edge, this add-on is for you. You can pick up the Add-on Compatibility Reporter on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

How Exciting is Prism 1.0 beta?

Good, Bad and Ugly Facts on Prism 1.0 beta I was really excited by the idea of Prism back when it was first released, but little has been done with the product until now.  Last week, Mozilla announced the launch of Prism 1.0 beta and a new site to promote it.  So, now that some time has gone by, and we have all had time to play with it – time to cover the best and the worst about this most recent release.

What I Like About Prism 1.0 beta

Overall, I like Prism as a product.  The idea of being able to run something like Gmail as an application rather than as a web page interests me.  Here are some of the newest Prism features that Mozilla is extremely happy with:

  • New API functionality for allowing Prism-enabled web sites more desktop like power.
  • Ability to set fonts, proxy settings and other application-specific settings.
  • The ability to clear private data on demand.
  • Applications are automatically updated when new Prism versions are available.
  • Tray icon support, as well as submenus for dock and system tray menus.
  • Full OS X 10.4 support, and further OS X specific enhancement.
  • Support for SSL exceptions.

So there you have it; all great things to love.  So what still bugs me about Prism?

What I Don’t Like About Prism 1.0 beta

This might seem a little superficial, and many will answer my annoyance with the fact that is is still, “just a beta” but I don’t like the file download.  When downloaded your just left with an unzipped folder that says Prism.  Why not install it like a regular application?

I also think they need some simple scripting in there, to customize Prism a little ‘bit more.  How could this problem be solved?  Allow Greasemonkey scripts (or something like it).  Eventually somebody will figure out that step on their own, so they might as well get ahead of the curve.  If it is a product that comes from Mozilla, I want it to be customizable.  Firefox is customizable.  Thunderbird is customizable.  Prism just is not customizable enough for me, right now.

Final Thoughts?

Overall, it is getting there – however I am not sure they have been able to release this in a way that gets everybody excited about it.  The biggest hurdle for them, right now, is to answer those people who will say, “So… why not just launch it in the browser?”.  Those of us who are excited about it will answer back with, so that you can create separate applications for web sites you use, of course.  However, returned with another why, the argument for Prism just is not there yet. 

Prism is a fun toy for enthusiasts, but right now isn’t there for the general public yet, and I’m not sure how they would get there.  Do you?

Firefox 3, We Will See You in June!

firefox-release I have never been one for doing a lot of news but I’ll wear the suit and tie any ways while writing this quick post.  According to Wired’s tech blog the final release of Firefox 3 is due in June of this year.  This was disclosed to a roundtable discussion of tech bloggers (I wasn’t invited to!*) on Wednesday. 

To give you a timeline to work with, right now we are at Firefox 3, beta 4.  Firefox 3, beta 5 is expected to be released the first week of April (hopefully not on the 1st!). That should though be the last of the beta releases for Firefox 3.

In May we should be seeing the first release candidate hit the streets, and then most of the work will go into kicking extension developers in the pants to try to get them to officially update their code to work with Firefox 3. 

* – I am sure my invitation got lost in the mail, right guys? RIGHT?!

Firefox 3 Isn’t Ready…Yet!

Reuters Messes Up So should you or should you not be using Firefox 3 yet?  I would say for 90% of the population or people using Firefox, no.  You should at least wait for the release candidate versions or the final version.  The fact of the mater is, even though Firefox 3 looks good it still is not done yet.  The idea of bringing this topic up started after reading a post over at Cybernet News:

There is a lot of talking going around the Internet about Firefox 3 Beta being ready for mass usage. It’s because of an article by Reuters where the creators of Firefox supposedly told them that the Firefox 3 Beta is ready for everyone to use after months of being in development.

So I thought I would do what I can to help spread the words too about Firefox 3 being nice, pretty but not ready for prime time just yet.  Just to give you an idea of how long you should wait – I haven’t even replaced Firefox 2 yet.  Personally I’ll wait till it goes into the "release candidate" versions so that I can get ahead of the curve with some of your questions about it.

Also major "shame shame" on Reuters for not doing their homework on this.

Firefox 3 – More Beta 2 Goodies

Firefox 3 Beta 2 just rolled out and I have to say things just keep looking better and better. I mean, I’m not really all that disappointed with Firefox now but with what is being done there are tons of improvements on the way.

This recent release includes approximately 900 improvements over the previous beta, including fixes for stability, performance, memory usage, platform enhancements and user interface improvements. Awesome news all around.

Here are a few more details worth mentioning:

Star button: quickly add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click; a second click lets you file and tag them.

Places Organizer: view, organize and search through all of your bookmarks, tags, and browsing history with multiple views and smart folders to store your frequent searches.

New Download Manager: the revised download manager makes it much easier to locate downloaded files, and displays where a file came from.

Are we we excited yet? How about the news that 300 individual memory leaks have been plugged, and a new XPCOM cycle collector completely eliminates many more.

Released: Firefox 3 Beta 1

This is something everybody and their grandmother will be covering over the next few days, so I thought I should say something about it. Firefox 3 Beta 1 is now ready for testing. Still for “testing purposes only” this version promises to deliver…

  • Improved security features such as: better presentation of website identity and security, malware protection, stricter SSL error pages, anti-virus integration in the download manager, and version checking for insecure plugins.
  • Improved ease of use through: better password management, easier add-on installation, new download manager with resumable downloading, full page zoom, animated tab strip, and better integration with Windows Vista and Mac OS X.
  • Richer personalization through: one-click bookmarking, smart search bookmark folders, direct typing in location bar searches your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles, ability to register web applications as protocol handlers, and better customization of download actions for file types.
  • Improved platform features such as: new graphics and font rendering architecture, major changes to the HTML rendering engine to provide better CSS, float-, and table layout support, native web page form controls, colour profile management, and offline application support.
  • Performance improvements such as: better data reliability for user profiles, architectural improvements to speed up page rendering, over 300 memory leak fixes, and a new XPCOM cycle collector to reduce entire classes of leaks.

List of feature courtesy of developer.mozilla.org.

+ Download Firefox 3 Beta 1! 

Share Your Stuff

Speaking of interesting new ideas, here is a new one that got my attention this morning while going through my E-mail. Share2me promises to help you share things that you find on the Web site your friends, family and strangers you like to call friends.

Here is a little more about the Firefox extension from the folks at Lifehacker:

Once you enter in the necessary information, you’ll be good to go after a quick download and restart. Share2me definitely is an extremely quick way to share pretty much anything your heart desires – images, Web pages, videos, podcasts, you name it. It’s a free download, Firefox browsers only at this time.

+ Sign Up for the Beta of the Share2me Firefox Extension!