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Firefox 3 Beta 1 available

Firefox 3 Beta 1 available

Firefox 3 is getting good reviews. Fast load times, lower memory usage, and new features are topping reviewers' lists.

If you didn't know already, Firefox 3 beta 1 is now available for developers, testers, and anyone else who feels like downloading it. While it is still just a beta, it is already getting reviews all across the web. So just what are people saying about the latest build?

Wired noted that Firefox 3 brings noticeably faster pages loads and managed to stay below 60MB of memory usage. That's a huge improvement from the 80 to several hundred MB memory footprint that Firefox 2 takes up. When the browser was running in the background, it completely disappeared from their CPU usage monitor - but keep in mind that they were running the beta on an Intel Mac with Mac OS X Leopard.

Ars Technica was impressed with the large amount of new features in the web browser. One of the new features that Ars seems to really love is the Places system. Places is a new way of storing your bookmarks and history information. Users have the ability to now tag bookmarks and also search all places websites in specific ways. One way would be to search your bookmarks by a minimum number of visits.

There is a lot more to Places than that. In fact, there are simply too many features and capabilities in Places for me to cover alone, so I'm going to direct you over to the Mozilla Wiki for more info.

iTWire also had good things to say about the performance of the browser. Stan Beer simply wanted to pen a light review of the browser, but has ended up not opening Firefox 2 since. He noticed an improvement to page loads, just as Wired had, and liked that Mozilla didn't change the interface much. Keeps things simpler, y'see?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from over at ZDNet did a memory comparison to Firefox 2.0.0.9 and found that, under greater loads, Firefox 3 kept a much smaller memory footprint than 2.0.0.9. Just out of curiosity, he loaded up Internet Explorer 7 to the same web pages he used in the test and found that it used more memory than Firefox 3.

So, needless to say, it is looking really good for Firefox fans. It seems that just about everyone who has used the beta has noticed a page load speed increase along with a smaller system footprint. If you're wanting to give it a test, just make sure you back up your current configurations. After all, this is still a beta and could still wipe out all of your precious browser data.

Have you installed Firefox 3 already? What are your thoughts on it? Tell us your impressions over in the forums.

35 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
BioSniper 23rd November 2007, 14:58 Quote
It's not bad, it is slightly faster to load pages too however there is a serious issue where its breaking stuff that is inside of a table, where FF2 would just format it correctly and wrap to the next line FF3B1 doesnt seem to, it actually puts a scroll bar in which is very irritating.

As with places, I cant honestly see myself using it much as I rarely bookmark anyway, I tend to remember URL's.
The Chugnut 23rd November 2007, 15:00 Quote
I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to make it crash, but have failed. I'm very impressed.
I'll have to live without some addons until they're updated, but it's all good.
Faster Firefox without any nasty hacks. Top stuff!

Edit: I see what you mean BioSniper, that's not good news.
will. 23rd November 2007, 15:02 Quote
Before I go installing this, it doesn't overwrite your current Firefox version does it? I don't want to go loosing all my addons. I need 'em for work.
The Chugnut 23rd November 2007, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
Before I go installing this, it doesn't overwrite your current Firefox version does it? I don't want to go loosing all my addons. I need 'em for work.

Yeah, sadly it does. The Web Developer bar, I would imagine, will be updated pretty sharpish. *crosses fingers*
BioSniper 23rd November 2007, 15:17 Quote
It shouldn't will, I have both installed, you just have to run one or the other, you cannot run both exe's at the same time.
Hiren 23rd November 2007, 15:23 Quote
It didn't for me, I have both installed on my system right now.

Beta 1 was ok nothing too special. Pages were faster loading.
UncertainGod 23rd November 2007, 15:28 Quote
Page loads are significantly faster, the layout engine still needs a few tweaks but over all a very good improvement.
quack 23rd November 2007, 15:55 Quote
The toolbar that appears when it asks you if you want to save your password or not is pretty excellent. I hate having to answer the question before I find out if I actually got the password right or not.
cpemma 23rd November 2007, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will.
Before I go installing this, it doesn't overwrite your current Firefox version does it?
I installed the alphas (Gran Paradiso) no problem, just do a custom install and tell it a different folder. Save your profile just-in-case. I found the alphas stable enough, but a few too many bugs and rendering faults for regular use.
Bionic-Blob 23rd November 2007, 16:34 Quote
isn't this beta 2? i recall beta 1 was earlier this year sometime
Ramble 23rd November 2007, 17:31 Quote
*puts on Opera hat*

Or check out the 9.5 beta released weeks ago which contains pretty much all the features implemented better and a faster renderer and better memory usage.
GoodBytes 23rd November 2007, 18:31 Quote
I find it to start faster then Firefox 2.0
Hazardous 23rd November 2007, 18:46 Quote
I tried it... but the vast majority of the extensions/themes I use don't work with it - so I'll be sticking with version 2.x until such times as they are updated/do work :(
airchie 23rd November 2007, 18:46 Quote
But has it changed the alt+S shortcut for history?
I used to use that to save quick posts on these forums and others and now I can't.

Reeeeally irritating. :(
Tulatin 23rd November 2007, 20:08 Quote
THEY FIXED THE LEAK? Holy ****ing hallelujah. Took long enough.
Omnituens 23rd November 2007, 21:54 Quote
i don't like the download window.

and omg, as i type this, its spotting mistakes! winner.
Hamish 23rd November 2007, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
But has it changed the alt+S shortcut for history?
I used to use that to save quick posts on these forums and others and now I can't.

Reeeeally irritating. :(

you can turn this off with one of the options in about:config
try googling it
i didnt upgrade to FF2 until i worked out how to fix this issue :p
Jipa 23rd November 2007, 22:17 Quote
I don't really notice any difference on the speed.. And I'm pretty sure I just installed this over the FF2 I had. Oh well it happens.
iwog 24th November 2007, 01:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Chugnut
I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to make it crash, but have failed. I'm very impressed.
I'll have to live without some addons until they're updated, but it's all good.
Faster Firefox without any nasty hacks. Top stuff!

Edit: I see what you mean BioSniper, that's not good news.

Ha, I've just installed it and sent of two bug reports already. One was cos I was messing about with the default programmes thing in the options and the other was i tried to do my "new tab gesture" forgetting all-in-one gestures wasn't installed, it didn't like either of them.

My thoughts on the new FF are:
Yea! less memory usage
Ooo pretty new star
Boo, my add ons dont work

Overall, I wont be a tester, no matter how frequently i can generate bug reports I'm not using the new FF until 80% of my add-ons work. I supposed I could get my friend to teach me how to edit the .xpi's again and change all the version numbers, but it just seems like too much hassle.

@Jipa: you wont have written over the old FF, it installed it into a separate directory so just use your old FF link or hotkey and viola FF2
OleJ 24th November 2007, 06:31 Quote
It supports ICC4 (Colour profiles) Whoooo!
That is so awesome. No more are pictures dull or misdisplayed. I'm very happy so far :) Now there's both Safari and Firefox supporting color profiles. I guess IE is the last one sitting on their fingers ;)
Woodstock 24th November 2007, 07:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by OleJ
It supports ICC4 (Colour profiles) Whoooo!
That is so awesome. No more are pictures dull or misdisplayed. I'm very happy so far :) Now there's both Safari and Firefox supporting color profiles. I guess IE is the last one sitting on their fingers ;)

as usual lol, so far im quite impressed and the speed boost is very noticeable on a crap dialup connection
<A88> 24th November 2007, 12:23 Quote
Just got round to installing Opera (9.5b) again. Was going along using IE7 but realised I missed the flexibility and lightness of Opera. Now if there was a WLive toolbar for it- seems I'm gonna have to load up IE still every time I want to synchronise my bookmarks with my Live account :(.

<A88>
keir 24th November 2007, 15:44 Quote
Download manager is cool :)
Veles 24th November 2007, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
and omg, as i type this, its spotting mistakes! winner.

Fireforx 2 does that
Woodstock 24th November 2007, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir
Download manager is cool :)

imo its the one thing i havent like as much as ff2, the first two things are minor... dl time in minutes doesnt convert it to hours and minutes, (probalbe fixable), the clear up buttons gone (just right click and its in the listbox) but it supposed to have better pausing features that pauses fine but wont restart at all
legoman666 24th November 2007, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramble
*puts on Opera hat*

Or check out the 9.5 beta released weeks ago which contains pretty much all the features implemented better and a faster renderer and better memory usage.

damn right. I dropped firefox about a year ago after a friend reccomended Opera to me.
completemadness 25th November 2007, 03:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman666
damn right. I dropped firefox about a year ago after a friend reccomended Opera to me.
Firefox's extensions easily kick opera's ass though

I agree, opera, in most other ways is superior, however, firefox still rapes opera in terms of extensions
Ramble 25th November 2007, 12:38 Quote
Opera comes with all the stuff you need inbuilt and optimised. Firefox comes with nothing and makes you download all the extras, coded by some 16 year old in his bedroom, and the extension framework is buggy and leaks memory like no tomorrow.
Plus, Opera supports Greasemonkey natively, as well as it's widgets, quite a few of the fx extensions can be shrunken down into JS.
Cupboard 25th November 2007, 16:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Just got round to installing Opera (9.5b) again. Was going along using IE7 but realised I missed the flexibility and lightness of Opera. Now if there was a WLive toolbar for it- seems I'm gonna have to load up IE still every time I want to synchronise my bookmarks with my Live account :(.

<A88>

Or you could get the Google browser sync extension and use FF
Quote:
Just out of curiosity, he loaded up Internet Explorer 7 to the same web pages he used in the test and found that it used more memory than Firefox 3.
thats quite an achievement, especially as IE is so ingrained into the kernel it doesn't show all its memory. (or has that changed?)
Downloading soon, especially as my FF2 keeps crashing :(
<A88> 25th November 2007, 18:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
Or you could get the Google browser sync extension and use FF
Opera has its own bookmark sync utility built in which is pretty well-done, I just prefer to have everything accessible from one account.

<A88>
Kipman725 25th November 2007, 19:24 Quote
sounds good my debian lappy is pretty slow so any improvment to memory usage or cpu use is awsome as FF2 take about 30s to load!
Brett89 25th November 2007, 19:56 Quote
much faster load times. It reminds me of going from phone to cable, except much less of a difference. but it is noticeable!
perplekks45 25th November 2007, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
thats quite an achievement, especially as IE is so ingrained into the kernel it doesn't show all its memory. (or has that changed?)
Downloading soon, especially as my FF2 keeps crashing :(
Didn't MS say they'd deny almost every program kernel access to reduce the possibility of running "bad" software?

Anyways... the first big difference I noticed was that FF 3 does NOT run in admin mode under Vista... no "yes, run FF and stop asking me, stupid!" dialog anymore. Definitely a good thing. :)
And it's faster.
completemadness 26th November 2007, 01:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by aon`aTv.gsus666
Didn't MS say they'd deny almost every program kernel access to reduce the possibility of running "bad" software?
Only in 64bit vista i believe
Fishlock 28th November 2007, 00:40 Quote
Hotmail Live won't run properly for me. It says you need IE6 or Firefox 1.5 and above. So I have to resort back to classic mode and it won't let me change it back to live mode. I've even uninstalled the beta version and it's still telling me I can't run live mode because I have an incompatible browser. It's not been my ****ing week for computers. >:(
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