The Mozilla Foundation is try to break a 24-hour software download world record — or rather, establish a mark — with its release of the newest version of its browser: Firefox 3. Having used it a while, I really like it.
Ubuntu Linux users have been getting updates of the preliminary versions (release candidates) and these have been available for other operating systems, so perhaps this is not news. (I’ve read that the only version that’s changed from the most recent release candidate is for Mac OS X.) But for those of you who have been using a Firefox 2.x version, you’ll note some great features, including being able to browse by title and bookmarking from the address bar. (So if you were looking for this blog, you could just type “bands” and it would come up. Then click the star to bookmark.) It also seems faster, which is a welcome improvement. And for Internet Explorers, don’t even look back. . . .
Either way, start your leap into Firefox 3 here.
I love the Firefox browser — in theory. It’s free and open-source. It’s got tons of extensions . . . and that’s part of the problem. My former favorite browser is a terrible memory hog, at least on the (ahem) low-end machines that I can’t get enough of.
Better to use the browser developed for, and integrated with, the GNOME desktop, one of the main options on Linux desktop computers, and the default desktop for vanilla Ubuntu Linux. (New version tomorrow!) Thus the theologically-appealingly-named Epiphany browser. Its speedy because it doesn’t try to be all things. There are a modest set of extensions, which I added. More about that in a moment.
I had one complaint. When I Control-T’d to create new tabs, the cursor didn’t start in the address bar, so I would have to mouse to it to add an address. The solution is simple, if you know that the term term for starting in the documentation is focusing.
Set you start page as “blank” by going to Edit > Preferences > General tab > Home page > “Set to blank page.” It’ll work now.
But what I really love is the extension that synchs my bookmarks with my del.icio.us account, both from home and work. This allows easier tagging of sites I like and lets me search for saved sites by keyword in the address bar, rather than trying or looking for the URL. I can tell my Google searching has dropped already. (Then again, I have almost 2300 links recorded.)
The downside is that some sites break badly in Epiphany — it has a tiny market share — so I keep Firefox in reserve.