Category: Firefox

Firefox 1.5 Not So Great on OS X

While I use Firefox 1.5 on Windows as my default browser, on Mac OS X, Firefox just feels unfinished compared to Apple’s Safari. In Windows world, Firefox has leaped frogged the current IE in terms of features, (with stability being reasonable for a third party browser) which makes Firefox a no-brainer choice. However Apple’s Safari is a new browser and while it may not have actual extensions, it still has quite a feature list and it is comparable if not faster than Firefox.

The more annoying problems with the 1.5 release are web site issues. Forms which do not work at all on Firefox work just fine on Safari. I should be fair and say that I have had some issues with Safari along the same lines, but Firefox 1.1 had no such issues. Firefox’s own developers admit that the OS X version of 1.5 was less than stellar:

Firefox 1.5 was a major milestone on all platforms, but it was not quite what it could have been on Mac OS X. We just didn’t have the resources to test for and fix bugs fast enough when release time rolled around. However, not delaying the release was a decision that I was happy with because it was the right thing to do, even if it meant less-than-great Mac OS X support. Firefox 1.5 was still a major upgrade in terms of Mac OS X support, and nothing to be ashamed of.

The problem was that expectations were quite high for 1.5 and on the OS X platform, the expectations did end up being a bit too high. This leaves most OS X users waiting for 1.5.1, or even the 2.0 version, at a time when the Mac world is in drastic change with Intel processor changes. To make matters worse or better depending on what your opinion is, Microsoft has dropped IE for OS X completely. This leaves only Safari and Firefox (and of course Mozilla).

While 1.5 seemed to take forever to be released, Firefox as a whole is moving to more updated releases and stability is still a main focus for the developers. Eventually Firefox will be more competitive on OS X, and perhaps Safari will start changing as well to keep up with some of the ideas the Firefox developers are integrating into their modern browser.

Filed under: Firefox

Firefox 1.5 Officially Released

After many months of hard work and a few weeks overdue, Mozilla has released Firefox 1.5 to the world. In the time that we have waited, a lot has changed. Opera went free, Safari had an update with Mac OS X 10.4.3, and even Microsoft promised a more feature laden IE 7 for Windows Vista. All the browser changes or talk of changes makes the 1.5 release of Firefox a little less underwhelming than when we were all testing it way back when as DeerPark Alpha, yet the 1.5 release does move significantly pass the 1.0 version to include such things as Javascript 1.6, an updated Gecko rendering engine, a much needed auto update feature, and overall improvements in speed. Somehow 1.5 feels just right for this browser, like it’s finally starting to feel like an actual competitor to the main stream IE. Definitely on Windows, Firefox is a definite alternative for users who want tabs, but don’t feel comfortable with Opera.

In the update process, many extensions were lost, and it has become clear that Mozilla has tightened up extensions to a point, where third party developers need to be a little more precise about what they want to add, and security has once again become a focus for Firefox development.

More importantly, the long process from 1.0 to 1.5 has not only made Microsoft put together a new IE, but it was made Mozilla developers take notice of how long their actual update cycles were taking, and they too are now pushing for shorter release cycles and security updates. We can only wait and see how long 2.0 or in between updates, like perhaps 1.6 will take.

In the meantime you can download Firefox 1.5 from any of these sites:

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Firefox 1.5 RC1

After an extensive alpha and beta process, Firefox 1.5 is getting closer to release. The first release candidate or RC1 is now available from the Firefox Project site. So now is probably a good time to throw out some compatible add-ons that work with 1.5.

ColorZilla is my favorite color wheel tool for web development and something which I have learned to depend on more than any other online color reference tool.

Google Pagerank Status is a must for webmasters who want to know their pagerank, but who do not want to use the Google Toolbar.

For more extensions, visit The Extension Mirror.

And lastly, my favorite theme is now 1.5 compatible too. Check out SaferFox Xpanded for an interesting Firefox makeover look.

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