back to article Firefox 4 beta 2 preaches tabs-on-top love to fanbois

Mozilla’s second beta for Firefox 4 arrived yesterday and, as expected, it now sets its Chrome-like tabs-on-top feature as default for Mac fanbois. Windows lovers already saw that interface tweak in the first beta of Firefox 4 that was released earlier this month. The stripped-back look is supposed to make Mozilla’s latest …

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Anonymous Coward

"Chrome-like tabs-on-top feature"

You mean "Opera-like", right?

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I don't recall Opera having tabs on top.

A quick google image search shows Opera 10 with tabs under the menu also. What gives?

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Predictable post of the day

Well done. You managed to get an Opera mention in on the first comment. You should feel proud.

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Anonymous Coward

in reply to.

well, in every version of opera i've used the tabs have been above the address bar. they're still below the title bar, but then so are they in FF4 from looks of it.

and @predictable post of the day: i'm not saying it for the sake of bringing up opera, but they did it before chrome, and i'd expect the writers on a tech site to know that, instead of being blinded by chrome

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: in reply to.

Good point. But then consider that Mozilla made this change to the interface only after Google's Chrome browser rocked up. That speaks volumes to me.

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Headmaster

Re: Opera tabs on top

Tabs on top of the address bar.

Pay attention at the back.

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Okay, but

1) Will it start up faster?

2) Will it use less than the 120GB it's currently using, with one tab (el reg) open?

Then why should I want it?

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120GB?

Seriously? Do you not mean 120MB?

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Thumb Down

Bloated mess

As usual for Firefox.

Glad to see that people are exploring far better alternatives like Opera and Chrome.

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120MB right?

Sill rather a lot, admittedly.

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Silver badge

Yes it starts fast

I don't know why anyone complains about the current startup speed of firefox, but yes the beta starts very fast. As for your memory complaints, if your PC has available memory then Firefox will make use of it. Firefox & Mozilla / Seamonkey have always held stuff in memory for caching purposes which is flushed if the system signals low memory conditions.

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Grenade

@Yes it starts fast

"I don't know why anyone complains about the current startup speed of firefox,"

I have been a Firefox fan for a long time, but on my laptop(admittedly 5 years old) it can take a minute or more to start, this is no acceptable.

Chrome starts in about 3 seconds and uses less resources (no I don't have millions of extensions, just NoScripts and Adblock Plus.

Firefox need to sort out the bloat and stop mucking around with the UI, I don't want them to make it look like browsers that are faster than it. I want it to work faster then the other browsers. I fear they lost their way some time ago though.

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FAIL

oopsie

MB, indeed

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mem caching

My firefox is currently using 60MB with just reg open and the usual 16 extensions install/enabled. I believe what you are complaining about is the memory cache.

If that extra 60MB is such a problem (on a modern machine[4GB] it's barely a scratch, 1.46%) then look here; http://kb.mozillazine.org/Memory_Leak

Also you might want to consider upgrading if 120MB usage is seriously hindering your productivity.

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Anonymous Coward

Speed?

"I don't know why anyone complains about the current startup speed of firefox"

Admittedly my laptop is fairly old and crap but it take three times as long as either Opera or IE to start. No I don't use IE I just started it for comparison purposes and I can't tell you about Chrome because I won't give it house room. Bear in mind that the Opera startup also includes loading my mail. The hard disk thrashes like hell all through the firefox startup and even when I'm finally presented with the first page it takes at least as long again before it becomes responsive.

So I'll tell you why people complain about the current startup speed of Firefox: Because it's slow. Simple.

I seem to remember 3.0 was fast to start, but the current build is appalling. So 4.0 might start quickly but by the time we get to 4.6 the bloat will be firmly entrenched.

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Heart

@I don't know why anyone complains about the current startup speed of firefox,

Because it's ridiculously slow in comparison to Chrome? When I load firefox on any of my computers it takes a good 30 seconds to a minute to even show it's face whereas something like Chrome loads up in under 5 seconds.

Looking forward to v4 though :)

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Anonymous Coward

Ready, steady, hang on a bit... bit more... nearly there...

Same here. Firefox takes longer than my other browsers to start, then loads the start page so slowly that you can see it being drawn a bit at a time, then freezes for a while before everything starts to work again. No other browser does this, and it's highly annoying, especially when you're trying to use other apps at the same time and they all suffer from Firefox's crazy CPU hogging.

It's obviously some trick to try to hide the real start up time from the user. It probably partially loads, displays something and then quietly loads the rest of its big fat arse in the background where you won't notice. Except you do because it causes the whole machine to freeze and become sluggish.

It reminds me of the last trick Mozilla tried where they swept the 1500-metres start up relay under the carpet of the boot time, so that it only needed to fire up the shell when you 'started' the browser. The problem there is that by getting into silly tricks to hide a problem rather than fixing it like all your rivals, you can easily slide into a sleight-of-hand culture of bodging or sweeping problems under carpets. That's like restaurants who get served notices from the environmental health service cleaning the windows and tables, and fitting a bright new carpet to reassure customers that they've improved rather than finding the time and money to refit the kitchen and fix the source of the problem.

And as we all know, there are plenty of people in this world who'll be fooled by a plush new carpet even though they still get a dose of the squirts in the morning.

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FF startup speed

Don't see what your problem is. My FF goes from click to running (and no hdd grinding) in 2 seconds. This compares to IE's 5 seconds,and Chrome's 3 seconds on my machine. If your FF is taking ten times longer to load than mine, maybe you need to defrag or something.

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Anonymous Coward

Defrag?

"This compares to IE's 5 seconds,and Chrome's 3 seconds on my machine. If your FF is taking ten times longer to load than mine, maybe you need to defrag or something."

So what you're saying is that the disk has somehow managed to really badly frag all the Firefox files without fragging any of the IE, Chrome, Safari or Opera files? So either FF does a shite job of organising it's files or you're talking toot (shall we have a poll?). Aside from all that my disk is not fragmented even a little bit and FF still take an age to load when compared with every other browser.

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on linux

you can enable tabs-on-top under (I think) the 'View --> Tabs on Top' menu.

At least you could with the alpha I was running last week.

What you don't get is the fancy new UI that Windowsers have with the big back button and so on.

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Anonymous Coward

Another Operaism

Oh, when I think of all the rabid Firefox fanboys spouting venom at Opera over the years for being sooooo "line, toootally dumb, dude" to stick the tabs above the address bar. No doubt now they'll think it's all brilliant and makes much more sense that way, what with the URL reflecting the tab, especially when you tile or cascade your tabs and each one has its own independent address bar. Or haven't they implemented MDI in Firefox yet? It'll probably come in V5.

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jai
Silver badge
Jobs Halo

safari

i quite liked it when the beta for Safari (4 was it?) put the tabs on top

mind you, it didn't bother me when they put them back in the normal location either

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Thumb Up

Most excellent

It's starting to look really good, i've enabled Direct2D and the smoothness of some graphics is really impressive. (think flash smoothness only without the crappy plugin)

Surprisingly the IE9 test demos with Direct2D enabled in FX4 run really well and actually show off FX4 pretty well. Although it's still buggy. (sometimes it won't draw the content of the page so you have to move the window itself to force a draw)

It finally at last has a decent theme for Vista/Win7 without having to resort to Glasser+Personal Menu+Stylish.

The Javascript performance is improving (i'd say about 50% the performance of Chrome).

And viewing just this page in FX4 consumes a total 70MB which is fine by me since my home and work machines have 4GB of RAM.

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Anonymous Coward

Innovation

I remember the days when Mozilla were pretty close to the leading edge. For the last few years it seems all they can do is lift ideas from Opera and now Chrome. That wouldn't be so bad if they didn't try to present them as great new ideas. I suppose most of the Firefox fanbois (yes people other then Apple have their fanbois) probably will see it as innovative simply because they never try anything else. That's the thing about fanbois, it doesn't matter whether you're talking computer hardware or software, motorcycles or mobile phones, the fanbois are convinced that their chosen brand is better than every other brand but never even look at the other brands to compare.

Preaching to the converted is all well and good, but it never increased anybody's market share.

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Silver badge

Can't figure out what app tab is for

As far as I can tell it just removes the title text from the tab. Other than that it appears to be a regular tab. You can still click on bookmarks or enter a url into the address field to navigate somewhere else.

I was expecting something such as a permanently anchored tab that always starts on one page and modifies the home button to return to that page (it doesn't), opens bookmarks in a different tab (it doesn't), and perhaps grays out the url field so you can't change your location (nope).

I'm not sure what its supposed to do but it feels incomplete. Given this is a second beta I would expect all features and functionality to be present if not necessarily bug free by this point.

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Thumb Up

It used to be called Faviconize Tab

quite handy to save some space on tabs that are always open (gmail, netvibes, whatever). That + setting them Protected so you can't accidentaly close them (e.g. with TabMixPlus, which also allows to open anything not pointing inside the current site in new tabs) and Robert's your uncle.

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Thumb Down

Yay!

Yay! Tabs on top! First "feature" I turned off as soon as I got the beta. They make perfect sense if the content between them and the main viewing area changes with the tab context. But it doesn't, so they're annoying.

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Silver badge

So, Firefox is turning into Opera?

I've been using Opera for the past few weeks, in an effort to like it, but everything still feels slightly alien (and it crashes a lot).

One of my favourite things about Firefox, was that I could make it near identical to IE. I don't think I ever had a good reason for switching from IE, other than some nagging worries about security (that, and the piece of mind gained by using a different browser from the rest of the family!).

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Anonymous Coward

Eeeek?

All I can say is: "What's it like inside your head?"

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Thumb Up

What OS?

I'm running Windows and can't remember the last time Opera crashed on me, it simply does not happen.

I think the Mac and Linux builds of 10.60 might be slightly behind the curve, but not a whole lot.

Have you tried the 10.61 RC1 snapshot? It fixes a couple of mac crashers and quite a few probs with the LInux builds.

http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/

I don't really understand how Opera can be "alien" It's intuitive enough. Sure some advanced stuff is hidden away (like the noscript and adblock stuff), but once you know how to get it, it's plain sailing.

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Anonymous Coward

Morons

"I don't really understand how Opera can be "alien" It's intuitive enough. "

Morons have trouble learning anything new. It doesn't matter whether we're talking OS, web browser, telephone, washing machine or anthing else that has some sort of user interface (a UI includes anything from an on/off switch and up). There will also be some moron who will say "it's not what I'm used to so it's crap". Remember you're dealing with somebody here who thinks IE is a brilliant browser that is easy to use.

We've recently rolled out a new telephone system and even something as simple as a telephone causes problems. Apparently the new phones are "unusable" because you have to press different buttons to transfer a call.

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Firefox button

Unless they changed it since Beta 1 that Firefox button takes up the width of a window anyways so not really sure why they decided to waste that amount of screen estate with it.

It's definitely quicker than 3.6 and eats less memory but I still don't want my tabs at the top.

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Alert

I hope ...

"Support for CSS3 features such as “Transitions” and “Transformations” has been added to the latest Firefox 4 beta, allowing coders to easily add animations to web pages."

Web designers should be using LESS animations, not more.

I hope it won't be long before one of the good extensions developers comes up with a mechanism to gracefully degrade all those unnecessary animations into the single, static image that the web designer should have used in the first place. A bit like flashblock, but covering other forms of annoyance too.

While they're about it, please also find a way to do the same with those unnecessary nauseating favicons such as maplin's one.

And yes, "1) Will it start up faster?" ought to be a MUCH higher priority than moving the tabs around.

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Hehe, you old misery guts

"Web designers should be using LESS animations, not more."

Perhaps they just want to use the CSS animation features so they can replace existing Flash/Silverlight based transitions/effects with standards-compliant browser-rendered ones, rather than suddenly using them to splooge nonsense all over every page in existence?

It'd certainly be cheaper for the designer, better accessible for the handicapped, and Flash would die on its arse and stop crashing my PS3. I see no downside, personally.

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Bronze badge

Why does it insist on a fracking title!!??!!

2 Windows with 5 tabs = 205Mb; but then the one window and two tabs have been open and in use for about 12 hours.

FF4 loads very quickly, 3.6.8 takes about twice as long, but has a LOT more addons.

To the person moaning about start-up speed; what is your internet connection like?

FF checks for updates to all addons at start-up and if your connection is down or you need to activate it using a custom interface (like AOL or the crappy old Orange system with the Green Frog modem) it WILL take forever; FF will wait a long time before giving up on the update info.

PS

HATE tabs over address bar.

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Flame

Title

"To the person moaning about start-up speed; what is your internet connection like?"

How fast do you want it? 10MB symetric always on. And FF is still slow to load.

"FF checks for updates to all addons at start-up and if your connection is down or you need to activate it using a custom interface (like AOL or the crappy old Orange system with the Green Frog modem) it WILL take forever; FF will wait a long time before giving up on the update info."

Sorry but this is a terrible excuse. FF thrashes the arse out of the hard disk for an age, which has nothing to do with looking for updates. Even once it's displayed the window it continues to thrash the hard disk for some time. All this disk thrashing badly affects any other applications that are running so you can't even continue to work on whatever you were doing while you wait for FF to load. It's bloat, plain and simple. Stop trying to excuse it.

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Coat

Firefox 4

I've been playing with the Fx 4 betas and all I can say is that I'm thus-far unimpressed with the new UI. Honestly, if I'd have wanted Google Chrome or Opera, I'd have downloaded them.

(That's not to say I don't like Opera...it's a good browser in its own right and I do use it from time to time. I don't trust Google and therefore have little interest in Chrome. But I've played with it anyway and found it generally uninteresting and unable to run on Windows 2000.)

Firefox seems to have been making an unfortunate shift to little UI and logic stupidities...the first of which was saving files by default to that damnable "downloads" folder. Had they ever considered that when you download something, you probably want to work with it right away and file it LATER? I guess the computer illiterates with fifteen rows of downloaded installers on their desktop that they've never run or known that they needed to run struck again. Yay.

Fx 3.5 was the last release that had the nice little dedicated "image properties" window that showed up whenever you chose to view the properties for an image. I used it a lot, it was handy and did the job. I guess that's why it had to be eliminated in favor of the "integrated" item properties window that must run through the whole page and its images before becoming responsive. Yay for progress.

Thunderbird isn't off the hook either. It seems that version 3.1.1 hid the useful in-folder search bar and replaced it with some utterly useless search interface that pops up a new tab. I was pretty steamed about that and I'm still stewing with the idea of downgrading it. The old one's still there, but it has to be shown, can't apparently be moved and I have this...thing...about wasting screen space.

I guess the best thing I can say about the Firefox betas is that they have all (so far) run on Windows 2000 perfectly. You can call me stodgy if you'd like, but I'll just get my coat, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Change fot the sake of change

Tabs revolutionised browsing for me. Firefox's introduction of tabs was my final kicking out of MS IE (MS's later bleat of having them too fell on deaf ears).

Tabs Work Wonders.

Moving them makes no sense.

But hey, as long as there's a menu entry for it, or a configuration Mania entry, or Tabs Mix Pro... or some other add on.

Like many users, I have no desire whatsoever for Firefox to *ever* look any different. It's fine: leave it alone. Improve it's innards, not its looks.

Fanboy PS... Starts fast enough under Linux :)

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

"Firefox's introduction of tabs was my final kicking out of MS IE"

But FF didn't introduce tabbed browsing. Yup, there goes another Mozilla fanboi who doesn't believe there are any other browsers other than IE and FF. That way they can always claim FF is best. In a straight fight between FF and IE, FF wins. Introduce others into the scrap and FF will generally come second to last. It's a bloat fest on a scale only otherwise known to users of Microsoft and Adobe products.

FF's bleat of having tabs too fell on deaf ears.

Loads fast on Linux? No it doesn't. Sure it's faster than on Windows, but it's still slower than every other browser on Linux.

Oh and if you're a Linux user how were you running IE?

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Gold badge

The Microsoft excuse

"As for your memory complaints, if your PC has available memory then Firefox will make use of it."

Same excuse Microsoft used for Vista. When in reality, there was some caching but really just lots and lots of bloat. And really it's the same story with Firefox. It''d be a real disaster if apps all just started deciding "Hey, free RAM! Let's get bigger!"

There's settings for a certain amount of in-memory cache for items (the HTML, CSS, JPEG, etc. etc.), to keep from thrashing stuff in and out of the on-disk cache too much. There's also some cacheing for the page renderer and such. The item cache is settable via the preferences; the other settings are settable manually via about:config, but otherwise shrink a bit if you have like <128MB or maybe <64MB of RAM, and increase a bit up to like a 512MB system or so. But no, Firefox doesn't just see there's free RAM and start using it. It simply has some inefficient bits that use more RAM than they should, and some memory leaks.

Although, frankly, my systems have 512MB and I use lots of tabs, although Firefox bloats up in the case of Ubuntu the kernel seems to gently page out the unused stuff rather than having it actually slow me down anyway.

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Flame

Fluff and no fixes?

All this tosh about the UI when there's a ton of really serious bugs that have been outstanding for years to do with printing. Sure, not exciting, but it's a right PITA to fix. For instance if you use fieldsets properly, it won't print beyond the first page. Similarly if there's any overflow set.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=471015

Also 505747, 508498, 129941

Why does everyone get so excited about a new lick of paint when the damn foundations aren't up to the job?

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Grenade

Bleck!!!

If Mozilla seriously are going to force that ugly interface on end users, I'm going back to IE!!!

I refuse to use chrome, opera or safari because they look like shit, and I will refuse to run firefox too if they make it look rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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"FF checks for updates to all addons at start-up "

Yes, it does. And *THAT* is precisely what it should NOT be doing. Not as default behaviour or as the sole option for automatic update checking, anyway.

Checking for updates should happen some time when it doesn't conflict with what the interactive user is trying to do.

Two sensible options would be "When I close firefox" (the update checking could happen at low priority after the user interface closes) or "when I shut down or log off shut down windows" (obviously, power off is delayed until the update check completes, so the user doesn't have to stand and wait).

The same options should apply to all antivirus scans and anything else that ought to happen behind the scenes -- they should never, ever, take precedence over what the interactive user is trying to do.

I did once find a program that can execute other programs on windows shutdown, but that presumes that there's a command line option to perform the necessary action, which isn't always the case.

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

"The same options should apply to all antivirus scans and anything else that ought to happen behind the scenes -- they should never, ever, take precedence over what the interactive user is trying to do."

You seem to be suggesting that virus scanning a file when you open it is a bad idea and that scanning it when you close it is a good one. It's a bit late scanning a file for malware after you've accessed it. You need to know whether it's a nasty before it gets chance to do bad things, not after it's done them.

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Oops

"You seem to be suggesting that virus scanning a file when you open it is a bad idea"

No, I'm meaning the whole drive scan, which can take an hour or more and tends to substantially slow the machine if it starts running while you're doing something else. Especially if at the same time the machine decides to start downloading windows updates and simultaneously lets umpteen programs check for updates over a slow wireless broadband. Which you didn't want to do anyway, because they use up expensive airtime and could be done faster and for free when you arrive at your destination and can plug the machine into the LAN.

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