back to article Mozilla to ship Firefox 4 on 22 March

Mozilla looks set to release Firefox 4 on 22 March, unless developers encounter any nasty bugs in their final tests. The open source outfit's Damon Sicore confirmed yesterday that the Release Candidate build of Firefox 4 that Mozilla pushed out last week is likely to be the final test version of the browser. "Firefox 4 RC1 has …

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Stop

Of course

you can take the Red pill today, and then you no longer care about Blue or Orange pills.

The Red pill cures all.

http://my.opera.com/chooseopera/blog/2011/03/14/choose-the-red-pill

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re

Surely you're just a Mozilla fanboy trolling?

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Gates Halo

Opera ...

come back when Opera supports ICC colour profiles / tags / monitor profile. Until this happens they are simply not suitable for some users, no matter how nice/fast/featured the browser is. Which is shame because otherwise it's a good browser.

IE9 supports this feature, surprise.

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FAIL

Too little too late?

If you look at browser stats, firefox has had static share for some time. IE has dropped, but Chrome seems to have taken those users. I've used FF for ages, but very unimpressed with FF4 betas.

Trying out IE9 as default browser for a couple of days, and so far very impressed - memory footprint is a fraction of firefox's and all appears to be working very smoothly.

Tempted to switch back to IE as default, then just use firefox when I need developer extensions.

Never thought I'd be thinking of using IE again.

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Developer Tools in IE9

IE9 actually has some useful dev tools now, just press F12.

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Stop

but

But, if you have a copy of IE, your opinion simply does not count;

If Microsoft does not care enough to give you a choice of browser, why should anyone else care what you think.

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Flame

problem is

No matter how good IE is because it still has a fast track to the innards of your operating system and because its the one hackers target the most it will always be the main target for drive by downloads. Plus it only runs on winblows (using wine to open malware portal makes little sense).

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Go

Tried IE9 all week

It's very nice, but can't get an adblocker as good as adblock plus, so I'm back on Firefox to type this.

Shame that my choice of browser is down to which blocks adverts best, but there you go.

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FAIL

Has some catching up to do

I think the tables have just turned back in Microsofts favour with the two latest releases. IE9 is very nice and very quick whilst FF4 still feels like a slow old dog.

I'm even trying IE9 as my main browser for a while instead of Chrome. I do miss the Google Instant feature from Chrome though but then IE9 makes up for it with Pinned Sites. Either way, Firefox 4 doesn't really bring anything new to the table besides an attempt to catch up with the other browsers.

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FF4 doesn't feel slow

I tried IE9 briefly last night and it appears quite nice. Need to use it more for a definite opinion. I didn't really like the ultra-spartan UI and a lot of websites had the browser showing some icon in the address bar declaring it was in compatibility mode. From a technical standpoint IE9 still falls short of other browsers for HTML5 support and that is quite ominous. Things like WebGL & web workers are also entirely missing.

I think Firefox 4 feels very snappy. A little slow to start compared to Chrome perhaps but after that perfectly responsive. It's a marked improvement over 3.6 and the sites I've used it on appear snappy and responsive too. More important for me, FF has excellent bookmarking support, a vibrant add-on community. Biggest gripes with FF are the stupid stance on the video tag and some failed UI experiments like tab groups.

At the moment Windows is in the unique position of enjoying 4 strong browsers - IE9, FF4, Opera 11 and Chrome 10.

I guess personal preference will dictate what people use, but I hope popular websites motivate users to always favour standards compliant browsers. i.e. if a site would benefit from web workers it should go ahead use them and to hell with browsers that choose not to implement them. Users of those browsers can get redirected to a download page or a "reduced experience" mode which is noticeably crappier.

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Pinned sites = application shortcut?

unless I am missing something , chrome also does "pinned sites" - you can create application shortcuts and then pin them to the taskbar in win7?

Isnt that the same as pinned sites?

I have my gmail on there...

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I love tab groups

But then again I'm the sort of person who ends up with 20 tabs open at a time. I was splitting them into different windows previously via some clumsy add ons and that was a bit messy.

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Anonymous Coward

20 tabs?

I've currently got 66 tabs open in FF3.6 - about 20 for our work bug tracking system, another 10 for work wiki documentation etc, and various other sites - a mixture of work and personal stuff. I'm just waiting for FF4 to be an official download so I can install it and get tab groups, as that seems to be the killer feature for me (I can't install a beta/RC without violating IT policy).

I'd love to try out IE9, but I'm on XP. I try chrome and opera occasionally, but always end up going back to firefox.

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20 Tabs?

This makes handling large number of tabs a cinch.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-tab/

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Too Many Tabs

I swear by this one:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/toomanytabs-saves-your-memory/

not only does it help with tab management but also "parks" any ones not currently used, freeing up memory

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Anonymous Coward

re: so I can install it and get tab groups

Try the Tab Kit extension.

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Just what the wife needs!

Thanks for the tip on that one. Last time I checked the wife had about 130 tabs open in Firefox (I thought I had at lot open at 40 odd). God knows how her machine is still running at a reasonable speed!

Rob

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Linux

Browsers and footprints

> Trying out IE9 as default browser for a couple of days, and so far very impressed - memory footprint is a fraction of firefox's and all appears to be working very smoothly.

I don't usually use Windows so can't really comment and IE9 won't run on the hobbiest Linux desktop. I have tried the latest Firefox 4.0 version that runs as a PortableApp on Windows. It's responce is equivilent to Chrome, IE alwas seems a little sluggish ..

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Memory footprint

I've always wondered why memory footprint is such a big deal. If your PC has the spare memory, why wouldn't you want apps to make use of it?

The reason browsers often appear bloated is because if you have multiple tabs open with session history and so forth, they'll hold as much stuff in memory as a cache to save work building it again. So when you flip from tab to tab, Firefox will look and see if it's got the view you asked for prerendered and just serve that up to you rather than forcing a full relayout and repaint. If you hit the back button it goes looking for the preparsed HTML DOM and CSS in memory to save parsing it all again from scratch.

If by chance memory does become tight (so called memory pressure), the browser will flush out all this stuff to release it back to the system.

That's what all modern browsers do. I expect IE9 does it too. One advantage IE9 has is its DLLs are shared with the OS, so a lot of the shared address space might not show up in the task manager. It's even possible IE9 uses Superfetch or similar for some of its cache so it's memory use doesn't show up against the process at all, but in the cached memory usage figure.

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Memory footprint

Memory footprint matters, because eventually a browser can use all that a machine has - and more. I've currently got quite a few tabs open admittedly, and Chrome is using some 5.1 GB. That's getting a little annoying.

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Re: Memory footprint

> I've always wondered why memory footprint is such a big deal. If your PC has the spare memory, why wouldn't you want apps to make use of it?

Because I have other apps to share the limited quantity of memory I have.

Actually, I don't care too much if Firefox uses 1.5GB, but I do care if it doesn't use it accordingly (ie, leaks).

Not only memory, but CPU footprint is also a big deal. Remember folks, the OS multitasks on limited resources; you don't get a new CPU and 4GB* of RAM exclusively for your program, even if the OS makes you think so.

*x86, 32 bit, depends on OS. On Windows, 2GB for you, 2GB for the kernel.

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WTF?

Memry usage

What would be very annoying, would be you having paid 6GB of memory and using only 1GB or so of it. This would be incredibly stupid, unless you love to throw money out if windows?

If your computer needs memory to run something else, the available memory to your browser will be reduced. If it's not needed by anything else, it's just normal to give all the memory available to whoever needs it.

Have a look at the ressource monitor, the goal is to reduce at maximum the free memory available. You paid for it, it should be used, and not let free. As it is said by T.K. 'you can't put it in the vault, so you'd better use it'

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@xenny

You are confusing memory caching with a memory leak. A memory leak is never good (unless memory were infinite) and no browser should do it.

On the other hand all browsers should make use of the memory that's there. Unused memory is doing nobody any good. This concept has been encapsulated into Vista / Windows 7 which have an inherent concept of cached memory - memory that is not being used by apps but is being used by the OS to speed up actions. Superfetch is the typical example. If an app needs more memory than is free, the cache is flushed.

Most browsers (possibly with the exception of IE9) manage their own memory but also respond to memory pressure. If memory gets tight they flush their caches. IE9 may well utilise the same mechanism as Superfetch so although it's caching data it doesn't show up against iexplore.exe but in the system's cached memory value. Just speculation of course, but if IE9's memory usage is suspiciously lower than other browsers, it's probably because of that.

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Works for me

Been running it for a week now.

No probs.

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Happy

Warning - Blasphemy

So when are Microsfot making IE9 available to Linux users?

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Even more germane ...

... when are they making it available to XP users, who still make up a significant percentage of all Windows users?

Nah, really, I don't care. Firefox, Opera, and Chrome (in that order) make anything Microsoft can come up with utterly superfluous from my point of view.

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No issues here

Very fast and responsive and Add-Ons make it better.

Memory usage much improved as well.

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Surprise to me

When I check out the about Firefox option under Help tells me I am runnning Firefox 4.0 currently.

As far as I am concerned Firefox is a good tool for me and have no intention of changing

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Unhappy

User interface

Unfortunately I find the new Firefox user interface on Windows at least is awful. IE9 and Chrome are much better. Shame as I always used Firefox (using 3.6 now on XP) but I can't get past its silly top left 'Firefox' menu. It's also slower on my Windows 7 box (which is why I switched to Chrome in the first place.)

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Fully Customisable

You can turn all bits of the UI back if you so wish. If you right click on the tab bar, and tick "Menu Bar" then bang, the button turns into a proper menu. You can also turn off Tabs on Top from there if you so wish.

However, I found you get used to it in a day or so and it actually makes much more sense than the old UI.

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Anonymous Coward

UI customisation

Right click on any of the bars, selecting "customise" and then drag and drop items where you need them.

Also try this...can be useful:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/movable-firefox-button/

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Go

Moving the Firefox button...

...is easier than I thought:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/movable-firefox-button/

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Too Little, Too Late

I pretty much gave up with FF when the biggest New Feature they could tack on was the useless Themes option. One word - WHY?

It's become steadily more bloated and unstable, and the bug which clears edit fields while you're typing - which affects Ubuntu and Mac versions - makes it effectively unusable.

Chrome all the way for me, until Mozilla do some serious bug fixes and plug some memory leaks.

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Same here but... do try Firefox 4

Also frustrated, but do give FF4 a spin.

Memory use is improved greatly and it's definitely much faster...

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re: themes

wasn't the "personas" thing invented mainly because FF3 ended up with a mass of ugly purple UI due to the way it utilised the Windows 7 colour palette?

Course its redundant now they have glass working properly

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OK, moz gurus..

HOW do you change the HUGE addons menu to something smaller???

and if you can convince the moz addons website to *properly* define compatibility...

they still think 4b2 is just the same as 4b12.... the addons certainly dont!!!

I hope at least all refs to betas will be wiped out, and only FF4 FINAL compatibility will be rated...

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What about chrome??

Or would you rather get hacked, DDOSed, malwared, etc OR just your cookies stolen by google??

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umm

Funny chrome has never went down at Pwd2Own but IE gets owned every year. As for chrome cookies just run the thing in incognito mode all the time. Its actually less of a hassle than it seems.

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The Red pill cures all?? not really...

at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/ scroll to the bottom, and try to select the parts of the UK.. works ok in FF..

(No, if it needs win7, forget it, it wont support my 3c905 NIC!!!)

other misc stuff does similar, not so easy to check... how is Chrome for an Opera user?? I have managed to get FF to work like opera, but FF4 is incompatible with most.. so instead of waiting months for addons to catch up, is it possible in chrome in XP??

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WTF?

Re: The Red pill cures all?? not really..

"at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/ scroll to the bottom, and try to select the parts of the UK.. works ok in FF.."

It works fine here Opera. I can select any part of the UK no problem.

What's the matter is Opera too difficult for you.

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So much choice ... all of which I have to take :)

Running FF4 RC1 at home, not massively happy about the interface changes, but admittedly, these can be extensively modified. Faster than FF3 = all good.

At work, I have to use pretty much everything and I've found myself liking ie9 - crazy talk, I know, but damn, it's fast and the built in developer tools (much improved over ie8) are an absolute godsend - being able to test in ie7 & ie8 rendering modes is exceptionally welcome.

Google Chrome - yeah, it's good - but I find myself (irrationally) being fearful over what the Chocolate Factory is sending back to Wonka.

Safari - *love* the font rendering.

Opera - a browser that does too damn much. I'm sure there's a kitchen sink built in there somewhere. Fell out with Opera many many years back and never really liked it after, but I'll concede that although it's not to my personal taste, it's a good browser in terms of rendering and speed, it's just got an identity crisis :)

It's fantastic to have so much choice and *finally* have a set of browsers which behave themselves with decently crafted XHTML/CSS, allowing me to start actually using some css3 without having to worry about backwards compatability.

Microsoft have come to the party on this one - very late, but wearing a reasonable frock - and about bloody time.

As a commercial web developer, I've been battling the marketing / accounts guys for years over the fact that it's not commercially viable to make web designs look the same across all browsers. (usually versions of internet explorer)

I'm now winning, thanks to firstly, the rapid adoption of FF & now Google chrome and secondly, the realease of ie9.

It's ALL good folks, the browser market has never looked so healthy, spoilt for choice.

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Depends on your audiance.

If your visitor statistics back up use of CSS3 and HTML 5 in your websites then I would say go for it. CSS 3 is especially easy to implement into sites in a progressively enhanced way, so we have started using it even though most users won't see the enhancements.

The company I work for shows a massive bias on our clients' sites to IE 6-8 users, and that won't change anytime soon, so even PNGs are a pain to work with.

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Use IE9 at your own peril

MHTML bug owns all versions of IE and such attacks will be commonplace for the foreseeable future because of the tight integration with the OS.

Most Linux distros come with Firefox by default, so this is interesting for them.

Firefox didn't get hacked this year at PWN2OWN, along with long standing Chrome (not hacked as of yet).

Firefox 4 is a stepping stone for Firefox 5/6/7 this year which should bring tab isolation/sandboxing, 64bit version, more HTML 5 and CSS 3 features.

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I have a simple question here re Chrome..

I was in London recently, and I noticed the Underground was awash with posters advertising Chrome. One of the most basic principles is that there is no such thing as a free lunch, so I want to know why a company would spend such a stunning amount of money on advertising something that it gives away.

Given that the product is provided by a company that makes its living by milking personal information for targeted advertising, I don't think I am that paranoid when I don't trust this at all.

Cue Google apologists, I assume..

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I've used the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark

to test FF 4.0, Chromium 12.0.700, and Opera 11.01 on an older 64-bit Ubuntu 10.10 machine, and to my surprise, FF 4.0 was by far the fastest - 444,6ms +/- 2,5 %, as compared to 569,6ms +/- 2,5 % and 584,2ms +/- 7,0 %, respectively, for the other two browsers. (For some reason, Microsoft doesn't permit me to use IE9 on Ubuntu, which is hardly surprising, as I'm not allowed to use it on Windows XP, either.) Only one benchmark, but it does indicate that FF is now up there with the leaders as regards speed. Now if only some kind soul would update the Delicious-bookmarks add-on to make it compatible with FF 4.0 - otherwise I'm going to have to stick with 3.6.16pre as my default browser....

Henri

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Beta Releases

Mozilla did itself no favours with so many betas. From the users point of view it was a bad experience. Eg. he Hotmail debacle - okay it wasn't Mozilla's fault - drive me to try Opera, when I have been loyal to FF for years.

FF has become slower and slower over the years. Perhaps they should fragment the browser market - have a slower app for devs and heavyweight use, and a faster, lighter app for "browsing".

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@luxor

what OS, Opera version are you using?? I am using the *current* final, 11.1( build1190) on XP..

I have just checked the 11.1 BETA 2048, and while you can at least select the parts of the map, It still does not highlight them as FF does!!

'opera too difficult for me'?? NO, I think some websites are too difficult for the Opera staff...

-- when they are not too busy moaning about other browser companies, and banning users for trying to say what should be done to improve opera!! this is the main reason for their low profile, many big fans ahve given up, and gone to chrome or FF... :(

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@FF4 devs :)

PLEASE can the addon 'interface network' be standardised, so that old addons will still work with a new version???

If I find some small app that makes my browsing much nicer, it is a pain when that stops working due to it being produced by a single guy in his bedroom, with little time or money to work hard to make it work *again* on yet another version of FF!!!

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@luxor:

A strange one here - - this works ok in FF & opera V10.1 (1893),

but NOT in 1190 or 2048.. the numbers are NOT in order!

http://epgservices.sky.com/epg/release/current/sky.htm

any explanations??

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