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back to article Firefox 13 now available for download

Although its official release date is not scheduled until this Tuesday, Firefox 13 is now available on the Mozilla website. Notable among the upgraded features in Firefox 13 are redesigned Home and New Tab pages. The Home page – accessible rather intuitively by entering about:home in the address field – allows easy access to …

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Re: Two reasons I still use FF

Oh, I thought of a third reason: it's actually rather good.

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Unhappy

HTML Validator

I've stuck with FF because of HTML Validator. I've tried looking for a similar tool for Chrome, but failed. All other validators just helpfully send your URL to the W3 on-line validator. Not much good when you're testing new pages/apps on localhost, or your pages are behind a login screen.

HTML Validator appears to be the only tool that has the validation engine built in.

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Def
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Re: HTML Validator

Opera posts the whole page to the W3 validator.

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Pint

Thanks for that (ESR)

Six week release cycle is pretty ridiculous

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It never ceases to amuse me with every FF release, watching the proud 3.6 luddites write off a browser they haven't used in ten versions for reasons that have been long since fixed.

Add-ons break in every version, do they? Well, no. No, they don't. Jetpack and other changes fixed that back in what, FF6? But you wouldn't know, because you're on 3.6.

The browser's slow, is it? Well, no, not really. Firefox these days is a lot snappier for me, and compared to Chrome, I really can't bring myself to chuck out a load of functionality for the 0.01 second per page I'd gain in speed. But then, you wouldn't know if it was quicker, because you're on 3.6.

Oh, they forced a new UI on you in 4, did they? You know you can right click twice and put it back, right? I did that 30 seconds after installing 4, and I haven't seen the minimal UI since. Oh, the horror. Come on, it's not exactly the Office Ribbon.

Try the new one out, seriously, if for no other reason than the various Gecko upgrades. (Gecko being one of the main reasons I use FF so much. Excellent engine, and far less buggy than Webkit in my experience.) It's a lot better than you think.

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If I could upvote this a million times I would. Its amazing to me that the people still sitting on a program 10 versions old hold opinions which are considered relevant. I know of no other program where this would be considered anything but laughable. Imagine a Fedora Core 6 user expressing opinions about Fedora 17 and having them be seriously considered relevant.

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you mistake core/kernel updates w/ mostly fluff and patches. normally major updates can bring inconsistency, backward incompatibility, deprecated/unsupported APIs, etc.

The version numbering of FF is just lame, that's all. I practically I see no real difference between 3.6 and the latest FF, when you disable the ads and useless javascripts (use them both, so yeah)

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Unhappy

I agree with you that the version numbering scheme is a bit daft

There were pretty good reasons for the MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH.BUILD version numbering systems used by almost everyone (with various company variations on the BUILD bit).

Going away from that causes confusion and digs holes for both users and developers to fall into.

For example, if the devs crank up the PATCH when they make a fairly big change, users become nervous about any upgrade because "the last minor patch changed everything!"

Pretty soon it ends up in a situation like 1.20.50.xx because now there is nothing big enough to justify crank the MAJOR. That then confuses people and support even further - when somebody says "1.2.5", do they mean 1.2.5, 1.25.xx or 1.20.50?

Alternatively if you crank the MAJOR every single time, nobody has a clue whether a change is actually significant.

That means some users don't want to upgrade because they think something big must have changed every time and they don't want to learn it. (yet)

Once they realise most are not big changes, they get scared because they cannot easily tell whether anything "big" is there and thus put off every upgrade until they have a week of nothing much going on to test the new version.

So they end up behind, because this major version was really just a patch while that one was major, and the other was minor, and they all happened way before the user got the time (or courage) to try any of them.

For most of the above, for "user" read "Corporate IT Dept".

Most home users will just leave the auto-update at defaults, and then get very surprised if anything changes - my mum always phones me when her "internet" changes, and I doubt she's alone.

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and *how many* addons do you use??

sure, its lovely to update regularly... problem is, the basics are not for those who do a lot of research, needing records of pages, easy checks of sources, and full recovery of many pages if something crashes!! ( I dont mean FF, but the PC!! )

tabmixplus does all that...

allinone sidebar takes the rather 'toybox like' list of addons, etc into something much more compact and manageable..

various status bars help me get info on how things are going, without having to open anything *just* to find out a downloads progress...

downloaders get me good music without having to load them every time - saves bandwidth, resources, time and money..

extra buttons, extra themes, etc adds a bit of color to the awfully restricted basic ones..

I have tried many of the new FFs, but it is the addon makers who have the problem!!! HOW are they supposed to keep up, when many things are changed, meaning that almost ALL of the above stop working???

Unless somebody at Mozilla pays attention to this, eg, just looking at the top downloads from its addons website, and talking to the addon developer, to help getting it working!!

most of us have given up, to support the old FF, that still works with needed addons - these are usually supplied by ONE guy, who does not have time or money to keep up with the latest 'musical chairs' at mozilla!!

And I bet you wont even bother to try out a few of these addons, just to let us know if it is safe to get the latest FF???

It is not easy making a full backup of your settings, down to individual button positions.. and due to where it puts all its files, it is simpler to just erase everything, and install again from scratch!!

Most of us are just simple guys, with a busy life, not able to spend hours just tweaking, unlike SOME people here....

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Re: and *how many* addons do you use??

I use a ton of extensions, given that I'm a professional developer. (In fact, I have actually developed Firefox add-ons!) But with the later mods to Firefox it isn't necessary for developers to update their extensions to have explicit compatibility with new versions, which makes things much, much easier.

The change in version numbering doesn't alter how rapidly changes in the browser code occur. There's now a smaller number of changes in each major revision, so as a developer I can make a minor change every so often, rather than having a set of major changes all dumped on me at once, which is part of what caused the old problems of "x plugin isn't ready yet".

"And I bet you wont even bother to try out a few of these addons, just to let us know if it is safe to get the latest FF???"

Aside from the fact that I've no idea what these add-ons are, how the heck is that my responsibility? Have you tried disabling version checking and seeing if they'd work anyway? Most still will, and it's just the max version number stored in the add-on that stops them from activating.

"It is not easy making a full backup of your settings, down to individual button positions"

Uhhhhh, yes it is. Just make a copy of your Firefox profile folder. Is that difficult?

"Most of us are just simple guys, with a busy life, not able to spend hours just tweaking, unlike SOME people here...."

Well pardon me, I apologise for having a hobby. You know, going on to a tech website and making sarcastic swipes at all those silly sad bastards who are actually interested in this stuff isn't going to encourage them to help you. Back in't day (ooh aye, old lad) on IRC or Usenet, you'd have lasted about ten seconds with that attitude.

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Pint

Re: I agree with you that the version numbering scheme is a bit daft

Yes, but...

In between your "Corporate IT Dept" and your surprised mum, the other 99% of users simply want a browser that will render all web pages, is reasonably secure and stable. And for those slightly more capable, a browser that allows additional/custom behaviour through easy to use addons.

Just saying.

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FAIL

If addons haven't broken in every version since FF6...

... why has FF12 (Ubuntu) just told me it's checking them for compatibility?

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Ubuntu 10.04LTS is on FF12

and it's still a slow, bloated, pain in the neck. It seems to suffer from a common free software flaw: the developers are more worried about a road map for wizzy new features over the next n years than actually getting the old stuff working.

Chrome/Chromium are superior in every way.

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Re: FrankAlphaXII

"Its amazing to me that the people still sitting on a program 10 versions old hold opinions which are considered relevant. "

Now here is an example of someone who has been completely fooled by Mozilla's moronic "new version number every six weeks" marketing ploy!

Well apparently some people *enjoy* being, uh, "socially engineered".

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Re: If addons haven't broken in every version since FF6...

Did it reject any?

"Chrome/Chromium are superior in every way."

Except that they're not. The address bar doesn't work as well, the rendering engine has more bugs, the developer tools are all swiped from superior Firefox extensions, etc, etc. You can call Chrome faster and I'll agree, but that's not why I use FF as my primary browser. Chrome is fast, and Opera is polished, but Firefox works.

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FAIL

Re: I agree with you that the version numbering scheme is a bit daft

***Whoosh***

That's the sound of you missing the point by a few AU.

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No Problems

I've been on the beta update channel for about a year now, so I've been using version 13 for a while now.

Haven't had any problems. Don't know what addons you guys are using but I've found that I don't have the addon update problems I used to have. Updates have been pretty seamless.

Why the fuss over a version number? It is just a number!

So basically it works for me, all my addons work (I stick to established addons), and I agree with Shannon Jacobs. It is the most non-evil option.

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how about listing your addons, please...

would sure help instead of the vague 'my addons work'... :/

- are you the guy that brings your radio into the shop, and just says "dunno, it just dont work..."

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Happy

Re: how about listing your addons, please...

Adblock, NoScript, FlashGot, FireGestures, Flagfox, Globefish, WOT, etc. etc.

Not going to list every single one as it's is not relevant. Everyone will have their own list.

The important thing is to use tried and tested addons.

Anyway, my "radio" works :)

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Def
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Joke

1995 called...

They want their UI back.

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Meh

Two browsers for me...

Chrome for surfing the web - and a small amount of dev work

Firefox for web dev - the dev tools in firefox are still generally better than Chrome and I really can't do without my shortcut keys with the Web Developer toolbar - a plugin I use a LOT at work.

The version numbers malarkey really is a pointless exercise, but finally, it seems, mozilla have stopped marketing the version numbers on the download page.

I have to say, it's also helped me convince the account managers at work that we *don't* have to test websites in every single version of a web browser, but rather concentrate on web standards and trust the browsers to render correctly. These days, unless you don't know your craft, all major browsers do render correctly.

I've been following Firefox, like many devs, since before it was firefox - firebird 0.6 - I tried phoenix prior to this, but wasn't impressed.

I used to proudly wear my Mozilla t-shit - that amazing design with the gecko and the star - as Mozilla had bought life back into the browser market - the early noughties were a very dull time for browsers, as netscape killed itself and internet explorer re-invented itself as a half decent browser.

I stopped using Firefox as a day to day browser and moved the chrome - the sandboxing of the tabs really appealed to me. With firefox, a crash would generally take the entire browser down, but with chrome, you'd usually only lose a tab. That, alone, was worth the switch.

I still think firefox has far better Add-Ons and to be honest, I'd trust mozilla far sooner than Google, perhaps it's time to have another look at firefox for everyday use?

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Unhappy

The current versioning fad/trend for web browsers etc. appears to be support poison.

Incrementing the version number for obvious minor revision releases, rather than the revision number, looks like an abuse of version numbering convention. The revision number will become pointless and redundant at this rate!

The complaints about the current version numbering trend on extensions/plugins are quite valid; it breaks the whole point of having a maximum version bound on extensions/plugins and makes life annoying for users of otherwise working but no longer updated extensions/plugins.

I have given up on maximum version bounding for valuable working, unsupported, extensions and plugins, so periodically update the upper bound to a much higher maximum version.

I wonder if this version numbering fad maybe designed as some form of sabotage, either now or in the future; why not just use build numbers, for yet more chaos!?

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So will this one stop crashing?

I've been hoping they'd fix that rather annoying habit, well, forever.

The one where it crashes, then refuses to start, then you come back later and it's working again is bizarre, and somehow I'm sadly used to it.

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Mushroom

13 doesn't support Windows 2000

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Silver badge

Neither does the latest IE, Chrome (without hackery), or Safari (again, without hackery). However, Opera does, surprisingly, so kudos to them.

But TBH, if you stay on a 13 year old system, how long are you expecting support to last?

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Some people just want to be angry

All these angry people who insist they're going to stick with FF 3.5 are not better than old people that are too afraid to change anything on their computer and insist on sticking with IE6.

The version number shouldn't matter and it basically doesn't now. The internet is better when people keep their browsers up to date meaning they're secure and support the latest standards.

If you don't like that fine but you're in a minority which is going extinct.

Firefox runs better than it ever has before. So I'm happy the pressure was put on them by Chrome and they've reacted perfectly. I'd argue that actually Firefox is better than Chrome now.

It certainly handles broken HTML better than Chrome which chokes on busted html.

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Re: Some people just want to be angry

Oh, another clueless comment about us "luddites," being senile old fools afraid of upgrade.

Question about now-useless version numbers is the wrong one.

The real question is about development model. Change of the versioning model is the tip of the iceberg: FireFox as of version 4 is effectively a developer build channel. It's an alpha-quality software and not once FireFox (and Chrome too) had to suspend the auto-updates to fix problems. But some user did already got updated to the broken version. Do you want to be among them? I doubt it. In the end, all users are playing the Russian roulette: will it work for you tomorrow or not?

I rely on my browser as on a working tool, which I have customized for my tasks. Honestly I have little desire (and often no time) to play the roulette every 6 weeks. (I actually already have the experience with Chrome breakages. They magically disappeared few days later, still, had I relied on Chrome as a tool, my work would have been impaired.)

I did test FireFox 10 and it worked pretty well. I could find replacement for all important extensions and no obvious breakage popped up. But that was version 10. Who knows how it is now at version 12 or 13 or whatever.

And that's the whole point. With development model around major.minor versions I can plan updates and upgrades because I can tell major feature update from minor patch. With the current FireFox's development model I cannot. And I cannot allow some unsigned 3rd party to control how and when I do my work. For that I already have a whole matrix of management...

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Anonymous Coward

Firefox: Another Day Another Number

And a few cosmetic changes.

Maybe there'll be a real upgrade one day. I don't mind: browser works fine as it is, and, oh, I seem to be on 7-point-something.

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Megaphone

Waterfox for 64bit

I am now using Waterfox 64bit as it just installs and uses the old Mozilla settings folder. No messing about with anything other than installing Flash and Silverlight 64 plugins. Runs a treat.

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Marge, why won't it work properly?

Just upgraded Firefox - was on version 10.something. Got the white screen of death on first attempt to run it.

Most plug-ins have disappeared with the upgrade, except for a couple of PHP debuggers. Any that were temporarily disabled to try and get the browser to run correctly are gone.

Bookmarks are all gone, along with Live Feeds and the Homer Simpson theme.

Quick YouTube test: uses around 50% of CPU (including plug-in container), whereas Opera (for example) is about 20% for the same video.

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Childcatcher

WHAT ??

Today I just upgraded to Firefox 12.

Buggar it is out of date already.

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Anonymous Coward

I hate the new tab crap

If you hat ethe newtab crap showing everyone at work the pages you are visiting use this.

browser.newtab.url = about:blank

back to old behavior

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Mushroom

Enough with all this useless crap and stop the damn thing crashing!

For the last 3 versions, this has been disastrously unstable, crashing a minimum of twice a day, including when I'm not actually doing anything, just have it open in the background.

Used to be great, but unreliable POS recently,

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Facepalm

@Greg J Preece...

yup, tried all that, unpredictable results... do note that 'telling the browser it will work' is NOT the same as the addon not working with the browser properly!!!

as for 'full profile' I think there needs to be something else.. mostly, the new install wont recognize the old profile, and simply creates a new one... or other strange effects..

and as 'Daniel Johnson' and 'Reg Varney' say, V10 may have almost worked, but killed by the upgrade to 13...

I would rather have a slow, **reliable** browser, than a fast crashing one!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Official Mozilla MSI packages yet? No? Right, carry on.

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