back to article Firefox 4 debuts: The last kitchen sink release

Mozilla has officially released Firefox 4, the latest version of its popular open-source browser, after nearly a year of development. Available for download on Windows, Linux, and Mac, Firefox 4 offers added JavaScript performance through a new extension to Mozilla's SpiderMonkey engine, hardware acceleration on all platforms …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    faster java???

    well the mussus is already kicking off at me for the upgrade because stuff is in different places.

    Not only that, but bloody zynga poker has froze twice loosing her chips !!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Duh!

      Go and look up the difference between Java and JavaSCRIPT - they are NOT the same.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Title

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

      If you want to get rid of the Orange button or just to move it then:

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

    3. Tony Green

      Loosing?

      Were her chips tight previously?

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Loose chips?

      She'll get over it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      just to make things clear....

      its the missus kicking off,

      I know it only takes a few clicks here and there to get things looking the same as it did before..

      but to be honest, i prefer the new clean look and the extra real estate it gives you for your web page, particularly on my netbook...

      1. The BigYin

        Umm...

        ...why is the missus seeing your session? She can just move things around where she needs, or she can run a local copy of FF3.7. It's not hard on a decent OS.

        Oh.

        Wait.

        You're using Windows aren't you?

        Commiserations.

  2. Greg J Preece
    Thumb Up

    I like it

    Been using it all afternoon under Windows 7 (shush, I dual boot) and it's pretty good. Can't comment on load times as the initial load was obviously converting my profile/checking add-ons, but once loaded, it's pretty sprightly. Opera and Chrome die-hards will probably crow about theirs being 0.2ms faster to load a page, but really, the difference now is slight enough that I couldn't care less. There's far more to browsing the web than rendering speed, after all. Now that FF4 is out and IE is becoming less of a hog, I don't think there's a current browser out there I'd describe as "slow".

    I'm not a fan of the new minimalist interfaces in any of the current browsers, to be honest, but getting everything back where it belongs really didn't take long. (This was also the first thing I did in IE9.)

    Some of the new options and fiddles are nice. Having Sync built straight-in is a boon, and the new add-ons/personas screen is very nice indeed. I also like the "app tabs" or whatever they call them - very useful indeed for getting my most used sites down to a wee pinned favicon and out of the way.

    The concept of tab groups appeals, but there really really needs to be a keyboard shortcut to switch between them. I might knock together an add-on that does just that. My personal view has always been that every second spent reaching for the mouse is a second wasted. ;-)

    Probably half my add-ons aren't listed as compatible, which is the real bitch. Some of these are stupid things I haven't used in ages, like Froggr (exactly what you think it is), so I've removed them, but others are useful to me, and I'm hoping that the add-on developers are still around to fix them up. That's the risk you take with a system like this, though. You can't just assume compatibility, after all. The major must-haves still work, fortunately, like Firebug and the Developer Toolbar. Thanks guys!

    Incidentally, being able to install/uninstall without restart is a kick-ass addition. That always used to do my head in.

    In all, I like it. There are a few tweaks that I would have made here and there, but it seems stable enough, it zips along, and it works as well as it ever did. Just got to wait for some of my add-ons to update. Looking forward to playing under the hood with the new developer tools, as soon as I get chance.

    Now, over to the inevitable Opera fanboy to yell about how rubbish it is and how all the good bits were stolen from the Cult of the Chosen.

    1. Gilbert Wham

      Minimalist!?

      Oh, God, they're not hiding buttons like everyone else, are they? I hate it when they hide the buttons. Why does 'UI Design' = 'Spitefully hiding things' so often?

      1. Piro
        Pint

        Stop moaning

        Why do people always start moaning about stuff like this without even trying it.

        You can change it to have a regular old menu bar and have the tabs below the address bar in 4 clicks total.

        If you want the status bar back, that's trivial too. Another right click on the toolbar and a click to select it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Because that's 5 clicks more

          than it took when they released it properly. After all 0.2 ms is 0.2 ms and that's the kind of time savings were all looking for in our Browsers these days.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: I like it

      Funny, the first mention of Opera in the comments is someone accusing nonexistent "Opera fanboys" of something or other.

      Your strawman is showing, "fanboy".

      1. Greg J Preece

        Hmmm

        "Your strawman is showing, "fanboy"."

        Uh-huh. You missed the mention of IE9 in my post then? That and Opera being installed on pretty much every device I own. Right next to Firefox, admittedly, but it's there.

        As I've said a number of times, I think Opera is a great browser, but man oh man, its fanboys are OTT. So I find that if I'm near the beginning of a thread, and I make some sarky remark about them, they don't turn up for fear of me posting a large JPEG of a trout. Works well!

        Well, until you showed up, that is.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Hmmm

          You don't think it's more likely they don't show up because it's all in your head?

          What does IE9 have to do with "Opera Fanboys" anyway?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Not massively impressed...

    Truth is, we're so spoiled for choice now, firefox is no longer the exciting new contender for the crown.

    I recall earlier days of firefox, when the download was a mere 3.7mb, microsoft was resting on the laurels of ie6, chrome was nowhere to be seen & opera was hardly a blip on the radar.

    It seemed to me, back then, that FF was a damn side faster than it is now - the whole web was faster.

    Now we're being bombarded with largely pointless wads of Javascript, to the point where browsers are touting how fantastically fast thier javascript engines are - yet I'm hard pressed to see exactly what benefits all this Javascript is bringing me in terms of serving *data*.

    Sure, it's nifty not to have to reload an entire page for all page update operations, but it's hardly a 'killer' feature when your browsing for information.

    There's too much page bloat & poor coding practices - Javascript has become the new *flash* on the web - loads of widgets that are supposed to make the web 'richer', when all along, it's the content that makes it richer - how it's displayed is largely irrelevant, so long as it's viewable.

    ... I'm having a grumpy day ... and a big issue with pointless use of Javascript all over the place.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Go

      NoScript

      Install the NoScript plugin--it really does make Web browsing faster, and you can easily enable/disable it for specific sites and sessions, plus it gives you added protection from malware-infested sites.

      1. The BigYin

        @Tom

        Get your router (or install a service) to not download the crap at source. I've still got to get around to this, but using the g/f's Mac at home is a nightmare with all the ads, pop-ups, highlighting, surveys and general crap that gets in the way of the content.

        The web is on usable with NoScript, AdBlock, Flashblock, BetterPrivacy, CookieCuller and Ghostery all installed and running. Oh, and the odd Greasemonkey script.

        These plugins are why IE (even 9) is a waste of space as a browser.

        1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          @The BigYin

          And I do what when I'm not at home?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Peter Kay

    Meh - 64 bit Windows?

    A 64 bit Windows version is, as with most other software, not included by default. Considering they've been creating official builds throughout the process, how much effort would it have required to add it?

    To be honest, not terribly impressed. It's faster but still tends to freeze at times. It's only a bit of inertia stopping me checking out Iron and IE9..

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Why do you want a 64 bits browser on Windows?

      Unless you're opening 3 or 4 gigabytes of web pages, a 32-bit program should be fine. I'm genuinely curious what you want to do with a juggernaut gigabrowser.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Badgers

        I'm not sure this is entirely true.

        I have read that 64-bit code will execute faster on a 64-bit architecture than 32-bit code. It makes sense, given that the OS and code will be optimized for 64-bit code.

        1. Peter Kay

          Large data, and registers

          64 bit will be faster if you're shifting around large amounts of data, but is not by its nature vastly faster.

          On x86-64 Windows, however, there are two considerations :

          32 bit Windows programs running under Windows x64-86 will typically encounter a small performance penalty (although it depends what they're doing. For accessing lots of memory they may be faster)

          Under x86-64, more registers are available. With a decent compiler this can lead to a noticeable speedup (5% or so, IIRC).

          Plus, it's good practice. 16 bit is now dead in x64-86 land and terminal in x32. One day x32 will follow.

          You might as well ask why other platforms (Linux, etc) want 64 bit Firefox and 64 bit Flash. It's no different, except for the fact mozilla.com only provides a source level distribution, with binaries typically provided by Unix distribution repositories.

          The location of an authorised *nix repository is generally known; the source for Windows software is typically the vendor's website.

      2. Peter Kay

        Here you go - no Windows x64, bye bye PPC

        To answer my own question :

        http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/2ed3dfbf9e224b07#

        To summarise :

        Linux 64 bit isn't officially supported, despite the fact a number of 64 bit Unix distributions include 64 bit Firefox/Iceweasel

        Windows 64 bit isn't supported either, despite asking since 2008 because.. oh shut up and stop asking, will you?

        PPC isn't supported because not as many people run OS X PPC and those that do, don't count (despite the fact Camino runs nicely on sub 1GHz PowerMacs, at least until Flash is added)

        Parts of the DOM code run 20% faster on OS X x64-86, but hey, who needs 20%?

        No worries though, it's not as if Firefox has any competition, is it? (and yes, Chrome/Iron doesn't have a 64 bit build easily available either. IE does, though).

        Must also check if the internationalisation in Firefox Windows is still incredibly poor. I thought it could do with some work on IE8 until I discovered how much worse everything else was..

      3. Tom 13

        It's not so much the juggernaut aspect as it is having an app

        that is compiled specifically for the OS. Mozilla I am more forgiving of, but M$ really pissed me off when their default IE client in the 64-bit OS was the 32-bit client and you had to adjust the OS if you wanted to use the 64-bit version by default.

        1. Peter Kay

          Blame Adobe

          I'm sure Microsoft would love to select the 64 bit version by default. The issue is that most plugins would stop working, and they're essential for many people these days.

          By the time Windows 8 comes out, the 64 bit Flash plugin and others might be out of beta and usable.

  5. Shonko Kid
    Gates Horns

    "The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on..."

    What utter crap. What about when the browser IS the OS?

    What they meant to say is that, due to a management oversight, all of middle management were given a bonus goal for 2010/11 of making sure none of their devs were running XP anymore.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      "The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on..."

      As you say. Crap. As long as the OS can get your image off the hard disk and into ram, and connect you to a few network sockets and HID things, the rest could be up to your browser. If chrome & firefox can do it, refusal by microsoft is either lies or manipulation. Or both.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      "Only as good as the OS" is 100% correct..

      "The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on" is indeed correct insofar that it thus totally disqualifies ANY version of IE as usable or safe - because all run exclusively on Windows (version in principle immaterial).

      I think you should applaud such openness. I'm sure that wasn't quite what he meant to say, but that's what he actually meant, a Freudian slip*.

      * : A Freudian slip is where you say one thing, but you mean your mother. Or something like that.

  6. I_am_Chris
    Thumb Up

    Quarterly releases

    Are a good thing! I've always used late beta versions of firefox since it was called phoenix. They are always pretty stable. The only downside is that extensions often don't keep up. Hopefully, quicker releases will make developers keep their extensions in sync sooner rather than wait for release candidates.

    I've been using firefox4 since well before Christmas and it's been great. Today is a bit of yawn moment for me :)

  7. Adam Trickett
    Linux

    Not bad at all

    Today FF3 asked me if I wanted to upgrade on my work's XP box. I said yes and to my surprise the download was only a few minutes even over our crap network. At first I thought it was was just downloading an installer but when it restarted it was all fully installed. All but two extensions worked out of the box, one needed an upgrade the other I don't need/use.

    I ran the rest of the afternoon with FF4 testing various intranet sites that I have to use and some internet sites I frequent. Overall much faster on XP than FF3, making the company standard IE6 seem dreadful.

    Visually you can see the Google influence on it, but it's not that radical, especially when compared to Opera. After a few hours of use it seems fine we shall see if it's fast enough on my home Linux boxes to make me switch back from Chrome/chromium.

  8. Framitz
    Alert

    Always .

    Firefox,

    Always rough around the edges, and an unfinished look and feel.

    Firefox is done. Mozilla is DONE.

    Switched to Chrome and not looking back.

    1. DF118
      Stop

      Good for you

      How's that £2m a year tech forecasting job going for you? You've obviously got it tied down so tight you've got time to come and gift us peon masses with a bit of your sparkling insight before heading off for a quick chopper ride to play the back nine at St. Andrews.

      Geez peace ya radge.

  9. Mark Dowling
    Stop

    Firefox/WebGL? Driver dependent

    "unlike IE, Firefox 4 supports WebGL, which provides hardware accelerated 3D inside the browser"

    If your video drivers support it. Want to find out if yours do? Go to demos.mozilla.org (spoiler alert - if you have an Intel integrated chipset from Dell, likely not)

  10. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Over-the-top bullshit hyperbole alert!!!

    "[...]a browser running on a ten year old operating system tethers the web to the past."

    <-- Made me honk all over my keyboard

    Puh-fucking-LEEEZE!

    1. F Seiler

      oh, a title

      reverse direction, i'd rather have the web 2001 than the web 2011.

      (and still prefer XP over 7 but i'm no longer overly religiouos about that and have started to accept that sad joke of UI)

  11. EnigmaForce
    FAIL

    "The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on..."

    Yes, that nugget almost made me fell out of my chair laughing too :D

  12. volsano

    Opera to the rescue

    Let Firefox update itself to version 4.

    It grumbled about an incompatible extension, downloaded what it said was an update to the broken extension, showed me the start screen. Then hung solid. Hung solid while using 100% of one of the cpus.

    Hung so solid that even Vista's Task Manager refused to stop it. Had to kill it with Process Explorer.

    Tried a few restarts. Same.

    Had to start Opera to get to Mozilla's support page and learn the -safe-mode command switch to start Firefox with no extensions.

    Disabled and uninstalled all extensions. That made it work.

    Now slowly adding them back to find the Firefox killer.

    So not an automatic update for me.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Badgers

      I think I might see the problem here...

      "Hung so solid that even ***Vista's Task Manager*** refused to stop it." [Emphasis added]

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Youtube Videos

    Anyone else having issues watching youtube videos?v Just get a black screen but the video plays and if you double click on it it does go full screen.

    No problem in 3.6.15 or chrome for that matter.....grrrrr

    1. Greg J Preece

      I did the first time, hit refresh

      As per title really. First Flash vid I tried to watch did squat, hit refresh, now everything is fine. Don't look at me, I've no idea either.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Single threaded?

    The first thing I do when I sit down at my computer or open my laptop is to hit refresh on all my tabs (at least the ones for news sites). This slows FF3 to a crawl, tab switching gets painfully sluggish, etc. Doesn't seem to have improved with FF4 unfortunately. Chrome does not suffer from this problem.

  15. James 63
    Linux

    O-RLY?

    "The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on and a browser running on a ten year old operating system tethers the web to the past..."

    FF4 on linux is fine, and that's been kicking around for >10 years. Maybe if MS concentrated on writing an OS that wasn't so spaghetti, they might find they could update core pieces of it as required to make it run better over time, without complete borking the whole thing.

    But then I suppose they're happy forcing their users to install complete OS upgrades every 3 years, keeps the cash coming in...

  16. json
    Gates Horns

    FF4 is ok

    ..speed has improved and the sync'ing with mobile phones is great. Good job this time and dont listen to M$.

  17. mikebreta

    Its Microsoft lost

    Now that Microsoft doesn't want me and my xp ? After all these years I have always used MS stuff ... Well because of it I am now starting to use Firefox . So far I am happy to use Firefox 4 on my xp pc . It loads a lot quicker than IE 8 EVER did ... They ( MS ) want to push forward well I can say you have lost me because of your choices ... I am staying with xp as last as I can and whenever that day come and it dies on me ? I can guaranteed I will never buy another software from MS again ... The sad part is I have Vista and 7 but I don't care for either . I'm going to try to sell them ( retail version )

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good intentions and all that

      I've said that in the past.

      Problem is, the next new OEM machine comes with Win7.

      A self build doesn't really save much money these days as the OEMs can buy in bulk, even including the Windows tax.

      And there are always those 1 or 2 applications that need a Win machine.

  18. RightPaddock

    No thanks, too busy

    Installed it, looked at it, went back 3.6.

    Too many low value cosmetic changes and too many extensions not ready yet. The All-In-One Sidebar menu bar is stuffed, its supposed to be FF4 ready. I'll wait a while & find a time when I'm less busy, assuming grim reaper doesn't take me first.

    I wish they'd provide a dark default theme in the box.

    Browsers are so f@#!ing boring, even word processors more interesting than browsers.

  19. MagicBoy
    Thumb Up

    Better on the Mac

    Performance is much improved on the Mac over 3.6, and no stupid orange button. Nice work.

  20. Velv Silver badge
    Flame

    Developers

    "The developer community has been vocal that they want to push the web forward"

    And everyone in Infrastructure and Operations actually knows that developers are idiots. If they developed decent code that was optimised and efficient then we wouldn't require the powerful machines with the extreme OSs. The developers are pushed along by the arty-crafty poofters in Marketing who haven't got a clue either.

    Given the numerous FAILS by many websites in recent years, do the public really want the web pushed forward? Or let me phrase that better - is it in the public's best interest to push the web forward!

    1. Greg J Preece

      You arrogant tit

      The statement you quoted is all about the next set of web standards being widely adopted and actively supported. It has sod all to do with requiring Cray superboxes to run your browser on. But then you wouldn't get that, since you're clearly not a developer.

      And if progress is bad, what are you reading this site in? Lynx? Or did someone "push the web forward" to the point where you can use a mouse?

  21. David 9
    FAIL

    Bug

    I click on a link and don't move the mouse - the page doesn't load.

    I move the mouse - the page loads. Tested on google, bbc news and my own lovely website. I even waited 45seconds for a page to load which usually loads in about 150ms as timed in firebug.

    A bit of a stonker of a bug if it's more than my copy affected!

  22. Fuh Quit

    hmm, I've become fragmented

    I am using IE9 in certain contexts and am now split between Chrome and Fx4 for everything else.

    Ghostery has made it to Chrome which is awesome. NoScripts on Chrome is perhaps stopping me jumping completely from Fx as I feel Fx has become bloated. Fx4 is of course interesting so I am sticking around for a while....

    What I like about Chrome is that I don't have to install Flash to occasionally view a video and that the darn thing updates pretty well without my brain being involved. This is fabulous and definitely the way to go.

    Frankly, speed is not really something I see differing greatly in my experience. Certainly not for what I surf. I rarely reboot and don't tend to often close browsers.....

    If I rate what I prefer to use right now.....

    1. Firefox; if there was one thing to change for them, it would be to stack the plugin icons into a single button somewhere rather than on the nav and status bar. My main PC has only 1024x768 as it's a ThinkPad x61.....more is definitely more for my screen!

    2. Chrome (only just)

    3. IE9 (not far behind but missing things to nuke cookies after session and other plugins)

    4. Safari and Opera I would not bother with. I saw them on the browser ballot thing that Opera kicked and screamed about until MS delivered it....

    btw I have Linux Mint and OSX running at home, they'll get the Fx4 treatment shortly.

    I think I was more excited about IE9.

  23. EddieD

    Not bad, but...

    I tried out the new firefox, and was reasonably impressed - it certainly seemed snappier, and the layout is nice and flexible, but...it killed all the extra navigation buttons on my mouse (except the scroll wheel), and with a bolt, a plate, and arthiritis in my wrist, I need those buttons.

    Reverting to 3.6 was easy, and I'll certainly be going back to give FF4 a more thorough try out as soon as I've scoured the web to (or actually sat down and tried to) find a fix for the mouse problems.

    64bits though? Pretty please?

  24. pinkmouse

    Tried to upgrade...

    And failed. Get message on startup that my system isn't supported. Running OSX10.5.8 on a G5. Went to home page and can't find any system requirements or an alternate download. So it supports XP but not anything older than 10.6 on the Mac? Pointless.

    1. xenny

      No PPC support

      FF 4 supports Intel Macs on 10.5, but has no support for PowerPC CPU'd Macs such as the G5, I suspect because the JavaScript engine is x86 only. :-(

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Nope, it's Intel only

      I can't imagine why, given that the codebase doesn't otherwise have Intel dependencies per the evidence of Linux support, but according to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/system-requirements.html it's 10.5 or 10.6, Intel only.

    3. Iain
      Unhappy

      Here

      Found the requirements page:

      http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/system-requirements.html

      So you should be ok wth OS X 10.5?

      But I'm stuffed with my ancient G4 and OS X 10.4

      1. pinkmouse

        Shame

        Ta for that specs page folks, but strange that Intel processor is only recommended, not obligatory.It's a shame they've gone down this route as old Macs do wear much better than the PC equivalents, (please no Mac v PC arguments).

    4. Robert E A Harvey

      That's queer

      I reported exactly that behaviour in firefox 0.<something> and the bug sorting person said it couldn't possibly do that. I've seen it since, too, in other things like Serif pageplus. Serif say its nothing to do with them, it must be a windows problem.

    5. Greg J Preece

      Really?

      "it killed all the extra navigation buttons on my mouse"

      That's odd, mine work fine. Logitech MX518. Whatcha got?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Better than IE9...

    Only 4MB to download, Lightning fast page rendering and installs & runs on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 - unlike IE9.

    So I won't be bothering with IE9.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Better?

      How do you know it's better if you haven't bothered to try IE9?

      I won't be trying IE9 either (or indeed FF4) because I'm happy with my current browser. Which brings me to what I see as being a very confusing aspect to the browser wars. I meet an awful lot of people who always download every new browser version that comes along and usually declare it to be the best thing since sliced bacon. I have a neighbour who seems to be on a different browser every time I speak to him. He's particularly obsessed with whichever benchmark test the new browser happens to be fastest in. One day he's telling me how fast Safari is, then it's Opera, Chrome, Firefox and occasionally IE. The weird thing is that he doesn't seem to be at all concerned with the experience of using the browser, just which one scored best in benchmark tests.

      He's not as bad as his son who seems to change Linux distro as often as his dad switches browsers.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Lovefilm

    Can't play trailers or stream films in Lovefilm. Strangely other flash vids seem fine

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    No different really.

    I let this install last night and it works ok, I didn't really see any major difference in the speed of rendering web pages, but it feels a bit smoother when creating new tabs, 3.6 was quite juddery on some pages or took an eternity to actually open the tab then another two minutes to render the page.

    Two extentions didn't work but this is not the end of the world unlike some people would have us believe. I just uninstalled them and presto FF4 working happily. I was running it alongside Opera and Chrome and quite frankly they all seem to do the same job and do it quite well. FF is going to stay my main browser for now but I regularly have a Chrome browser open doing something else along side.

    I think it was worth the wait.

  28. Your Retarded
    FAIL

    Apple's holy handheld (which will run Firefox itself)

    I think you missed including the small but very important word NOT in that phrase.

  29. moiety

    Well...

    Looks shiny and *finally* the bookmarks are doing my bidding; but it keeps freezing and releasing on me. It's like being in a fucking stop-motion film.

    May have to defect back to Opera.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the only

    The only reason I use firefox is rikaichan, noscripts and, abp and if you put a bit of effort you can get ff 3.x to be pretty minimal.

    However as long as the plugins keep up, then I'll upgrade.

  31. probedb

    Now uses even more memory!

    Well since upgrading it's eating twice as much memory as it used to :/ I'm sure I must have a bad extension somewhere.

    The plus side is it's so much faster :D

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clutching at straws

    "But beyond raw speed, we're speeding up the way users flow through the internet. We're speeding up your real online life, improving startup time, tab switching, and scrolling – stuff beyond the benchmarks."

    My real online life (puhlease!) is not spent waiting for tab changes, scrolling or startup. I start my browser only once a day, a matter of a few seconds and hardly significant in terms of a whole day. Switching tabs is so fast as to be barely noticable and certainly not something anybody has to wait for unless their hardware is over ten years old, certainly I've never heard of anybody getting impatient when switching from one tab to another. As for scolling, well can you read faster than your browser can scroll? Course not.

    OK so I will admit that FF3 is incredibly slow to startup when compared to Opera and Chrome, but I've never noticed any browser being slow to switch tabs or scroll. This sounds like the ramblings of a salesman who has little or nothing new and worthwhile in his latest product. People in the motor industry will know the symptoms, if you don't recognise them wait for the next launch of a "facelifted" car. You know the sort of thing it looks a bit different, but is essentially the same car. When the marketing men start telling you about the dynamic styling of the new bumpers or pointing out the additional cup holder in the back you will recognise the same desperation as pointing out a browser's faster scroll speed.

  33. Defiant
    Thumb Down

    Loser

    The BigYin "Oh. Wait. You're using Windows aren't you? Commiserations."

    You Linux guys really need to get get a life. If you are this desperate to get people using Linux then there is something seriously wrong with you

  34. tony72

    I'm late to this party, aren't I?

    On my Atom-powered Windows 7 tablet, Firefox 4 is the only browser that allows smooth flick scrolling of large, media heavy pages; that's really the only instance I've actually noticed the performance improvements, but it's welcome.

    However I really wish that all the effort they've devoted to tab management had gone instead to bookmark management. The bookmark system is still f*%ked, with three separate, and almost equally inadequate, ways of accessing bookmarks (toolbar, sidebar, and menu). The Firefox devs acknowledged this during the planning stages of FF4, but it seems they decided not to do anything about it. Perhaps they think people will stop using bookmarks altogether, and just keep every page they want to reference in the future on an open tab, but that doesn't work for me. I'd love to be able to organize and manipulate bookmarks the way you can work with tabs in the new tab manager, here's hoping something like that happens in the future.

  35. Carl Berry

    Ooo that's annoying

    Right click on link -> second item down "open in new tab". No eh ? what ? why are you opening a new window ? I didn't select that.

    Except I did because they've switched new tab and new window around from 3.x.

    Consistency for usability ? Nah, overrated. :(

  36. F Seiler

    tried it only biefly at work so far

    No big difference so far. Media and JS heavy pages i try to stay away from anyway.

    But the aggregation of "firefox menu button" and tab headers into the title bar seems to cancel out on loading pages (at least some, i din't bother to investigate), leaving the UI with more top-of-the-page overhead (namely an empty toolbar or something) than i had before in the previous versions.

    I tend to customize it so that there is few UI left and this was nicely taken over on the update - until that said canceling out.

    XP by the way, maybe it has something to do with the XP titlebar not friendly to such unexpected customisation :)

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