By now, you have probably already seen tons of Firefox 4 reviews, previews and whatnot. Firefox 4 will officially be released tomorrow and will be available here, but if you’re impatient, you can get it here. You can also get it off Mozilla’s FTP server, but they politely request you don’t do that since the hordes of Firefox users leeching off those servers will kill them. At the moment, the Release Candidate version is still up on the Mozilla website.
Anyway, here’s an early review of the shiny new browser’s main features!
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If you’ve ever read a long article online, you know that reading on-screen is not easy on the eyes. Some web designers do a good job at making their content readable. Some, well, let’s just say they want to keep to traditions and keeping simple.
The bookmarklets in this post will change the look of the web page you apply them on to something that is more readable and easier on the eyes. Some of those bookmarklets can be customized to your liking, e.g. in terms of background color. So let’s start…
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Who’d have thought I’d ever write a title like that? I, who kept telling friends and other acquaintances for some time now: “Scrap the damn Internet Explorer (IE), and get a good browser! Download Chrome or Firefox!”. That’s a line most tech people yell at others, whenever the others say: “that page looks broken”, or if their machines is being overrun by viruses or other kinds of malware. So much that, when asked what was Internet Explorer’s use, some people even replied “to download Firefox”.
The first reflex nowadays has been to fire Internet Explorer, go to Mozilla or Google and download Firefox or Chrome. Or Opera. Or Safari. Whatever. As long as it was a “better browser” than IE, which up to IE8, was awfully slow, with an ugly interface and was a total nightmare for web designers when it came to standards and CSS.
After hearing too many complaints, someone at Microsoft must have raised their arms and said “F* it! Let’s make a good browser this time!”. And they succeeded. From the minds of the folks at Microsoft came Internet Explorer 9, whose Beta version is out, and available for download here.
There has been lots of hype around the new IE, promising HTML5 support and a huge boost when it comes to respecting standards. Guess what? For once, the hype turned out to be true. I’d go as far as calling IE9, the best ever browser made by Microsoft. This is not surprising, considering that IE9 looks almost like the excellent Google Chrome, both in terms of interface and features. You can’t fail hard when you copy from the best. I guess that statements has been proven true. For once, I’ll be using Firefox to download Internet Explorer. Feels kind of strange…
So let’s see what IE9 is made of.
EDIT: (starts here)
More lies and debunking them! You really have to see those two links.
Among the most interesting ones:
“Internet Explorer 8 has much more functionality than other browsers, and its functionality is there from the moment you open the browser. Internet Explorer 8 offers almost all of the features the most popular add-ons in Firefox have, and you’re able to personalize your browser in a way that saves you time and research.”
Internet Explorer 8 passes more of the World Wide Web Consortium’s test cases than any other browser.
Can’t Microsoft be prosecuted for spreading lies like that? It’s almost offensive to web-developers!
I recently mentioned that Internet Explorer and Microsoft were afraid of other browsers. Remember that 10k competition thing?
Well, Microsoft has done it yet again! Only this time, it’s a lot more funny and weird. And the amount of lolz just got way higher! See for yourself! And the Digg source.
Line by line comments follow after the shot:
Now the comments:
- Yeah right. IE is more secured than both Chrome and Firefox. I wonder where all those vulnerabilities come from. All those ActiveX nasty stuff. Yeah. IE is indeed secured.
- In-Private browsing? Ever heard of Chrome’s Incognito mode? Firefox’s new Privacy mode? Or what we call “the porn mode”? Another set of ticks missing here!
- IE is easy to use? Since when? Accelerators? Try SmarterFox. Chrome is fast enough as is!
- At least they got some humility to say that Firefox 3 is better. But still, I doubt IE8 is better at standards. Remember that ACID3 test?
- Developer Tools? I dunno. Can’t comment. But I know nothing beats Firebug and Web Developer Toolbar combined!
- Reliability. Firefox will soon have tab/process management, don’t worry IE. Chrome already has it.
- Customizability: Many of the things I want? Right out of the box? Gimme the features of a fully-featured RSS reader directly in IE (Brief?). Or coloured tabs (Colourful Tabs). Or a powerful download manager (DownThemAll). I can even write my own, or customize existing ones! Stop hating Firefox, MS! Give some love to the Fox!
- Compatible with more sites on the Internet than any other browser? For real? And that ACID3 test again? And the non-respect of standards?? Don’t make me laugh! Opera is the best in compatibility imho!
- Manageability: What do they mean here? I can’t understand.
- Performance: Why isn’t Safari here? I heard it’s the fastest of them all.
Overall, IE is bluffing. But hey, more lolz for us! Who are we to complain? I’d so like to see Firefox 3.5 soon. Hey, why not Firefox 4? Let’s see IE fight that! 😛
Seems TechCrunch is poking some fun at IE8 too!
EDIT: They changed it! Ahhh they finally found some reason! Note the different tone of language. Note the less number of points! Good good!
Hey readers, check out what I found in my feeds today! It’s a competition hosted by Microsoft! 10K prize money offered. The catch? You need to have Internet Explorer 8. The ad in itself is really funny, almost laughable. It seems Microsoft is really scared about losing market share to Firefox especially, and other browsers considering the tone of the ad. I’ve included a copy below, and for your viewing pleasure, here’s the original link.
A small comment: Since the page can only be opened in IE8 which got a lousy score in ACID3 test, it the page where the money is hidden must be so quirky that Firefox refuses to even find it! Also, note point #2! “Microsoft’s best ever browser” but not simply “best ever browser”. Does Microsoft itself know that its browser is not the best out there?
Enjoy your lulz, and comment! Seriously, I lol’d hard! Couldn’t resist blogging this as soon as I saw it! 😀
Click the image for the larger version
I’ve seen my fair share of Firefox addons. There are addons that can make your browser do virtually anything, including controlling your music player from your browser if you wish, or get live weather info, or draw diagrams, or… or anything else I can’t think of.
Today, however, I encountered an addon in my feeds that I found particularly interesting. It’s called the China Channel Addon.
What does it do? It gives you a taste of what it means to surf the Internet in China.
As you probably know, the Great Chinese Firewall (or Golden Firewall) is used to censor the Chinese Internet and prevent people from looking up subjects like “Free Tibet”. I guess they just get a “Page cannot be found” or “Error 404” or possibly very long wait times with no page displayed at the end.
Well, this addon recreates this effect. It places you behind the Great Firewall, and allows you to see what Internet Censorship means.
Personally, I don’t find any day-to-day use to this addon. It’s just a curiosity I wanted to share with you.
Now, if ever you are preparing a project or paper on Internet censorship or something like that, you may want to experience this effect first hand, and the China Channel Addon is what you will need.
Any other interesting Firefox Addons you would like to share?
Firefox 3.0 Final has just been released today, 17th June 2008 (it’s already 18th in some countries though), and I already downloaded my copy to help establish the Firefox World Record. Now that it is installed and ready to work, I am going to review it. I’ve been using Firefox since the early 1.x versions, and I kind of saw its evolution. If I could resume Firefox 3, it would be “Shiny Search Boxes”, with respect to the glass buttons and the large number of new search boxes scattered everywhere.
Without much delay, on with the review. But first, you might consider getting your own copy here, and help with the World Record initiative (you need to download from the official mirrors of Firefox, else the download does not count!). Beware though. Some of the pages of the Mozilla website have yet to be updated, and are still showing Firefox 2.0 downloads. Also, the page is taking a significant time to load, probably considering that lots of people are currently downloading.
A word of warning. Before installing Firefox 3, make sure all your add-ons are compatible with the new Firefox. A number of my add-ons are not yet compatible with the Firefox 3 Final. Specially Tabmix Plus, which is not yet compatible. Even Unplug is not yet compatible, according to the default install. So, check beforehand, or simply backup your Firefox profile before upgrading, in case you want to revert. As you can see below, some of my extensions are not compatible with Firefox 3.0. Unfortunately, you will have to check manually via the Mozilla Addons site.
To backup your Firefox profile, you could use the FEBE extension (cross-platform) (doesn’t work with Firefox 3 Final yet), or you could use the MozBackup (Windows only) application. More info about manual profile backup is available from Mozilla, here.
Read the rest of the review