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Summary:

Have you been using the latest release candidate RC1 of version 3 of Mozilla’s Firefox browser? If you haven’t, and you’re a regular user of Firefox, you may want to consider doing so now, before the official release of the final offering in June. I’ve been […]

Have you been using the latest release candidate RC1 of version 3 of Mozilla’s Firefox browser? If you haven’t, and you’re a regular user of Firefox, you may want to consider doing so now, before the official release of the final offering in June. I’ve been using RC1, and find it to be far faster than previous versions, in addition to other conveniences. It also handles memory much more efficiently. See Mike’s thoughts on this version as well.

While the final release of Firefox version 3 is scheduled for June, ZDNet is reporting that during the first week of June, Mozilla will release a second release candidate. If you want to start using RC1 now, and perhaps jump to RC2, what tips should you keep in mind?

Version 3 of Firefox is built on an entirely new version 1.9 of the Gecko rendering engine. While Mozilla is still warning that this is pre-release software, if you use Firefox all day, it’s worth considering using the latest release candidates. The browser is now much faster, and has a lot of added security features, in addition to other amenities.

Release Candidate 1 does not work with all Firefox extensions yet, which has caused many people to shy away from trying it, but there are workarounds. I’ve had success using Nightly Tester Tools to run many of my extensions.

Also, when using several of the earlier versions of Firefox 3, I just kept them loaded in a virtual machine, and jumped over to version 2 when I wanted to use my extensions. You can also load the release candidates in a separate drive partition, or simply in a dedicated folder if you want to run pre-release version 3 and version 2 in tandem.

If you haven’t tried the latest pre-release versions, I recommend finding a way to do so. Have you been using RC1?

  1. I started using FF 3 when it was in Beta 4, because my FF 2 developed an error that reinstalling couldn’t shake (probably something in the registry, I dunno) . Anyway, I’m much happier with RC1 than I was with FF 2, but I’ve been on a roller coaster of add-ons working and not working.

    Finally, everything I use daily for development is available for RC1 (Fireshot, clippings, and the web developer toolbar are MUST HAVES).

    I only turn IE on for checking my CSS designs for cross-browser compatibility.

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  2. One issue with FF3 tho is that it breaks some Flash applications

    http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2008/05/29/firefox-3-will-break-some-flash-content/

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  3. I have had it on my Mac along with FF 2, since an early beta. I loved the speed, but the lack of extensions kept me from using it much as I rely on them (Web Developer and FIrebug in particular).

    Now that those two are available (Firebug as a beta) it is getting a lot more use and will probably soon reclaim my “most used” browser status.

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  4. I am using it in Ubuntu, and the only drawback is that not all the extensions work yet.

    It is faster, looks better, more secure

    The certificate exception adding thing is a pain though
    SPREAD FFOX
    http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/?from=sfx&uid=0&aid=

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  5. I may be just unlucky, but after installing Firefox 3 RC1 today, it has already crashed 4 times. Firefox 2 is rock-solid for me.

    I can see very noticeable speed improvement in FF3, but these crashes are more than annoying

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  6. I installed Firefox 3 RC1 yesterday, and have noticed a drastic boost in performance.

    For me Firefox 2 would slow down to a crawl when using web apps like netvibes, with 3 so far I am experiencing no slow down and no crashes.

    Great Work!

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  7. I tried almost all the released betas, but couldn’t get all the extensions I need to work (even with Nightly Tester).

    Now, with RC1 everything finally works fine and I got it installed as default browser on all my three PCs.

    On my office PC FF3 still suffers occasional crashes, but in general it really is a lot faster and more reliable, even at this stage. Hard to imagine how I ever could work with my bloated Firefox 2.

    One thing that annoys me, though, is that Firefox 3 has full page zoom enabled by default. Do people really like that feature so much? Methinks it’s highly annoying. And thank goodness easily disabled (View->Zoom->Zoom Text Only).

    (If you want to zoom pictures, just mouse gesture over them or something…)

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