Tom Petrocelli's take on technology. Tom is the author of the book "Data Protection and Information Lifecycle Management" and a natural technology curmudgeon. This blog represents only my own views and not those of my employer, Enterprise Strategy Group. Frankly, mine are more amusing.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Update

Well, I finally got Firefox 2.0 to work. It required an extension (Tab Mix Plus) that allows you to control the behavior of tabs and links better. I am mystified as to why this isn't a core function. It's not like this is new. There have been extensions for this since the browser was first released and tab management extensions are among the most popular. By leaving it to extensions, there is always some lag between when a new version is released and the functionality becomes available again.

I was also able to change the security settings. When I first installed the software, it didn't want to recognize a previous profile for my local web server. Now it does. I don't know why that is, just that it is. That's a bit disconcerting. Things should only change when you make them change, not on their own. Change is good. Unpredictable change is not.

So far, I can say that I don't see many major improvements in Firefox. Certainly not enough to warrant wallowing in upgrade hell. It's a bit quicker and appears to have a lower memory footprint. The tab and session management options are okay, though not as important as the ones the extensions provide. I would argue that Mozilla has it backward in this regard. Tab sorting and session saving could be left to extensions while link behavior configuration made a core function.

The other big feature is the anti-phishing capabilities. I can't say I've noticed anything. Perhaps I've been around the block enough times to not be fooled so I don't run into the problem. I'm guessing it has more to do with not using webmail very often. Whatever. It does not add to my quality of life. If this was in Thunderbird, then you would have something.

Probably the best part of the upgrade is that it forced extensions makers to upgrade their extensions and fix bugs. A bunch of non-critical yet annoying bugs have been fixed in add-ons. Perhaps these are really manifestations of the "under the cover" changes that pundits and Mozilla supports keeping crowing about. However it came about, I don't care. Stuff works better now and that's what matters.

So, once again, I love Firefox. I don't think this was much for a major release. It's still the best browser and IE 7.0 is still playing catch up.

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