Firefox 3 Beta 4 review

Tabbed Browsing

On tabbed browsing, Firefox will not only warn you when closing several tabs and windows at once but will prompt if you want to save the currently open tab set: a good catch and a good way to introduce this helpful feature to new users.

Tabs now scroll with a smoothly. You can also duplicate tabs when you press Ctrl while dragging a tab and move them across windows by dragging them. Unlike previous betas, you get actual duplicates including the complete tab’s history. A very helpful addition!

Web experience

Firefox can save site specific preferences. For example you could allow just some pages to use AJAX, set a specific spell checker language, images, etc. Firefox 3 will remember the zoom level you have applied for a certain site and will zoom automatically the next time you visit it.

Net protocols (like irc, news, webcal and mailto) and certain documents handling can be passed to web services. For example, Yahoo Mail or Gmail may become your default application for mailto: links. For this, the previous web feeds page has been extended to the Options window for all content and protocols. Firefox 3 recognizes podcasts and video podcast feeds from regular ones so you can specify a different application for each.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 options application

Media feeds are displayed with a link to the media file in feed preview mode.

Media feed preview

By default, web sites can’t move or resize Firefox via JavaScript. A list of authorized web sites can be maintained through Advanced JavaScript Settings in the Content page in Options.

JavaScript move, resize exceptions

Search engines

The search engine manager lets you set and change keywords for search engines. With keywords, if you associate the w keyword with Wikipedia (now a default search engine), you could enter w hawaii in the locationbar and search Wikipedia for Hawaii.

Search plugins with Wikipedia and keywords

75 thoughts on “Firefox 3 Beta 4 review”

  1. You can always just get the ‘IE tab’ extension for Firefox that allows you to load pages using IE’s engine but through Firefox. It also comes preset to automatically load the Windows Update page with IE’s engine. This way you can update using Firefox and Windows thinks your using IE. Best extension ever

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  3. well I have been using beta4 since it came out…man I love it. I used it extensively on both on my Win XP and Ubuntu systems and works great. I am really liking they direction Mozilla took with FF3 especially in the themes department.

  4. Since Firefox is able to do so many nifty tricks- has anyone ever contemplated changing the scrollbar from the right side to the left?

    On a laptop, it’d be sweet to have the scrollbar on the left side, where most of the action of the cursor takes place.

    I’m actually surprised no one’s done a plug in or a hack to do that yet. Just a thought.

  5. As a software developer, I can tell you that it would be GUI suicide to change the placement of the scrollbar – as a default anyway.

    Usability is all about uniformity, and if you start moving around standard elements of the GUI, you absolutely ruin the overall usability.

  6. I wasn’t talking about changing the scrollbar from right to left for everyone, I was curious if it could be done via a hack or plugin, for those few weirdos like me that might prefer it on that side. Since the file/back/forward/ and other browser commands are typically assigned to the left side, it just would make things easier and faster for me to have the scrollbar on the left side, since that’s where most of my mouse work takes place.

    Just a plug in or a hack is all I want, not to change the way the world works.

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  9. I’ve been using Firefox since version, it is my everyday browser. I’ve used IE7,opera 9 but like FF because of it’s simple design, easier to use and as of ff3 beta 4 there are lot of improvements… but certain things that i wish could be better is that 1.the location bar in xp (as of beta 4) does not look good, the Go button is always not available, so i have to click the reload button, this makes confusion, it would be better if the Go button like of ff 2 would always be available on the location bar. 2. It would be better if the drop down menu bar on the location bar would look more visible. 3. the stop button does not look good, the previous one as of ff 2 was nice. 4. the home button with red roof looks distracting. 5. it would be better if i do not loose my cache due to browser crash or sudden power failure which happens in ff 2 6. why can’t we view the cache in firefox like of IE or opera (where we could view the jpeg or videos etc clearly from Temporary Internet Files in IE and cache in opera) 7. the most useful addon that i use is the real player browser record plugin but it is not compatible with ff 3 beta 4… I hope it will work with ff 3. 8. In ff 2 when i used to open new tab, it opens smoothly but in beta 4, i experienced blinking while opening new tab. 9. the save page as feature from right click within the browser window does not work on beta4, i had to save pages using ctrl+s and the download completed notification slide always pop up after i save pages.
    when i had 10 tabs open and using DTA downloading a file, the task manager showed beta 4 using 61,504k memory – Is this normal?
    Hope someone will reply here…

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  12. I can’t access Project Web Access webpage can you please include the use of active x controls until then I will never be able to utilize firefox as my main browser of choice.

    I hope that Firefox 3.0 will have active x installation capabilities.


  13. There will never be any Active X support within Firefox. Active X is proprietary to Microsoft and it is a Windows only technology. Mozilla supports open standards and is cross-platform (Mac, Linux, Windows).

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  15. When moving the “HOME” button to the Navigation bar (or any other button for that matter), then the whole of Navigation bar
    goes INactive, meaning that No “File”, “Edit”, or any other navigation button is clickable after the move.
    please advise…

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  18. I tried using firefox 3 but it still has bugs and i dont like being a tester for these companys so i still use firefox 2 which is great!

  19. The incompatibility of Realplayer Download plugin in FF3 is more than a minor annoyance- first time I believe a new Firefox release has actually delivered less functionality. Though the Firefox Download Helper extension is a viable alternative for most downloads, the convenience and simplicity of the Realplayer plugin (single click) was preferable in most instances. Until such time that Mozilla or Realplayer (I don’t really care who provides the update) provides a FF3 compatible plugin, I’m reverting back to FF2 with its’ Realplayer download support, and also have increasingly been using IE7, where it is still supported; Don’t feel there’s sufficient increased functionality or security value in FF3 to overcome this omission.

    1. I’ve got the same situation. Looks like I need to do the same. Reverting back to FF2 or forget FF, just use IE.

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