Oct
24

Firefox 2.0 - RC3 at the time this was written - has been released and is available for download. There's some scuttlebutt about whether Mozilla meant to offer up the new version or whether it was leaked. Regardless, the new version is here and offers several new features and enhancements over Firefox 1.5. For a quick list of what I think the most important enhancements are, read on!

Phishing Protection
New built-in phishing protection, turned on by default, warns you if you browse to a site Firefox 2.0 suspects to be malicious or a Web forgery. In order to determine if a site is malicious Firefox checks the sites you browse against a list of known phishing sites. This list of sites is automatically updated to keep Firefox 2.0 users protected. Not so much a feature for the technically savvy, phishing protection will be most appreciated by users less familiar with the many pitfalls of Web browsing.

Better Tabbed Browsing
Tabbed browsing is now default behavior in Firefox 2.0. When clicking new links Web pages will be loaded in a new tab unless you disable this feature. There's also a new tab selector drop-down that displays a list of each Web page you have open. Furthermore, when you open more tabs than your screen can display, Firefox 2.0 displays an arrow on the left and right of the tab bar. Clicking either arrow allows you to scroll through the tab bar so you can see all the tabs you have open. As if that wasn't enough the history menu now keeps track of all recently closed tabs. Close one of your tabs accidentally and forget the URL? No problem, access the History menu's "Recently Closed Tabs" list and your back in business.

Inline Spell Checking
Web forms now support inline spell checking on textarea form controls. For some reason, regular text boxes do not support this feature.

JavaScript 1.7
JavaScript 1.7 is now supported which includes several new features like iterators, generators, array comprehensions, destructing assignments, and let expressions. For more information see this link.

Updates to the extension system
There are some new security improvements to the extensions system but I haven't found much more info than this. During installation, several of my plugins were flagged as not compatible with 2.0. Fortunately, the installer includes a feature that checks for updates to your installed extensions, a process that found compatible versions of some of my plugins.

Aaron West's Gravatar
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This entry was posted by Aaron West on October 24, 2006 at 8:52 AM. It was filed in the following categories: ColdFusion, Web Standards. It has been viewed 3301 times and has 2 comments.

2 Responses to Firefox 2.0 - What's In It For You?

  1. Tracy's Gravatar Tracy

    I have been reading your blogs for a month. Ever since you started your music blog. That would be the common element in what you write about. I read you recent blog about IE 7 vs Firefox. I am a hapless hopeless neophite in your world, but please explain the danger of IE 7, I did download it and have popup problems ever since. I do like the tab browsing and the few features I can figure out. Tell me why Firefox over IE 7?

  2. Hi Tracy, thanks for reading the blog. I realize most of my content is technology related, but if you are only interested in certain categories (like Music) you can subscribe to a specific one using an RSS reader. That said, I personally choose Firefox over IE for several different reasons. When you tally up the "ins and outs" of both browsers Firefox comes out ahead. What I don't particularly like about IE include the following... 1. It is heavily tied to your Windows computer. Once installed you cannot remove it. On the same token, once you upgrade to IE 7 you cannot downgrade to IE 6. 2. Most of the problems I've had with Web browsers not rendering Web pages correctly have been with IE. I find myself having to make little custom changes to code in order to make pages look correct in IE. That's just a pain and it happens because Microsoft veers from a standard way of doing things. A 3rd biggie is the plethora of security holes in IE. Microsoft is continually issuing patches for holes in the software many of which could cause someone to gain control of your PC or compromise personal information.

    Those are the general reasons why I don't like IE (any version). I like Firefox because it is standards-compliant, fast, secure, extensible, and comes with built-in features (like tabbed browsing) that make browsing the Internet easy and effective.

    Point for point Firefox is just a better browser and with the features of Firefox 2.0 there's not really a comparison between it and IE.

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