Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Firefox Mozilla Upgrades News

Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 Released 190

Posted by timothy
from the that's-a-nice-good-morning dept.
balster neb writes "Mozilla has released the first Beta of Firefox 4, the next major version of the popular web browser. Apart from the new 'Chromified' tabs-on-top UI, there are many major improvements in performance and HTML5 support. This release also adds support for the new WebM video format. Other changes include faster DOM and CSS performance, improved UI responsiveness, hardware 2D acceleration, experimental WebGL support, and better JavaScript performance (though this beta does not include the new JaegerMonkey JIT engine). More details on the Mozilla blog."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 Released

Comments Filter:
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:07AM (#32824890)
    I hate the Chrome interface. I was hoping that Firefox wouldn't go that route. Does anyone know if the new beta still has an option to use the classic interface?
    • by mrjatsun (543322) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:10AM (#32824918)

      Just tried it out. You can enable the menu toolbar, and move the tabs back to the original position.. So yes.

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by datapharmer (1099455)
        Thank god. The on-top tabs is the single thing I hate most about chrome.
        • by elcid73 (599126)

          I understand, preferences are preferences, but tabs on top always made the most sense to me. The address bar is an attribute of the current tab that you looking at. Going back and forth in history, all are functions within the context of the tab- so it makes sense that the address bar isn't global. ...but like I said, preferences are preferences.

          • by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:05AM (#32825626) Homepage
            Tabs on top makes sense. Tabs as the window's title bar doesn't.
            • It's title bars that don't make sense, imho. They're a hack that waste screen space to compensate for the limitations of mouse-based WMs.

              • by quickOnTheUptake (1450889) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:59AM (#32826456)
                You can go further:
                tabs are a hack by applications to make up for the failure of the traditional WM model and it's inability to handle large numbers of windows.
                • Pretty much. See Uzbl: the "uzbl-browser" doesn't come with tabs. You can get "uzbl-tabbed", a version that provides tabs to switch between multiple instances of uzbl-browser, but many users manage them directly with their WM.

                  • I have tried uzbl and surf, and I've heard of vimprobable. I've also tried (and liked) euclid-wm [googlecode.com], which has as one of its stated goals making tabs unnecessary.
                    It is fun to see this whole tiling, unix-philosophy, vim-keybindings UI train of thought start to take off. You know how many of these projects have come into being in the last 10 years?
                • You can go further: tabs are a hack by applications to make up for the failure of the traditional WM model and it's inability to handle large numbers of windows.

                  Umm, not really. Tabs are based on the idea of "stacking" or grouping related "papers" together. That's perfectly natural on a real desk, unless you think you need to have every "open" paper on your desk to be visible.

                  The GP is correct. Titlebars are unnatural and just waste space, having no parallel to anything we might use when managing a real desk. Every function of the titlebar and window border can be accessed without actually interacting with them in any WM worth its salt. They do waste a lot

            • by g253 (855070)
              It does if your window is maximised, because it makes aiming much easier (can't miss them by going too far up, fitt's law and all that...)
            • Tabs on top makes sense. Tabs as the window's title bar doesn't.

              Agreed, 100%. Now, if Mozilla would fix their damn binary builds for Linux so that my CUPS printers work again....
            • by AndGodSed (968378)

              Personally I feel that an unused window title bar is wasted space.

            • I dunno...I've been using tree-style tabs for a year or so now. They make far more sense to me than regular tabs, anywhere you put them.

              I've got a "tree" of tabs on the left side of the browser (maximizes vertical space, since everything I use now is widescreen) where tabs spawned from a page are indented under that tab. I can expand and collapse branches.

              The new "chrome" way makes no sense, and doesn't make anything better. I'm a bit surprised they didn't try this style out - it's a big improvement for
        • by severoon (536737)
          You don't like related UI elements visually grouped in an appropriate way that implies functionality? Would you prefer the "go back" button is in the upper left and the "go forward" button in the middle right of the browser UI?
    • When I installed it, it defaulted to the old AI, probably due to how I have the bars rearranged (I have bookmarks on my menu bar). I had to move the tab bar back down, but that was a simple right-click option.
    • by muzip (1220080) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:12AM (#32824944)
      Yes, it is possible to revert to original look by disabling "tabs on top". It is also possible to disable/enable menus.

      However, I liked tabs on top of the addressbar, feels more intuitive.
    • by Digana (1018720)
      Y'know what, I was thinking the same, because it's a widely acknowledged fact that change sucks, but this guy has convinced me otherwise [mozilla.com].
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Change is fine--if it is an improvement. Change for change's sake is just annoying. Personally, I don't find Chrome's interface an improvement in any way. I couldn't give a shit about the "clean look" fad myself (AFAIC, Steve Jobs can take his one-button mouse and shove it up his iHole). I just want my browser to be functional--and not force me to dig around in some new UI just to do simple stuff like printing.
        • by quickOnTheUptake (1450889) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:10AM (#32826620)

          I just want my browser to be functional--and not force me to dig around in some new UI just to do simple stuff like printing.

          yeah, ctrl + p, that was a bitch to figure out, all different than anyone else has ever done it before, and just for the sake of being different.
          Oh yeah, and they put it in the top-level of the page menu, which should take a complete retard at least 15 seconds to find.
          I really think you should pick better examples.

        • Change is fine--if it is an improvement. Change for change's sake is just annoying. Personally, I don't find Chrome's interface an improvement in any way. I couldn't give a shit about the "clean look" fad myself (AFAIC, Steve Jobs can take his one-button mouse and shove it up his iHole). I just want my browser to be functional--and not force me to dig around in some new UI just to do simple stuff like printing.

          Don't blame Apple for this one, that stupid "no menu" look is Vista's doing. Apple tried to go the tabs-on-top route with Safari 4 but luckily listened to its users and reverted to the old way.

        • by Omestes (471991)

          I personally love it every time some bit of popular software changes their UI, even if I hate the change the internet gets slightly more amusing for a time. This is especially true for Firefox, there are still people winging on about how terrible the Awesome Bar(tm) is, and now we'll all get to live with people complaining about Chromifying their UI.

          Change for change's sake is just annoying. Personally, I don't find Chrome's interface an improvement in any way.

          But a useful change, and a superfluous change

    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      They did it right in the Mac version -first of all they didn't try to do the "tabs as title bar" thing (some of us actually use the information up there) and by default the tabs are below the location bar. Also, they didn't hide the menu bar since that doesn't make any sense on OS X.

      In fact, the sole gripe I have is that they made "tabs on top" a boolean option instead of just making the various bars (tabs, toolbar, bookmarks, whatever any extension adds) reorderable at will. The new layout code conflicts
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:11AM (#32824932) Homepage

    I've heard that Chrome and Opera perform better at this point than Firefox, but I can't help it...I just like the way Firefox "feels". I can't give it up.

    WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU????

    • by nyctopterus (717502) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:20AM (#32825054) Homepage

      Why do you need to? Chrome renders pages faster, sure, but I don't really give a shit about a couple of milliseconds rendering time. Chrome has isolated tabs, but crashes more than Firefox anyway (at least for me).

      Finally, when you have a really nice open source browser that isn't entirely controlled by a giant behemoth that knows everything about you, why not use it? Seriously, do we need to be throwing more power Google's way?

      P.S. Gecko is still much faster at some things, i.e. image rendering and animation.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Why do you need to? Chrome renders pages faster, sure, but I don't really give a shit about a couple of milliseconds rendering time.

        We're talking real-world (not synthetic benchmarks, but actual page loads) improvements of 100% or more, probably due largely to the fact that Chrome can execute Javascript on something like a reasonable schedule.

        Chrome has isolated tabs, but crashes more than Firefox anyway (at least for me).

        For me it's quite the reverse. And I'm running dailies!

        Finally, when you have a really nice open source browser that isn't entirely controlled by a giant behemoth that knows everything about you, why not use it?

        Chrome isn't "entirely controlled by a giant behemoth" either, it's based on WebKit. And Chromium is entirely open-source so if you really want to, you can see what's going on in there, change things, et cetera. Meanwhile, every time I've ever

        • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:29AM (#32825962)

          P.S. Gecko is still much faster at some things, i.e. image rendering and animation.

          If every damned site out there wasn't overusing Javascript that might be a compelling argument.

          A lot of sites with heavy image content scroll smoothly in Firefox, Opera, and even IE, but struggle along at about 5 fps when scrolling with the webkit browsers. That's my main issue with Chrome.

        • We're talking real-world (not synthetic benchmarks, but actual page loads) improvements of 100% or more, probably due largely to the fact that Chrome can execute Javascript on something like a reasonable schedule.

          Um, I'm talking real world too, I don't really look at the benchmarks. 100% faster at something I already feel is more than good enough is a whole lotta nothing for me. You may feel differently, of course, but the point of my original post was to point out that you shouldn't feel its somehow nerd-wrong not to switch from Firefox.

          If every damned site out there wasn't overusing Javascript that might be a compelling argument.

          I think it will become important, if/when Canvas gets traction. I've made some stuff involving multiple layers of transparent PNGs with transiotns between them using javascript. Fir

        • by garcia (6573)

          While I have never seen the speed increases that everyone has (yes, studies, studies, studies -- but in my real world use it doesn't make a difference) Chrome simply doesn't have a viable AdBlock and thus is totally useless for me. YMMV.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Chrome simply doesn't have a viable AdBlock and thus is totally useless for me. YMMV.

            Do you find AdBlock 2.0 on Chrome 6.x inadequate, and why?

            • by caseih (160668)

              Unlike on Firefox, AdBlock for Chrome doesn't actually block the ads from loading. It simply prevents them from displaying.

        • by BZ (40346)

          > We're talking real-world (not synthetic benchmarks, but actual page loads)

          I'd be interested in the data here. Can you point me to a particular page you're thinking of?

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      I know you post was probably just a joke, but still, I'd highly recommend you check out Chrome seriously if you haven't. I'm not the type of person that cares about benchmarks or static screenshots. The thing I value most of all is that intangible "feel" of the software that you allude to, and I don't know what exactly it is, but Chrome "feels" much, much better than Firefox - PARTICULARLY if you're running Linux (Firefox on Linux compared to Firefox on Windows/Mac is like Data vs B4. Sure they look exac

    • WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU????

      Slashdotter Extension, duh.

    • by jafac (1449)

      Firefox has way more add-ons and plugins.
      Adblock+flashblock+noscript+webdeveloper_toolbar+firebug+TorButton+betterprivacy+bugmenot+taco+passiverecon+sessionmanager+skipscreen+colorzilla+greasemonkey+httpseverywhere+measureit+showip+tabmix+viewsourcechart+tamperdata+mozillasniffer+trackmenot+xmarks. ..

      I can't imagine browsing without these add-ons. Chrome doesn't have them. Opera doesn't have them. IE. . . bwahahahaha!

  • by CritterNYC (190163) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:12AM (#32824946) Homepage

    At PortableApps.com, we released the portable package of Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 yesterday soon after 4.0 Beta 1 dropped. It's a great way to test the latest beta without impacting your current Firefox install since it runs self-contained from a single directory. You can even install it to your Desktop or Documents folder.

    Try Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 out today with Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 4.0 Beta 1 [portableapps.com]

    Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 4.0 Beta 1 homepage [portableapps.com]

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      Nice, thank you! Definitely going to give this a shot tonight.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      I've been using their version for a long time. It's great to be able to easily take it with me wherever I go. Nice to see that they've already got a copy available. Personally, anytime I can keep an app out of the registry, I tend to do it, seems to greatly improve stability.
    • Mod up, please. Informative post, excellent product. Put it on your thumbdrive.

    • by thijsh (910751)
      Thanks for the tip, the fast release, and more general all portableapps that really make life easier! You guys rule!
    • by t482 (193197)
      Anyway of getting flash working? Normally you copy flashplayer.xpt and NPSWF32.dll to  \App\firefox\plugins\. However that directory no longer exists.. Any suggestions?
      • by t482 (193197)
        Fund that the directory is now \Data\plugins - copied over the files on the locked down pc and everything worked....
    • by CODiNE (27417)

      Wow that's a great idea, if only there were some futuristic operating system that kept apps self-contained inside a single icon of some sort... that could be drag and dropped from one place to another... you could put them side by side in the same folder and stick a version number at the end of the name then run whichever you wanted.

      The future is going to be soo cool, I can't wait.

      • by anss123 (985305)

        Wow that's a great idea, if only there were some futuristic operating system that kept apps self-contained inside a single icon of some sort... that could be drag and dropped from one place to another... you could put them side by side in the same folder and stick a version number at the end of the name then run whichever you wanted.

        You can do this on Windows for most apps (it depends on how they're written) and there's no OS AFAIK that force its apps into a single folder (or icon as you put it - but encoding an app into an icon would be idiotic). On OSX most apps are delivered in a single folder, but it's not OS enforced and does not guarantee that you can run multiple versions of the app as it may still store it's settings/user data in such a way that they conflict.

      • The do? But oh wait you lose all your settings. And settings from one version of the app would be used for another, which could disable most of your extensions. So, ultimately, no... they don't.
    • by klui (457783)

      Thanks for that!

      Copied places.sqlite, cookies.sqlite over to the portable version and I had my 3.x browsing history synced to 4beta.

      Under XP/Server 2003, only extensions that don't work correctly are Forecast Fox and BetterPrivacy. Add to SearchBar, FlashBlock, and oldBar work even though people have said it's incompatible.

  • Not bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:16AM (#32824996) Homepage Journal

    After some UI tweaking, I got it looking and behaving like Firefox/Mozilla always has, and I'm left with a browser that's slightly faster and has better interfaces for some things. The drag-to-resize text fields in all websites is wonderful. The new extensions management interface is nicer but will take some getting used to.

  • Quite a bit faster than 3.6...

    • I would like to see how it compares to other "Modern" Browsers in terms of speed. Lately Firefox (which was supposed to be the fast and light Mozilla) has been running at speads that beat IE but not the other browsers. I would love to see Firefox compete with the other guys as well.

      • by arth1 (260657)

        There are three areas that significantly slow down web browsers:

        1: Javascript/CSS execution. This is where almost ALL the effort is concentrated. My take on it is to generate less javascript/CSS, and do more of the work ahead of time on the server side. Instead of a page that can display in 64 different ways, pre-generating 64 static pages can make the site more responsive for the user.

        2: Layout/rendering. Various tricks can be used, including (but not limited to) spaceholders, rendering to off-screen

  • by Yvan256 (722131)

    So... where are the encoders for WebM? Don't give any links to Windows-only programs as it's useless to OSS users.

  • This was released about a week ago. Saying that, I just clicked the 'Check for updates' in the Help menu and it said a new version (4.0 Beta 1) is available - the same version I've been using for a week. I updated, and the only change I can see is the addition of the Feedback menu next to my APB and LastPass menus.
    • by BZ (40346)

      What you were using was a test build, not the actual beta. As you can tell by the fact that the actual beta is different from the build you were using...

  • by Mr_Silver (213637) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:09AM (#32825692)

    For those of you who don't like the big ugly orange button, Download Squad [downloadsquad.com] tells you how to change its colour or make it transparent.

  • WEBSOCKETS!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Foofoobar (318279) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:26AM (#32825924)
    Finally, a major browser that supports websockets besides Chrome. hey IE get off your ass. Don't make us have to take another 15% of your market share.
  • I know there have been some problems with Firefox supporting SVG in img tags but I was still sort of hoping they would've sorted it out for 4.x, it's a nice feature (and from a security standpoint they could just go with one of the "lesser" SVG standards that don't include scripting).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by msclrhd (1211086)

      SVG in img tags and background images is going to be in for FF4, but will land in a later beta.

  • by spinkham (56603) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @02:00PM (#32829730)

    4.0 will be the first version with first class 64 bit support from Mozilla.
    For some reason, the 64 bit builds aren't on the main download site, but are available here:
    http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/4.0b1/ [mozilla.org]

    Linux and Mac only at the moment, I assume Windows 64 bit builds are to follow in later versions.
    From the greatly improved performance scores, It appears that the tracing JIT is finally enabled on the Linux 64 bit version.

    /me is happy.

    Now where's my 64 bit flash adobe?

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

Working...