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Firefox Mozilla News

Firefox 4 Released! 554

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the building-building-building dept.
A great number of readers have written in to tell us that Mozilla has officially announced the final, official, Firefox 4.0. Congrats to all the developers who have code in the build. If you want some neat eye candy, you can watch a sweet visualization showing where the downloaders are.
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Firefox 4 Released!

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  • by avij (105924) *
    I just downloaded and installed FF4, and unlike what I had expected from the new version, FF4 is actually noticeably slower on most websites, including Slashdot :-/
    • Re:Slow! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:18PM (#35575462)

      I just downloaded and installed FF4, and unlike what I had expected from the new version, FF4 is actually noticeably slower on most websites, including Slashdot :-/

      Performance: Firefox is up to six times faster than the previous release. With improved start-up and page load times, speedy Web app performance and hardware accelerated graphics, Firefox is optimized for rich, interactive websites.

      I think I see the problem here..

    • by Raxxon (6291)

      Compared to 3.6.15 I'm not seeing any slowness... Everything appears to be working ok speed-wise so far....

    • Re:Slow! (Score:5, Funny)

      by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:23PM (#35575570)

      That's a feature.

      Everyone and their mother is coming out with faster web browsers. IE9 boasts increased performance. Chrome has been blowing away the competition with its blazing fast Javascript engine.

      No one is coming out with a browser that takes its time. Until now. FF4 takes the concept of performance and turns it on its head.

      Aren't you tired of websites that instantly display? Don't you like reading your favorite site leisurely? What if you could have that plus random crashes and uncontrollable memory leaks?

      What would you pay for something like that? Would you pay $100 for software of that quality? What if I told you that you could have all this and more for the low, low price of $59.95?

      That's right! A slow browser, massive memory leaks, and random crashes in your computer today for only $59.95!

      If you act now, I'll throw in a set of plug-ins that will turn your modern day CPU into the legacy system of yesteryear!

      Firefox 4! Bring computing back to the speed of life.

      Call now. Operators are standing by.

    • Re:Slow! -- XP user? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:53PM (#35576064)

      Are you using Windows XP? I find that FF4 is slower than FF3.6 on my work computer (winXP) but faster on my home computer (vista). The new version renders using Direct2D on Vista and Win7, but uses software rendering on anything older. I'm sure you lose a lot in that mode of operation.

    • by idealego (32141)

      Try it with a fresh profile.

      If that fixes it then it obviously has something do with your extensions or something else in the profile.

      If that does not fix it then try turning off hardware acceleration and see if that helps (options->advanced->general). I'm not sure what else to suggest right now, as I just started playing with it. It's certainly quicker on my system, and all the reviews indicate that it should be significantly faster.

  • Sadly, delicious has become indispensible to my online life and their add-on is only compatible with Firefox 3.0 - 4.0b3pre

    I guess the latest UI changes in the later 4betas threw them for a loop. If anyone knows the status of that add-on
    maybe give an update. Is there still a team working on it, given the shake-up a while back?

    • by noahm (4459)
      The latest rumors are that delicious is being sold, possibly to StumbledUpon. Unfortunately, given the lack of support that delicious gets internally at yahoo and the amount of time it takes for sales like this to happen, I suspect that third-party add-ons will come before anything official. It's unfortunate, because delicious is a really useful service and hard to live without. I've made myself do so with firefox 4, largely due to the uncertainty about its future.
    • by izblah (1250724) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @01:09PM (#35576354)
      Have you tried creating a new bool in Firefox's "about:config" ? - Navigate to the following page: about:config - Tell Firefox you'll be careful - Right click in empty white-space and select New -> Boolean from the context menu - Enter the following for the new value: extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0 - Set it to False - Restart Firefox... All of my extensions have worked no prob using this work-around. Until the add-on devs update their wares, this should suffice...
  • by Raxxon (6291) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:16PM (#35575428)

    RC1 had an issue with Menu Display. Seemed to be constrained to the application being open on the secondary monitor.

    Release has the same bug, toned down a bit. At least now I can see the menu a bit before it vanishes.... But it's still an annoying bug.

  • Which will take them 6 months to fix as they concentrate on pleasing the Oooh shiny! crowd with ever more useless bells and whistles.

    Cynic? Moi?

  • You support my intranet worse than Firefox 3! Good work!

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by LordLimecat (1103839)

      My understanding was that the browser's job was to render code as required by standards, and the sites responsibility was to not suck and implement those standards.

      Guess where the failure here is?

    • by tepples (727027)
      How well does your intranet do on the HTML and CSS validators?
    • by arth1 (260657)

      Yeah, VMware remote console plugin was disabled by ff4, with no way to enable it, which means I can't do my work.
      Not an option.

  • This is good news! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aBaldrich (1692238) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:17PM (#35575448)
    The visualization at http://glow.mozilla.org/ [mozilla.org] is really nice, and I like the fact that there are over 120 downloads every second!
    By the way, my firefox updated automatically, does anybody know if it counted as a download?
    • by psyclone (187154)

      Click the [?] button at the top of the link you just posted.

      TL;DR : Yes, upgrades / auto-updates count as downloads.

    • By the way, my firefox updated automatically, does anybody know if it counted as a download?

      Well, the little ping appeared over your house on the map, so I assume it did.

  • Have they caught up yet? A few weeks ago half my extensions didn't work so I reverted.

    Also, have they dropped the pretence of being a Foundation yet?

    • by dreemernj (859414)

      There is no pretence. Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization. It owns Mozilla Corporation, which is a for-profit corporation.

      It is not unusual for non-profits to own for-profits. The important thing is that the money that goes to the for-profit goes towards fundraising for the non-profit and/or working towards the underlying goals of the non-profit.

      If you look at the stated goals of the Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Corp is clearly working towards them.

    • Have they caught up yet? A few weeks ago half my extensions didn't work so I reverted.

      Most popular extensions have caught up. The Compatibility Dashboard [mozilla.org] has more details. However, we can't force all developers to update and inevitably some add-ons will lag behind or be abandoned.

  • Back then I remember hearing about this Phoenix web browser referred to as Mozilla Lite that was just a few MB and I loved it. Now I have watched as Firefox has grown, but the bloat has as well. Well at least 15 MB is still nothing these days.
  • Blew up my video driver when I hit a mostly-text site. Lucky for me Windows 7 restarts it gracefully, but while the screen was black I was Waiting for BSOD.
    • ATI/AMD card? I've had the video driver crash a few times, always thought it was a BSOD and was surprised the machine actually recovered and stated it was the driver.
  • by HermMunster (972336) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:20PM (#35575512)

    The interface is somewhat streamlined. It is noticeably faster. The support for open standards is better and that's great. They certainly worked hard to ensure they had a solid product--a long time in coming. But, I use Linux most of the time. I'd like to have the features supported in other OSes available to me in my primary OS. Any ideas as to when/if they will have full support for 3d acceleration? I would also like the interface to be identical. I know the Google Chrome guys complained about making their product identical to the Windows version. They ultimately succeeded. I can only wonder when they will for the Linux community.

    • by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:23PM (#35575576)

      According to something I think I read on Phoronix a couple weeks back, it support the binary Nvidia driver already. They say that trying acceleration with any other Linux driver crashes way too often to be shipped enabled.

      You're waiting on the driver vendors to fix their shit, not Firefox.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        I believe there is a setting to force enable the hardware acceleration, but i forget what its called...
        My linux box with an nvidia card and binary drivers seems to run the mozilla hardware acceleration stress test very quickly, while osx running firefox 4 is extremely slow (4fps)... Is it not using hardware acceleration on osx? (i couldnt get decent performance out of any other browser on osx either, not safari, chrome etc).

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Any ideas as to when/if they will have full support for 3d acceleration?

      Works on my nVidia GT240...

  • by gumpish (682245) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:26PM (#35575626) Journal

    Does it still have the AwfulBar?

    Not interested.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Does it still have the AwfulBar?

      Not interested.

      Do a quick comparison between FF's location bar and Chrome's. Try to get to multiple book marked URLs that are on the same domain. What I find is that FF has a very rich and useful built in search/regex matching function in it's location bar, where as chrome has a very basic auto-complete.

      I can easily type in multiple partial words into the location bar, (even just a couple letters) and easily find bookmarks that I use for work. With Chrome I have to type out the full url, or if a partial match is found, I

      • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:50PM (#35576032)

        I don't want to search my bookmarks through my url bar. I already have my bookmarks sorted by category.

        Seriously, more and more apps are enabling users to be absolute slobs with their data and try to "help." Those of us who already organized our data get these unhelpful, resource hogging "features" that we can't disable.

        My bookmarks/files/etc are perfectly organized already! I don't need Firefox/iTunes/etc reorganizing my stuff for me, or helping me to find it!

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Seriously, more and more apps are enabling users to be absolute slobs with their data and try to "help." Those of us who already organized our data get these unhelpful, resource hogging "features" that we can't disable.

          I hear you on "can't be disabled", but "resource hogging"? Come on. In these days of TBs of HD space and GBs of RAM, do you honestly think that the improved location bar is gonna have any noticeable effect on your browsing? Please.

          My bookmarks/files/etc are perfectly organized already! I don't need Firefox/iTunes/etc reorganizing my stuff for me, or helping me to find it!

          It's great that you organize things so neatly, but most people don't. Firefox caters to the 99.99% first and foremost, not the 0.01%.

          What's more, the improved location bar is for more than automatic bookmark organization. I use both Firefox and Opera, and I always find it extremel

    • First of all, I love the "AwfulBar". It works a lot better than the older bar to me. If you, for some reason, absolutely cannot use the new location bar, you do know that an Add-on to fix it is only a quick search away, right?

      Presentation only: OldBar [mozilla.org]
      Presentation and features: (not marked compatible with Firefox 4, though you can force add-on compatability) Old Location Bar [mozilla.org]

      I don't see how the new location bar is so bad. I love it! Yeah it takes up more space, but that's what scrolling is for ;)

    • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @01:00PM (#35576182) Homepage

      I have numerous dev/test sites with similar addresses that change name/config almost weekly. With Firefox/awesomebar, I can just type the differentiator directly into the browser instead of making a bookmark (which in a week or two will be out of date anyway).

      As a web engineer, Firefox has no peer yet. Chrome/Safari are nice, and do offer features and speed that FF doesn't (at least on OSX), but Firefox (thanks to awesomebar) keeps me productive in a very dynamic work environment.

      • by trawg (308495)

        Seconded. Once you get used to the AwesomeBar it is easily one of the most useful things about Firefox. I went to Chrome for a while for the speed but found the Omnibar utterly bewildering and counter-intuitive; I could never get the hang of it even after trying it for a month to give it a fair go. I moved back to Firefox almost exclusively for the AwesomeBar because I found it really boosted my productivity (I'm a typing junkie and prefer to avoid using the mouse wherever possible so being able to hit ctrl

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:34PM (#35575754)
    Right click on the blank gray space next to the tabs and uncheck the "Tabs on Top" property. That will put the tabs back below the location bar, where they belong.
    • by Globe199 (442245) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @01:28PM (#35576682)

      This was the first thing I did. If I want to use Chrome, I'll use Chrome.

      Change for change's sake.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      Tools->Options->advanced->disable tabs

      Thats what I have a task bar for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by supersloshy (1273442)

      I don't understand why people don't like their tabs on top. I like it, and there's quite a few good reasons [mozilla.com] for them to be on top (such as how the buttons like back and forward only modify what's on the current tab, making the buttons appear to be directly connected to the tab). The only reason I can think of off the top of my head for keeping the tabs on the bottom is just a resistance to change or not being used to the new behavior, which I completely understand. Insisting that it's "where they belong", t

  • The only indispensable extension that I use NoScript, XMark have been 4.x compatible already. The one other must have extension is All-In-One Mouse Gesture have a hackable version that I can live with for now. Two of my infrequently use extension haven't been updated yet, but they don't have too much development activities, and I'm not too worry.

  • This tone of this article summary versus the tone of the summary when IE9 was released [slashdot.org].

    Mention of new features? Reviews? None of that. Apparently unnecessary - only congratulations are in order.
  • Pleased so far. All my dozen add-ons worked, although eBay's sidebar update has failed to download an icon, which I would have removed anyway.

    Was shocked to see the tab positions. Lucky "Hide Caption T. Plus" had an option to put them back where they belong. Dunno why they've moved the home button either - all buttons belong together devs!

    Now to try some of this newfangled HTML5 I've been reading about, heh. :)
  • by Globe199 (442245) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:41PM (#35575860)

    Tabs STILL are not in their own processes like Chrome has done since day one. It does look like closing tabs reallocates memory though. So at least that seems to be fixed (it's been promised since, what, version 2?).

    And this time it only took me one add-on (Status-4-Evar) to regain lost functionality.

  • The visualization [mozilla.org] looks like some virus outbreak :))
    If this is so, Europe got a Firefox epidemic on its hands :D
  • Why would they even bother releasing before passing the acid test?

  • OK so I browse to the eye candy page showing downloads. Not much going on there. *shrug* Going to guess it only works on firefox or is tripping my annoying flash banner blocker.

    So download 4 and install. Browse there again. OK there it is. I'll admit it's sorta nifty Though we've all seen those fake counters on web pages before that have no base in reality so it makes me somewhat suspect how realistic it is. I'll give them benefit of the doubt though but it'd be nice if it said somewhere.

    Why are my

    • by noahm (4459)
      Strange, I've had glow.mozilla.org up for a couple hours now (along with a pile of tabs split across several windows) and it's really impressively lightweight. It's typically around 3-10% of CPU time and its memory footprint is 400 MB (~850 virtual)
    • by sfcat (872532)
      I work for the company that created the back-end for that visualization, SQLStream. Disclaimer: I didn't work on this project, I work on our product team and I don't speak for my employer.

      Its real. The apache logs are read by our streaming SQL backend, transfered to HBase and then used to generate the AJAX web front end. We make a streaming database which is architected much like a traditional DBMS with the additional capability of streams which act like tables but instead of being a destination for re

  • Hows the add on compatibility?

    I will not use a browser unless it has the following installed:

    adblock plus
    firebug
    flashblock
    ghostery
    noscript
    remove it permanently
    xmarks

    Hows rollback support, in case 4.0 doesn't work with adblock plus can I trivially roll back to my working 3.6.15 install? I know you can't expect modern windoze software to work as well as a .deb package from 1993 but I'm hoping for something better than "reformat, and reinstall"

    • by basotl (808388)
      remove it permanently is the only one I see not compatible. All the others I use and they work fine. I can't say how well it will rollback on Windows. Linux works fine for me here.
    • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @01:05PM (#35576282) Homepage

      Here's my FF4 upgrade plan:

      1. Use FEBE [mozilla.org] to create a backup of my entire user profile
      2. Bookmark All Tabs to preserve as much of my running session as possible.
      3. Upgrade to FF4.0
      4. Note any incompatible extensions, decide whether or not to roll back.

      If I decide to roll back:

      1. Remove FF4
      2. Reinstall 3.6.15
      3. Install FEBE
      4. Restore FEBE backup
  • by guidryp (702488) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @01:04PM (#35576270)

    When I first fired it up, my first thought was: "Yuk, What happened to the fonts?"

    Some searching revealed this is the MS Win7 DirectWrite Font rendering(IE 9 does the same thing).

    Disable HW acceleration and all is well with my fonts.

    Why does DirectWrite font rendering look so awful? Do other people actually prefer this (fonts are thicker and closer to together).

  • I like quite a few things about Firefox 4. Its Javascript performance is clearly improved. The one thing I'm not a big fan of is the new minimalist GUI. The icons are too small, they have all the colour sucked out of them, and there are no 24x24 icons on Windows/OSX anymore. It does seem a lot like copying Chrome for copying's sake.

    Luckily there's a theme that gets back all the Firefox 3 colourful toolbar goodness (and includes its larger icons), if anyone's interested. It's here:
    Firefox 3 theme for Fi [mozilla.org]

  • As always, we posted the portable version within a few hours over at PortableApps.com. As we did an extended test of version 4.0 portably following the whole 4.0 beta and RC process, it's turned out to be a nice, stable release. It's great for running from your flash drive, DropBox or just trying out a new firefox install without affecting your local one.

    Release Announcement [portableapps.com] | Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 4.0 homepage [portableapps.com]

  • by ludomancer (921940) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @04:10PM (#35579190)

    Can anyone recommend alternatives to all the new "whiz-bang" bullshit that's put in browsers today?

    Now that Firefox has truly gone the way of Netscape and IE with the bloat, I'd really like to get back to a bare-bones browser that simply provides the openness for the plugins I need, and GTFO with everything else.

    I'm weary of Chrome, and Firefox is just worthless to me now (crashes, slow, etc).

    Yeah this is a biased comment, but I figured the people with the same requirements as I have will probably understand and respond. I hope!

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