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Firefox 13 Released, Debuts Brand New Tab Page and Homepage 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the lucky-thirteen dept.
MrSeb writes "Mozilla has officially released Firefox 13. Unlike Firefox 12 (or 11, or 10, or indeed many of the recent Firefox versions), Firefox 13 is an important release with a handful of much-needed features that are long overdue. There's a new New Tab Page launcher, with your favorite and most-used websites, and a new default home page with one-click access to Bookmarks, Settings, Add-ons, etc. SPDY is on by default, too, which should help ameliorate the perceived speed difference between Chrome and Firefox. Finally, the developer tools (Page Inspector, Style Inspector, etc.) have been tweaked and updated!"
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Firefox 13 Released, Debuts Brand New Tab Page and Homepage

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  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:17PM (#40222501) Homepage

    I've seen this news all over the web since yesterday, however, the "new tab" page as it is, isn't a Chrome feature, it actually comes from Opera, which had it way before Chrome existed.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:20PM (#40222549)
      Opera doesn't count, the only reason anybody used Opera was to say the used Opera, then turn their nose up and storm off in a huff. Everybody who knew better used a real browser like Netscape Communicator.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What? Speed Dial is nothing like this. Chrome, Safari, and now Firefox show your most frequented websites/pages, Opera's new tab page is just a bookmark grid.

      Why do Opera fanboys feel the need to convince everyone that Opera invented the web?

      • by Baloroth (2370816) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:42PM (#40222867)

        Why do Opera fanboys feel the need to convince everyone that Opera invented the web?

        Because they did, more or less. Tabs, mobile browsing, CSS support, built-in adblocking (which no other major browser even has, as far as I know), speed... yeah, Opera pretty much pioneered everything important about modern web browsers, and they deserve a lot of credit for that.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hobarrera (2008506)

          They didn't invent tabs, and FF has adblock. It may not be built-in, but it still works pretty much the same, and more flexible.
          Remember FF makes profit out of ads (indirectly), so a built-in ad blocker is a bit of a suicide.

      • by fafaforza (248976) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @03:27PM (#40223591)

        No, it isn't a bookmark grid. It is a list of sites you most frequently visit, albeit set manually.

        I don't think I would want one that changes dynamically based on the past 3 days of my surfing. When I open Opera, I hit Ctrl+3, Ctrl+5, Ctrl+6, Crtl+2 and have the pages I want to see at the outset. I remember what spot each page is and can open it in a new tab blindfolded.

        As is, Firefox's version is a bit gimmicky, trying to one-up Speed Dial in order not to make it seem like a feature copy.

        • by kvothe (2013374)
          Um, point of information: Why not use firefox's app tab feature to set those 4 pages to open automatically? Or set them as a group home page, to roughly the same effect? If the reason is that you just don't want to use firefox, that's fine, just please be more open about it.
      • by wiedzmin (1269816)

        Chrome, Safari, and now Firefox show your most frequented websites/pages

        Yes, and I f@#$%ing hate that. I don't want Google show up on my freaking start page when the address bar is the freaking Google search field. Speed Dial all the way! Those dial tabs are a must have too.

      • Why do Opera fanboys feel the need to convince everyone that Opera invented the web?

        We really only do that when someone makes a factually incorrect statement that attributes some "new" feature as being invented by a recent browser, when J.S. von Tetzchner and his friends were deciding how to actually implement it over a decade ago.

        When Al Gore claimed to be responsible for the internet, were you content with letting people believe that or did you feel the need to point out that people like Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee exist?

        • We really only do that when someone makes a factually incorrect statement [. . .]

          When Al Gore claimed to be responsible for the internet, were you content with letting people believe that or did you feel the need to point out that people like Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee exist?

          Your assertion about Gore seems to be one of those pesky "factually incorrect statements". You're welcome [snopes.com]:

          Despite the derisive references that continue even today, Al Gore did not claim he "invented" the Internet, nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted that way. The "Al Gore said he 'invented' the Internet" put-downs were misleading, out-of-context distortions of something he said during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition" program on 9 March 1999.

  • NOOOO (Score:5, Funny)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:18PM (#40222519) Homepage

    Now it looks like Safari.

    Last week it looked like Chrome.

    I'm going back to Internet Explorer. Or maybe Mosaic.

    Either that or I'm going to wait another week for Firefox 16 which will likely imitate Facebook.

    • Re:NOOOO (Score:5, Informative)

      by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:31PM (#40222707) Homepage Journal
      If it helps, I use Firefox 15 (Nightly), and its UI hasn't changed much since FF13, except for the inclusion of a new pop-up list download manager. I don't know of anything else that this resembles, but I find it really efficient; much better than trying to make do with clumsy "clear and close" extensions for the classic FF download manager, which itself hadn't changed since the dawn of the Firefox project.
    • by b0bby (201198)

      Just installed it, and I can't see any difference from 12. I have it set pretty minimal, just tabs at the top, no menu bar or skins. I haven't seen a reason to switch yet, either to IE or Chrome...

    • by Zephyn (415698)

      Now it looks like Safari.

      Last week it looked like Chrome.

      I'm going back to Internet Explorer. Or maybe Mosaic.

      Either that or I'm going to wait another week for Firefox 16 which will likely imitate Facebook.

      23 will imitate Lynx

    • Either that or I'm going to wait another week for Firefox 16 which will likely imitate Facebook.

      Oh, you mean Firebook?
      (Ray Bradbury is not amused.)

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>Either that or I'm going to wait another week for Firefox 16

      If you're still using the LTS version, then you are still on Firefox 10 and won't have to worry about upgrading until Firefox 17 (about one year of constancy).

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      that's why I like w3m, same look and feel for years, without the cruft.

    • A week for three major versions?

      Geez, what a slow development cycle - Firefox can easily do a major version per weekday - or a few, assuming there's a persistent bug that needs ironing out.

  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:25PM (#40222613)
    "There's a new New Tab Page launcher, with your favorite and most-used websites, and a new default home page with one-click access to Bookmarks, Settings, Add-ons, etc."

    Okay, that's great, but what are the much-needed features that they added?
    • Re:Yes, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Daetrin (576516) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:50PM (#40222995)
      Okay, now that i've actually tried it.... dear gods what is that thing? In Chrome the new tab page has smallish pictures of your most recently/commonly visited sites, with borders between them and titles underneath each one. I just opened up a new tab in FF and practically burned my eyes out.

      There are no borders between the pictures, it's just a three by three grid of screenshots mashed together. Two of the images are of www.google.com (why two? I dunno) but it only shows the top left corner of the page. For all the other sites it shows the whole page, and then repeats the first third of the page along the right side. And then on top of the messed up images, in very small letters that still somehow manage to clash, is the name of the page/site. When you mouse over one of the images two small grey boxes appear at the upper left and upper right corners. The boxes are blank, but if you mouse over them you see that one is to "pin" the site, and the other is to remove it.

      Maybe one of my plug-ins is breaking stuff (even though i told NoScript to allow "about:newtab") but there's just something messed up if what is supposedly a fundamental part of the browser itself is broken that easily. And if that's actually how it's supposed to look... they really need to fire whoever they have in charge of UI over there.

      In short, i don't think the page launcher in Chrome is necessary (i'll use it sometimes just because it's there, especially since there are only a couple sites i visit with Chrome anyways, but i never felt the lack in FireFox) however at least that one doesn't hurt to look at.
      • by rubycodez (864176)

        hope that can be disabled, unlike chrome, lest some sensitive person (ie. client) see a less than non-controversial web page

    • I know the parent is funny, but a long (since about FF 3.6) awaited regression fix included in 13 that nobody will mention is that I can now finally scroll webpages again with my Synaptics touchpad while a PDF is in the background. No matter if you were using the Adobe or any other PDF-viewing plugin, but any FF version in what felt like an eternity would scroll the PDF (no matter if in bg of fg) instead of the tab you actually wanted to scroll. And IE has the same bug, which may actually be considered a Sy
    • Okay, that's great, but what are the much-needed features that they added?

      Oh, you mean that now the UI runs in its own thread? Or that it uses a forking model rather than the current cluster-futex?

      nm, that was abandoned, marked 'too hard to ship in six weeks'.

  • Laugh (Score:4, Funny)

    by koan (80826) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:28PM (#40222651)

    I'll wait until tomorrow and get FF14

  • Version 4.9 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:34PM (#40222759) Homepage

    In the normal scheme, its really just 4.9.

    ***YAWN***

  • by dstyle5 (702493) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:39PM (#40222831)
    after I updated to 13. Sorry, I'm not using a tablet or smartphone Firefox guys. Please design it for the platform I'm using.
    • by d3ac0n (715594)

      How did you turn it off? I've been digging around the options for awhile now and can't find it. Is it in the about:browser settings?

      • by d3ac0n (715594)

        Nevermind, I figured it out. You just click the little grid image in the upper right hand side.

        No option to turn back on "new tab opens to home page." Lame. Stuck with "about:newtab" on every new tab I open. So annoying!

  • Smooth Scrolling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Luthair (847766) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:44PM (#40222889)
    is terrible and they turned it on by default? I immediately noticed that scrolling was sluggish and at first I mistook that for a performance problem...
    • Re:Smooth Scrolling (Score:4, Informative)

      by hobarrera (2008506) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:56PM (#40223091) Homepage

      Smooth scrolling makes it extremely hard (impossible actually) to read as you scroll. It's the sort of eye-candy which REDUCES functionality, I don't really understand why anyone would want it (honestly: how often do you scroll and don't want to read as you scroll down. AT ALL.

    • by Galaga88 (148206)

      Exact same situation here. Maybe it works well on something that's not a no frills work PC, but definitely not on this one.

  • Its about time that FireFox 13 gets the features of Chrome 21. Also congrats to Microsoft for finally hitting double digits with IE 10.

    Any browser not in double digit version numbers is not trying hard enough, I am talking to you Safari 5, pfft!

  • Seriously? Is each and every new version being posted on /.?
    Perhaps every 10 versions would be interesting. Every one? Not so much.

  • FUCK (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paramour (110003)

    Fuck Mozilla's fucking releases every fucking other fucking week. Want me to pay attention to a new release? then don't bombard me with requests to update, or call versions barely worth an increment to the patch level a fucking release. Buy a clue and stop ruining what was a pretty decent browser. As ColdWetDog already joked, only for real, you're actually making IE look good again. The level of fuckitude necessary to reach that level of fuckedupness is almost unfuckingbeliveable.

  • So, in other words, it's like Chrome, but slower?

    When they started breaking forms on various sites web pages, we started switching.

  • by ubergeek65536 (862868) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @03:01PM (#40223171)

    Speed dial is one of the first things I disabled when I tried Opera. Now I need to get rid of it in Firefox too.

  • Kudos to Mozilla!

    I am still not using it, but I opened FF 12 up and was shocked it used so little memory compared to IE 9 and Chrome. It was smooth, fast, and less buggy than in previous versions.

    Before I switch I need to know if the following are fixed
    1. Sandbox support
    2. Mozilla update breaks permanently after Windows Restore

    I fear webmasters will be dealing with Firefox 12, 13, and other obsolete versions many many years from now as anyone who has done a Windows Restore Point will have Mozilla update dis

  • The one thing I hope they included was the ability to assign a keyword to a bookmark when you make it. I love the keyword feature, but you have to create the bookmark first, then go hunt it down, open it's properties, and then assign the keyword. There used to be an extension for that but it hasn't been compatible in like, forever.
  • On their site (Mozilla Dev Center), one of the reasoning which is #3 states :"qualified by QA as being of sufficient quality to release to hundreds of millions of people". I don't think they include wanting feature in their list of quality when QA people test it. If so, we would see way less firefox release and more testing. I would vote for the latter.
  • And in the meantime I'm quite happily using the ESR version of Firefox with no plans to ever use the fly-by-night version. That said, version 10ESR is quite a bit slower than 3.6, the last ESR. Progress for you.

  • Live bookmarks no longer show favicons for bookmarked sites, and "Open All in Tabs" no longer seems to work.

    /me is sad... [mozilla.org]

  • by Golden_Rider (137548) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @03:29PM (#40223625)

    First thing I did was to look for an option to disable the "Newtab page" (the feature that Firefox shows you your most used websites including little pictures of them whenever you open a new tab). Seems the Firefox devs decided that this is such an important function that there is no option to disable it in the settings dialogue, or at least I could not find one. But you can disable it via about:config and then setting "browser.newtabpage.enabled" to "false". Guess that is handy if you do NOT want your boss/colleagues to find out about your "hotponysex" fetish whenever you want to open a harmless Intranet page while somebody standing next to you.

    • by ftobin (48814) * on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @03:58PM (#40224127) Homepage

      There's a button you can hit on the top-right of new tab pages that toggles the setting you found.

  • by gorgano (155625) <gorgano@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @03:33PM (#40223695) Homepage

    I love Firefox and use it every day, but I'm getting a little tired and confused with some of the features they keep putting into the core. I've always thought one of the great things about Firefox is the extensions; and while other browsers offer similar 'add-on' concepts, Firefox just seems to do it better. Why aren't they concentrating on just making a seriously good browser engine and then leaving the extra stuff to the extension developers. Or, if it's something important, get with the extension developers and help them out, offer a 'Firefox suggested extension package' that downloads and enables extensions by default. That way, all the 'normal' users get the cool goodies, and the rest of us can turn them off or uninstall them all together if it's not something we need.

    For instance, the new development centric stuff they have in FF13 is nice. But it doesn't hold a candle to the development tools that have been in IE9 and Chrome for some time. I use Firebug for all my web debugging needs in FF and it works wonderfully. Get with those guys and improve their already awesome extension. Don't try to re-invent every cool extension and add it to the core. Not everyone needs it, not everyone wants it. Just build the fastest, most standards compliant browser out there that offers an amazing extension engine and you'll have a winning browser.

    • by jlebar (1904578) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @08:59PM (#40227699) Homepage

      Why aren't they concentrating on just making a seriously good browser engine and then leaving the extra stuff to the extension developers

      Believe it or not, 90% or more of our engineering effort goes into "the browser part" (that is, Gecko, our rendering engine, and SpiderMonkey, our JS engine). Have a look through the list of bugs fixed in FF13 [mozilla.org] to see what I mean.

      It's just that these back-end improvements are not things most people can understand -- I work on Gecko and I don't understand most of the changes that go into it -- so PR and the press instead focus on highly visible UI stuff.

  • I'm surprised that unlike Chrome the Firefox site launcher grid doesn't come up on new windows, only on new tabs. I'm most likely to use it in a new browsing context in a new window, rather than in a new tab which I mainly open for links within a site, or pages with a related use (e.g. documentation).
  • by sdnoob (917382)

    The Home Page now includes icons at the bottom of the page to give you easy access to bookmarks, history, settings, add-ons, downloads and sync preferences with one-click shortcuts. When you open a new tab, youâ(TM)ll see thumbnails of your most recently and frequently visited sites.

    if firefox (default layout) wasn't dumbed down to chrome's level, some of these would still be 'one click' away.. so i'm sorry.. but i'm simply not impressed with those 'new' features that simply copy chrome.

    most visited,

  • by Corson (746347) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @05:07PM (#40237259)
    It also comes with a f* "Mozilla Maintenance Service" which installs without requesting user permisson and which I promptly uninstalled. If this new service is a requirement for FF to run and update then it's good-bye FF for me.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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