FireFox 3.5 this week

A new version of FireFox is coming out today. You can already test drive the latest pre-release already. I've been using Chrome since last year for 95% of my browsing needs because of the speed. I miss plugins, and there are also pages that render a bit idiosyncratically and AJAX apps which get confused. Because of low market penetration naturally designers and developers don't always make sure that their sites work appropriately for Chrome. In any case, now Farhad Manjoo has a review up of the new Firefox browser, and seems to think that it has revived the brand. His points are:

1) Almost as fast as Chrome or Safari (this seems about right).

2) Implementation of HTML 5, which promises to usher in the age of web 3.0. I'll wait until there are real pages which try to utilize HTML 5 features before I evaluate this.

3) Plugins. And more plugins. Yes! (OK, well, obviously some plugins may not be compatible yet)

Manjoo points out that the best thing about FireFox 3.5 is that it will drive browser innovation. I'm still not a big fan of IE, but the gap between IE 8.0 and other browsers is thankfully far less than for the previous iterations. I will probably play around with FireFox this week and alternate with Chrome. If the page load difference isn't particularly noticeable (doesn't seem to be) than I'll most assuredly switch back to FireFox; Google's browser is optimized for simplicity and speed, but there are a few bells & whistles that I do miss, not to mention the fact that there isn't a universe of extensions as there is for FireFox.

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So like many people I am nearly fed up with Firefox. I really don't have that many plugins, but the freezes and crashes are just too frequent. For the next week I'll be trying out Safari. Anyone have experiences to relate? (on Windows)

"Pre-release"? God, even web browsers are like movies and video games now -- get a sneak peak, pre-order your game before it hits stores!

My litmus test for browser speed is JavaScript execution (there is a JavaScript-heavy site I use almost daily). On my MacBook, Firefox 3.5 is notably faster than 3.0, but Safari is still much, much faster. I'm curious to see what Windows users see.


By Vincent Vizachero (not verified) on 30 Jun 2009 #permalink

Thanks for the heads up.

Sad that IE 8.0 is slower than a Geo Metro, but it does mark a huge improvement. As fast as Chrome is, though, it's lack of a search bar drives me to distraction: i hate having to go to specific pages to search PubMed, Google Scholar, Wikipedia, etc. etc. etc. I for one welcome our new FF 3.5 overlords.

Just to clarify for your readers: In the Firefox context "plugins" are things like Flash that are used to display content not natively supported in Firefox. What you're referring to as "plugins" in point 3 are presumably Firefox extensions (or add-ons) (as you noted in the final sentence).

And yes, Firefox does have a lot of extensions...

I'm very surprised with Safari 4 and I'm simply enjoying the way it works. It's fast, extremly fast. But I will check the firefox. It's never too late for changes.