Thoughts on Firefox 2.0b2

I've switched over completely to Firefox 2.0b2. It's not out yet, but the beta is a lot faster in Linux, so I decided not to wait. What's new?

  • Faster. It's a lot faster than Firefox 1.5. It's still slower than I'd like. It's still slower than I think it should be. But hey, faster is always better.
  • Built-in Session Management. I was using the excellent SessionSaver plugin in Firefox 1.5, but Firefox 2.0's built-in session management is good enough for me. It's a bit finicky, but I'm sure that will get sorted out.
  • Better Tab Management. The tab bar doesn't shrink tabs until they're unbearably small any more. Instead, a nifty drop-down menu on the right lists all your tabs, and you get a couple of scroll buttons. I tend to open a lot of tabs, and after using the new tab interface for a bit, I realized that works really well with my style of browsing. Here are three shots of the new tab interface:

Firefox 2.0b2 Tab Behavior (1 of 3): Tab Bar

Firefox 2.0b2 Tab Behavior (2 of 3): Pop-Up Menu

Firefox 2.0b2 Tab Behavior (3 of 3): Scrolling Tabs

Unfortunately, Firefox 2.0 isn't all sunshine and roses. A huge number of extensions broke. While most of the important ones (read: Ad Block Plus), have been ported, really useful ones like Greasemonkey haven't. There appear to be some minor quirks with inline find. They also attached the Go button on the URL entry to the URL entry itself; you can disable it using the Customize context menu option any more. I found this forum post after a bit of searching, which basically says to add the following snippet to your userChrome.css file:

/* don't display the annoying go button */
#go-button { display: none; }

You can disable the resizing search entry in there too. I still haven't decided whether or not I like it. The behavior of the backspace key changed too, although I'm not sure if that was a Firefox 2.0 change, or if my config got munged during the upgrade. Anyway, you can switch it to go back instead of doing nothing by setting browser.backspace_action to 0 in good-old about:config.

By the way, if you can't keep all the versions of Adblock and Adblock plus straight, it's because the history of the both kind of reads like a soap opera.