back to article Firefox 3 beta is live

The Mozilla Corporation has released a beta version of Firefox 3 for download, but is warning it is not ready for "casual users" yet. You can get the browser here. It's available in 30 languages and claims several new features and improvements. The browser has architectural changes which should make page rendering quicker, …


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  1. Matthew
    Thumb Down


    No thanks, I don't want built in virus checking and all the other crap.

  2. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Up

    Great, but...

    ...when are Mozilla going to produce an actually working (I mean REALLY working) mobile browser? I only ask, because if things carry on the way they have, I may have to move to Opera on both mobile AND desktop (since the latest versions'll synch bookmarks and useful stuff like that).

  3. Alex Read

    RE: Not available to casual users

    When Vista's service pack was released in a test mode so scores of users could test the company's product rather than them elongating a release date or spending extra cash employing more professional software testers there was uproar!

    Where are all the open source fanatics now - not posting the same remarks just because this story isn't on an MS product??

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mouse gestures?

    Do they work yet with FF3? The relevant extensions didn't with the alphas I've tried.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    @Alex Read

    Vista is an operating system, Firefox is an application.

  6. Tom

    As long as it doesn't become IE

    I have been using FF since it was Phoenix (on Solaris when I was at Uni) and I also used Mozilla as well. I liked it because it wasn't IE.

    FF is in a great danger of taking on all things that is wrong with IE and if it does it will be it's own downfall.

  7. Joel Stobart

    @matthew re:bloat

    FF3 is QUICK, Small (>7Mb), it does a couple of things to protect the user (like stop them going to sites that install malware). It doesn't install an AV Client.

    For me FF3 is a must.

    - Joel

  8. Simon Preston

    RE: Not available to casual users

    It says "not ready for casual users", not that it's not available. You wanna go try it out, click the link.

  9. Philip Cheeseman

    I like FF3

    I've been using FF3 since the earlier Alpha days and I love it. Its been both stable and fast. I particularly like the new address bar that has a fantastic history search built in.

    Go give it a try before putting it down.

  10. Mark
    Gates Horns

    when is Firefox not unstable and buggy?

    I gave up on Firefox and IE a long time ago, both are unstable and insecure, with almost weekly security updates.

    Opera is truely the way forward, with no outstanding security alerts, blistering performance, standards compliance, and great user experience.

    The fact that Opera lead the way with features, that the other browsers end up copying, says enough, the fact that Opera does it all with a much smaller footprint, faster, and without the need for bloaty plugins is further proof.

  11. Neil
    Gates Halo

    @Anonymous Coward

    "Vista is an operating system, Firefox is an application."

    And? SP1 is free, and so is Firefox 3. These open source fools are once again fooled into believing that when an MS project has a beta phase its bad, but when anyone else does it its good. This is why I stay completely away from open source advocates, as they are on the whole, idiots.

  12. michael

    @alex read

    fire fox is FREE vista is £300 for £300 I expect a compny to employ some testers and decent coders

  13. Les Matthew

    @Alex Read

    From the Mozilla page:

    "Please note: We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 3 Beta 3 milestone release. It is intended for testing purposes only."

    Since when does the above mean "RE: Not available to casual users" ?

  14. Johnny FireBlade
    Gates Horns

    @ Alex Read again ;)

    Dude, FF is free! You pay for IE, whether you realise it or not. Nowt wrong with asking a community to support the development of a product if it doesn't cost anyone in monetary terms. It's the underdog rebellion, it feels more robust than the "chargeable" alternative and personally I wish them the best of luck!

  15. Steven Dalby

    @Nick Palmer and Alex Read

    Nick Palmer: They have said they arnt i believe, although i use MiniMo which is the closest youle get and that no-longer has support i believe, also wish VLC made a mobile version as they were thinking about it.

    Alex Read: One of these products is free, one is not, If its beyond you to figure why people would be angry over having to test a program that they have paid for/will have to pay for... then i guess it isn't worth explaining it.

  16. Teh_Vermicious_Knid

    Very nice.

    Using Fox3b right now..

    Fast, stable, compact, in fact, a total pleasure to use.

    Highly recommended!

    @ Alex Read:

    Are you mental? Bore off n00b.

  17. Steve
    Thumb Up


    I'm sure the open source community rues your non involvement.

    Here's your coat.

  18. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down


    The reason that there is a difference between beta testing an OS service pack and beta testing an application is that bugs in the service pack stand a good chance of 'bricking' your computer.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, right up to date, ain't we

    ... given the FF3 beta has been available for download for at least a couple of months...

    Way to go :-p

    (It's stable, fast and generally a big improvement on 2.0 even as a beta)

  20. Dr. Mouse

    @Joel Stobart & Alex Read

    RE: "FF3 is QUICK, Small (>7Mb)"

    I assume you mean <7Mb? < is Less than, > is Greater than.

    Maybe you didnt, maybe it is bigger than 7Mb, but it doesn't make much sense to say >7Mb

    I always remember it as the small end of the arrow is the small number, large end large number. Or it "points" at the small number.

    RE: "When Vista's service pack was released in a test mode so scores of users could test the company's product rather than them elongating a release date or spending extra cash employing more professional software testers there was uproar!

    "Where are all the open source fanatics now - not posting the same remarks just because this story isn't on an MS product??"

    Anyone who complains that a company releases a beta product is a fool, whether it's from Microsoft or an Open Source project. Beta testing is required. There is no way that a product can be tested on the infinite number of possible combinations of software and hardware that exist by any organisation, even one as large as MS. So this "outcry" is from eejits, and should be ignored. Your message shows either similar knowledge of the subject to these fools, or maybe that you are just sick and tired of these dimwits praising Open Source without the fundamental intelligence to understand the arguments. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the second.

    The problem is that MS release beta quality software (see Vista, the "compelling number two"* that it is, and just about every product MS have ever made when it was first released) as a product. It then lets paying customers test it for them untill they have it right, when they release a service pack to fix the problems that should never have existed in a release product in the first place.

    This product is clearly marked as a Beta, therefore there is nothing to comment about. As it is open source, the situation is different again. For a start, it is free. Secondly, if a user happens to be a developer, he will often fix any problem he finds, then send the fix back to the developer.

    There is a lot more to think about than open source vs microsoft (which isnt the battle anyway, but people have started to think of it as such). Personaly, I do not like MS products, and I tend to find there are better alternatives. Some are open source, some aren't.

    Mainly, though, a company is quite right to release Beta software, as long as it is clearly marked as such and warnings such as "Not suitable for casual users" or "Experimental software - this may fuck up, we are still testing the bugger" are applied.

    Then again, most people who have any sort of experience take the words "New Microsoft Product" to mean the second warning above :)

    *for more info on this quote from Ballmer, see

    And for anyone who doesn't get it (I have had to explain it to a few mates already, the thickos), the number two in his quote refers to a second place in internet search and advertising, but I have taken it out of context to mean Poo/Shit/Excement, as in "going for a number two".

  21. Phil Rigby
    Paris Hilton

    IE v Firefox

    To all the whiners above:-

    Mozilla don't shroud their code in secrecy

    Mozilla took less than 5 years to update a major version

    Mozilla encourage people to use, break and report on the product (anyone found the bug tracker for IE 7 yet on MS site?)

    Mozilla encourage folks to write plugins

    If FIrefox crashes, it invariably doesn't make your desktop go down too

    Firefox doesn't take 15 minutes to download, validate your OS as genuine and patch itself before it installs

    Most of this is true for Opera as well. Oh, and Acid 2 anyone?

  22. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    To save Alex the bother...

    ...perhaps I should echo Neil's point that Alex referred to Vista's service pack, which *is* free.

    But we're talking at cross-purposes here. Open and closed source betas are just different animals with different audiences.

    For third party developers, the beta of a closed source product is the first chance they get to find the breaking changes. Equally, the vendor presumably hopes to make real money out of the final release, so the beta will probably be too crippled to interest end-users. For an open source product, the developers will have seen all the major changes long ago (coz no-one would add a major feature just before the beta, right?) but for end-users it might be the first sufficiently stable version to justify playing with.

  23. Fab De Marco
    Thumb Up

    Not mobile but... portable

    I have recently discovered portable apps. I work on support and do a little extra on the side with a small network of people in my local area. Pays for beer anyway.

    You can install it on your USB Flash Drive and have Firefox in your pocket, including all the links and a portable version of VLC. Even portable AV client that protects your Drive.

    Portable VLC is great for troubleshooting codec problems when you get to site. well I just end up telling them that they need an orange cone in their life by the end of it.

    I know this is "Not the Droids your're looking for" but it is a portable FF solution

  24. tardigrade


    "These open source fools are once again fooled into believing that when an MS project has a beta phase its bad,.. "

    Oh I don't know. Even Microsoft non Beta products are bad, buggy and bothersome. IE 7 for example.

    Ask any web coder what they think about developing AJAX web pages that display fine in Standards compliant browsers like Firefox and Opera and then go completely hatstand in IE and you will probably see steam coming out of their ears.

    Microsoft totally fsked IE up and everyone knows it. Even the new beta kid on the block Safari does a better job than a supposedly stable IE 7.

    I for one am very glad that we have Firefox and Opera as a sensible alternative to the malware that Microsoft offer.

  25. Andy Worth


    Do you work for the company that produce Opera or something? That sounded more like a sales pitch than anything else.

  26. Graham Dresch

    @ Alex Read

    Where are all the open source fanatics now....

    Right here, downloading the source and compiling it for myself.

    Since whem was any MS product open source ?

  27. Michael Warburton


    Firstly, this is the third beta they've released. The article doesn't make that clear.

    Secondly, it does not have "built in virus checking" it makes a call for whatever anti-virus software you have installed to initiate a scan on your downloaded files (other browsers already do this). They know there's problems with this however, hey it's a beta, and there will be the option to disable it.

    Thirdly, @Alex Read so you're having a go at them now because they have beta releases? Doesn't all software? By its very nature open source software is developed by the community, it's nothing new that beta releases are available.

    I use the latest Firefox 3 nightlies as my daily browser now and have done for some time. There are bugs, there's are things that aren't in there yet, and sometimes it's just plain broken. That's why it's BETA. Expect another beta before we start with the release candidates.

  28. Neil
    Gates Halo

    @The Anti-MS Estaslishment

    I dont recal saying Firefox<Opera<IE or anything like that. The point was that any time MS release some Beta software, all these people (usually open source advocates as they have some flag to burn with MS apparently) start shouting "MS shouldnt do beta software" and "Look MS are using you to test their software for free!!!!!". But when Firefox comes out with a Beta they stand up and cheer, hailing someone elses buggy software as being brilliant *because* they are releasing beta software.

    Why Open Sourcers seem to have such beef is beyond me. If you hate MS so much then there are alternatives out there for you. Feel free. But the fact that probably 90% of these moaners are running on Windows in some flavour means that ultimately, for all the moaning, these people do nada, zip, zilch in showing MS how terrible they think they are and how they wont put up with it anymore. They are the worst kind of users. They complain endlessly and when given several viable alternatives their tails go between their legs faster than Steve Jobs running from a fanboy.

    Feel free to hate IE. Feel free to hate Windows. Feel free to hate Office. But DONT moan when MS do something and then your precious Mozilla do EXACTLY THE SAME THING and then hail it as a brilliant idea.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: bloat

    That was the best bit about early Firefox. It was a basic browser. Built in search, tabs and that was it.

    Customise it your way with the extensions *you* want, not have everything pre-installed.

    Smaller memory footprint, if nothing else.

    If I could get the ad-and-script-blocking features on opera, maybe I'd switch.

    Still, better to have people on Firefox than Insecure Explorer...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thought I'd fallen through a time warp

    I've got Beta2 installed along side 2 and have had for weeks so I can simply swap between them (it takes a few seconds for the plug-ins to revalidate). So far its shown itself to be fast and stable and doesn't seem to have a memory leak any more. Couple of problems with bookmarks but apart from that its good!! I think the Smart Bookmarks are an excellent addition!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ken hagan

    >>perhaps I should echo Neil's point that Alex referred to Vista's service pack, which *is* free.

    The Vista SP1 -patch- may be free, but can you use SP1 with a free Vista OS? Regardless of whether the patch is free or not, the base application is paid for - and paid for well beyond it's real value (forget the sentiment of Vista's junk value, considering the actual sell profit margin here).

    FF on the other hand has always been free, thus the comparison.

  32. Barry Rueger

    Opera for the Mac

    Gotta say that after being a long time FF user I was fed up with crashes and memory leaks that plagued the Mac version of FF. It seemed that the browser just got worse and worse with every upgrade.

    I finally installed Opera and wow, there's no going back.

  33. Phil Rigby
    Paris Hilton


    I don't recall many people complaining when MS did IE 7 beta. Most people thought it was a good idea and tried it. The issues are Microsoft's total abhorrence for standards, their unwillingness to listen to the user base, the fact that it is next to impossible to accurately report and TRACK bugs. That's what separates Mozilla / Opera from MS, not their ability to release betas. Also let's be fair, a lot of people consider Vista in it's current form to be beta and SP 1 to make it the gold release.

    I love Open Source, I'm a Linux user at home, I also think OS X is excellent, and that XP is probably the best OS that MS has done. I get to use all 3, they've all got their own dis/advantages. Microsoft led the way in the 90's but their monopolistic time is rapidly coming to an end; they need to innovate on the desktop, not worry about buying Yahoo and pushing ads to peoples' desktops.

  34. ryan


    It amuses me a little bit that over the past year or two, Opera fanboys have started rearing up to condemn Firefox as a pile of worthless bloatware compared to their fast, efficient, Acid2-rendering offering. I guess some people just like complaining!

    You hate IE? cool, so do we. You hate Firefox? you care too much.

  35. Nicholas Moore

    @Ken Hagan

    <quote>...perhaps I should echo Neil's point that Alex referred to Vista's service pack, which *is* free.</quote>

    So I can download Vista SP1 and have Vista fully installed on my PC, even though I don't own Vista?

    I didn't think so.

    You (generally) buy a product because you expect it to be supported (at least in the short term). Whilst I don't have a problem with Microsoft releasing public betas (in fact, I'd encourage them to), there is a large difference between a product you've paid for releasing betas and a product that is released for free.

    I can certainly see why some people would expect a product, which they've paid a substantial amount for, to have it's patches tested properly, by professionals prior to public release.

  36. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Opera is the way forward.

    Find it very annoying, that the best browser out there, gets very little in the way of press.

    Opera 9, is really good, it's far better than IE and FF. The latest 9.5 beta has bookmark sync, which keeps all your bookmarks in sync on all your devices, be it desktop, Mini, or Opera Mobile. Best bit, is no buggy resource hogging plugins are needed to get the good stuff. Opera has it all in the box.

  37. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects


    Opera is an excellent browser my only complaint with them is I missed the edition version6 I think that Bjorked IE only sites.

    I wish I could get that or that some hacker wanted Kudos not for herding bots but for doing something valuable for the free world and made a Firefox version do that.

    What larks, eh? What lark!

  38. Anonymous John

    Seems fine to me so far.

    It has a built-in spell checker that vets El reg comments, for example. It doesn't check the title though for some reason.

  39. Neil


    Here we go into la-la land. So in la-la land, VAST pieces of software are completely bug free, with no security holes and work perfectly all the time. Oh wait - isnt that a Mac? Maybe not........

    Now I'm no massive Vista advocate - I tried it and my printer didnt work and my DVD burner became a coaster maker, so I went back to XP, but I'm also a realist. I didnt expect everything to work. I didnt expect it to be bug free. Other than MY hardware I quite enjoyed Vista and had no other *major* troubles with it. Does that mean there are none. Absolutley not. Back in the real world, we live in a place where you CANNOT make software that runs on every machine. MS have managed a great feat in making each successive OS as compatible as it has. To complain that Vista is a beta and that you expected a system with ZERO problems just goes to show how little you understand about what is actually going on under the hood, and really you shouldnt be allowed near a Playstation, let alone a PC. If software was 100% perfect from the off, we'd be running Windows 1.0, Office 1.0, and not wanting anytihng new. Should bug fixes be a reason to upgrade to a new system? No. Should improvements be the reason - yes. Can all those improvements be 100% bug free? No. Get real.

    Of course Firefox has zero problems, oh wait, no, that not right either, but because its free, a completely different set of rules apply apparently. You cant complain Eclipse is a resource hogging maniac compared to Visual Studio because Eclipse is Free. Hurray! You cant complain that Firefox is horribly unintuitive and leaks loads of memory compared to IE because Firefox is Free! Hurray! And because theyre open source I can waste my time trawling through masses of code to find out why they are so slow and improve it for everyone, and because I live in la-la land I can make it 100% bug free and we'll make the world a better place!


  40. Tony Green

    Unstable & buggy???

    Funny, I've been using it all day and it's been very stable and with no sign of obvious bugs.

    Even the previous Betas have been remarkably stable.

  41. Bela Lubkin

    Bork Bork Bork

    The last release of Opera Bork Edition was 7.0.2, see:

    I think there were Linux builds but I don't see one out there today :-(

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera vs. Firefox

    Opera's all well and good, and I used to use it, before Firefox was around. But I find livebookmarks to be a far simpler and more convenient implementation of RSS feeds, than Opera Mail. In Firefox I can just stick my livebookmarks into the toolbar and see the changes to my favourite sites appear as a list, without having to leave the current window/webpage. However, in Opera, it's like going to a different client when you want to check your feeds.

    Maybe a more experienced Opera knows better?

  43. Phil Rigby

    @Neil - grow up.

    I never said anything was bug free. I merely pointed out that after 3+ years in development, Vista has issues that it should not have, and you shouldn't need to double your graphics and memory capability to run it. Everything has bugs. There's no way you can possibly take into account every possible scenario and variable to make software error free. Don't tell me I shouldn't be allowed next to a Playstation - I've been into computing for almost 30 years so I think I have a fair clue about what's going on.

    The reason MS makes and OS that can run on most systems is because they compile it for the lowest CPU they want it to run on and they let the driver devs worry about hardware compatibilty. If you're DVD burner didn't work under Vista then you probably have a crap DVD burner. Vista-64 works fine for me on my hardware.

  44. Spearbox
    Paris Hilton

    Size matters?

    @Matt/Joel: When I'm downloading at 1.4mb/s, something or anything that is 10mb in size generally has finished downloading by the time I have selected a path to save it. Go figure when I say size, in this case, really doesn't matter.

    @Opera Fans: Wierldy they do sound like sales reps, but the brower is remarkably good. Fair play. I've used it and paid for it. Still do and stand by it. Still it's nothing to do with this article so trap.

    @Internet Explorer Bashers: Nice. Keep it up. Expect a Yahoo! Toolbar readily installed with v8.

    @FFX Bashers: Ease up guys, it's a beta. At close inspection, expect it to look like the moon does on the moon equivalent of google maps, full of holes, and if you look at it during the night, wierdly with a large chunk of it missing..

    @My icon: She's just pretty and gets so underused.

  45. Neil

    @ Phil Rigby

    Apologies if my remarks offended you, as they werent particularly aimed at you. Especially as you pointed out inteligently that no software comes with no bugs. But a lot of the people out there DO say thing like that (even above in some posts) - "I paid for this - it should work 100%" mentality is what I'm berating. If what I said doesnt apply to you then you can ignore it.

    But my point IS valid. People are moaning that Vista SP1 fixes bugs that shouldnt have been there in the first place. So MS release a BETA of the fixes, as a fair amount of the issues are fixed and good at MS head quarters, but unfortunately they dont own every single configuration of everyones PC in the office right now, so have to let it out to users at some point, but as theyve only tested it on a few thousand PCs they let a few million play (if they want to). But when MS do this, everyone cries foul - why should we test MS software? Well, for one thing noone is making anyone do anything they dont want. Secondly, the same people who just moaned are heralding the beta release of some other (open source) software as the 2nd coming of Jesus himself. They are so blinded by their hatred of MS that they cant see that they are being hypocritical. And thats really what I have beef with.

    And your absolutely right - my DVD burner is probably the bone of contention with Vista (I did point out it was my hardware that was at fault). But as I didnt *really* want to spend money upgrading a burner that worked fine under XP I reverted to XP. All these other people that moan have a choice too. Linux, Mac, XP, C64, whatever they want.

  46. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Bork Bork Bork..

  47. Justin Case
    Paris Hilton

    All you need is love

    Love Firefox, love opera, love IE, love Paris...

    They're web browsers (maybe not paris, but who knows) for heaven's sakes, not the spawn of Satan. I really cannot understand why people get so hot under the collar. It's like, yeah man, whatever floats your boat, go with the flow... if IE didn't exist you'd have to invent it for the sake of balance.

    I like Firefox, Opera, Konquerer, Safari (in that order) because their initials spell out something that sounds like fox.

  48. Iain


    I absolutely agree that people shouldn't complain about Microsoft releasing properly labelled public betas. Every major application vendor has a beta programme, because internal testing doesn't necessarily use the product in the way that real users in the real world manage to do.

    But I thought the big complaint with the Vista SP1 was not its mere existence, but that

    (a) it's such a pain to satisfy

    (b) (I suppose at least warns you that) installing it is going to leave you with a system that won't take the final beta when that's available

    (c) finished with an RTM that wasn't made available to TechNet/MSDN until a whole load of people kicked up a big fuss.

    (d) took so long in coming, when pretty major problems (like the file copy performance) have been trailed as ready to fix in it for months on end, and users have just had to live with until then.

    Having said all that, my box remains un-SP1ed until the rumours about the RTM triggering iTunes problems go away.

  49. RW

    @ Tom

    I've been trialling Linux for abt 6 months now, including Firefox. My impression, esp. fostered by the Open Office suite, is that the open source folks are so intent on mimicking every last spasm, twitch, and drool of brain-dead MS software that OS software is no real improvement over the brand name crap coming out of Redmond.

    Three areas where the OS gang are falling down:

    1. feature bloat (Abiword is a better WP than Open Office!)

    2. sluggish performance (an ancient machine running Win98 & Netscape 7.2 is much more nimble than a machine of similar vintage running Ubuntu Linux & Firefox, but the functional advantages don't justify the loss of speed)

    3. lack of a uniform user interface: something as basic as "copy" has different keystroke sequences in different apps. Having recently read "GUI Bloopers", a little known and fairly old book that teaches its grandmother to suck eggs, you have to wonder what's going on.

    Let's face it, much as I hate to say it, OS software is designed and built by committees—and looks and behaves like it. The first two of these faults it shares with MS, the third it has pretty much to itself.

    IOW, while the guts of Linux may be more robust than the guts of Windows (any flavor), the surface is considerably rougher.

    I'm going to stick with Linux anyway, since it's the only truly viable escape hatch from the world of corporate agenda software.

  50. Alastair

    WebKit is the way forwards

    Yup, you heard me. The engine that powers Safari. I got a Mac a while ago and was happy continuing to use Firefox, just like I did in Windows. Then Safari 3 came out- blisteringly fast and very, very capable. The WebKit engine that powers is great, and already has some of the HTML5 goodies announced a while back.

    Of course, Safari for Windows is a load of utter crud right now, but that's because Apple rushed it out of the door so that people could make iPhone apps. There are nightly version out there that actually use ClearType rather than Apple's own font smoothing, and more besides.

    There are also non-Safari versions of Webkit in the works, which might be a better solution- none of this brushed metal nonsense.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    I Like It, but I'll Wait

    I develop Web sites, and WebDeveloper and FireBug won't run on it, which makes me sad.

    I have it downloaded, but only as a testing browser.

    Opera's nice, but I prefer FF. Just me.

  52. Brian Whittle
    Thumb Up

    Opera good but...

    I used Opera long before Firefox came into the mainstream (I even paid for it) . The thing is you get less website rendering problems with firefox some sites in Opera just look a mess Yes I know if the webmasters did there job properly there would be less probems but they don't

    Only rendering problem I have wit firefox at the mo is at on the forums

    Opera Fast sometimes renders sites in a strange way seems to have some PHP problems

    Firefox slowers but seems to render better (apart from at the moment)

    IE no thanks unless the site insists

  53. Simon Painter


    No english version.

  54. James Cleveland

    Re: All you need is love

    Yes but if we are using them for 90% of our computer activity and say, 5 hours a day, that means the slightest issues, sluggishness, counter-productive workings get us very pissed off in the grand scheme of things.

  55. William Bronze badge


    You do realise there is only one thing worse than someone who whines and whinges about things don't you. That's right, its someone who whines and whinges about people who whine and whinge.

  56. Nexox Enigma

    @Andy Worth

    """Do you work for the company that produce Opera or something? That sounded more like a sales pitch than anything else."""

    I doubt it. I would have said the same things if he hadn't. If you use Opera a bit and pay attention, all of his points become obviously true.

    What really never ceases to entertain me is that the FF people claim that their goal is to make a slimmed down browser that can be extended, yet their slim version is larger than Opera, which has (Among other things) a mail client, irc client, bit torrent client (useless, I know,) mouse gestures, spell checker, session saving, closed tab storage, widgets, skinning, and ad blocking support. I much prefer downloading and installing a browser to downloading and installing, followed by browsing for all the extensions that I want, installing them, and hoping that they don't interfer with eachother or the browser, then finding the right new version of them (if they exist) each time I update the browser.

    I personally think that FF has been all down hill since they started working on version 2. Still prefer it to IE7 or Safari, though. Honestly I prefer lynx to IE7.

  57. John

    RW on Tom

    If you want Linux on old, '95-level hardware, try CentOS 2.1. Should run in 64 Mbytes. It's fairly old tho, nearly as old as your hardware. Alternatively, get new hardware, Fedora 8 with all its "bloatware" runs fine on my Core 2 Duo system, 2 Gbytes of RAM. Can even run Windows and other Linuxes at the same time.

    If you want the new features, you need the hardware to run them

  58. John

    Note to Neil

    "These open source fools are once again fooled into believing that when an MS project has a beta phase its bad, but when anyone else does it its good."

    and again

    The point was that any time MS release some Beta software, all these people (usually open source advocates as they have some flag to burn with MS apparently) start shouting "MS shouldnt do beta software" and "Look MS are using you to test their software for free!!!!!". But when Firefox comes out with a Beta they stand up and cheer, hailing someone elses buggy software as being brilliant *because* they are releasing beta software.

    Show us some of these OS advocates who shout "MS shouldn't do beta software" and praise Mozilla for doing beta software.

    London to a brick they are very few, and none of any regard.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    to alex on the non complaining oss folks

    it's fairly simple:

    the open source folks get more then what they paid for: nothing.

    So some of them do voluntarily test a little this and that, if they have a mind to do so.

    They don't complain about not getting something they did not pay for.

    Does that make sense to you ?

    Internet explorer, as a product from a 150 Billion Dollar company, may be expected to work from the start. ( or at leas, that's a fairly popular opinon; if it's a reasonable one, is for to you to decide ;) )

    Anyway, we are all free to spend another couple of hundred on microsoft ware.

    In that sense, it's a free world.


  60. Mikey

    Horses for courses...

    Heh, love reading all the comments from indignant people defending their pet browsers, and inventing reasons not to use anything else. I for one use IE. Why? Because in the years I've been using it, I've managed to keep it fairly stable, keep it toolbar and gadget freee, and I've been careful with my browsing. Its not down to which broswer is the best at everything, its about how you use it, and how you browse.

    That said, I do get tired of all the OSS crowd telling me bullshit about why IE is the devils own sputum, and why I should switch to FF. The main reason? Not really interested. Not fussed with all the fiddly bits and bobs, not botherd with it being free and all, not concerned about how big or small it is. All I want is something that works. I could switch. But then, theres no need.

    So I'm going to toddle off now, and finish my browsing. I'm going to assume that anyone who complains about IE is either a web developer (In which case you're justified to some extent), or an overly zealous OSS advocate, in which case thats fine, you know? Just dont peddle it to the rest of us like some batshit insane fundie. Or a scientologist, even ;O)

  61. jeanl
    Thumb Up

    FF rules

    I love TB and FF as well as SeaMonkey. I don't understand why many still using IE, OE though. Those plugins from mozillas make lives easier and surfing who new meaning without much fear.

  62. Anonymous Coward

    iCab and K-Meleon Rule!

    It's the white lab coat...

  63. Chris
    Gates Horns


    IE makes my life miserable on a daily basis. You see, I write webpages, and I test in Firefox, Opera, and Safari. It usually takes me 15 minutes to hack together a working stylesheet for those three, and then another 2 hours to butcher it to work with IE. That is why I loathe IE.

    Oh, and I installed firefox on my wifes computer (because a facebook app demanded it, god bless you Jedi-vs-Sith), and she hasn't ever looked back. Loves the tabs, the way it all works well, and I hear her bitch less when IE crashes and kills Explorer.exe too, killing off all her icons in her system tray.

    IE: (-842) -- FF: 1

  64. Steve Roper

    A web developer's perspective

    By now most of you will understand that all web developers HATE Internet Explorer, and I'm no exception. Before I explain why web developers hate IE and why you, the end user, should stop using it, I'd like to make a few points about the alternative browsers.

    Personally, I like and use FF for my day-to-day browsing. I like its customisability, with all the hundreds of extensions (what most people erroneously call "plugins") available. I have a round dozen of these extensions installed on my FF. That said, I have no problem with Opera, Safari or Konqueror, and if you prefer Opera to Firefox, that's great - I agree with you, it is a fantastic browser. And it's W3C compliant, as are Safari and Konqueror. (In fact, I think Safari for Windows has the best rendering engine of all of them; it does a beautiful job on rendering smooth, clear text!) All of these browsers will display a W3C compliant website perfectly, all working off the same single website codebase. IE will not, and supporting it requires a lot of additional code and workarounds to be inserted to detect it and support it.

    Now, here is why you should stop using IE and choose one of the other alternatives - FF, Opera, Safari, anything OTHER than IE; it's your choice, play with them all and pick the one you most like - just NOT IE! (And on this note, you fanatical Opera users gain no mileage by bagging FF - it makes no difference because both browsers are W3C compliant. You should all be working together to kill off IE; that's our common enemy!)

    Now, our company charges around AUD2500 - 3000 for a basic, entry-level business website. That's simply a Web brochure to showcase your business, with product catalogue management, admin page (CMS), usage tracking, email, and customer feedback/contact form - no eCommerce or payment processing at this level. If you want eCommerce, we have to set up a payment gateway, merchant bank account, dedicated IP, security certificate, anti-fraud system, etc; all this costs extra.

    But that basic $2500 - $3000 cost includes the hours of extra time we need to spend getting the site to work in IE. If we didn't have to support this non-compliant crapware, and instead could just develop our pages to W3C standards, we could easily knock $800 - $1000 off that price. Yes, THAT'S how much Internet Suxplorer costs us because of its non-compliance - it can add up to FORTY PERCENT to the cost of development. Every other web development company in the world faces this same issue, and all have to jack up their prices accordingly. That cost is passed on to the business customer - who in turn passes that cost onto YOU, the consumer.

    If everyone stopped using IE today, we could nearly halve our costs with massive savings to our clients tomorrow. They, in turn, could offer savings to you when you buy things online. So, by insisting on using IE, you are keeping online prices higher than they need to be. Microsoft's idiocy in not adhering to W3C standards is costing YOU money!

    So the next time you see a web developer ranting about how IE is Satan's semen, just consider that he's trying to make things better and cheaper for you, me and all of us. It's not about fanboyism or OSS fanaticism; it's simply about reducing needless cost and overhead and reducing prices for you.

  65. Trix

    Opera's a fine browser

    ...but for me the killer is Firefox's extensibility. I can't live without Adblock Plus or Gmail Manager (checking muliple Gmail accounts). There is a mangy Gmail "alerts" thingie for Opera, but it's frankly crap.

    I think the difference in number of extensions between the two browsers is quite telling - while Opera has a lot built-in, it's not that much more than FF, and it doesn't seem that many people write extensions for it (probably due to the closed nature of the product).

  66. Alex Read

    Wow, a load of comments on this one!

    @Simon Preston: quite right, thanks for correcting me, I should've quoted "not ready for casual users".

    @Dr. Mouse: "or maybe that you are just sick and tired of these dimwits praising Open Source without the fundamental intelligence to understand the arguments" - Spot on. My current role is as a software test manager & I understand the concept of a beta test, this was the point I was getting at.

    @Michael Warburton: Thanks for clearing up the anti-virus checking note.

    @ all the Vista-haters: Whilst I've grown accustomed to, and would go as far as to say I now even like Vista, I do completely side with the comments on the fact that it's a bloated, style-over-substance product which was never in a fit state to be released when it was. Fair & justified points on the SP being for a non-free software that should have worked the 1st time round.

    I was merely trying to pick up on the fact that quite a few people on this site were too quick to post "Vista, beta service pack? No bloody way - test it first properly yourselves then release it to us" a few months back. These comments showed a complete lack of understanding about what a beta test phase is, but were placed upon the Vista SP release article by (and this is an assumption), open source fanatics who read "MS released something" and automatically thought "I need to rubbish this something being released as it's from MS". Now we have the same situation - another company (this time an open source product creator) releasing a beta test software update and I was reflecting on the fact these people's posts are nowhere to be seen (suprise, suprise).

    @AC posted on 13th Feb. at 12:57: Thank you for pointing that out. I have just checked on Wikipedia, Microsoft's and Mozilla's websites and it appears you're correct; Vista is an OS and Firefox is an application (who'd have thought it, eh)? I am now wanting to withdraw all my comments and am considering looking at alterative employment outside of the I.T industry as I find mysefl unfit to work within it any longer, having not known this… By the way AC, for the record - this is a sarcastic comment ;c)

  67. amanfromMars Silver badge

    A.N.Other web developer's perspective


    That surely opens up another Market/Cash Cow to Milk with Immaculate Supply of Additional Code .... to Internet Explorers. ........... Generating Currency Flows for Intellectual Energy Creation

    Life-Giving Source.

    And it may be no more Complicated than Sharing One's Own Deeply Personal and Personable Journeys. .....

    "I'm a stenographer of my mind. I write down what passes through it [as I go through it], not what goes on around me . I'm a poet .....Alan Ginsberg.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck but I wont be helping

    I got involved with the FF deer park beta as I am a very good beta/gamma tester, however, whenever I reported usability issues which would later affect everyone, I was attacked on their forums by the fanboy developers. They were right, where did I get off coming in and deriding their baby because I knew nothing ?!

    Their comment that nothing from Computer Science in the 70s was relevant to today's IT summed it up really. The crew appeared to be little progressed from their script kiddie roots.

    I lost patience at that point and trawled for an alternative eventually coming across OPERA, which has been my main browser ever since.

    I thought it was a big shame as FF1 was brilliant, one of the big events in computing.

    I will help people by testing their products but all these people wanted was fanboy feedback about how godo they all were.

  69. Steve Roper

    @ amanfromMars

    You are correct of course, if I read your post correctly. We could certainly artificially inflate our figures and reap the rewards, and with the frustration I've felt with some jobs, believe me, I've been tempted! However, we have to remain competitive, and the figures I quoted in my first post are based upon our experience and knowledge of the extra time and hurdles to cross in supporting both IE and W3C browsers.

    In terms of creating a developer market for our code to support both browsers, we did consider this possibility. However, we've spent years developing our codebase and our ability to seamlessly support all browsers is our competitive edge over other Web developers in our area. Most of the other Web developers in our area still emphasise IE, and use packages like Dreamweaver and Frontpage rather than custom-coding as we do. To provide this codebase to others, besides introducing the risk of commercial piracy (as opposed to non-commercial filesharing), would undermine that edge.

    These developers have built a number of websites, even some big, well-known ones, that support IE to the exclusion of other browsers, or at least are not tested in other browsers. These sites work on the idea of catering to what they see as the market majority.

    But this approach is flawed for two reasons. The first is that by refusing to support either one side of the market or the other, you are cutting out a significant part of your audience either way. With the recent surges in the uptake of FF (and Opera), to ignore this segment of the market to support IE is to make a significant dent in your potential customer base. Web developers can no longer afford to pander to Microsoft's majority at the expense of the W3C browser market; those who do so, will find themselves out in the cold very quickly.

    The second is that Microsoft themselves are not consistent even to their own standards. If you write HTML/CSS that works perfectly in IE6, it will break in IE7 - or IE5. If you are going to cater to IE, you still need to have workarounds in your code to address inconsistencies across different versions. This of course adds to development costs. Meanwhile, a site that is W3C compliant will display the same in any version of FF or Opera, barring support for a few new features in CSS 2.0 and XHTML 1.0 that did not exist in the pre-Firefox days of the Mozilla Suite, or the old pay-for version of Opera. And such changes are to be expected as innovation proceeds and the Web becomes more interactive. Even given these upgrades, however, a site that was written for CSS 1.0 and HTML 4.01 Transitional will still work correctly in the latest versions of the W3C browsers.

    I also take your point that the intellectual efforts involved in supporting the different platforms exercises the creative centres of the mind, that the associated problem-solving improves one's ability to adapt and innovate, and that overcoming these problems can be an interesting challenge for the amateur Web hack. I also frequent code-sharing sites and exchange tips with other Web developers, which goes a long way towards streamlining our own design process.

    However, while this approach may be fine for the enthusiastic hacker or hobbyist, it doesn't cut any butter when developing commercial solutions. Such solutions are implemented to a deadline, a budget, and client expectations. The most important thing in this scenario is to deliver a solution as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and ridding the world of IE would go a long way towards reducing this time and cost; an improvement to both the client and the consumer. Yes, if this were achieved, a large part of our codebase would become redundant, and we would have to find other ways of outdistancing our competitors. But I'd rather have that and cheaper, more reliable websites, than the endless frustration of solving the irritating incompatibilities that crop up with each new job. And do you not think it would be better to harness that intellectual potential in developing more effective and creative websites, rather than squandering it on merely finding ways to make the same code work in different browsers?

  70. Jeff

    Firefox for developers

    For web developers, Firefox is the only way to go... the FF developer toolbar and Firebug are invaluable additions that you simply can't get on Opera (which I agree is the best user-end browser ATM - it's fast and very well thought out for a monolithic application).

    IE is useful insofar as it tells you how much to bang your head against the wall when you view your site -that works perfectly in compliant browsers - now produces a dozen JS errors with elements scattered randomly all over the screen.

  71. Richard Malin


    Is it just me or do other Firefox users find that they suffer a complete loss of bookmarks? Suddenly my bookmark folder is empty and I have to laboriously rebuild it from the automatic back-ups that are hidden away in the murky depths of Windows Explorer. I have noticed this happen on several occassions, the most recent being after my PC automatically restarted itself after an automatic windows Vista update had been installed. I fear I may go back to IE7 as I have never lost a 'favourite' in all the time I have been using it.

  72. Colin Wilson

    lost bookmarks

    Nope, never happened to me, and i've got ~1500 of them...

    I have to say I wasn't impressed with beta 3 though - unstable on pages were there was no particular reason for it to be - beta 1 works great on most sites though !

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