Firefox 2

Having given up on the Gentoo ebuilds of the Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird programmes, upon going for downloads, I discovered that Firefox 2 had arrived.

So far, nothing to be excited about. Firefox 1.5 did pretty much what I wanted it to and did not appear to have any major annoyances that could not be overcome by means of extensions.

Noticeable Changes

  • The close current tab button on the right of the tab bar has been replaced by a ‘list all tabs’ dropdown. Tabs now have their own close buttons. This is annoying for me as I am so used to clicking over there to close the current tab that I just get plain confused.
  • Tools, Extensions is now Tools, Add-Ons. Add-Ons encompasses extensions and themes.
  • Not a change in Firefox 2, but one that goes back to 1.5 – easier packaging of extensions through the use of chrome.manifest. Unfortunately, older versions of Firefox and current versions of SeaMonkey don’t support this, so I will be ignoring it for the time being. This is only of interest to developers, by the way, so ignore this if you are just a Firefox end-user.
  • A few new icons.
  • Some extensions no longer work due to the maximum version being set to less than 2. (The fix may be as easy as changing the maximum version in install.rdf and re-packaging the extension.)

Whilst I am not particularly excited about Firefox 2, I am getting more excited about Firefox in general as I start to delve into its internals, as part of my development of a toolbar for my WebSticky project. Whilst WebSticky was originally designed to be browser-neutral, I am adding some Firefox-only goodies, mostly for my own benefit. These include the ability to snapshot all currently open tabs, go to another machine and have them open again with a single click.

The ability to peruse the browser source code is a great incentive to develop for that browser.