I just updated to the newest beta of Firefox 3.5 and it’s apparently beta 99. This is pretty funny because the previous one was 4. I think it’s just an indicator that they’re pretty close to a release candidate.
One thing I really like about Firefox (at least these beta versions) is that they support multitouch gestures on my Macbook Pro. Pinching zooms out, un-pinching (spreading?) zooms in, three finger swipe up goes to the top of the page and three finger swipe down goes to the bottom. This is really cool.
One of the weirder ones is that twisting with two fingers lets you go back and forth between tabs. I thought it was wacky at first but now I think it’s very useful. For some reason, the default value for this gesture is disabled in the newest version (beta 99). It’s also disabled in Shiretoko, the nightly build. I tried looking in the preferences to control this but they weren’t in there. Then I remembered about:config.
To get the twist thing back, type “about:config” into the address bar. Then find the settings that say “browser.gesture.twist” The setting for “browser.gesture.twist.left” should be “Browser:PrevTab”Â and the one for .right should be “Browser:NextTab” like so:
Voila! Your twisty tab changing gestures will be back!
I’ve been using Firefox 3.1 b2 because it supports the three-finger gestures that are really useful on my new Macbook Pro. Friends have told me that Safari has the same support built in, but I argue that I need my Firefox plugins to survive.
Ironically, most of the plugins I use for Firefox aren’t supported in this beta. So I’m pretty much stuck with the same functionality as Safari anyway! Oh well, at least I can say I’m running something that’s a beta release, which should up my geek cred at least a smidge…
So I installed Firefox 3, RC5 because my old Firefox install was pooping out on downloading .css files for some reason, which left website viewing to be less than desirable.
It seems okay, I guess. I think I’m already used to the new UI that makes the back button bigger than the forward button. Even though I sort of hated it at first, I guess it makes sense since people go back more often than forward (via the buttons, anyway).
So Firefox 3 runs a lot faster, and using a lot less ram. In the past, I have yelled at Firefox like Mel Gibson in Ransom asking for my ram back. I have 5 tabs open right now and I’m only (my expectations aren’t that high) using ~165MB or ram. The whole thing moves a lot faster too. I’m not sure if that’s because of the added side effect of more than half of my plugins not being compatible, though. I can live without most of them, but Firebug is really sort of indispensable. I hope FF3 comes out soon officially so everyone will get their plugins updated. There seems to be something weird going on with Flash 9 as well. Not too sure what.
So far, I’d say Firefox 3 is lookin’ good. I totally skipped getting a Firefox 2 shirt, so I’ll definitely have to get the 3 when it ships!
So I’m writing this installment from a new browser that I have discovered called “Mozilla Firefox.” Since it has a cooler name than Microsoft Internet Explorer, I’m giving it a shot. Plus it has a Fox that’s on fire for a mascot. I think Microsoft’s mascot is the earth. Fox wins. It also has modules that do things like block ads, let you use mouse gestures to navigate, and also put stuff on your blog, like I am right now. After trying it for a few days, I think it’s a keeper. Try it yourself, fellow reader, at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/