Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 is here

On schedule, according to the latest estimate, Mozilla has released the first Firefox 3 release candidate. For Mozilla it means what says in the label: unless there is some major bug reported for this release, the “release candidate” part will just be dropped from the name and become Firefox 3 final. Otherwise, additional candidates will be released until the desired level of stability is attained.

If you’ve been following Firefox 3 release, this post is for you as it focuses on changes introduced since the latest Firefox 3 Beta 5 released on early April.

For the full scoop, I have updated the full Firefox 3 review with all the details you want to know.

Most of the changes in this release are related to the visual refresh, particularly on Windows. On Vista, the Library (Bookmarks Organizer) toolbar now features a black glossy background similar to other Vista management windows.

You can select multiple files in the download manager and copy the download location, visit the original web site you downloaded the files from or open the containing folders. In the latter case, it’s not smart enough to detect they are all in the same folder so you get multiple windows for the same folder.

Also, the Clear List button was added back.

The DOM Inspector, a useful tool for web and extension developers, has been removed from the installer and is available at Mozilla Add-ons as an extension only.

Help is no longer shipped with Firefox. Instead, all documentation will be available online at Mozilla Support.

On Mac OS X, pressing the up and down keys while in single line text boxes moves the cursor to  the beginning and the end as expected on Mac OS.

Cairo, Firefox 3 new graphics layer was updated to version 1.6.

An option was added to the malware detection page to bypass the warning and continue to the requested page.

Note that this isn’t the final Firefox 3 and there may still be some ugly hidden bugs that could mess with your data. Unlikely, but that’s why it is called a release candidate.

You can download Firefox 3 RC1 from Mozilla Corporation’s web site. As usual it is available for Windows (7.1 MB), Mac OS X (17.2 MB) and Linux (8.6 MB) in more than 45 languages. On Windows, RC1 requires at least Windows 2000. It won’t work on Windows 95/98/Me.

I noticed the installer has a checkbox to set Firefox as the default browser checked by default. This seems too pushy for users just trying it for the first time. Neither Opera 9.5 nor Safari 3.1.1 installers attempted to do the same.

32 thoughts on “Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 is here”

  1. Unfortunately (for me) the Unexpected Installation Error 203 still persists. The FAQ was updated – with useless info. It says to delete the extensions.ini, etc… all that does is break things for me. I’ve created new profiles several times and tried from scratch – every time I get about 4 or 5 extensions in, I start getting the Error 203. I have to then manually extract the XPI files in the staged folder, and sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t.

  2. I wonder what happened to the new logo? When I asked Paul Kim at the beginning of April he said it was still being worked on.

    Maybe they’re holding it back for the true final release? But that would be going against Mozillas principle of the release candidate actually being a candidate for release…

      1. I take “penultimate release” to mean that the next release will be the final one.

  3. Safari installer is WAY dirtier and meaner that Firefox friendly attempt of convincing that he’s the best (which it is). Opera’s clean, that’s for sure, but Safari? Hell no! It just craps all over the place and leaves dirty piles all around when you make the mistake of installing it on your system.

  4. Why did they take the Help documentation out? Exactly the lack of documentation is one of the biggest problems with open source software. If there is a problem with the web browser, then there is a good chance that the user won’t be able to browse the Mozilla site to get to the help documentation that would help him.

      1. Help will still be there, it will just be online. (There’s only a dummy page at the moment.) It makes sense, otherwise they would have to push a release every time a help file is improved. I think it will help to keep it more up to date. There should be an option to have a local mirror though, to browse help while offline.

  5. you said “I noticed the installer has a checkbox to set Firefox as the default browser checked by default. This feels a bit too pushy for user trying it put for the first time.v. The correct way would be to ship it disabled”
    it’s better this way, let’s finally ged rid of viruses, spyware, adware, worms and so on brought by internet explorer to innocent users !

  6. So the changes are more shiny, reduced documentation and patronising that features probably involving sending your browsing habits to third parties.

    Adding shinyness is just bloat, and for those with a clue that is not a rason to upgrade. FF is in its place in the market because those with the ability to discern good software from bad had been recommending it. The Mozilla Suite never had the success of FF because of the bloat, so FF came along and got successful. You are just adding cruft that impresses the kind of people who think shinyness = user friendliness.

    Removing the help is just a fuck you to the user. I know that the thought is that “no one ever RTFM anyway”, but actually you don’t know. You have no way of knowing how many questions from clueless n00bs have been answered by the help files. Well, enjoy the increased support load.

    I am still using FF 1.5 on Windows because there was nothing added to 2 that made any real world difference, and I am not going to upgrade to 2. There were many pointless and annoying changes made between 1.5 and 2 (close buttons, pointless drop down tab menu, green go button (IE already exists, why did you people try to clone it?)), etc.. I recently installed Ubuntu 8.04 on my laptop’s other partition and witnessed FF3…. its fucking awful. It just seems to have more feaures to get in the way, just more bloat. It lasted about 3 minutes before I removed the package and put FF2 back (like Gutsy and earlier had – with some fighting, it can be made to behave like FF1.5).

    We are now 3 FF’s in, and still opening a bunch of tabs at once is a fucking ordeal. And if you open a tab in the background that has a hard time rendering, the whole browser locks up whilst the background (i.e. not being used by the user) tab thinks about it.

    1. So your point is you recommend Firerfox 1.5 to everyone despite it’s totally out of support and probably uses more memory and is slower than FF3? And it took you four paragraphs, and a few color words to say that? Or were you just ranting?

    2. Anon. Wow.
      You must be the least educated computer user ever. What a totally misguided view.
      Anyway. I will no try to explain to you why you should update to FF2 and then FF3 except that FF1.5 is just stuffed with security holes that you are gladly enjoying. HAPPY SURFING! :)

      Btw. You sound so angry why why don’t you just switch back to IE.

  7. * places a [RC1 sign] reminding people this is not retail firefox 3 yet*

    anon: Did you try proof reading your trollish post before submitting it? In essence you are first complaining because it doesn’t have any feature besides shininess and then you are complaining BECAUSE it got new features, yet you call them bloat. It doesn’t really make more sense to do it, “I think heaven sucks because it is blue and because it is not blue”

    FF3 is the fastest browser on earth and it is FOSS, dunno what else to ask.

  8. ““I noticed the installer has a checkbox to set Firefox as the default browser checked by default. This feels a bit too pushy for user trying it put for the first time.v. The correct way would be to ship it disabled””

    This is a “release candidate”. If there are no problems, this WILL be FF 3 w/o any further changes. So it is supposed to be in its final form now including any/all default settings such as the one you mentioned.


  9. Re anon “So the changes are …”

    Well FF is foss so if you don’t like the direction FF is taking you can take the FF1.5 code and fork it, you know if its sooo easy to do and the developers are wrong and you are right :P

    Personally I find that FF2+MyExtensions makes it a great browser.
    FF3B5 was a bit of a shock but once you get your old extensions working (Mr Tech Toolkit) turn off FullZoom and just use TextZoom its damn good for a beta.

    Like most things in life “things change” and you can join the whiners or evaluate the change in a rational way… give it a fair hearing.

    The changes with FF3 are mainly the rendering engine and memory, all good AFAICS.
    The other big change is Places – bookmarking on FF was so poor that I used it mainly for LiveBookMarksRSS and used slogger instead.

    I will still use slogger but I have retrained myself to use the new addressbar functionality (the AwesomeBar) because, despite a stupid name, it does make a huge difference to the way you browse.

  10. I encountered a host of problems in Firefox 3 Beta 5. I can’t access my GoDaddy account because it crashes. I can’t access cPanel in Lunarpages webhost because it asks certificates. I can’t access Google because Firefox asks for Google certificate.

  11. Well I am waiting for the final release, but I hate this urlclassifier3.sqlite, its 35MB!!! If I remember correct that is the reason why the hdd have so excessive usage sometimes. If this stay that way I will disable it.
    There are some strange inconsistencies like you can write tags from the star button, but you can’t from bookmark properties (bookmarks menu and sidebar). You can’t assign keyword for new bookmark from the star button, but you can from bookmark properties (bookmarks menu and sidebar). In the Library is all fine but guess I wont go there every time for the smallest thing.
    BTW if you want to sort all the bookmarks in the bookmarks menu right click on Organize Bookmarks and select sort by name, no idea if they will fix this for final… right click on one bookmark should order the whole menu, the other option is to sort them from the library.
    I hope the next release after fx3 will get a lot of css improvements, looks like text-shadow will be the first ;)

    1. I have Firefox 3.0.5, and when I went to Organize Bookmarks, right clicked and Sort By Name at the Bookmarks Menu. I then checked a folder and I had to right cllick the folder and run Sort By Name to arrange that folder in order. So it looks like we still don’t have a good way to sort all Bookmarks after the latest version. It would be nice to Sort By Name as it is done in Windows XP|All Programs and in MSIE.
      P.S. But it is so much better than all the previous versions!

  12. Having the whole Help system online is pretty demented. If your browser is having problems, there’s a very high likelihood your system is also having trouble accessing the net. Anyhone spot the problem with this scenario yet?

    What about systems who have no net connection? There are still many systems that run offline more often than not, frequently this is for reasons of security, which is a feature Firefox touts. Mmmmm, delicious irony. Not forgetting all those who simply have no net connection available at all.

    While we’re at it, how about that huge majority of worlwide computer users who have little or no broadband access available? Have you tried to use a computer lately on dialup? If you had you’d laugh heartily at anyone suggesting an online help system over an inbuilt one.

    Have the inbuilt help augmented by an online help system that can be kept updated by all means, but never make the online method the primary.

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