A Note: Firefox 3 Beta 2

I had beta 1 installed previously but didn’t say anything much about it.  Beta 2 added a feature that I felt necessitated some comments.  The address bar.  Our old standard friend.  Every browser has one with some slight variation on implementation.  To date Opera, with its address bar search was king (enter “g” in the address bar followed by your query and it posts it to google, enter “z” and it searches amazon) FF3B2 added an interesting and wholly useful enhancement to standard auto-complete that gives Opera’s search a run for it’s money. In fact, the feature is so simple and obvious that you’ll wonder why no one (as far as my limited knowledge extends) has done it before.  Rather than simply auto-completing a URL FF3B2 auto-completes website titles as well.  Simple, effective, and more useful than you might expect.  Can’t remember the URL of that article you were reading (that you forgot to bookmark, shame on you!)?  Simply start typing the title and it shows up in the address bar!  Simple.  Effective.  Damned useful.

Beta 2 Address Bar

To give the beta whirl head on over here.  Don’t forget to check out the release notes.  For more detailed impressions check out the Wired blog or the mozillalinks blog.

Why the fox rocks….

So like so many of the people out there I’m a Firefox user. I have been for a number of years now. Yet, I’ve only used a tiny portion of the browser’s capabilities and, I’m willing to bet that average joe IE user that switched over doesn’t either. It was a couple of weeks ago that I ran across a feature over at Lifehacker called “Show us you firefox” and the true power and adaptability of Firefox was revealed to me. The keyword here is extensibility. There are a slew of add-on one can add to their Firefox to customize and enhance it’s use. Let me show you some of the extensions I use:

Tab Scope: Hovering the mouse over a tab reveals a preview of the tab in question.

Colorful Tabs: Turns your tab background pretty colors.

TinyMenu: Turns my menu bar into a single button.

Smart Bookmarks Bar: Collapse the bookmark in your toolbar into icons

Tab Mix Plus: Allows you to manage your tabs better including a list of closed tabs and the ability to reopen them.  Also manages your sessions.

Source Chart: View page source as a handy graphic chart.

Anyway, think about adding some extensions to firefox to improve your browsing experience.