Initial thoughts on Firefox 3.0a1 alpha Gran Paradiso

Initial thoughts on Firefox 3.0a1 alpha Gran Paradiso

Summary: A few ZDNet readers have asked me for my thoughts on Firefox 3.0a1 alpha (Gran Paradiso) that was made available for testing purposes.I downloaded it and installed it into XP Pro inside a VMware virtual PC (500MB RAM, 8GB hard drive) this morning and here are some initial thoughts.

TOPICS: Browser

A few ZDNet readers have asked me for my thoughts on Firefox 3.0a1 alpha (Gran Paradiso) that was made available for testing purposes.

I downloaded it and installed it into XP Pro inside a VMware virtual PC (500MB RAM, 8GB hard drive) this morning and here are some initial thoughts:

  • No problems installing it
  • Stability seems on par with Firefox 2.0
  • Speed seems on par with Firefox 2.0
  • Memory leak (bug/feature) still seems to be present (during normal browsing memory usage went from about 30MB to 130MB and then only went down to 75MB when web pages were closed, and them over the period of an hour the memory usage climbed to 95MB)
  • Interface is almost identical to that of Firefox 2.0
  • The browser passes the Acid 2 test with flying colors

In conclusion, it looks and feels a lot like Firefox 2.0.  I hope that as the project progresses that it will become faster and more lightweight browser.  I also hope to see the back of the memory leak that's plaguing Firefox 2.0.

The release notes for Gran Paradiso also have the following notes which might be of interest to some readers:

  • Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME are no longer supported platforms
  • OS X 10.2 is no longer supported, and OS X 10.3.9 or higher is recommended

So Firefox 3.0 will represent the end of the line for a number of operating systems (which probably need to be put to rest anyway, especially Windows 95, 98 and ME). 

What would you loke to see from Firefox 3.0?

Topic: Browser

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  • I don't loke to see a thing

    However, I am hoping for some fixes to the Memory Leak feature and some further extensibility as well as integration with Thunderbird and Sunbird.

    Some UI Tweaks would be nice, or perhaps the preview on tabs feature from Opera would be a nice add-on as well.
  • Very interesting and Memory (leak?)

    I have not yet spent any time with 3.0 snapshots, but very interesting to hear about the improvements, especially Acid 2.

    On My systems, Linux (Debian/Sarge, & few others) While using a little more memory than the others SeaMonkey, Konqueror, Opera, & Epiphany. I rarely see it use more than 25% of memory and that's with 20+ tabs & multiple windows.

    Of course that "Undo Close Tab" feature, RSS feeds, Quicksearches, and how many & what Extensions/Addons you have will also have an effect.

    In today's Weekly :
    They point to a blog about someone installing 200 extensions making 2.0 most unstable & unusable. Screenshot:

    Firefox on any system is my favorite and will be taking a look at 3.0 soon. thanx...
    • Someone needs to do the same with IE7

      I love that that was done on either Window Vista or a Vista look-alike theme.
  • Memory leak still?!?

    Will this EVER get fixed? << doesn't leak anything.
  • Message has been deleted.

    • Better still, hope they have fixed this..

      According to a security researcher who goes by the name of "azurIt", there is a HUGE vulnerability in FF2.0 by which extensions are able to globally hide themselves from the Extensions Manager. azurIt's site offers a PoC of this vulnerability and, according to the message posted to, there is no workround available.

      I'm not posting the URL to the PoC as it has the ability to steal passwords etc, but anybody with a clue should be able to find it.
  • I want to see the ability to run rich interactive web applications that

    appear to be desktop applications. If they can pull it off, then the platform of choice for creating rich interactive web applications will be FireFox.

    I am sure that there are quite a few Google engineers working on this. Of course a lot more working on the killer applications to take advantage of it.
    • Ah, what you want then

      is Microsoft Presentation Foundation.
      • No...

        What we want is client-side Java, then...which keeps improving its performance and soon will surprise people that have written it off as dead.
        • It's pretty dead

          on the client side. I had high hopes for Java (as a language for all my needs, client and server side) when it was released at first. However, it became clear that their UI sucked and they were not going to improve it. Swing was a big step in the right direction, but it seems that it is a bit late. ANyway, Java UI still looks ugly, quite ugly up to now. If they can improve its presentation that will be very good.
    • This can be done even with FF1.5

      though if you want the full power of XUL, you have to relax some security
  • I hope it supports

    the new Windows Presentation Foundation.
  • End of the line for W95, W98, WinME....NOT!

    Perhaps you did not mean it this way, but all that the decision of Firefox 3.0 developers not to support these versions of Windows is
    that the people still using them will have to use Firefox 2.x
    (itself a great browser) on those versions of Windows. And since
    the support needed will probably be limited to critical security issues, it is unlikely that it will be major.

    Tell me, which version of IE is supported on W95?

    Warmest regards,

    • Are you actually...

      John "maddog" Hall? If not, you might want to stop impersonating him. You could be liable for Identity Theft.
    • Now both IE and FireFox sucks

      at least in W98

      Wow, what a big relief! Thanks for pointing that out, now I feel much better knowing that FireFox would not run under W98 too
      • You do realize we are talking FF 3

        FF 3 is at a very early alpha release at the moment. It's not due for official release for a year. Not to mention if someone wants to they sure could back-port Gecko 1.9 to Windows 98 and submit it as a contributed build.

        Also as a note FF 2.X (The current FF) does run on Windows 98.
        Edward Meyers
  • funny... FF2 did't pass ACID2 on my machine

    I wonder how that's possible that his FF passes and my doesn't. Must be the VMware Virtual PC. Or is that just VMware? Or was it just Virtual PC?

    This guy is a nitwit. A pulsating 500mb RAM! A throbbing 8GB HDD.

    People should stop asking his opinion.
    • UMM did you read the article?

      the aritcle was about a test of the [b]firefox 3[/b] alpha that was just released, not the ff2 browser you are using
    • Firefox 3, not 2

      Firefox 3 passes the ACID 2 test.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Then use Opera :-)

      Now, that's funny. Some time ago the big "selling" point of OSS advocates was that IE sucked since it was not standards compliant while FF was. Now none of the two does (in their production versions, I am not concerned about alpha/beta versions for the future).

      The other time one user at Slashdot commented regarding Opera (after a chat with Opera's CEO) that, standards support was nice but now it was better if Opera just supported the FF "standard" (i.e. the way it renders HTML, CSS, etc. even not passing the ACID test). But wait a minute! Wasn't that also a critic they made against IE? When IE supporters (do not bash me, I use Opera since 1998/1999) told that supporting the IE way of rendering pages was more useful than supporting all the standards, OSS zealots attacked those people telling that that was absurd. Now, in Slahsdot there are advocates about the same for a OSS browser. Oh my

      What will happen when Opera releases a browser with "Extensions" support comparable to FF? I guess another excuse will surface