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Firefox Mozilla Software Upgrades Technology News

Firefox 4 Beta 9 Out, Now With IndexedDB and Tabs On Titlebar 537

Posted by timothy
from the let-us-now-praise-famous-foxes dept.
surveyork writes "''Mozilla today officially released Firefox 4 Beta 9 and it's a big improvement over previous betas and a parsec beyond the Firefox 3.6.x experience. At this stage, after months of development, Mozilla developers are clearly nearing the end of this development marathon.' After Firefox beta 9, a beta 10 and a single RC are scheduled (this road map can change, of course). The main features of Firefox beta 9 are IndexedDB and tabs on titlebar (just like Chrome and Opera). IndexedDB allows sites to store data on your computer (with your prior authorization). Tabs on titlebar is self-explanatory. Old-schoolers can always turn on the 'show menu bar' to get their familiar GUI back. Oh, and Fx beta 9 is fast and starts fast. Firefox beta 9 available here and in lots of official mirrors."
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Firefox 4 Beta 9 Out, Now With IndexedDB and Tabs On Titlebar

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  • Status Bar??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:21AM (#34886896)

    Does it have a status bar at the bottom?

    If not, then it's still EPIC FAIL.

    • Chrome... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xTantrum (919048)
      I just switched to Chrome from using firefox for the last what 4, 5 years? I gotta say chrome just seems to make sense. not trying to troll just saying.
      • by Soukosa (1965442)
        Same here. Was using Firefox since it was Phoenix 0.x and all of these idiotic changes like the removal of the status bar disgusted me so much that it finally pushed me to try another browser. I might be called out as a troll on this too but what's wrong with sharing thoughts on a browser that I used to love to death? It saddens me that the devs feel they have to do things like this rather than fix the much more serious issues the browser has...

        Granted on the plus side I can finally use a browser that
        • "It saddens me that the devs feel they have to do things like this rather than fix the much more serious issues the browser has..."

          Such as... "Granted on the plus side I can finally use a browser that properly frees up memory after closing a shit load (80+ tabs) at once."

          Are the memory gobbling instabilities of Firefox fixed in version 4? I have 12 tabs open in 5 windows now in Firefox 3.6.13, and Process Explorer tells me that Firefox is slowly demanding more and more memory, even when I am only watc
          • by smash (1351)
            How about fixing the DHCP proxy auto-detection that even had a patch submitted in 2006?
    • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:32AM (#34886936)

      Browsers are going the way of minimizing the amount of space taken up by the user interface and maximizing what's available to the actual content. I think it's a good thing, especially as web pages transition from something like a post board full of stickies to having their OWN user interfaces that look odd next to the browser's. I don't see what's bad about not having a status bar.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078)

        In general it is a good thing. But why not go a bit further. I have the line File/Edit/.../Help and there is a LOT of place right there after that. Perhaps a good place to have the status bar icons from right to left.

        Or make it possible to use it for other things. Now it is just a big blank useless emptiness.

        • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by PReDiToR (687141) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @02:00AM (#34887360) Homepage Journal
          Like this? [ompldr.org]

          Menu is TinyMenu, Back/Forward appear and disappear depending on where in the tab's history you are, the "B" is bookmarks. User agent, ABP and a few other useful plugins make FF 3.6 a firm favourite of mine for the foreseeable future.
        • In general it is a good thing. But why not go a bit further. I have the line File/Edit/.../Help and there is a LOT of place right there after that. Perhaps a good place to have the status bar icons from right to left.

          I put the search bar and a couple of plugin icons (adblock, noscript, requestpolicy, cookiesafe) there - just right-click on the empty space, choose customize from the menu and drag the search bar and any other icons up there.

        • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Informative)

          by nospam007 (722110) * on Saturday January 15, 2011 @06:57AM (#34888340)

          If I need more viewing space, I just press F11.

      • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mqduck (232646) <mqduck@mqduck.QUOTEnet minus punct> on Saturday January 15, 2011 @05:04AM (#34888010)

        Browsers are going the way of minimizing the amount of space taken up by the user interface and maximizing what's available to the actual content.

        When web browsers were new and screen real estate was limited, that might have been a good idea. What the hell is the point of removing functionality to save a dozen or two vertical pixels today?

    • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Informative)

      by IB4Student (1885914) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:43AM (#34886994)
      Yes, although it's moved to a more logical spot (the URL bar)
      • by hedwards (940851)
        Is that logic, or is that training? The reason I ask is that the only reason I dislike it at the moment, apart from it blocking the favorites star, is that I look to the bottom of the screen. In a sense it probably is a more logical place since it's right next to all the buttons.
        • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nemyst (1383049) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:59AM (#34887084) Homepage

          Additional advantage is that it squeezes even more space out of the UI, thus giving you more screen space for what really matters: the website.

          • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:10AM (#34887152)

            If LCD manufacturers would actually stop making 1900x600 screens then we wouldn't be having a lack of space for the status bar. (1900x600 was a random resolution plucked from my backside that highlights the stupidity of current low to mid range displays currently available)

      • by TigerTime (626140)

        So when i mouseover a link, it displays the url it points to in the URL bar and overwrites the current URL? And i have several plugins that display icons in the bottom status bar currently: ForecastFox, Firebug, Greasemonkey, IETab, Delicious, Echofon, Stylish. Where would those be displayed in Firefox 4?

        • by siddesu (698447)

          Nope, even worse. It shows the current URL, a > and a part of the new one.

          There is an "addon bar" for addon stuff, though, you can enable it from the toolbars menu.

      • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wallslide (544078) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:03AM (#34887108)

        Yes, although it's moved to a more logical spot (the URL bar)

        When I hover over a link, there's a few things I'm expecting to see. I want to see the protocol, the domain, and finally the end of the link that would have the actual page/file that the link is pointing to. When the status bar is at the top next to the URL, there isn't enough space to display all of those things. I much prefer the status information at the bottom because the available horizontal space is much larger, and there's a better chance I'll be able to see all the info I need. In that sense, I believe locating the status information at the bottom is much more logical.

      • by vlueboy (1799360)

        You were correct until GUI standards changed. Everyone before IE7 has designed a shorter URL bar than the expected status bar's size of near-window-width. We're getting short-changed.

        URL bars now give up valuable room for back, refresh, home, our obligatory search bar. It gets worse with site icons, add-to-favorites stars, RSS indicators, down arrows for history, "GO" buttons, Firefox's domain confirmation in green for HTTPS sites... and more importantly uselessly long links like: "http://tech.slashdot.org/

        • by vlueboy (1799360)

          I failed to mention here that because firefox == miriads of extensions that expect a status bar, developers just lost the natural place to show you a quick download countdown, unread e-mail status, current temperatures, adblock and noscript domain controls and maybe even translation toggle options. Guess which place is perfect for devs to want to migrate to now? Our shrinking URL bars! :)

    • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rudy_wayne (414635) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:55AM (#34887060)

      Does it have a status bar at the bottom?

      If not, then it's still EPIC FAIL.

      The status bar is gone for good. Why? Because the developers said so, and like many other decisions, they couldn't care less what the users think and apparently have so much free time on their hands that they constantly look for ways to fix things that don't need fixing. Fortunately there's an extension that adds the status bar back in. Of course it's horrendously stupid that you now have to resort to extensions in order to get back things, like the status bar, that have existed in every browser ever made since the beginning of time. The issue here is not resistance to change. The issue here is removing functionality and actually making things less useful.

      Fortunately the stupid and pointless "Tabs on Top" and equally stupid and useless big orange Firefox button in place of the normal menu bar are both optional. However, I have a bad feeling about this, given all the other stupid changes they've made, and I wonder how long it be be until they are forced on us and we will have to rely on yet more extensions in order to have a decent browser.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The status bar is gone for good. Why? Because the developers said so, and like many other decisions, they couldn't care less what the users think and apparently have so much free time on their hands that they constantly look for ways to fix things that don't need fixing.

        I am a Firefox dev, and I see what you mean about the status bar - it's definitely controversial. But we definitely do care what users think. If this was a mistake, then it was a mistake made in good intentions, because we thought it would be useful to our users. We're not making a browser for ourselves, but for many millions of people.

        Again, I'm not defending this particular decision, of the status bar removal - I am personally not in favor of it.

        Overall, though, I truly believe that the features for 4.0 a

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Soukosa (1965442)
          If you guys care so much then why not leave in an option to have everything that previous versions had to remain there as they were before? Not just the status bar but also the split home and refresh buttons and non-transparent menu and tab bars. The interface was just fine how it was before. If you want something different yourself then sure, go ahead and add options for it but don't assume your users want the same and force it on to them as well. We should have to be forced to use add-ons for this stu
        • by microbee (682094)

          Some extensions I installed use the status bar to display, you guessed it, their status.

          Could anyone inform me how the hell would that work if the bar is gone???

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @07:05AM (#34888360) Homepage

          The status bar can be hidden with two mouse clicks. Were people really having so much trouble with the "View->Status bar" option that the devs needed to take matters into their own hands?

          Worse, they knew it was controversial and was going to piss off a lot of people but they did it anyway.

      • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gfody (514448) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:11AM (#34887154)
        there's already an extension to add the status bar functionality back [techdows.com]
        • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @02:24AM (#34887440) Homepage

          there's already an extension to add the status bar functionality back [techdows.com]

          But, why remove it in the first place? For a decade or more, the status bas has been useful to check what that link you are about to click on actually points to. Removing it just opens people up to all sorts of things.

          To me, that is kinda like having a mod to my car to add back the rear view mirror. I just don't see why removing it in the first place is 'progress' ... I am beginning to fear Firefox may have jumped the shark.

          Which is annoying, because IE still sucks, Safari is annoying, and I can't even begin to care about Chrome.

          The last cool innovation in a web browser that I actually found useful was tabs. Quite sad, really.

          • The link you are about to click on is now written on the right side of the status-bar, which is usually left unused.
            Therefore, this functionality is still there.

            And if you want to continue the car analogy, it's like removing the rear view mirror and replacing it with a small CCTV like done in many sports cars and trucks.

      • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:48AM (#34887304) Homepage

        Because the developers said so, and like many other decisions, they couldn't care less what the users think

        Or maybe they do care what users think, but not all users agree with you...?

        If your complaint were simply, "I don't like the design," then I think I'd say, "fair enough." But you seem to be complaining that the developers are making design decisions about the project, as though it's somehow improper. Like they're supposed to just take a vote on everything, and literally design by committee? But it's not even that, it's more like you think the developers should cede their own tastes and judgement and do things the way you would personally like them to, and if they don't, then they're committing some abusive act.

        Developers need to make decisions, and no, sometimes those decisions won't adhere exactly to your personal tastes. If you don't like the decisions, maybe you could get more involved? Or you could help to create a fork somehow? If all the users are really being alienated by these changes, then it should be possible to get a fork going. A lot of people didn't like it when Mozilla dropped the old suite, and so Seamonkey development has been going on this whole time.

    • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by shadowthunder (1921564) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:08AM (#34887132)
      I've actually found the lack of the status bar quite nice. I only ever used it to see the target link and change NoScript settings. I'm liking the former being done in the remainder of the location bar, and NoScript is handled well through the context menu.
    • Re:Status Bar??? (Score:5, Informative)

      by igreaterthanu (1942456) * on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:27AM (#34887212)

      Yes.

      Right click the panel in which the address bar sits, Customize, then drag whatever you want (such as Activity Indicator) to the Status Bar, then press OK.

      Personally I find the status bar to be annoying and like the new design, however.

    • Your definition of epic, makes Gilgamesh weep for our children.

    • by devent (1627873)

      Yes, I miss the status bar. Now it's always something changing at the top and it's really distracting and annoying. I think they have even a little animation in the URL bar, which will get more distracting and annoying.

      Why it have to be always with animation? It's only distracting and annoying.

  • by jackdub (1938908) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:33AM (#34886942)
  • Literally, 1 second on my SSD RAID-0.

    Not sure how much faster it's going to be and it won't really make any difference.

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      a full 1000ms on an SSD? that's pretty slow is it an IDE SSD or something? i could swear i only took ~300ms to load and i didn't even spend much on my kingston SSD
    • I wish I could even remotely get that sort of performance out of Firefox on my machine. I finally switched over Chrome because of how slow Firefox has gotten over the years. I feel like they lost one of their original and most important design goals.

  • by harmonise (1484057) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:46AM (#34887012)

    I really thought the final release would be out by now. Remember last year when Mozilla said they were moving away from big releases and adopting a fast release cycle with mixed bug fixes and new features? Whatever happened to that plan?

    • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:51AM (#34887038) Homepage

      The plan you're talking about is Mozilla's post Firefox 4 plan.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Remember last year when Mozilla said they were moving away from big releases and adopting a fast release cycle with mixed bug fixes and new features? Whatever happened to that plan?

      The plan is to do that after 4.0. 4.0 was always planned to be a *big* release, with tons of new features. Post-4.0, they will switch to the model you mentioned, of more rapid and incremental releases, sort of like Chrome.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      They apparently made a mistake. But at least they're not releasing a final release that's buggy and not working properly. I've been using the betas for a while now and they've gotten a lot better, not that the first betas were that bad.
      • Yeah, I'm excited about the final release. The web browser landscape is pretty awesome right now. I can't wait to see the final release. If only all my favorite add-ons will finish updating for 4.0. :-)

  • Why is this touted as a feature/benefit? In Windows (7, specifically) when the window is maximized, the tabs are so flush with the top of the screen that it makes Firefox almost unusable for snapping (left, right, or down from top). I understand that pushing the tabs up save pixels - a scarce asset in netbooks - but are five or ten pixels so valuable that it's worth rendering one of the best features of Windows useless?
    • by asa (33102) <asa@mozilla.com> on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:55AM (#34887058) Homepage

      The trade-off is between using Aero Snap, something users do only rarely, and not repeatedly during a browser session, and benefiting from Fitts's Law as you switch between tabs, something users do all the time. The current thinking is that it's better to optimize features for the overwhelmingly common case at the expense of the exceedingly rare case.

      • I do spy the "@mozilla.com" address, so I'll take what you're saying with a grain of salt. I would expect that among Windows 7 users (admittedly, not anywhere near a majority of Firefox users), Aero Snap usage - essential for multitasking, especially with multiple monitors - is quite high. Though I do see your point, Fitt's Law only mentions the width of the target. My issue with using Fitt's Law in support of this change is that you're not going to push then let your mouse glide in a general direction a
    • by hedwards (940851)
      You do realize that they let you disable it, right? Probably the easiest way is to right click on the menu bar and uncheck the option for tabs on top. Personally, it isn't something that seems to have changed, but that might just be an XP thing.
  • May be that page needs to be upgraded too?
  • by barrkel (806779) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:57AM (#34887074) Homepage

    The more it copies Chrome, the less reason there is to use it, and more motivation to switch to Chrome instead.

    I don't even use tabs at the top; I use tree-style tabs. Hopefully they'll still work.

    In other news, I do like the status bar being visible. The primary reasons I don't use Chrome are the missing menu and status bars.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jfengel (409917)

      As long as Chrome lacks NoScript, there will continue to be a reason for Firefox. Fix that dealbreaker, and all of the rest is negotiable.

      • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @08:17AM (#34888564)

        As long as Chrome lacks NoScript, there will continue to be a reason for Firefox. Fix that dealbreaker, and all of the rest is negotiable.

        It does have a functionality that works EXACTLY like NoScript. Are you guys even trying?

        Menu > Options > Under the Hood > Content Settings > JavaScript > Do not allow any site to run JavaScript

        Now when you visit a site that needs JS, you have a "JS is needed" little icon right on the address bar. Click it, and you can whitelist that site for now, or for the future as well.

        Under the same options dialog above you can do the same for plugins as well, like Flash.

        • There is a reasonable bit more to NoScript than simply javascript yes/no per domain.

          java, flash, silverlight, can be blocked
          audio/video, iframe, frame, font-face tags can be blocked
          then there is clickjacking prevention and the Application Boundaries Enforcer

          (Though some may not be necessary on Chrome I admit I don't know the ins and outs of it's in build security features)

    • by macshit (157376) <[gro.ung] [ta] [selim]> on Saturday January 15, 2011 @04:09AM (#34887828) Homepage

      Not really true. There are tons of little detail differences that favor FF over chrome.

      It's a good thing that they're copying each others' best ideas; they're both still vastly different implementations, produced by very different teams, with different priorities, and will always have many differences.

  • by harmonise (1484057) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @12:59AM (#34887086)

    One thing that confuses me about tabs on top is that it implies that everything below the tab is associated with that tab. Ok, I get that part. I watched the video by Alex Faaborg and it makes sense.

    But I therefore expect that if I rearrange any items below the tab, such as customizing the layout by adding or removing buttons or moving the home button to the right side, or resizing the size of the address bar versus the search bar, that those changes would be limited only to that tab and be sticky for that tab. That doesn't happen and visually it's confusing. All of those elements are grouped underneath the tab and when I switch tabs, the changes are there too. Huh? It's completely counter to what I was expecting and doesn't make sense. The only thing that changes from tab to tab is the text in the address bar.

    I would think this would be very important due to the ability to save app tabs. I might want to save an app tab to a specific site and have the navigation toolbar customized a certain way just for that tab.

    Note: I'm using beta8 and haven't upgraded yet so maybe this bug has been fixed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'll choose to not be an ass in my response, unlike the other two. I think that if I changed the layout of buttons and bars in one tab, then changed tabs and everything moved around again (back to however the new tab had things configured), it would be more confusing. This might make a little more sense for session-persistent app-tabs (I still wouldn't like it, but it would make a little more sense), but it would confuse the hell out of me when I'm switching tabs during a regular session. Also, how often
    • Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bcore (705121) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @11:19AM (#34889316)
      I disagree.

      Turn your argument on its head: If the controls are above the tabs, that seems to imply that they apply to all tabs. Does that mean that if I click "reload", all tabs should be reloaded? If I enter a new URL, should all tabs go there, since the URL bar is outside the tabs as well?

      I would argue that actually interacting with controls is far more important than rearranging them, so their placement should agree with the latter, not the former.
  • I haven't used titlebars on any app in almost a decade (sawfish). I also don't use icons, docks, wharfs or menubars. I prefer my environment to be clean, fast, functional and uncluttered.

    As long as the browser's default behavior remains the same, and the 'tabs-on-titlebar' is an optional feature that can be enabled, that's fine.

    Changing the default behavior is always bad. Always.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EvanED (569694)

      Changing the default behavior is always bad. Always.

      If that were true then you'd turn on the computer and get "C:\>" (or "$" as appropriate). Clearly absolutes are not so absolute.

  • by CritterNYC (190163) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:38AM (#34887258) Homepage

    As always, we've packaged it for portable use (USB, cloud drive, etc) which also lets you try it out right on your desktop without installing it and impacting your local Firefox install at all.
    http://portableapps.com/news/2011-01-14_-_firefox_portable_4.0_beta_9 [portableapps.com]

    And it really is noticeably faster than previous released.

  • Can anyone running the beta tell me if the "Personas" skins they mainstreamed in 3.6 are broken in 4.0 ? It would be sad to see them go, since I love monochrome themes for myself and colorful ones for the family. The latter allows me to tell from the other side of the room that they're using the correct browser when an issue is "called out" to me. I digress... any brokenness means that they went from 3.6 support to abandonment in a single release, where 3.7 is AKA 4.0. Chrome changes version numbers all the

  • by KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @01:39AM (#34887264)

    I'm using Firefox because I prefer it over Chrome and such. I don't want the layout changed every major release.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Saturday January 15, 2011 @02:42AM (#34887514) Journal

    What a complete and utter disconnection between summary and data, who the hell made this UI decision?

    Seriously now, try to imagine a proper filing cabinet with the files containing the data, only the labels per file are 4" higher than each file, with stuff inbetween obfuscating and disconnecting the information?
    Thank christ this stupid, stupid option is able to be disabled.
    Furthermore, the status bar being on the address bar - ok I tried to like it, I tried not to be 'backwards' and old fasioned (as I am with classic UI in Windows) but I just can't do it, I like to see a huge, giant URL down the bottom - I want to see the full thing incase it contains something dodgy. I'm a tech, I need to know what I'm clicking - I find it an utterly stupid design decision.

    Furthermore the performance is better but hardly sufficient, the performance is the only thing chrome has going for it in my opinion, sorry but I'm not going to bow down and love it just because it's googles product. Firefox has and continues to serve all I need in a browser, even then with a couple of addons ("tabs menu" - "tab mix plus" etc)
    I will continue to adjust FF4, FF5, FF6 to look like FF3. (Oh and I'm not too old fasioned, the awesome bar is bloody incredible)

    ALL firefox needs, the ONLY thing it needs in my opinion is speed, I have a quad core 64bit machine with 6gb of ram, I browse between 3 and 18 hours a day,.. I absoloutely don't care how much resources my browser takes, I just want the best performance possible, period.
    Fuck copying Chrome, ugh - don't latch on to fads which are stupid but popular (see: white plugs on everything after the ipod, see: fucking glossy screens on laptops)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nemyst (1383049)

      You're the perfect example of the minority who appears to dislike the new changes. Let me guess, you also hate the Office 2007+ UI, assuming you've ever used it?

      I'm not trying to be an ass, but really, the Firefox devs are going by the majority here. I love the new changes - give me as much space as possible for the website, let the browser get the hell out of the way. Tabs on top and no status bar shave off pixels that can be used for the website, the actual content. If they could find a way to combine the

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