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Firefox 3.1 Alpha "Shiretoko" Released 385

Just as you were getting used to 3.0, those Mozilla guys have announced 3.1's Alpha release. FTA "Built on the pre-release version of the Gecko 1.9.1 platform, Shiretoko includes a variety of new features. Called an 'early developer milestone,' the release includes bug fixes, improved Web standards support, Text API for the Canvas Element, support for border images and JavaScript query selectors, and improvements to the tab-switching function and the Smart Location Bar." You can download it if you dare.
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Firefox 3.1 Alpha "Shiretoko" Released

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  • Awesome bar disable? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <{richardprice} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @11:46AM (#24402885)
    Does it contain the ability to disable the 'Awesome Bar' completely?
    • by Randle_Revar ( 229304 ) * <kelly.clowers@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @11:50AM (#24402983) Homepage Journal

      thankfully, no

      • by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @11:58AM (#24403127) Homepage

        Everyone! Over here quickly, and bring your camera! I found the one person who likes the Awesome bar!

        • by hansamurai ( 907719 ) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:01PM (#24403193) Homepage Journal

          I actually love it, being able to type just an 's' to go to slashdot, or an 'x' to go to xkcd. But I know you're just trolling so whatever.

          • by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:05PM (#24403283) Homepage

            I could already do that in FF2. Awesomebar added nothing but annoyance.

            But hey, that's what add-ons are for, right?

            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:08PM (#24404447)

              Are you trolling? The awesomebar lives up to its name. Among all the other good stuff that came with 3, that one stands out and I wasn't expecting it to.

              red pro -> programming.reddit.com
              flix mem -> www.netflix.com/memberHome
              s gmail -> https://gmail.com

              It even pulls words out of the titles of pages I've visited, so I don't even have to remember the url.

              As a web developer it makes my work easier as I can type in for example 'dev lookup 1445' and it will often pull up a url like www.longdevsitename.com/longblah/lookup.php?uid=1445, which often happens to be exactly what I was looking for. Firefox 2 doesn't even come close to this.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by aeoo ( 568706 )

                Right on. The only people who bitch about the Awesome Bar are those that never learned how to use it properly. They just want the way it always was because they can't possibly be bothered to learn anything new. When these people go into politics we call them "conservatives". It's the same exact mindset. It's a mindset of a person who is set in stone after the age of 16 or so and pretty much dies thinking the same way they were born.

          • Right, cause anyone who claims to dislike the feature is simply trolling. No one could actually, honestly dislike it!

            Fanboy much?

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:16PM (#24403471)
            That worked just fine in FF2. Now when I type s I get "eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices". I bought something online recently. God only knows how long it will take their ridiculous 'frecency' algorithm to realize I only go to eBay once in a while. Nothing like unpredictable, unreliable behavior to make a feature suck. Thanks, awesomebar!
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by gehrehmee ( 16338 )
              And you expect it to guess what you want accurately from you typing a single character? Keep typing! That said, I've been shocked at how often it DOES guess correctly what I'm interested in on just 1-3 characters.
            • by Rolgar ( 556636 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:32PM (#24404879)

              If there are items you want to eliminate from the Awesome Bar results, scroll down and hit delete.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by me at werk ( 836328 )

              So basically, eBay is doing SEO tactics, and hey, they're working! I guess it's irresponsible for a browser to assume users don't purposefully visit scummy SEO pages?

          • I haven't used FireFox 3, so I don't know what this 'Awesome Bar' thing is (although it has a painfully stupid name that makes me want to hate it already), but that's how I always used to get to Slashdot in Opera back in around 2002 - hit s, autocompletes to slashdot.org, enter. I just tried it in Safari, and it works too. I don't use it in Safari, however, because it associates the first ten bookmarks in your bookmarks bar with command-1 to command-9, even when the bar itself is hidden, and so I get to S
            • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:59PM (#24405487)

              although it has a painfully stupid name that makes me want to hate it already

              That's really the -biggest- strike against it. The presumption that I or anyone else would think its awesome immediately triggers the hate response. If they'd simply called it 'enhanced address bar', made it optional but default, and described it as 'awesome' there wouldn't have been this massive resistance to it.

              The reality is that its really good. I can reliably pull up a LOT more url's with a lot less effort. It is true that some of the mnemonics for urls that I was used to in FF2 don't work, and I've had to expand to 2 characters or 3. But after using it since release, 's' brings up slashdot first again. But what's even more interesting, is that the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th results are all also sites I frequent regularly, and FF3 has made it easier to get to them. I don't use bookmarks nearly as often now. One of my clients has a page listing its branch offices that I need to refer to frequently for contact information... i used to pull up their site and browse to the locations page, or use a bookmark... in FF3 i type 'loc' and its the first match. The next few matches are the list of locations for a couple of other businesses I've looked up recently... which is also useful.

              I really have nothing negative to say about FF3's address bar.

              To those people who are finding a couple of their most frequently used sites have moved 'down' the list, the benefits do outweigh the cost. Push through it, so that FF3 can learn or choose a new mnemonic for that url; it -is- worth the trouble.

              Its pretty amusing really on some level. This is the sort of thing we routinely ridicule our less nerdy counterparts for... we mock them for their refusal to use a product called 'firefox' because it doesn't sound 'professional' like 'internet explorer'... we ridicule their inability and/or blind refusal to cope with even a slight deviation in user interface... we tell anecdotes about how we had to set Windows XP's theme to classic before our bosses could/would use it...because it was scary and different... or because it looked like 'candy' and they didn't want to use a childish OS.

              And yet here we are... its comical to see how many of us 'enlightened' people are hung up on the feature name, or the fact that a couple keyboard shortcuts are working a bit differently. Aren't we the same people who are supposedly able to effortlessly transition from platform to platform, from distro to distro, able to pick up any pieces of electronics and figure it out. Last time I checked, we weren't known for buying a new phone and rejecting/hating it simply because the menu arrangement wasn't identical to the old one, or because it had to 'learn' our preferred autocompletions for text messaging all over again. People we mock and ridicule do that. How does it feel? :)

        • by jd142 ( 129673 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:03PM (#24403231) Homepage

          Once I learned how to use it properly, I've grown to like it.

          What do people hate about it? I'm genuinely curious.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by novafluxx ( 1089189 )
            No idea, I use to to navigate a lot faster than I did in FF2. I just start typing the name of something I have visited and it doesn't have to be the URL... I love it I think its awesome, but I guess having the option to disable it for those that want to disable it would be okay, as long as they don't complain about FF being "bloated."
          • by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:10PM (#24403383) Homepage

            Seriously, here goes:

            I *hate* having to type stuff into the address bar. I only have about 20 entries in the browser history, but when I put FF3 on, most of those suddenly vanished and the only way I could get back to Slashdot was to type it in.

            I don't want to type it in everytime I want to go there, why can't I just click on the fucking drop down arrow and look for it there, instead of typing in s.l.a.s until it finally comes up, then having to press the down arrow and hitting return. I could have found slashdot in 2 clicks and perhaps one scroll of the mousewheel.

            I don't want to type in scummvm and get back 20 results of random pages containing the word scummvm but not a single one pointing to the main site.

            In defence of the Awesome bar, I only used it for about an hour before dismissing it, but I reckon 1 hour is enough...

            • by Randle_Revar ( 229304 ) * <kelly.clowers@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:22PM (#24403563) Homepage Journal

              The awesomebar learns, and if you use it for a while, the sites you use most will move up the list.

              Anyway, if you had about 20 entries you used in the dropdown list, why not use bookmarks on the toolbar? Keep the titles short, and you can fit in a fair number, and a folder or two goes a long way. If sites have recognizable favicons, you could even remove the titles and fit in a lot more.

            • by spinkham ( 56603 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:28PM (#24403671)

              If you only have 20 places you want to go, that's what the bookmarks toolbar is for. It has a "most visited" dropdown by default, and room for at least 15 or so one click launches if you keen the names short.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by zenslug ( 542549 )
              One hour is not enough. If you can stick with it for a few days it will learn what sites/pages you go to when typing s.l.a... For me, I was checking the iPhone availability page on Apple's website. Now, when I type in the letter 'a' it gives me the right link the first line.

              Because it also looks at the title of the page, when I type in "amazon" it shows me the link to the email in my Gmail account that has the link to track my Amazon order. That's useful. I was about to head to Amazon's site and drill int
            • It comes up with all my carefully hidden pr0n links, which can lead to embarrassing situations when someone else is using my computer.

              Really, that's all that's wrong with the awesome bar...

          • What do people hate about it? I'm genuinely curious.

            People hate it because people, in general, hate change, and the Slashdot community is no exception to that rule. It seems to me that while some people tried it and genuinely did not like it (which is ok), most people tried it a few times (not nearly long enough to build the history database), got frustrated, and then declared that the Awesome Bar was evil and the bane of FF3.

          • Well it goes through your history so if multiple people use the same pc, like say me for porn and my girlfriend for youtube, when she types "yo" a hundred porn sites pop up... She almost broke up with me and made me sware off of porn... FOREVER.

            So I guess you could say Ive never been so upset at a feature as the awesome bar. I wish I could take the person that made it and torture them to death, then revive them and torture them again. I can no longer look at porn, on my own computer... *smashes screen*. My

      • Why is it bad to offer the user the option to configure Firefox the way he/she likes it?

    • by Verteiron ( 224042 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:02PM (#24403211) Homepage

      I loathed the Awesomebar too. When I first started using it I would type "s" and it would list sites I only visited once, a year ago, because they had an "s" somewhere near the end of the URL, while sites with 's' near the beginning were listed much lower. This is obviously broken functionality, but I'm seeing less and less of that sort of thing the longer I use it. The longer you use it the better it gets; it has some kind of sorting algorithm that takes a while to get going properly. I have found typing a single word of the page title to relocate a page useful on occasion, and I now go for days at a time without cursing this unremovable feature.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mattsson ( 105422 )

      There's an easy tweak that at least make the 'Awesome Bar' less annoying.

      Go to 'about:config'
      Change 'browser.urlbar.maxRichResults' to 1 (Or 0, but I've found 1 to work well for me)

    • As far as I can tell, no [mozilla.org].

      This is assuming you're using "disable completely" to mean "FF2-like functionality". I dislike the Awesome Bar, but it's better than having no location bar dropdown at all (which, for some reason, is what people seem to recommend when I complain--maxRichResults is not what I want, and neither are the other about:config options).

    • https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6227 [mozilla.org]

      Now hand in your geek badge and your PDA, you're on hardware lugging duty for the next 3 months.

    • by dashesy ( 1294654 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:43PM (#24405107)
      Having the choice to disable a such controversial feature is the freedom developers give to the end users. I wish they continue listening to the customers. How much I hate it when a supposedly "addon" features become sticky behaviors of an application. I often do not type the url bar. Google does a better job when I want to find a website
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrand ( 147739 )

      There are now more ways to configure the Smart Location (Awesome Bar) functionality which should make most complaints go away:

      http://ed.agadak.net/2008/07/firefox-31-restricts-matches-keywords [agadak.net]

      I'm sure that this reply will get lost in the noise of all the other "I hate Awesome Bar" replies.

  • Codename? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrNaz ( 730548 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @11:47AM (#24402925) Homepage

    Is that a Japanese word, or a reference to Hobbits smoking pot?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hansamurai ( 907719 )

      Shiretoko Peninsula is pretty much the most northeastern point of Japan on the island of Hokkaido. It's an Ainu word that means earth's end or something similar (the Ainu are an indigenous people that still live there).

  • If the build fixes my Gmail Firefox3 woes [google.com]. I didn't have any issues with Firefox3b5 on Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04) but ever since I upgraded to FF3.0 and (even 3.0.1 doesn't address my issue), Gmail and firefox3 hate each other.

  • Bah, I have run the nightly builds of SeaMonkey over a year. Even with the nightlies, there are rarely any really serious problems.

  • woohoo! (Score:5, Informative)

    by lucas teh geek ( 714343 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @11:58AM (#24403141)
    it's only taken 6 years [mozilla.org], but finally Firefox has the option to use the Mac OS X System specified proxy. here's hoping it actually works
  • by Doug Neal ( 195160 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:12PM (#24403427)

    The rendering seems faster (not that it was slow in 3.0.1). Still doesn't pass Acid3, though ;)

  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:15PM (#24403457)

    The build includes a new tab-switching behavior that will force some users to change their habits. In the current version of FIrefox, Control-Tab opens up the next browser tab. Shiretoko changes this behavior, opening up a "filmstrip view" of a user's most-recently visited tabs. Pressing Tab repeatedly while holding down the Control key cycles through the various Tabs in a filmstrip. Developers say the filmstrip addition is a step toward "increased visual navigation and content organization."(Users who simply want to advance to the next tab can use Control-Page Down instead of Control-Tab).

    I, personally, do not use Ctrl+tab to switch between tabs in firefox but I do not like the idea of them changing this functionality. In various other programs I use that have tabs, from mIRC to Visual studio (no, sorry, I haven't switched to *nix yet), ctrl+tab is the natural choice to swap between open tabs/windows and I do occasionally use this command here. It just seems universally consistent between most applications and Mozilla has decided to move away from this unofficial standard.
    Wouldn't it be better to give this new functionality a new shortcut key, such as the aforementioned ctrl+pgdn?
    Even Microsoft created a new shortcut key combination for Flip3D in vista and left the old alt+tab command more or less in tact.

    • Yeah, I've been using the nightly builds for a month. It showed up last week. Open about:config in the url bar, search on ctrlTab, and set the boolean to balse. That will clear it up.

      The problem with the ctrl+tab vs ctrl+pgup/dn is that Gnome has this (bizarre) convention of bascially this functionality. (Minus the eye candy.) Me, I would prefer that they reverse it, as you suggest, but the Gnome defaults win (despite disagreeing with every other default I know.) Also, the developers believe that this beha

    • by D Ninja ( 825055 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#24403991)

      Additionally, with Ctrl+Tab (and not with Ctrl+PgDn) I can keep one hand on the keyboard and the other on my...mouse...um...for scrolling and stuff...um...

      ...you know...so I can browse and flip between pic...err...windows...err...


  • I really hope they include this. Have got very used to having it in Safari, but am using Firefox more and more these days. I plan to switch to Firefox completely when I can get a Weave account and sync up across the different (mixed OS) desktops I use.

  • by MROD ( 101561 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:17PM (#24403485) Homepage

    I do hope that they've made optional the terrible self-signed certificate warnings as well. They make Firefox 3 totally unusable with embedded software/devices which generate self-signed certificates every time they start up.

    Fine, by default have the current set-up but allow users to revert to the old pop-up system so that they can keep their sanity if they know what they're doing!

    • Why would an embedded device generate a new self-signed certificate each time it is started? That's insecure, unless you verify the self-signed certificate each time it changes. The fact that Firefox requests that you do that helps you to be more secure. If for some reason there's no need to verify the self-signed certificate, then there's no reason the embedded device needs to generate one, so the problem lies with the device.
      • by MROD ( 101561 )

        It does so because it has to probably. And seeing as the device is on a private network usig a private address range there's very little probability of spoofing. (It's not man in the middle attacking as such that the "certified" certificate is guarding against as both are equally invulnerable once the encrypted connection has been established.)

      • Generating a new certificate on reboot makes sense, as long as it's signed with one in the box that doesn't change. You then trust the signing certificate, and the signed certificates are disposable. My guess would be that Firefox gives you the option to trust the signed certificate but not the signing certificate.
        • My guess would be that Firefox gives you the option to trust the signed certificate but not the signing certificate.

          If you're referring to the dialog (or pseudo-page) that appears when the certificate is first encountered, that is correct. One can always go into the preferences and add the signing certificate as a trusted root certificate authority, however. The process isn't automated due to the obvious security implications, but it is an option nonetheless.

  • (Apparently not in Firefox 3 for some strange reason...)

    And maybe even print full URLs [mozilla.org] ?
  • Can it allow the user to create new application associations when the operating system fails to provide any (i.e. the Preferences > Applications tab is blank)?

  • I hope they didn't use a build from this week. If you're using a nightly (or the alpha), I dare you to double click in this box.

    Didn't crash? Ok, highlight this text, double click, and frantically click. Maybe try to copy the text just for fun.

    If you're still here, either you're a smart little coward hiding behind your non-development browser, or they've fixed the bug.

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:03PM (#24404365) Homepage Journal

    How about box-shadow? Yes the specs aren't official yet but you could still, you know, make it with the vendor prefix.

    It would also allow you to try to introduce better parameters (type of contour, for one) that other browsers could pick up, so the W3C can add it as an official parameter. That's why vendor prefixes exist AFAIK.

  • The Numbers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @02:26PM (#24406011)

    For anyone curious how things compare, here are the numbers for Acid 3 compliance and sunspider javascript speed for Firefox and Safari on OS X on my laptop. For Acid 3, higher is better. For Sunspider, lower is better.

    Firefox 3.0

    • Acid 3 - 67/100
    • Sunspider - 4330

    Firefox 3.1 Alpha

    • Acid 3 - 83/100
    • Sunspider - 3426

    Safari 3.1.2

    • Acid 3 - 77/100
    • Sunspider - 7516

    Safari 3.1.2 with nightly Webkit

    • Acid 3 - 98/100
    • Sunspider - 2174
  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@nOSpam.worf.net> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @06:51PM (#24409861)

    This is the bug where (I see it on Windows, but I have heard reports on Linux as well) you switch tabs, and the window contents don't repaint. Or sometimes you visit a new page, and when Firefox reflows the page, it doesn't erase the old drawn stuff, leading to a big mess at the end. The former needs no screenshot - it's basically switch tabs, and nothing appears to happen (until you scroll which forces the revealed part to be drawn, but the rest of the contents are merely shifted up).

    At first I thought it was maybe a Windows thing if you exhaust the desktop heap, but it happens in Firefox first, before the other apps that normally suffer from it fail.

    All the huge speed gains in FF3 are nullified if one has to scroll to get the window to repaint properly...

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