Rob Gonda's Blog

Firefox 3 launch a success: 8 million downloads in 24 hours

The first 24 hours are over, but the downloads continue to pour in. At press time, the official counter shows that the current rate is approximately 5,500 downloads per minute, and the total number of downloads is roughly 8.8 million. [ars technica]

Firefox 3 now available

After more than 18 months of development and a slew of releases (including five alphas, five betas and three Release Candidates), the wait for Mozilla's Firefox 3 is over.

The Firefox 3 release aims to improve the Web experience for the browser's 170 million users while expanding market share even further, coming as it does months ahead of the next major release from Microsoft, Internet Explorer 8 (IE). Tons of tabbing, bookmarking, memory, security, and well, 15,000 improvements...

Mozilla conducted an application-specific test that compared relative performance on Google's Gmail service. Beltzner said Firefox 3 proved to be four times faster than Firefox 2 and seven times quicker than IE 7.

Memory usage also improved substantially in Firefox 3. Many users had complained about Firefox 2's memory-hogging tendencies, especially when multiple tabs remained open throughout the course of a day.

With today's release, Mozilla isn't just aiming to change its browser. It's also aiming to enter the Guinness Book of Records. Mozzilla is aiming for 5 million downloads, though there is some controversy here as the Adobe Flash Player has exceeded 10 million daily downloads in many occasions.

Firebug Security Update

If you're a web developer, you should use Firefox. If you use Firefox, you should use Firebug. If you use Firebug, you should install the latest security update. You can read more at the official site, or simply update your plugins through the Firefox interface.

Web Developer 1.1 for Firefox

Web Developer, ironically, it's probably one my favorite Firefox extensions... it's up there right next to Firebug. They released a new version (1.1), which contains tons of nice features... one that I've been wanting for a while is collapsable JavaScript files view. Here's a list of the new features with this release.

  • Add a status icon that indicates whether there are CSS errors on the page
  • Add close buttons to all the extension toolbars
  • Add support for displaying the compressed and uncompressed file sizes in 'View Document Size'
  • Add support for entering the ruler dimensions for the 'Display Ruler' feature
  • Add support for explaining why certain features are unavailable
  • Add support for saving the viewport resizing option
  • Add support for the 'ping' attribute to 'Display Link Details'
  • Add support for using multiple Web Developer sidebars at the same time
  • Add the features
    • Disable Proxy
    • Disable Strict JavaScript Warnings
    • Display Abbreviations
    • Display Page Magnifier
    • Display Page Validation
    • Outline Images With Oversized Dimensions
    • Outline Links With Ping Attributes
    • Outline Table Captions
    • Validate Local Accessibility
  • Change the JavaScript status icon when JavaScript is disabled
  • Improve the 'Edit CSS' feature
    • Add Mozilla/Seamonkey support
    • Add search functionality
  • Improve the 'Edit HTML' feature
    • Add Mozilla/Seamonkey support
    • Add search functionality
  • Improve the 'View Cookie Information' feature
    • Add support for deleting cookies
    • Add support for editing cookies
  • Improve the 'View Style Information' feature
    • Add support for syntax highlighting
    • Allow the path to the highlighted element to be copied
  • Improve the design of the output of the features
  • Tons of Bug Fixes.

Firefox 2 new features

For those of you wondering what improved on Firefox 2, you can check out this link for complete details. They mentioned Improved Tabbed Browsing, Spell Checking, Search Suggestions, Session Restore, Web Feeds (RSS), Live Titles, Integrated Search, Live Bookmarks, Pop-up Blocker, Streamlined Interface, Accessibility, Phishing Protection, Open Source, More Secure, Automated Update, Protection from Spyware, Clear Private Data, An Add-on for Everyone, Add-ons Manager for Extensions and Themes, and Search Engine Manager.

So btw, I was wrong on my last post where I mentioned Tab Mix Plus does not work with FF2; it doesn't indeed, but all the functionality is now part of the core distribution, including session management.

Firefox 2.0 leaked thanks to digg

As I blogged the other day, Firefox was supposed to release the 2.0 version tomorrow, however thanks to digg thousands of users downloaded it today.

I installed it as well and nothing much changes; they added a few features previously provided by extensions, which by the way are called add-on now. A few extensions do not work, such as Fasterfox, LiveHttpHeaders, Tab Mix Plus, Roboform, just to name a few. Thus if you're a developer that depends on those, do not upgrade yet. Web Developer, Firebug, and a few dozens that I have installed work perfectly.

IE7 Official Extensions Site

If you downloaded IE7, you would notice similarities with Firefox... Tabbed browsing, anti-phishing security, and you can even install extensions. I don't expect them to be as successful as FF's, mainly because FF is open source. Nevertheless, there are many useful addons which could make IE a much nicer browser to use.

Firefox 2.0 coming your way on Tuesday

The world's second most used Web browser is set to unleash the final build of its new version on Tuesday. Firefox 2.0, from the not for profit open source Mozilla Foundation, will be available for download from the Firefox website at

The user interface has not changes much from Firefox 1.5. There have been some improvements with the tabs feature, such as enabling users to close and reopen individual tabs more easily and a history list of previous tabs that have been opened, all of which we already had with the Tab Mix Plus extension. Mozilla also improved the anti-phishing security feature of Firefox 2.0, which warns users in advance when they look like they might be visiting a malicious web page. IE7, released last week, also has a similar feature.

IE7 Released

If you have not been playing with an early release to test your sites, it's go time. IE 7 has been released and you can download it here. There are major changes in CSS rendering, added support for PNG's alpha layers, native XMLHttpRequest for your Ajax sites, tab browsing -- finally -- and more. IE7 will be distributes as a Windows Update, so propagation should be rather fast.

Update: more information @

Smaller URLs made easy

I just found out about wapurl, a service that allows to take a long URL and convert it into a very short one using their API. WapURL is trying to target the mobile world, making a good point about sending long URL's through SMS.

Their service is nothing new, I know; TinyURL has been doing this for the longest time... TinyURL provides a way to integrate with IE, but since I'm a Firefox user it's no good :)

WapURL provides a Firefox extension that allows to simply right click in any page and select their API from the context menu ... and voila, a tiny url is provided on the fly. I am not really sure how much will I use this, but it is handy for sending mapped addresses, or anything with an obnoxiously long query string.

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