The UX Firefox 3 beta 1

Published 9 Comments on The UX Firefox 3 beta 1

Mozilla has launched Firefox 3 into beta.  I quickly downloaded and installed it.  I realized this might be a mistake based on the fact that I need to use Firefox 2 for my development work.  Turns out there are two major problems, which caused me to uninstall the program almost immediately.

  1. I couldn’t run both Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 at the same time.  Haven’t we learned this lesson from Internet Explorer.  Developers need to run multiple versions at the same time to test.  Firefox 3 is clearly different in rendering, as I saw by quickly looking at our application in it.  So I will need to see both 2 and 3 at the same time to test.  Please do not make me launch a virtual machine for this.  Please be developer friendly.
  2. Firebug didn’t work.  None of the plugins worked.  I have become 100% dependant on firebug.  It is a developer’s dream come true.  It works so well, I can’t live without it.  Mozilla should incorporate firebug into it’s core development.  It is the best developer tool in existence, bar none.  But it didn’t work, nor did any other plugin.  I think this is a pretty bad thing.  Sure, the developers will make new versions, but couldn’t there be a converter or something?  My web developer toolbar also did not work.  I HAVE to have that.

So overall I gave the beta an F.  I can’t use it in it’s current form.  I don’t care what fancy cool new things it does.  I need the above two conditions to apply.  I use Firefox as my primary browser, but I am also a developer who needs to use what the audience is using. (All of them).

I am so sick of browser compatibility wars.  I don’t like the time I spend making shit work on different browsers.  It just puts me in a bad mood.  I will try Firefox 3 beta 2 when it’s released, but I desperately need both points above to enjoy the experience.


  1. Amen, can we please make it easy on developers by allowing us to install two versions at once? I found a decent way to run multiple versions of IE, but this wasn’t until months after the release of IE7 (I’m on a different machine than normal so I forget the name of the program, but it’s one of the first results from a Google search.) I would have thought Firefox would have gotten this figured out. I’ll hold off for now installing FF3, but I’m excited for it to get more stabilized and let all the plugins catch up to it!

  2. Come now Glen, the extension icompatibility issue has always been the case for pre-release versions of Firefox, and it’s not the fault of the Mozilla team.

    Both Firebug and Web Developer are third party plugins, and the onus is on their independent developers to release FF3 compatible versions, not the Firefox dev team. Doubtless their developers are working on this already, and rest assured that by the time FF3 is final, both of these extensions will be ready to use with it.

    The beta is not just for end-users to test, it’s also to give extension devs a head start ahead of the final release date. If they didn’t release betas in this way, you’d have installed the final version of FF3 and then be waiting a couple of weeks for the first extensions to be updatable.

  3. @Ben. True, true. I am whining a bit. I am just cranky because I hate testing things cross-browser. Right now I need things to work in IE6, IE7, FF2(Win/Mac), FF3(Soon), Safari and Opera, although I don’t often test Opera. It’s not that I think FF should stop development. I just want these browser developers to think about us poor souls who need to create and develop in their tools.

    To pick on Microsoft, why isn’t there a Firebug clone for IE. The Dev toolbar is pathetic in comparison. Why aren’t there profilers for IE?

    I am being a cranky developer. You got me.

  4. Come on, be serious. I’ve tried both of those tools. Neither one compares to Firebug. I want to change CSS on the fly, not just one attribute, but a whole class. I want to edit the live html. I want to profile. I want to debug js. I want to put in breakpoints and watch expressions. I want to see which script and which css line everything is on.

    Those other tools just don’t have the power. (Say it like Scotty)

Whatya think?