Firefox 3 – first impressions

I downloaded and installed Firefox 3 both at home and at the office this morning. Installation went smoothly, no issues at all. The default theme looks more or less like in version 2 and I could rearrange the toolbars just as I wanted (and had them before).

What makes Firefox the fastest growing (and most popular) browser is the numerous add-ons. So the biggest reason NOT to upgrade would be incompatible favourite add-ons and such. However, I was thrilled to find out that most worked out of the box (the authors have had 36 months to prepare…).

Secondly, without being to subjective, I strongly believe the latest version is noticeably faster than any version before it. Especially when loading pages, like mine, filled with JavaScript and other code. There’s also a bunch of new features that silently appears while you’re surfing (and I meant that in a positive way).

Add-ons known to work

Alexa Sparky – Display Alexa data in your statusbar!

Download Statusbar – View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.

Extended Statusbar – A Statusbar with Speed, Percentage, Time and loaded size (like in Opera)

GooglePreview – Insert preview images (thumbnails) of web sites into the Google and Yahoo search results pages.

HTML validator – HTML Validator is a Mozilla extension that adds HTML validation inside Firefox and Mozilla. The number of errors of a HTML page is seen on the form of an icon in the status bar when browsing. The extension can validate the HTML sent by the server or the HTML in the memory (after Ajax execution).

LIVE HTTP headers – View HTTP headers of a page and while browsing.

MeasureIT – Draw out a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage.

PicLens – Full-Screen, 3D. PicLens transforms your browser into a visually stunning experience for finding and viewing online photos and videos. The “3D Wall” lets you effortlessly search and zoom your way around thousands of images, videos, news feeds, sports feeds, and more.

Tab Scope – Preview and navigate tab contents through “popdown”.

Torbutton – Torbutton provides a button to securely and easily enable or disable the browser’s use of Tor. It is currently the only addon that will safely manage your Tor browsing to prevent IP address leakage, cookie leakage, and general privacy attacks.

Window Resizer – Resize your browser to various standard resolution sizes.

I also installed a bunch of dictionaries, some Google add-ons and one of my favourites, ColorZilla. The last one is not included on the standard Mozilla add-on site so it had to be downloaded and installed from the authors website.

If you know of other useful stuff, please share!!


After one days use I must admit I’m very impressed, and if you haven’t made the change yet I urge you to at least give it a try! Anyone with a similar or opposite reaction – feel free to share in the comments below.

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One Comment on “Firefox 3 – first impressions”

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Thank you for posting about PicLens! We truly appreciate it.

    We’ve just launched PicLens 1.7 with three exciting new additions:

    * Discover — MSNBC, ESPN, movie trailers…Surf the latest media feeds on the 3D Wall.
    * Shop Amazon — Browse products from Amazon in a new virtual window shopping environment.
    * Return to PicLens — Easily toggle in and out of PicLens to your browser and desktop!

    For interested readers, please check out our visual demo at and learn more at

    Hope everyone enjoys the three latest additions to PicLens!

    Luna and The Cooliris Team

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