I have looked forward to Firefox 3 now for about the last year, since I heard that the new version would be much lighter and faster. I am one of those people that loads a ton of extensions onto my poor Firefox, so it can get slow at times.

I had planned on downloading the new version on the now famous record breaking download day, but somehow it slipped by. I then heard about the vulnerabilities, and thought perhaps I would wait a bit. Finally though, I decided I just couldn’t wait.

I installed the new Firefox 3, only to discover that a very large portion of my extensions had not been updated, and I would temporarily lose the use of them. This wasn’t too bad, but, Tab Mix Plus was one of those extensions, and that, I could not live without. I uninstalled it, and went back to the older version.

A few days ago, I decided to do some research, and discovered that there was a developers version of Tab Mix Plus available, and decided I would give it a try.

I will admit, that upon my first exploratory session with the new Firefox, I was highly impressed with the speed. I wondered at the time if it was only due to the fact that 15 of my 38 extensions were disabled, until further updates by developers. However, I have to say that the speed is definitely awesome, and everything loads faster, including pictures and videos.

As far as my developer’s version of Tab Mix Plus, it works just fine! I lost the use of the following extensions at this point: Allow Right Click, Bookmark Duplicate Detector, del.icio.us, Enhanced History Manager, Ext2Abc, Fasterfox, Firefox Menu Buttons, Generate Numly Copyright, Google Photos Screensaver, OpenBook, Save Image in Folder, ScribeFire, StumbleUpon Addon, UI Tweaker, and UnPlug.

Now, out of the above, there were only a few I was upset over losing, Enhanced History Manager being one of them. Using this extension, I can bring up the history in the sidebar, and go through it day by day. In the basic Firefox history manager, I was unable to do this, but, there was a work around. I went to ‘View’, then ‘Sidebar’, and then ‘History’, or Ctrl+H. This looked pretty much like what I was used to!

The loss of OpenBook was kind of annoying, as I am used to the ‘bookmarks’ folder always being open, and easy to access. Now, it is required of me to click the window down, and then scroll through till I find what I want(yes, I have a lot of bookmarks). It is cool though that it now has a tags feature.

The loss of allow right click, UI Tweaker, and UnPlug is also a drag, but I suppose I can live without them for now. With the new Firefox 3, I certainly seem to have no need for Fasterfox, and the rest of the extensions were occasional toys anyway.

I went over to the main Firefox page, and was checking out what new ‘features’ they were announcing, and read through what was ‘new and improved’. Two of the additions to the upgraded browser, oddly enough had no obvious documentation or user interface. This was the new ‘zoom feature’, and ‘color management’.

I did some research, and it turns out that some developers were kind enough to make some extensions, that gave each of these additions a UI. It is incredible to me that Mozilla bragged about them, but enabled no way to use them, unless you are more of an advanced user. I tried out both extensions, and was quite pleased. If interested, be sure to check out Color Management and Full Page Zoom.

To be perfectly honest with you, not a whole lot has changed. I went and checked out the ‘Options Menu’, but little had changed there. There is a ‘Most Visited’ feature on your Bookmarks Toolbar, which is kind of cool, but I really do not need it. There is a somewhat improved drop down feature from the search window, but I honestly think I like the older one better. The older one was basic, and quick to locate what you were looking for, while the newer one takes up more space, and you really have to look to find what you are after.

Most of the changes seem to be internal, and to do with operational improvement, which is fine with me. I honestly love the faster speeds, and the fact I can go collect up more extensions! Lol! I honestly do not think I will have any problem with the ‘vulnerabilities’ that have been spoken of, and I am glad that I changed over. So, what do you think of the new Firefox 3?

Matt Cutts