Firefox 4 Beta Review – A quick look

Firefox 4 Beta Review – A quick look

Spooooooon!

If you are not using Spoon, well…you should. It’s what I use to test in any freakin’ browser. I’ve wrote about it before, so go check it out. Anyway, Spoon’s Browser Sandbox added Firefox 4 Beta, IE9 Preview, and Chrome 6 Beta to its list. I had to take a look at FF4 Beta just to see what all the hype was about. Let’s talk about what I was able to see, shall we?

Is that a Chrome skin or what?

Looks like FF took a page out of Chrome’s playbook, cause there are a lot of similarities. I actually really dig the look, which you can see in the image below. Granted, there is not much to see, because there are no plug-ins installed, but you get the idea. The icons are what I noticed first, and that is why I draw the Chrome likeness. If anything, it looks more sleek than it ever has. As far as speed though, I couldn’t tell if there was an increase or not. Since this is a beta though, I’ll leave final judgements for when the official release comes out.

Firefox 4 Beta

Tabs, tabs, tabs!

I was disappointed to see that in this beta version that Tab Candy hasn’t been put in, cause that is one of the things I really wanted to check out. It works basically like Apple’s Expose, but with some cool additions. Tab Candy lets you view all your open tabs in one window (you see them as thumbnails), and choose which one you want to pull up. You can also drag n’ drop them into groups so that you have seperate tab groups you can open at one time…very handy if you are like me and have more than 10 tabs open at a time. Oh, and they are now at the top of the browser window, but that can be changed to look more like they do now, if for some reason you preferred that.

You can also make any tab into what they call an App Tab, which basically puts the tab to the front of the list, and instead of the title showing in the tab, it displays its favicon. I have also read that Tab Candy will do something special with tabs you turn into App Tabs, but never actually what that will be.

Additional Features

Well, one thing to note is that FF4 will have a built in Inspector like Chrome does. Let me tell you though, you will want to stick with Firebug. It is basically the poor man’s version of it, with very little info and ability. Pure crap if you ask me. It’s like they tried, but only because everyone else is adding one. I will take a gander that this is because they know everyone will use Firebug anyway, so why put in the time. I would prefer they just skipped this part.

There is a Heads Up Display under Tools now, which is basically another console type thing. You can view CSS Warnings, Errors, Network Info, Logs and what not. Doubt I will use that one, but its there. I’m guessing this is like Firebug’s console log. Didn’t really try it out much.

CSS3 Transitions and Transform

Ok, I checked out css-tricks.com because I know his new redesign has CSS3 transitions and transform in it. Transitions pertaining to CSS properties seem to be working fine like color/padding/background changes, but moving things, say, to the left or right is a no go. Transform is also a no go, so no image flips in this build. I am not sure if they are going to include that or not. Sux if they do not.

Coupon Code: webmachine

jQuery issue?

If you look back to the image above, you will notice the yellow cog in my logo in the middle of being animated. That is not just a screen capture misfire. That is actually what it looks like as it moves across the screen. I have no idea what is going on there, and I won’t know until the official release comes out. Hopefully it is because FF4 Beta is still being worked on. If not, I am a little scared, because I am not really doing anything fancy with that script. We shall see. Just wanted you to know what I saw. Everything else seemed to work ok though.

In conclusion…

I like what I saw and I look forward to the release of Firefox 4. The tests seem to show that the javascript engine is much faster, though not as fast as Chrome 6 Beta, Safari 5 or Opera. I believe even the IE9 build at the moment is better. If you have been able to play a little in any of the new Beta’s, let me know what you thought. I opened up the IE9 preview, but that is all it was, not an actual full working browser. Be aware though that IE9 will not work on XP.

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One Response to “Firefox 4 Beta Review – A quick look”

  1. I haven’t tried using Spoon before. I’ll definitely give it a go for this next project coming up.

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