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Firefox - First Go

I largely ignored the Firefox posts, until the lockergnome newsletter (which I never actually read) had the subject line 'Why you should dump IE'.

Decided to install it and give it a go. I think what I like most, was that when I installed it, I looked for all the 'cool stuff', and there really wasn't any.

It seems like a functional browser, that is not going to waste my time with weird gidgets, or lack of functionality.

Has anyone else tried it yet?

Found anything lacking?

Aussie chick
Thursday, June 17, 2004

The *only* reason I don't switch to Firefox entirely is that the bookmarks are not integrated into Windows.  I typically open IE by using the favourites submenu of the start menu.  If I make Firefox my default browser, that will work BUT my added bookmarks will not go there.

Perhaps there is a 3rd party tool that will do it...

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Cool firefox features in case you missed them:

- type-ahead-find
- tabbed browsing
- blocking images from certain servers (to block banner ads)
- Google "I'm feeling lucky" straightfrom the address bar
- no popups
- Folders which drop down on the address bar

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I was wondering as it installed why it needed to import favourites. I thought it would have been able to use the favourites folder in the same way the IE did. I think it is a great idea. Easy to find, and I can copy my favourites onto a disk and take them with me when I am out of the office.

The tabbed browsing is kind of cool. This means I can open 20+ browsers windows, and at least have them somewhat ordered so that when it comes time to shut down, I don't have to click close 18 times just to keep one open.

The other features are only handy if you use them, and mostly I don't.

Aussie chick
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Try type-ahead-find, once you try it you will never go back.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 17, 2004

what is this type-ahead-find, and how do you use it?

Guyon Morée
Thursday, June 17, 2004

In IE, to find some text within a document, you press Ctrl-F, type your search string then press enter.

In Mozilla / Firebird, you make sure the main window has the keyboard focus, and just start typing.

Type "F" and the first occurence of the letter F will be highlighted. Now keep typing: "i", "r", "e". The first occurence of the word "fire" will be highlighted.

Type Ctrl-G to go to the next occurence.

Really quick way of finding a string in a document. That's "type ahead find".

Hisso
Thursday, June 17, 2004

F3 works too to go to the next occurrence. Use backspace when you mistype a search word.

By default type-ahead searches for links only. To search all text hit the slash key "/" first.

Also check out the adblock extension. Browsing the web without advertisements is way cool. When this feature catches on the online advertisement market will be as lively as the popup one.

Jan Derk
Thursday, June 17, 2004

And type "/" first to search all text rather than just links. So type "/So type" to find this sentence.

Kenae
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Oh, and you can drag bookmark folders on the link bar which behaves like a menu.

Jan Derk
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Type Ahead Find is actually for LINKS text, which makes it even more useful. It ROCKS.

Type "firefox" on this thread and it won't go anywhere. Type "reply" and you're there instantly.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Except here it's "Add a commment." Oh well.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, June 17, 2004

The reason it doesn't use the favourites folder that IE uses is simply because Firefox is a cross-platform app and there is no IE favourites folder on Linux.
But you can take your bookmarks with you very easily if you want : just use Bookmarks->Manage Bookmarks and then File->Export.
Also, if you're like me and have maybe 1500+ bookmarks, I find it handier to have them all in one file instead of 1500+ separate files cluttering up my drive.

Firefox user
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Does anyone use bookmarks anymore? Since Google and URL autocompletion I pretty much stopped bookmarking things.

Also since Firefox does a Google "I'm feeling lucky" on the address bar text, just typing F6 j-o-el and enter takes me straight to here.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I still use them mostly for a couple of reasons : storing links to articles I find very interesting ; stuff I come across that I find interesting or remarkable but that I don't have time to read right now, so I can read it later ; storing links that I want to send to people ; etc...
I guess it's just a matter of trying to keep everything I find useful/interesting/remarkable/etc.

Firefox user
Thursday, June 17, 2004

You don't even really have to export bookmarks with the bookmark manager: just copy bookmarks.html from the profile directory (C:\Documents and settings\...\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox) to wherever you want. You could also set it as your home page if you want.

vrt3
Thursday, June 17, 2004

http://downloadstatusbar.mozdev.org/

Have you tried this addon for  Mozilla/FF ? :)

Nekto2
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Personally I just upload my bookmarks.html file to my website on Compuserve and use it from there when I'm in the field.  No disks, zip, nada.  Simply tap my url and go.  With your ISP providing free space or using one of the many free hosts out there, it's easy enough.  If you are as paranoid as I am either encrypt it, rename it to something totally off the wall, or use a host that allows access control in some way.

As for Firefox, 0.8 was more than good enough to convince me to lock IE back in a box and dump the rest except for testing purposes.  It's only better now and I do hope that my favorite extensions are rewritten to accommodate it.

Brian J. Bartlett
Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Mouse Gestures extension is really, really cool.  (This feature is also included with Opera by default)

Mouse Gestures let you perform browser functions with a flick of the mouse, using simple Graffitti-like motions,  instead of hitting buttons or menus.

I've got my mouse gestures bound to my right mouse button.  I hold the right button and flick right for Forward; flick left for Back, and up to open a new tab.  Up-down refreshes the page, and clicking on a link and gesturing up opens the link in a new tab.

The gestures I mentioned above are all defaults, but you can configure the motions and create new commands to your heart's content.

It's one of those things that sounds silly, but once you've used it for a while you can't imagine living without it. Sooooooo fun and convenient.

John Rose
Thursday, June 17, 2004

You can get StrokeIt [ http://www.tcbmi.com/strokeit/ ] to get gestures in all windows applications ;).

About Firefox, I been using it since 0.6, the thing that got me hook was google intregation, the text zoom (worlds better then IE's) , no popops and better safety.

I used IE once a long time ago for some browsing outside Windows Update and gezz, let's just say that know I understand why everyone is complaining about spyware and popups...

DragonSoull
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I have been using Firefox for a while.

Tabs and the type ahead rock. Unfortunately I can only use IE at work

Tapiwa
Thursday, June 17, 2004

On type-ahead-search:

I'm trying type-ahead-seach in this very page, and it behaves funny.

The first message contains, very early, the word "ignored". However, it I just start typing i-g-n-o..., the cursor goes to the 'i' in the signature of that user. It seems to completely ignore the text in Georgia.

Can anyone explain this to me?

I still prefer to do Ctrl+F. And in general terms I love Firefox.

Daniel Daranas
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Type "/" first to search all text rather than just links. So type "/So type" to find this sentence. Or "/Igno" for your example.

Kenae
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Thanks! That made it. Strange default behaviour...

Daniel Daranas
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Many FireFox plugins are buggy and don't work.

You can also try NetCaptor, which was the FIRST browser which implemented tabs, and which uses IE as it's engine.

It is a very powerful browser with interesting features.

http://www.netcaptor.com/

Another one is MyIE2:  http://www.myie2.com/

Yes, they don't have type-ahead, but at least you use IE and can get into IE-only sites like.. your bank's site, maybe.

I know - it's annoying that some sites only work in IE, but that's the way it is.

Also, using an IE-based browser is good because you are not supporting open source which in the long time hurts developer jobs!

James
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Another extension I found to be really helpfull is 'IE View'. It adds Context Menu entries to open a page/link in IE which is very convenient in those cases a page doesn't work well with the mozilla engine.

HeO
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I like Firefox as a browser, have used it off and on for over a year.  It's what I use on Linux.  I now use the Avent browser on Windows, which gives a lot of the neat Firefox features (search engine integration, pop-up blocking, mouse gestures, tabbed browsing) while still being IE compatible.

Why did the Firefox team not implement XML data islands and data binding?.  This capability of IE, although probably not used widely, can save heaps of coding to build dynamic data-driven web pages, particularly in an intranet setting where one can mandate what browser is used.  Anyone know if there is a plug-in that gives this?

AMS
Thursday, June 17, 2004

"Found anything lacking?"

The in-browser configuration is clean and simple, but deeper configuration is really ugly.  You have to set up an ugly preferences file and twiddle with it by hand.

Two changes that should be the default in future versions:

1. Make the Google search box wider.
2. Turn off the "draw boxes for placeholder images until they are loaded" feature.

Junkster
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I agree, Junkster.

Daniel Daranas
Thursday, June 17, 2004

One thing which really annoyed my by default is that there was no easy way of turning on inline autocomplete in the address bar. I can't survive without that! It's not just a check box somewhere.

For those that don't know, the way to set it to on is to type about:config in the address bar, and then add a new boolean value, called "browser.urlbar.autoFill" and set it to true. Works like a charm after that... But not the MOST intuitive thing i've seen...

Andrew Cherry
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Incidentally - to those annoyed by the default behaviour of type-ahead find - you can change this in about:config too - simply change the value of "accessibility.typeaheadfind.linksonly" to false...

Andrew Cherry
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Heh heh, who said Americans have no sense of irony. er, James, you're joking, right?

Mark
Thursday, June 17, 2004

"Also, using an IE-based browser is good because you are not supporting open source which in the long time hurts developer jobs!"

How has using IE benefitted you financially?  Maybe if you work for MS.  Otherwise...?

Jim Rankin
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'd like an option to enable running downloaded .exe files.  I'm smart enough to know when it's safe to run one, forcing me to save it to a file and then execute it sux.

It needs to be an option so I can disable it on my wife's machine.  There's no way she'll find either the option to enable it, nor know to click the downloaded exe.

Now that I think of it, an option to disallow downloading of executables (.com, .exe, .dll, .bat) would be very nice.

Snotnose
Thursday, June 17, 2004

0.8 has this bug -- when you close a tab, sometimes the underlying tab doesn't get the keyboard focus, so you can't use arrows to scroll or Space for page-down.

Alex
Thursday, June 17, 2004

I installed it, used it and then removed it.

Hasn't anyone found, like me, that many GUI widgets, whatever they might be, don't work in Firefox?

I have gone to many websites and it plain doesn't work for some things.

If I had time, I would investigate what types of 'widgets' and then download the software for the browser, but I don't have that much time.

Cari G.
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ahh, when will it all be over (i.e. "reach maturity").

I used to be such a guru in DOS.

Alex
Thursday, June 17, 2004

"Hasn't anyone found, like me, that many GUI widgets, whatever they might be, don't work in Firefox?"

Yes, those that rely on old proprietary IE technology. Those that are written  to modern standard work *better* in Mozilla.

fool for python
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Junkster:

Type about:config in the address bar and change all the esoteric settings you want without messing with the preferences file.

Nate Silva
Friday, June 18, 2004

IE Compatible?  How about W3C compatible?  IE certainly isn't...  Besides, I wouldn't want features like ActiveX in my browser.  "Features" like popup and adware fall into the same category (many of them use, surprise, ActiveX).

The reason some sites don't display 'correctly' on Mozilla (and by extension Firefox) is because those sites aren't written correctly.  Mozilla assumes that pages are written according to those page's standard.  It is the job of webmasters to cross-check compatibility with standards-compliant browsers and use the W3C validator, instead of relying on a browser that doesn't render webpages like it should.

Nathan S
Thursday, July 01, 2004

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