Firefox 6 Review

Mozilla Firefox 6 Reviewed

In 2011, Mozilla implemented a rapid release cycle for the Firefox browser. Issues with Mozilla‚Äôs frequent Firefox releases were discussed by Ojambo.com in an article titled “Mozilla Firefox Rapid Release”.

Firefox 5 was released on schedule. Six weeks after the Firefox 5 release, the next release was Firefox 6.

Firefox 6 was downloaded from the Mozilla website as a binary file. The test system currently runs iceweasel 3.5 which is based on Firefox 3.5.

Test System

CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2180 @ 2.00GHz

Memory: 1Gb

Operating System: Debian Testing(Wheezy)

Speed

On the Linux OS, Firefox 6 is fast. It is even faster than Iceweasel 3.5. Pages also load faster which is not a big surprise given updated web standards.

The real load time was crudely measured by opening and closing the program. Measurements were from the command “time” from the terminal. Iceweasel 3.5 was 1.410s and Firefox 6 was 2.137s which included opening two pages and asking about the default browser.

Features

The address bar now highlights the domain of the current website. This feature is already in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. The browser startup time when using “Panorama” has been reduced.

Image Missing
Firefox 6 Domain Highlight

Privacy

Firefox 6 has a Permission Manager window that is accessible by typing “about:permissions” in the URL address bar. Different permissions can be set for every site. The Permission Manager should have been accessible frm the Privacy tab.

Image Missing
Firefox 6 Privacy

Plugin-in Check

Firefox 6 quickly verifies the compatibility of all the installed plug-ins directly from the Add-Ons Manager. The Plug-in Check feature is handy and prevents problems of plug-ins not working as expected. For example, I could not use Firefox 5 because the “Firebug” version was not compatible with Iceweasel 3.5.

The better plug-in management will help users and adminstraters decide when is the proper time to upgrade.

Image Missing
Firefox 6 Plug-in Check

Web Development

Firefox 6 comes with support for HTML5 features for better application development. New tools are Scratchpad, Web Console and the Web Developer menu.

Image Missing
Firefox 6 Web Developer Menu

DOM level 3, server-sent events and other tools let developers create Web Applications without external programs.

Image Missing
Firefox 6 Web Console

Scratchpad allows develops to build and test JavaScript code right in the browser.

Image Missing
Firefox 6 Scratchpad

Conclusion:

Firefox 6 is worth the upgrade if your system meets the requirements. Linux users will enjoy faster Firefox starts.

Application developers will increased productivity using the Web Developer tools. Scratchpad and other HTML5 features will help Mozilla maintain Firefox’s place among web developers.

    Recommendations:

  1. Before upgrading, check to make sure that plug-ins will work.
  2. Use the latest version of Firefox for web development.
  3. Do not use hacks for outdated browsers.

Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 12:00 am and is filed under News, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>