Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Trying out Firefox 3 Beta 3 on Ubuntu

20th February 2008

Keeping an eye on future browser releases helps to avoid any shocks when maintaining publicly available websites. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I have been giving Firefox 3 a whirl. As it happens, I have had it going on both Windows and Ubuntu. With the former, I have not encountered any obvious problems but am wondering if the new bookmarking system will mean anything to me. For installation on Ubuntu, I used the following command (I think that I culled it from Tombuntu but can’t remember off hand…):

wget -P ~ ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/3.0b3/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-3.0b3.tar.bz2 && tar xjf ~/firefox-3.0b3.tar.bz2 -C ~

The nice thing about the above is that it places the test installation in your home directory and away from Firefox 2. It also works regardless of what Linux distribution you have. The profiles get shared between versions so a backup would be a good idea before you start to tinker. As with the Windows version, page loading and rendering is faster in the new version but I found a problem with printing that I hope will get sorted before the final release. Another area for attention is font rendering: it could sharper for sans serif fonts on Ubuntu and serif fonts on Windows. Otherwise, it works well on both platforms and I like the way that open windows are saved on exit, a very good idea carried over from Opera.

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