Sunday, 28 November 2004

All fired up! Mozilla Firefox 1.0 is out!

It's official, Mozilla Firefox 1.0 has hit the streets.

In case you're unaware, Mozilla Firefox is an alternative browser to Microsoft's Internet Explorer (the default browser, if you're using Windows operating system). The Mozilla DNA (ok, source code) originates from one of the earliest browser ever made, Mosaic, and later was made into another browser that many would recognize, Netscape Navigator.

What's so great about Firefox? For starters, it's a lean program (worth only 4.7MB in download size), has a very clean interface that both novice and seasoned surfers would feel at home with and the most important feature to note is the automatic pop-up blocker (yay!).

It's also safe from any exploitation caused by stealth programs that uses Microsoft's ActiveX technology (which is not actually meant to harm, but greedy people are often the creative ones as well), and offres tab browsing (open a new page in same same window: this you have got to experience it to believe it, trust me). It's free, customizible (using extensions that you can download), adware-free, spyware-free, open source (in fact, it's the darling of the Open Source Movement at the moment) and there's a large group of volunteer behind it dedicated to make sure Firefox is bug-free.

Try it and find out for yourself.

Some extentions that I tried out

Mozilla extensions are small add-ons for your Firefox browser. They can add extra functionality that can make your online life a whole lot easier. The team behind Firefox purposely excluded these extensions in order to make Firefox leaner and less bloated in size. Instead, individuals and developers are involved in building the extensions, with the Mozilla developers' supervision of course. Here is the list of recommended extensions that I've tried. Remember, this is only my suggestion, if you have an even a better one, please tell me. And also note that new extensions are added all the the time (that and also latest version of existing extensions) so visit the extensions page often.

  • Adblock. It's undeniable that Firefox is better at deterring those pesky pop-up ads with its automatic pop-up blocker, but extra help is never unwelcomed.

  • Autocopy. Ever wish you could copy by just hightlighting, just like when you're using chat clients like mirc or Trillian? Well, now you can (a bit buggy at times though, so be extra careful with this one).

  • ieview. Not every page is compatible with Firefox. This extension helps by allowing you to open an incompatible page in Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

  • Image toolbar. If you often save images from the Internet (for good and legitimate reasons I hope), this extension is a life-saver.

  • Open link in... A useful extension that gives you options to where you want to open a link. Truthfully speaking I haven't figured out how it really works, I installed it because it couldn't find the exact extension that I installed when I was using Firefox build 0.8 (an earlier version).

Please also note that if you install Firefox 1.0 over any previous versions (build 0.8 or 0.9), all installed extensions will be removed. That's the reason why I myself am still experimenting to see which extension is useful and which is not because I just migrated from build 0.8 to this latest version. So far so good, but I still have to do some adjusting.

Asides from the above, Firefox also has developers tools for CSS, JavaScript and DOM (among others), RSS-feed enablers and also extensions that are third-party supported like the search sidebar.
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