Firefox 2.0 Ready?
January 10, 2007 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Is Firefox 2.0 Ready for Prime Time?

I've held off installing Firefox 2.0, on the principle that there are always bugs in any .0 release, and you should always wait for at least .01. Sure enough, there were reports of vulnerabilities when 2.0 came out.

Have these been fixed? Is it time to go from 1.5 to 2.0?
posted by KRS to Computers & Internet (44 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's more stable than 1.5 was for me
posted by Mick at 9:53 AM on January 10, 2007

I've been using it for months with no problems at all. I quite like it, in fact.
posted by trip and a half at 9:55 AM on January 10, 2007

I'm currently running Firefox/, and it runs very well indeed - as Mick says, it is more stable than 1.5 was. Go for it.
posted by philsi at 9:58 AM on January 10, 2007

Firefox is up to, BTW.
posted by smackfu at 9:58 AM on January 10, 2007

2.0 has been much less stable for me than the 1.5 line was, and I only run a few of the extensions I did in 1.5.

Just an anecdote.
posted by kableh at 10:00 AM on January 10, 2007

Just installed yesterday; the only thing I dislike about 2.0 is the doggone spell checker. Once I figure out how to turn it off, though, golden.
posted by Mister_A at 10:03 AM on January 10, 2007

Go to Options → Advanced and turn off 'check my spelling as I type', Mister_A.

FF 2.0 has been perfectly stable for me, except for a problem with the Google calendar quick-add extension which caused Google search pages to hang (slow script).
posted by matthewr at 10:05 AM on January 10, 2007

1.5 was a major problem for me, but 2.0 has been smooth sailing. FWIW, I'm not big on Extensions, save Greasemonkey and Firebug.
posted by potch at 10:07 AM on January 10, 2007

count me in the pro-2.0 group, i think it works much better than 1.5. also, i thought firefox used too much ram, but doing tabbed browsing in ie7 is even worse in that regard.
posted by snofoam at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2007

In 2.0, do you have to have the little (x) on each tab, or can you keep it on the right, for those like me who prefer it there.
posted by drezdn at 10:20 AM on January 10, 2007

2.0 has been far more stable for me, and I run a fair number of addons (10) in 2.0, and ran none in 1.5.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:23 AM on January 10, 2007

drezdn: "In 2.0, do you have to have the little (x) on each tab, or can you keep it on the right, for those like me who prefer it there."

You can configure this using the browser.tabs.closeButtons set to values 0, 1, 2, or 3. Personally, I use "2", which gets rid of the buttons altogether (I use my middle-mouse button to close tabs). One style is the "new" buttons on every one. Another is the close buttons only on the active tab, and the last is "old school" close button to the far right.
posted by Xoder at 10:24 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Aside from the close tab thing drezdn mentions, I've had zero problems with

Though the Greasymonkey MP3 Inline Player thing seems to have stopped working.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2007

In 2.0, do you have to have the little (x) on each tab, or can you keep it on the right, for those like me who prefer it there.

Learn to love 'ctrl-w'.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:29 AM on January 10, 2007

Thanks, zoder! And I have about 15 extensions on FF, if that's an issue for you, KRS.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:31 AM on January 10, 2007

KRS, I'm in the same position, unsure about making the leap. I read somewhere that a certain amount of time after the initial release, all of us with 1.5 will be offerred 2.0 as an automatic update - the idea being that waiting a while before the auto updates would be a way of slowing down the downloads off the servers or something. I'm just kind of waiting for that - I don't want to deal with the hassle of my add-ons not working, so the longer I wait, the more likely they are to have an update.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 10:32 AM on January 10, 2007

May I just piggyback and ask where is the goddamn spellchecker!? I have it turned on but it doesn't do anything, and never has. Whyyy? (not that I need it most of the time, but I am curious)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 10:34 AM on January 10, 2007

i've been using it for a little while now, didn't have any problems with my extensions (they'll look for auto-updates for compatibility) and like using this version a little better!
posted by uncballzer at 10:37 AM on January 10, 2007

In 2.0, do you have to have the little (x) on each tab, or can you keep it on the right, for those like me who prefer it there.

There is a fairly simple fix to this. I saw it first on AskMeFi I think.

The water in 2.0 has been warmed up sufficiently for you scardie-cats to dive in.
posted by cowbellemoo at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

I cheated. My wife and I (both on OSX, by the way -- I don't know if these comments are platform specific) use Firefox. I put her on 2.0 as a guinea pig. She's not had any problems, and finally went back to Firefox from Camino. So I'm planning to make the switch myself. Neither of us, though, are power users.
posted by pzarquon at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2007

I've also found Firefox 2 to be better than 1.5 in most regards.

ClarissaWAM: If you want, it might be worth going to about:config in your address bar and then filtering on "spelling". layout.spellcheckDefault should be either 1 (only text areas) or 2 (text areas plus input lines). And spellchecker.dictionary should probably be "en_US" (or "en_UK" or at least matching which ever version you downloaded).

Anyway, here's the settings I like to change, at the minimum:

browser.tabs.tabMinWidth=50 (Firefox 2 has a scrolling tabbar, which I hate. So I let tabs get pretty small).
browser.tabs.closeButtons=3 (makes only single close tab button on the right)
browser.urlbar.hideGoButton=true (who uses the Go button?)
layout.spellcheckDefault=2 (makes it check in input textboxes in addition to textareas)
network.prefetch-next=false (I don't like it getting pages before I tell it to)
posted by skynxnex at 10:58 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

For me, 2.0 on Win2K and >5 extensions (home computer) is proving to be immensely more stable than 1.5 on WinXP and <5 extensions (work computer). ymmv.
posted by somanyamys at 11:01 AM on January 10, 2007

For the most part, 2.0 is solid. Many good tips up there. The only suggestion I would have is this: if you upgrade and things don't seem to be working right, create a new profile and move your bookmarks file over. Firefox is known to munge profiles on occasion.

As near as I can determine, this happens most often when people have been carrying the same profile along for several generations of the browser. If it's not too much of a hassle, I suspect that recreating it on every major version upgrade may be a good idea. (Extension incompatibilities or conflicts seem to be the other major source of problems, and a new profile fixes that as well.)

Upgrades almost always work, though. We only hear about the folks with problems. :)
posted by Malor at 11:12 AM on January 10, 2007

I personally have a few weird problems with it, or the new flash player I don't know. But also it was crashing slightly more than 1.5, which is to say, not much. And there was this weird thing where I would click a link, but not exactly on it and the page would scroll to the top instead of taking me to the link location. I notice it getting better and more stable, which may be because my extensions are slowly getting improved.

But no reasons not to upgrade.
posted by miniape at 11:29 AM on January 10, 2007

How do you get 2.0 to save all open tabs on exit? I tried an early version, and could not find the widget to do this. Currently I use the SessionSaver ext on 1.5 for this.
posted by omnidrew at 12:22 PM on January 10, 2007

omnidrew: 2.0 has session saving built in - the Startup Type box in the Main preferences has an option to "show my windows and tabs from last time" on startup instead of the home page(s). Also, if 2.0 crashes or you kill it, it will give you the option of restoring your previous session when you next start it up. Both these features work well for me.
posted by flabdablet at 12:42 PM on January 10, 2007

thanks, flabdablet!
posted by omnidrew at 12:45 PM on January 10, 2007

Another anecdote: 2.0 has been more stable for me than 1.5. And when it does crash (usually involving embedded quicktime on XP), the session restore feature is a lifesaver.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:21 PM on January 10, 2007

Learn to love 'ctrl-w'.

Thanks, Tacos...I was passing on 2.0 because of the per-tab closing 'X', but now I can move on up.

...the session restore feature is a lifesaver.

That's been one of the best things about Opera for a long time now.
posted by davejay at 1:25 PM on January 10, 2007

If you are running slower hardware, I'd run 1.5, as 2.0 seems to have a larger footprint.

I still like 1.5 because its loads faster and seems more snappy, even on my dual core system. Plus, there's nothing in 2.0 that really warrants the upgrade.
posted by mphuie at 1:43 PM on January 10, 2007

I'm a week in on and finding it even better than 1.x. Some webdev tools (Aardvark, Firebug, etc.) need some coaxing to work but it's definitely the most stable release to date.

The only oddity I've noticed is that I have to sometimes click more than once in the address bar before typing the first letter(s) of a url.
posted by ceri richard at 1:45 PM on January 10, 2007

Oh yes, the session restore is brilliant!
posted by ceri richard at 1:46 PM on January 10, 2007

Other lifesaver: if your problem with the per-tab close buttons is that you accidentally close tabs while trying to click them, learn to love ctrl-shift-T, which will restore the most recently closed tab (and works in succession to restore quite a large number of recently closed tabs). I was just a bit overzealous with ctrl-W and had to restore this tab and it popped right back up, half-typed comment and all.
posted by Partial Law at 1:52 PM on January 10, 2007

I finally installed it a few days ago, in some post-holiday maintenance. The transition has been absolutely seamless for me, and it seems a little neater - nice new icons and most of the menus seem shorter.
posted by jacalata at 2:28 PM on January 10, 2007

2.0 has been very stable for me, though I notice a few more crashes due to third-party plugins than I experienced with 1.5.x.

/Piggyback question: anybody know how to disable the modal session restore dialog that pops up before the browser starts in 2.0? I find it sort of irritating.

I've searched around and can't find any documentation covering this, and a search of the usual places (about:config, namely) turns up nothing useful.
posted by killdevil at 3:39 PM on January 10, 2007

On FC4 Linux, 2.0 falls over semi-regularly for me. 1.5 was rock solid.
posted by sien at 3:55 PM on January 10, 2007

It's as least as good as IE7, which is to say, not at all ready for prime time. I've had FF crash on me about once a month but it feels faster and is easier to use (for me) than IE so I haven't even given IE7 a fair shake. I guess I would summarize it as I like it, it's pretty good, but it could be better.
posted by chairface at 4:23 PM on January 10, 2007

I am a pro web user and developer with a gazillion extensions = works all nice and clean. If you rely on certain extensions make sure they are avail for FF2.

Happy FF!
posted by homodigitalis at 7:07 PM on January 10, 2007

My only experience with IE7 is watching it crash every time I tried to open a new tab. I didn't persist :-)

Killdevil, the session restore popup is only triggered for me if my previous 2.0 session was force-quit (e.g. by logging off) instead of all its windows being explicitly closed or exiting via File->Quit. Is that not what's happening for you?
posted by flabdablet at 7:46 PM on January 10, 2007

Oh, it's definitely ready. My general advice to people on new Firefox versions (major releases anyways) is to wait two weeks. By then, most extensions will have updated, and known bugs patched. After that you're golden. I run Firefox 2.0 (now with a whopping 50 extensions and it runs like a dream.
posted by katyggls at 9:28 PM on January 10, 2007

Sorry I'm late to the party.
My only gripe is the ongoing absence of tabbrowser extensions. I find tabmix acceptable but miss the advanced tab grouping, group bookmarking, and sorting capabilities of the "strongly unrecommended" tabbrowser extensions. Oh well. I've been an FF fanboy since phenoix but find the new Opera impressive. If adblock, web developer, and linkification analogs were available I might even switch. The spell check is neat, too.
posted by Grod at 9:33 PM on January 10, 2007

Lots of Firefox tweaks in this Lifehacker article. (And don't miss the comments, either.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:57 AM on January 11, 2007

I just upgraded to 2.01, and made many of the tweaks suggested in this post and so far I'm loving it. It's so sleek looking.
posted by drezdn at 8:39 PM on January 11, 2007

Regarding not upgrading until the new version has the bugs shaken out: if it's vulnerabilities you're worried about, upgrading is almost always the best policy for applications like Firefox.

If you look here, you can see that only two of the bugs fixed in were actually unique to 2.0 -- the other six were bugs in Firefox 1.5 as well. Of the two FF2-only bugs, one was considered "low impact." So holding off on 2.0 protected you from a single bug. FF2 has almost exactly the same vulnerability profile as FF1.5.

FWIW: Mozilla is only shipping maintenance releases for FF1.5 until April.
posted by Coda at 11:48 PM on January 11, 2007

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