A few extensions for Firefox 3 on Mac OS X

Firefox 3 has gigantic improvements for Mac users, but they left out a few things that would have made it fit in better. Here are a few extensions I installed to make Firefox 3 on Mac OS X a little more Mac like.

  • Fission – Combines the address bar and progress bar like Safari. I like this since it is easier to notice when a page finishes loading.
  • firefox-mac-pdf – Ever wanted to view PDF’s in the browser like Safari? This extension is the first PDF viewer to integrate into Firefox on Macs (Adobe Reader works if your lucky and if you like bloat). It uses PDFKit (the part of OS X that handles PDF’s) and works just as slick/fast as Safari when it comes to handling PDF’s. For an early version, this works very well.
  • Favicons on Firefox 3 for Mac – Mozilla for some reason does not like having favicons on the bookmarks toolbar for Mac versions of Firefox. This fixes it.

There are also themes for Firefox 3 that look more Safari like.

Add Favicons on Bookmarks Toolbar for Firefox 3 [Mac OS X]

Great tip on Lifehacker for how to add favicons to the bookmarks toolbar in Firefox 3 for Mac OS X.

One of few things I do not like in Mac versions of Firefox is the fact that there is no favicons on the bookmarks toolbar. I am a visual person, so having favicons on the bookmark toolbar really helps me pick out bookmarks quickly. This resolves that issue.

If your interested in voting for the bug in Bugzilla regarding this, the bug # is 348719.

Secure banking

Apparently Bank of America just did some upgrades to their online banking web site. Thanks to Firefox 3, I feel even more secure now:

The site identification button now shows up green when I log into my online banking page. They also now use 256-bit encryption.

It will be much harder for Bank of America customers to by mistake log into a phishing site, especially if they use Firefox 3.

Firefox 3 RC1 released

The Firefox 3 updates keep on coming. After 5 beta’s, there is now Release Candidate 1 as well.

Firefox 3 is light years ahead of Firefox 2. I cannot begin to describe how numerous the improvements are, especially for Mac users. The awesome bar alone is worth the upgrade in my opinion, nevermind when you throw in the massive improvements in memory management and performance increases.

For a great review on Firefox 3, check out this article at Mozilla Links.

It completely and utterly leaves Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera in the dust. I seriously have fits when I am forced to use another web browser now.

Mozilla turns 10

Back in 1998 I was a 10th grader who’s beloved web browser (Netscape) was open sourced to the Mozilla project. It was basically the first time I had heard of open source.

Ever since then I have maintained a huge interest in the Mozilla project. I remember the first day I switched from Internet Explorer to the Mozilla suite M14 builds, sometime in ~2000. I remember testing the first nightly builds of the Phoenix browser and immediately seeing its potential. That potential is now reality in Firefox, which is usually the first thing I install on any computer I use.

Well, Mozilla is having its 10th birthday today. What an amazing trip it has been.

Firefox 3 Beta 2 released

For the first time in history, I am actually enjoying using Firefox on Macs. Firefox 3 Beta 2 has been released and works fantastically on my Mac (as well as my Windows computer at work). In fact, for the first time in a long time, I think I officially will use Firefox as my web browser on Macs.

Mac fans, make sure you download the Proto theme (what will become the default Mac theme when Firefox 3 is finished). It makes Firefox fit in beautifully with OS X.

I am very impressed with the new bookmark system (Places) and just how solid this beta feels. Lots of little details appear to have been addressed.

MSNBC promoting Firefox?

I have noticed several times the past few days on MSNBC a weird sight to say the least:

  • Several screenshots of web sites that MSNBC was using in various stories.
  • Every screenshot that showed a full web browser had very familar icons…ones that belong to Mozilla Firefox.
  • MSNBC is partially owned by Microsoft, owners of some major web browser named Internet Explorer.

If I had the capability to record TV, I would have gotten a screenshot of the segments I saw. But I don’t, so I am hoping there are others out there that saw what I saw. There isn’t any doubt though that there is a huge Firefox fan working at MSNBC, who often gets his or her’s screenshots on the air

Update on Firefox 2 beta's

I’m test driving a build that is Release Candidate 2 for Firefox 2.0 Beta 2 (if that makes ANY sense at all to you).

I am please to say without a doubt that this is the first version of Firefox that is usable on a Mac. Insane speed compared to Firefox 1.5, the new theme updates actually look much better on my Mac, and many annoying bugs fixed.

I am not going to link to the build, as those who really want it can find it on Mozilla’s FTP server. However, I am extremely impressed and can’t wait to see what the final Firefox 2.0 has in store. This is clearly the first usable Firefox on Macs.

The great Mac browser test

I have decided to embark on a test of epic proportions.

For the next month, I am going to use exclusively one web browser per week on my Mac. At the end of each week, I will do a write-up on my experiences with the web browser I used, the pros/cons, and whether I would consider switching to that browser.

Why am I doing this? Quite simple. I am very unsatisfied with browsing the web on Macs and need to see if I can find something that matches my needs.

The schedule:

  • Week 1 – Apple Safari 2.0.4
  • Week 2 – Opera 9
  • Week 3 – Mozilla Camino 1.0.2
  • Week 4 – Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.4
  • The Verdict

The reason I am limiting this test to the four browsers above are the following.

  1. I want free web browsers. OmniWeb does not qualify.
  2. I want to set a reasonable date in the near future for this test to complete (so I picked a month
  3. I want to use web browsers that a normal Mac user could end up using and downloading.

The first installment of this test, with Apple Safari, will be posted by next Sunday.