Firefox 3: Smoother, quicker, better

Since the Firefox 3 Beta 1 release in November, I have been following the release notes of each subsequent beta release but have been reluctant to install it for a couple of reasons:

  1. Installing Firefox 3 Beta overwrites your Firefox 2 install so you can’t have both versions on the same machine
  2. Firebug (my favorite add-on and one I can’t live without) didn’t work

This morning however, Firefox 2 was acting very strangely (continuously eating 50% of my CPU) on my Windows box at work. After trying a few things including starting in Safe Mode and having no luck, I decided to just install Firefox 3.

Wow. What a difference. The release notes said there was major improvements to memory usage and they weren’t kidding. Firefox 3 is incredibly faster than it’s predecessor. Just from my observations pages seem to render and show up a lot faster and animations are a lot smoother (still not quite as slick as Safari though). Firefox 3 also presents some CSS improvements and Javascript 1.8 support for web developers that I’ll be sure to play around with.

As of Beta 3, Firefox 3 does not overwrite Firefox 2 in Windows, so you can run both versions on the same machine (just not simultaneously). Also, Firebug 1.1 Beta12 works with Firefox 3 as does the latest stable release of the Web Developer add-on. Unfortunately, the Live HTTP Headers add-on doesn’t work yet, but I can live with that.

If you’re on Windows and haven’t yet installed Firefox 3, I recommend you get the latest beta.