Firefox 1.5 Released

Mozilla has released version 1.5 of the award winning Firefox Browser. I have been using the beta and release candidate versions of Firefox 1.5 for a couple of months now and it has been great!

This version introduces an improved update system that clearly notifies you when a new version of Firefox is available and then allows you to easily upgrade.

Another great new feature is the ability to drag and drop browser tabs to reorder them in any way that you like. A similar addition is the ability to drag and drop links onto the tab bar to open them in new tabs. You can also drag highlighted text into the search bar and it will automatically search for it.

The options menus have been completely redesigned to be more intuitive and usable.

If you are still using Internet Explorer as your primary browser, now is the time to change.

Download Firefox 1.5

I also recommend the following firefox extensions:

Minimize to Tray : Allows you to minimize Firefox to the system tray instead of the taskbar. Also works with Thunderbird.

Spellbound : Allows you to spellcheck any form inputs using right-click. This is great for being able to spellcheck blog comments or posts before submitting them.

Forecastfox : Shows your local weather forecast in the firefox status bar

Resize Search Box : Makes the search input resizeable.

Wellrounded : This is just an aesthetic extension, but I like it. It rounds the corners of the firefox location, search, and find inputs.

And if you ever work with web development and programming, the Web Developer extension is essential.

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3 Responses to Firefox 1.5 Released

  1. I’m no expert with browsers. I downloaded Firefox but don’t see why I should use it over Internet Explorer. What am I missing?

  2. Thanks for the question, Dave. While there are a lot of reasons a programmer like me would choose Firefox over Internet Explorer (IE), here are a few main reasons why I think that Firefox provides a better browsing experience for even non-programmers.

    1. Tabbed Browsing. If you read blogs you probably end up opening a lot of links. In IE you have two choices: A. you click on the link and the new webpage replaces the one you were viewing. OR B. You right click on the link and open it in a new browser window. Firefox gives you a third option: hold down the ctrl key on your keyboard while you click on a link, or right click on it and select “open link in new tab” and Firefox will open the link in a new tab within the same browser window. This makes it easy to switch between multiple websites that you are viewing simultaneously without filling up the windows task bar with multiple copies of the browser. You can also bookmark groups of websites and reopen them all in tabs. My wife opens multiple ebay auctions in tabs so she can easily switch between them.

    2. Security. Most of the web propagating viruses, worms, etc. out there are designed to take advantage of the design of Internet Explorer. But they don’t work in Firefox, so using Firefox instead of IE keeps you system safer.

    3. Extensions and Themes. Because Firefox is open source, there are literally hundreds of independent programmers who make extensions (plugins) and Themes (skins) to add new functionality and appearance to Firefox. For instance, if you install the Spellbound extension I mention in the post above, you can spellcheck any form field (like the one I am typing this comment into).

    4. IE is an imitator not an innovator. A lot of the new functionality you see in Internet Explorer (built in popup blocking for instance) has been copied from Firefox (firefox had built in popup blocking for at least two years before IE got it). The next version of IE will have hacked in tabbed browsing. Firefox has had tabbed browsing for at least the last four years. The latest and greatest functionality appears in Firefox, IE only copies it years later.

    That’s my take on it.

  3. Appreciate the information. I’ll definately use the tabbed browsing.

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