Firefox 3.0 delights and frustrates in equal measure

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Firefox 3.0 is available / unavailable / available / unavailable / available. Not to mention decanarcolepsy and the cleverest use of censor bars ever...

Gregg Keizer reports:

After a blackout of more than an hour caused by users trying to download the final release of Firefox 3.0, Mozilla Corp. has restored service to its servers. As of 3:30 p.m. Eastern time [Tuesday], Mozilla's download servers were available and offering the final version of the open-source browser's latest update ... Within minutes of Firefox 3.0's official launch at 1 p.m. Eastern time, Mozilla's servers were overwhelmed by the traffic ... Users trying to update existing installations of Firefox through the browser's built-in update mechanism have also reported errors ... Mozilla shipped the final version ... after months of alpha and beta previews, plus three release candidates, the latest of which was issued less than a week ago. As part of the launch promotion, Mozilla had urged users to help set a single-day download record ... will petition the Guinness World Records organization to accept its Firefox 3.0 download tally as the new mark to beat. more

Brad Linder adds:

So you may have heard that Mozilla ... has been hyping today as "Download Day" for about a week. But a more apt name might be "Down Day." That's because GetFirefox.com is down. As in dead, kaput, service unavailable. This probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but if you encourage millions of users to download your software on the same day, your servers are going to take a hammering. But it appears that even Mozilla had no idea how many people would be trying to download Firefox 3 today ... there's a good chance that the company will manage to break the world record if it ever gets the servers back up. more

Erick Schonfeld grumbles:

Today’s the big day for the official, no-longer-beta release of the Firefox 3 browser ...
1:11 PM ET: The Firefox download page seems to be inundated right now ...
1:19 PM: Still waiting. Now the page loads, but it’s the old page with Firefox 2 ...
2:30 PM: Back from lunch. Still waiting ...
4:37 PM: access is still spotty. I’m still waiting ...
6:50 PM: After giving up for a few hours, I am finally downloading. more

But Mozilla's Paul Kim thinks positive:

It’s been an awesome morning and afternoon here at Mozilla headquarters. We launched Firefox 3 this morning and immediately felt the love from millions of people all over the world ... Our systems were quite busy earlier this morning so individual requests may not have gotten through - but they are all up now and serving a tremendous amount of traffic and downloads. We are currently serving almost 9,000 downloads a minute, which puts us on track to achieve 5-7 million downloads our first day ... We exceeded the first day download mark for Firefox 2 of 1.6 million after just five hours of availability for Firefox 3 ... Over 700 community launch parties have been registered on mozillaparty.com. more

Gina Trapani has great tips:

Let's dive in past Firefox 3's most talked-about feature-set into its lesser-known power uses, tricks, and customizations ... Shrink the Super-sized Back Button ... Adjust the Smart Location Bar's Number of Suggestions ... Shift+Delete Mistyped URL Suggestions ... Ditch Obselete Extensions ... Revert the "AwesomeBar" with Oldbar ... Trick Out Your Smart Bookmarks ... Set Gmail as Your Default Email client—Without an Add-on ... Say Hello to the Firefox Robots ... Enable Spellchecking in One-line Input Fields. more

Slashdotter mcadaddy hates the Awesome Bar:

The sheer number of articles attempting to help people disable the "awesome bar" should make the developers realize that this is not a "feature" that everyone wants ... I too HATE the awesome bar. It's a shame too because I would love to have the fixes for the memory leaks in FF 2.0 that don't exist but FF 3.0 addresses anyway ... The ability to chose your own search results style was removed by the Mozilla developers as part of bug #407836. They're illogical viewpoint is explained in bug #403159. And, for the record, Oldbar does not fix the problem. It does not disable the searching style introduced by FF 3.0. It only makes the results look a little more like 2.0. more

Won't someone save Pvt_Ryan?

The Dowload DAY starts at 10am PST on the 17th. Which to SOME people is the 18th of June, yes there is a world out side of the US shock/horror ... I am rather annoyed, As I assumed the start would be at 00:00 UTC and was looking forward to the massive rush to download it being over and me being able to download it @ 0930 in work. Instead after much fafing about I finally discover ON THE FORUMS the time is 1000 PST, IT WASN'T EVEN NOTED ON THE FRONT PAGE! Don't get me wrong I love FF but after this I wouldn't trust mozilla to organize a piss up in a brewery! more

But Nom du Keyboard doesn't care:

Yo'all better hope that there isn't a Zero Day vulnerability in FF3 that the virus writing scum uncovered when they participated in the testing, as you know they have. Personally I'm going to wait for a few days just to ensure that no reported problems surface. more

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 21 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

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