Review: Firefox 3.5 makes browsing faster, easier and more fun

Mozilla puts Firefox 3.5 ahead of the browser pack with better performance, improved tab handling and nifty new features.

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There are other nice touches for those who don't want other people to know what sites they've been visiting. You can remove all the traces of a site you've visited while you were in a normal browsing session.

This eliminates it not just from the History list, but also kills all traces of the browser on your computer, including cookies and temp files, search history, forms you've filled out, and more.

To use this feature, first open your History list by choosing History --> Show All History or by pressing Ctrl-Shift-H. Then right-click the site you want to remove, and from the menu that appears, select Forget about This Site.

You can also remove all of your history and other data related to your browsing session from the last few hours or last day. Select Tools --> Clear Recent History, or press Ctrl-Shift-Del. From the drop-down list on the page that appears, choose either the last hour, the last two hours, the last four hours, today, or everything.

Firefox 3.5: Telling Firefox to remove all traces of a site from your browser
Select Forget About This Site to remove all traces of a site from your browser

You can also fine-tune what to clear by clicking the Details button; it lets you determine what data to remove -- browsing and download history, forms and search history, cookies, cache, logins, etc.

Interface tweaks

The new version of Firefox has some nice interface tweaks as well. Primary among them is the ability to re-open windows that you've previously closed -- functionality that was previously available only through add-ons.

Select History and look for two items at the bottom of the menu -- Recent Closed Tabs and Recently Closed Windows. From those menu items, select the tab or window you want to re-open. Note that this works only for tabs and windows you've closed in your current browsing session. After you end a session, you won't be able to restore them.

Firefox 3.5: New to Firefox: the ability to re-open windows that you've closed in your session
New: the ability to re-open windows that you've closed in your session

Firefox 3.5 also supports watching video and listening to music directly in a Web page, without having to launch any plug-ins, by supporting the HTML 5 audio and video elements. The Web page itself plays the video, and includes audio and video controls. You can even download the video or audio by right-clicking and saving it.

Firefox 3.5: Playing a video directly on a Web page
Playing a video directly on a Web page

For all of this to work, though, the elements have to be in the page itself, which means the developer has to code it that way. At the moment, there are very few pages that contain these kinds of video and audio elements; only time will tell whether they become popular.

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