Firefox 2.0: Not Radical, but Just Right

Mozilla's return volley isn't as strong as Microsoft's serve, but does it need to be?

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It's also possible for Firefox add-on developers to create Microsummary generators for sites managed by others. You can install some of those available from this Microsummary Generators link page and then add the bookmark as a Live Title, as described previously. Note: Most of these generator pages work only on specific pages of the sites they work with, including the generators for eBay, FedEx and UPS. In some cases, these are pages that you must customize or that only apply when you're watching a specific eBay item or checking on the delivery of package with a tracking number.

Firefox 2.0 does not offer a user interface for uninstalling microsummary generators. In Windows, you'll find them in the "microsummary-generators" folder located in your Firefox profile folder. (For more information on accessing your Firefox profile, please see Mozilla's How to Manage Firefox Profiles page.) To remove a specific microsummary generator, delete its XML file from this folder.

To delete a microsummary generator, you open the "microsummary-generators" folder in your Firefox profile and delete the corresponding XML file
 

To delete a microsummary generator, you open the "microsummary-generators" folder in your Firefox profile and delete the corresponding XML file (Click to see larger view)

Live Titles is a nice idea that isn't likely to catch on in broad measure. Even so, for certain sites, it could be truly useful. The biggest problem with Live Titles is that most of the sites that have enabled it haven't opted to include the names of their sites in Live Titles. That's a problem, because for the most part, all you get is the description -- and it can quickly become difficult to know what site the description refers to. If you're truly organized about how you use bookmarks, though, you might figure out a way to make this work for you. Live Titles is especially well suited to blogs and the custom tools you'll find among the early crop of generators.

Praise and nits

One of the mostly unsung improvements in Firefox 2.0 is the upgrade from JavaScript 1.6 to 1.7, a set of JavaScript functionality offering a long list of additions and improvements. Computerworld reader Gabriel Daraban had this to say about it:

The most important feature in Firefox 2 for me is JavaScript 1.7. The old version, 1.6, was crashing the browser when I entered one of my Yahoo e-mail accounts. Firefox 2.0 has solved the problem. —Gabriel Daraban

A couple of people have written to us reporting issues with Firefox 2.0. One of those was on the Mac (the two Mac installations performed in researching this review worked just fine), and one of the other people later wrote back to say that the problem cleared up. Still, some people are having issues, such as reader Vicky Austin:

Firefox 2 doesn't work all that well on my system (a 5-month-old Dell dual-core laptop). It froze with a couple of tabs open while I navigated away from a PDF. Then it would not open at all -- looked like it would open, got the hourglass, but nothing happened. So I rebooted, and still no browser. So I reinstalled it, and nothing. So I restored and FF 1.5 worked okay, but I had a good inch and a half of white space below the status bar, and no amount of fiddling would make it go away, nor would any Google search or knowledgebase article. Eventually, I reinstalled 2.0 and I'm hoping for the best. Maybe next time I'll wait a few days and let someone else have the fun I've had today.

—Vicky Austin
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