Firefox 4.0 Released!

Joel Farr

March 24, 2011

Firefox 4.0

As a web developer I’m always eager to see the latest trends in web technology, so naturally I tried out the new version of Firefox this morning.  I have always been a huge Firefox fan, mainly because of their add-ons.  I could hardly do my job without Firebug, and they’ve got some other pretty nifty extensions to supplement it as well.  So what’s new with the new Firefox 4.0?  It depends on what you call new.

I immediately noticed how Firefox has mimicked Chrome’s design and layout.  They’ve now moved their tabs above the address bar and slimmed down the whole look and feel of the browser.  They also mimicked Chromes add-on manager, making it look almost identical.  So while these things are new to Firefox, it’s really nothing new at all.   I’ve always been a fan of Chrome though, so I’m not really opposed to the change, it’s just unoriginal.  These days, however, there is a mold for everything and it seems the folks at Mozilla have succumbed.

Besides all the copycatting, they did manage to improve their product significantly when it comes to performance.  They’ve taken advantage of hardware-accelerated graphics, which means that audio, video and graphics are aided in loading by your computer’s processor.  This can increase load times drastically and in turn allows for more media loaded web sites.  Mozilla claims that their new baby can run up to six times faster than their previous children.  The diaper must weigh less…the diaper being the scripting engine of course, which is also brand new to Firefox and it is definitely not heavy or saggy!  I have already noticed an improvement in browsing speeds, and it seems a whole lot more stable than other versions.  And what baby isn’t more stable with less weight to be packing around?

This begs the question of the mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?  I say they’re all turning into one another and getting faster by the day, so use them all and stop whining and debating about it so much.  Well okay, IE is still the biggest pain in every developers neck, but in a perfect world with no whining or debating there is no IE so we’ll just ignore it for now.