Firefox 3 B3: Lots of Fire, Not Enough Fox

Firefox 2 disappointed with an oh, so 1990s look and feel. Anyone remember Mac OS 8.5 or Windows 3.0, for reference? The browser's successor doesn't look any more modern. Safari and, gasp, even Internet Explorer 7 are whole lots more visually appealing. Is it too much to ask that software look good, rather than be tacky? Some folks might argue that I expect too much because the software is free. Maybe, but Mozilla makes heaps of money from Google search.

My eWEEK Labs colleague Jim Rapoza has better things to say about the new UI. He praises new visual cues, which arguably are better than Firefox 2. I just don't think they're foxy enough. I've been waiting for Mozilla to create the user interface for the Web. Firefox 3 Beta 3 isn't it. That new UI won't come from Microsoft, which can't get its head out the back end of Windows. The ugliest Firefox 3 Beta 3 enhancements are among features people will use most often. The address bar's URL identification is just butt ugly. The different size fonts and text highlighting are reminiscent of some TV cop drama ransom note. It's Law and Disorder.

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what the? I can't believe neowin want bloatware loaded on FireFox and slow it down just to make Fire look like sexy Fox. lol

I would rather they focus on making it PERFORM WELL. Who gives a rat's ass what it looks like? That's what themes are for and they know it. Screw having their people focus on eye candy. Jesus, next thing you know they'll be Microsoft. Get over it dude, it's just pretty colors.

i agree with the UI design.
Fisrt, the standar look of v2 and v3 is not bad at all. But i do think they have to do a better job at designing it. They can have it look more integrated and slick without compromising security.

Second, performance has to be a major concern in next versions of Firefox because it leaves much to be desired in this field.

Third, security is well and it has been addressed promptly over time.

Fourth, IE 7 is a good browser. If only MS can add more customizing options and a decent adblocking engine like AdBlock Plus.

That being said, i think people won't stop using FF just because the main UI is "plain" and "simple" even if it can have a major overhaul in newer versions.

The IE7 alternatives aren't being more accepted like before just because the adblocking components AdBlock PLus brongs to FF. The World Browser for Vista is really faster and responsive that IE7 and FF.

Ie7's unlikely to add adblock like functionality as adblock kills ad supported sites.
A plugin is possible but it is highly unlikely to be MS endorsed.

Ie7 is an 'ok' browser for 2001, it's standards compliance is still horendous, simply not quite as bad as ie6 or earlier.

Ie8 is looking to perpetuate this problem by not running in real standards compliance mode by default.

FF3 is a significant improvement in performance, memory management and usability for FF, it's also making inroads in stability on my system, already shutting down far less with b2, and b3 than ff2 final versions.

Darn! Beta 3 still won't operate MS Silverlight properly, but I heard that issue may still continue until the final release. If it weren't for that issue (some of the sites I frequent use this), I'd be using Firefox instead of Safari, since Safari crashes more often ever since they upgraded to 3.0.

nothing wrong with the ui just the memory leaks need to be fixed,and have you heard the word change?you can change it to your hearts desire if you dont like it.

Firefox's default theme has never been anything to write home about. Firefox is more about work than play. But if anyone wants their Firefox to look more shiny they can always install custom themes! As for me I would like to see something simple and lite on RAM.

All I'd want from FF is for it to run securely and load add on's faster, otherwise v2 on my PC looks great between the theme and personalized toolbar bitmap I made for it.

What I'd not like to happen is for v3 to no longer work with what aesthetics I already use like IE7 did - only worse - so you can't customize the toolbar bitmap at all anymore. In no way does IE7 work as well or better than Firefox (any version) IMO as there are not all the add on's to make it function with panache' and using features of my own choosing. IE7 without IE7 Pro is worthless to me... and even with the add on installed barely passes with a one thumbs up.

What was I thinking?! Everyone knows a browser like a new car runs better with a new paint job... kick the wheels and off ya go. No? Well at least it looks better as it limps along.

Sorry, but I agree with this article. Firefox makes tons of money (much more than most people think) and yet they can't seem to create a decent, innovative theme? I am very very disappointed in the look and feel of Firefox 3 so far. Hire some decent designers Mozilla!!

Who cares what it "looks" like?! That's what THEMES are for... While I agree most users (myself included) would like to see an attractive UI, sometimes you just can't have it all. Performance, security, features is what matters most.

Quit your bitchin..... and join in. Either give your support by spending time supporting the software you use, in which, in this case.. you could help design a "better" UI.. or simply STFU.

Or.... at least, keep your whining off the front page, I know it's an "editorial", but good grief Daniel, give me your address and I'll ship you a truck of tissues already.

(xMorpheousx416 said @ #1)
Quit your bitchin..... and join in. Either give your support by spending time supporting the software you use, in which, in this case.. you could help design a "better" UI.. or simply STFU.

Or.... at least, keep your whining off the front page, I know it's an "editorial", but good grief Daniel, give me your address and I'll ship you a truck of tissues already.


Two things:

1. It's not an editorial.
2. It's not by Daniel Fleshbourne.

FF still has a small fraction of IE's capabilities and, apparently, still none of the style. Safari has less on both accounts.

That's why FF is the greatest thing ever for Mac but really offers nothing for PC users. Maybe Google should fork over a little more money so they can hire some better programmers.

I disagree with the idea that the UI is terrible...

Sure, it needs polishing, but it's in beta, people! Has firefox ever really done you wrong?

<3 Firefox.

Unlike most of the people here that bash the article, I agree entirely. The FF Windows UI is terrible. Sure its customizable and all that, but how hard would it have been for them to make it a tiny bit more modern looking? Its not like its hard to skin or anything, theres a million skins out there as i just mentioned.

And for the people bashing IE, IE is great. And if you're getting popups you're doing something seriously wrong. My IE is clean, fast and looks nice. And yes. It works jUST AS WELL [oh noes!] as firefox, but with a greatly reduced startup time.

(darkpuma said @ #23)
Unlike most of the people here that bash the article, I agree entirely. The FF Windows UI is terrible. Sure its customizable and all that, but how hard would it have been for them to make it a tiny bit more modern looking? Its not like its hard to skin or anything, theres a million skins out there as i just mentioned.

And for the people bashing IE, IE is great. And if you're getting popups you're doing something seriously wrong. My IE is clean, fast and looks nice. And yes. It works jUST AS WELL [oh noes!] as firefox, but with a greatly reduced startup time.

that startup time may have to be related to something a bit about INTEGRATION into the operating system, something, that FF doesnt have to begin with

(burnsflipper said @ #23.1)
(darkpuma said @ #23)
Unlike most of the people here that bash the article, I agree entirely. The FF Windows UI is terrible. Sure its customizable and all that, but how hard would it have been for them to make it a tiny bit more modern looking? Its not like its hard to skin or anything, theres a million skins out there as i just mentioned.

And for the people bashing IE, IE is great. And if you're getting popups you're doing something seriously wrong. My IE is clean, fast and looks nice. And yes. It works jUST AS WELL [oh noes!] as firefox, but with a greatly reduced startup time.

that startup time may have to be related to something a bit about INTEGRATION into the operating system, something, that FF doesnt have to begin with :rolleyes:

Well yeah, and also due to all the customizations and stuff. Still though, its a con either way you look at it. If it was integrated and went faster then thats great, but its not, and it doesn't :P

When are people going to realize that functionality, stability, and usability is more important than looks. Yea, IE7 looks modern but I cannot count the amount of popups I get when using IE7. I dont have this problem with Firefox. Besides, firefox has the ability to change the skin to make it look modern. So I am not sure what the big deal is.

Case and Point, Quite obvious user stupidity...IE7 has a built in popup blocker which, if you're getting popups, you've obviously disabled.

However, an interface with usability flaws/issues may be related to how it "looks" (poor design decisions that interfere with task/goal completion), so you can't categorically separate "usability" and "looks" and put them in 2 separate buckets. Some of the skins available do more damage than good, however, for the PC version of Firefox 3, may be required from some of the screenshots around the place!

Popups? lol. The popup blocker in IE7 is just as good as the one in FF. Just turn it on... (it is on by default, maybe you switched it off?)

(Avi said @ #22.3)
Popups? lol. The popup blocker in IE7 is just as good as the one in FF. Just turn it on... (it is on by default, maybe you switched it off?)

maybe... BUT is IE7's as good as Firefox's popup blocking WITh Adblock plus installed? thats the question.

Oh no, a browser doesn't have BLING BLING in it - I mean that has to be the MOST important factor in ANY web browser.

I wish people that complained about these things would just die off and improve the gene pool that way but then again I guess these are the same people that think Paris Hilton is cool.

To Xtyfe (if that is your real name)

Post a meaningful comment for once. "Yawn" "Apple is the best thing ever" and "this isn't news" really adds nothing to the discussion and never has.

I wouldn't say firefox 2 disappointed. It wasn't super revolutionary either, but it wasn't a bad release. And IE7 is not exactly visually appealing, especially on anything that is not windows vista.

Hehe exactly what I was thinking. Here I am looking at the comments and people are stating their opinion and trying to tell other people that x is a better browser because it looks better than y.

Pretty sad when they've resorted to complaining about looks to try and bring down FF


FF3b3 looks good in Linux, runs great and uses less memory then b2, as far as I'm concerned that's all that matters

I disagree with a few points.

Safari does not look good - at least not on Windows anyway!

IE does look OK, but could look a whole lot better.

Firefox 3 looks at least a little bit better than Firefox 2, but I agree it could look a whole lot better.

Am I the only person out there that couldn't give a crap what the software looks like as long as it's consistent with the OS it's placed in?

It looks like some developers are so desperate that they are ready to pass any square as new wheel invention and present it as a new big invention of a century. Some things are perfect already.

the looks are arguable, i think it looks nice...i agree the drop down menu, can look more appealing. I wish it would look a little more modern too... but it's all still nice.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason it really bothers me that the tabs are upside down like that. It doesn't feel natural at all.

Might just be me, though.

(Joshie said @ #8.1)
I'm not sure why, but for some reason it really bothers me that the tabs are upside down like that. It doesn't feel natural at all.

Might just be me, though.

But Safari is the same.

The Firefox team got the button style all wrong. That's a cross between round textured and capsule, which they shouldn't have done. The tabs make sense in OS X, because they flow with the toolbar. It's the same reason the title bar and the toolbar look like one.

didn't see anything wrong with the beta, actualy its a nice improvement, nothing about it bothers me.
the gfx look fine, and it "feels" great, everything goes very smooth and ****, easy to use this program.

Is it too much to ask that software look good, rather than be tacky?

It's not too much to ask that software look good, but it's ridiculous if you chose that over security and performance. I rather have Firefox looking the way it is now. I hate the way IE7 looks.

if you're on Vista you should choose IE7 even if you don't like how it looks then.


in any case FF is out of the question for me anyway. when they can't fix a huge known memory bug fo 3 majors versions and only add workarounds, then I don't trust the rest of their code.

(KevinRGood said @ #2)

It's not too much to ask that software look good, but it's ridiculous if you chose that over security and performance. I rather have Firefox looking the way it is now. I hate the way IE7 looks.

and firefox is that much more secure than ie7 or opera because...?

in my opinion, it all comes down to the stupidity of the user

(HawkMan said @ #2.1)
if you're on Vista you should choose IE7 even if you don't like how it looks then.


in any case FF is out of the question for me anyway. when they can't fix a huge known memory bug fo 3 majors versions and only add workarounds, then I don't trust the rest of their code.

There's one AWESOME reason for NOT using Firefox. Can you even believe that is STILL an issue. Pretty lame, IMO.

Always get me, how people criticize the UI. Man, if that's your main complaint on anything, there's no hope for you!

Personally,
Can't stand Firefox on Windows and will not use it. Seamonkey is just as good and probably better, IMO.

It's called Bon Echo or IceWeasel in some Linux distro though, and not as bad.

(HawkMan said @ #2.1)
if you're on Vista you should choose IE7 even if you don't like how it looks then.

If Microsoft had its way, we'd have no choice.

There's a difference between a memory leek, and taking a while to return memory to the pool.
firefox's issues were a combination of lot of factors, cached pages, memory fragmentation, bad plugins.

Very little if any of the ram use with FF was actually a leak, but a great deal has been done to optimize memory use, defragmentation and faster memory return in FF3.

wtf neowin just deleted my post after I edited it.


Anyway basically what i said was I liked what I saw from the mockups but the actual Icons look like crap in this beta. The big back button especially has rough edges and is just not a good icon.