Firefox 4 Beta 1 available now

Firefox 4 Beta 1

Last week, Mozilla was spotted posting a beta candidate build of its upcoming Firefox 4 web browser. Today, the company has officially released their first beta to the public. Included in the beta is the browsers much anticipated revamped user interface. Featuring less chrome, more glass (for Windows Vista and 7), and better support for standards, Firefox 4 will hopefully be just what Mozilla needs to stay competitive against its competition in the browser wars.

The new UI (pictured above), features an all-new look that delivers more simplicity and continuity across the board. Keep in mind, more improvements to the UI will continue to be be made throughout the beta process. The improved AwesomeBar now shows currently opened tabs in its drop-down suggestions. This sort of feature can be useful when the tab you want has scrolled out of visible view and you need an easy way to jump to it. The new add-on manager loads within a tab and continues to allow a seamless merge between developers and their audience. The new Firefox button, seen at the top left, is Mozilla's way of bringing the entire file menu into a single, simple to navigate list. It may take time for users to get used to, but it greatly aids in simplifying what was once deemed by some to be a cluttered and obtrusive experience. The button's underlying menu if far from complete. Expect a revamped menu layout, as well as the addition of many missing elements.

Many more features are present in this release. The browser is snappier and even allows a use to take control of how the UI is laid out (tabs on top, bottom, etc.). Firefox 4 is scheduled to go gold by the end of the year. To go ahead and help Mozilla work out all the kinks, visit Mozilla's website and download Firefox 4b1. It's currently available in English for Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, only the Windows Vista and 7 versions sport the new Firefox button.

Warning: When installing this version of Firefox, please bear in mind that most add-ons are not yet compatible with this build (this includes the Nightly Tester Tools). As of writing, there is no way to install older add-ons without tweaking the browsers configuration settings.

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Missing minimize, maximize and close buttons are fixed once I removed my TwentyTen theme. Not sure why I can't disable it.

So far so good. One problem I'm experiencing is that the minimize, maximize and close buttons on the top right side are missing. They all appear when I check to display menu bar.

Betas have to be feature freeze. But there are lots of things simply not finished or not even started implementing. This is not beta, whatever mozilla programmers thinking of. It's an early alpha - unstable, way too incomplete, buggy.

coth said,
Betas have to be feature freeze. But there are lots of things simply not finished or not even started implementing. This is not beta, whatever mozilla programmers thinking of. It's an early alpha - unstable, way too incomplete, buggy.

I concur, but I assume that Mozilla hopes to get more people testing Firefox 4 when they assign the beta label to it instead of the more appropriate alpha label. There are still some big features which have to be integrated into the browser and which will probably profit from a larger than usual tester base.

"As of writing, there is no way to install older add-ons."

1. Type about:config in Firefox addressbar and press Enter. It'll confirm, click on I'll be careful, I promise! button.

2. Now right-click and select "New -> Boolean". Give it name extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b and set its value to false.

3. That's it. You have done. Restart your browser and now all disabled extensions will be enabled and you'll be able to install new incompatible extensions as well.

zoonyx said,
"As of writing, there is no way to install older add-ons."

1. Type about:config in Firefox addressbar and press Enter. It'll confirm, click on I'll be careful, I promise! button.

2. Now right-click and select "New -> Boolean". Give it name extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b and set its value to false.

3. That's it. You have done. Restart your browser and now all disabled extensions will be enabled and you'll be able to install new incompatible extensions as well.

Better to instal this:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/15003]Add-on Compatibility Reporter

It is also interesting that you cannot define the number of days to clear out old history in the options. I hope that it does a good amount as it can bring the address bar to a crawl if too many URLs are stored in it.

I think they need to remove the transparency from inactive tabs, or allow us to via userchrome.css (if possible) because text is unreadable on dark backgrounds, but is fine if there is a bright background behind firefox.

[img]http://imgur.com/RXDvk.png[/img]

aarste said,
I think they need to remove the transparency from inactive tabs, or allow us to via userchrome.css (if possible) because text is unreadable on dark backgrounds, but is fine if there is a bright background behind firefox.

[img]http://imgur.com/RXDvk.png[/img]

Enable Cleartype first

I like the new UI. And for those of us that don't, it can be customized without the use of add-ons. I think its best of both worlds, really (why am I posting this using IE8?) ...

People like Opera/Chrome design , but complain Firefox using that (not apparently) , why?
If they don't want what they link, then what else they want, hmm, even that's not a problem with firefox , coz they can make it look like anything they wish to

Dead'Soul said,
status bar is still there... fail

The UI isn't done yet. The UX team haven't had time to implement everything yet.

Dead'Soul said,
status bar is still there... fail

Failure of a post.

BETA: preliminary or testing stage of a software or hardware product.

EG: It's not entirely done yet.

Look at that wasted space between the firefox button and close max min buttons.

One thing i like about Chrome is that you don't see the word chrome anywhere. That's one of the few things i like about it.

Warning: When installing this version of Firefox, please bear in mind that no add ons are currently compatible with this build, this includes the Nightly Tester Tools. As of writing, there is no way to install older add ons.

uhh, there has always been a way to install older addons, though as far as actual proper operation goes, YMMV...most work fine. so far only Mouse Gestures Redox and latest Firebug alpha have been acting strangely.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Extensions.checkCompatibility

just add boolean false value named "extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b" under about:config

EDIT: sorry this was supposed to be a reply to the main article, not this comment

ccoltmanm said,
Look at that wasted space between the firefox button and close max min buttons.
Wasted space that allows people to drag and resize their window...

Firefox 4 will hopefully be just what Mozilla needs to stay competitive against its competition in the browser wars.

as far as i am concerned Firefox v3.6 is still the best overall (so it's not like Firefox 4 is going to be a big boost) as i been using it for a while now and Chrome, although not bad, seems to eat memory and act funny at times.

even Opera kind of acts up a little here and there even though it generally loads quick but i seemed to notice when hitting back to back to a previous page with pictures etc at times it can take longer than it should to display etc.

so overall i think Firefox is still the best all around browser at the moment.

1.Firefox (best all around browser hands down. but it's probably the most polished as Chrome has not been out nearly as long etc)
2.Chrome (it's nice it supports extensions and generally has quick page loads but i noticed on random sites at times it can sometimes semi-freeze for a second or two while loading certain graphics)
3.Opera (in ways this is better as i like how this supports 'by default' of holding right click on mouse and scroll as it can switch between tabs this way although i prefer the instant switch that 'tabscroller' offers in Firefox. so in some ways Opera is solid and better than Chrome but i think overall Chrome beats Opera by a little bit)

basically it's those little random glitches that stop the other browsers from having a chance to beat Firefox for me.

p.s. my system = AMD Athlon 3500+ (overclocked to 2.460ish Mhz) single core. 2GB of RAM etc etc

Why do people complain when applications look the same in Windows? You don't hear complaining about how FontExplorer and Coda look similar but God forbid Firefox and Opera do.

That's just my two cents.

Ferron said,
Why do people complain when applications look the same in Windows? You don't hear complaining about how FontExplorer and Coda look similar but God forbid Firefox and Opera do.

That's just my two cents.


I'm still waiting on what the IE9 UI will look like.

This is just the beginning of good things to come. Retained layers is soon to make a landing on Beta 2. This speeds up scrolling dramatically. Good stuff.
Don't judge the final version on the beta's

street wolf said,
This is just the beginning of good things to come. Retained layers is soon to make a landing on Beta 2. This speeds up scrolling dramatically. Good stuff.
Don't judge the final version on the beta's

Scrolling is slow now? It's silky smooth at ~50 fps on my MacBook Pro and using the touchpad at least. *shrug*

Northgrove said,

Scrolling is slow now? It's silky smooth at ~50 fps on my MacBook Pro and using the touchpad at least. *shrug*

Well whatever it is, it's affecting some people. I get some very choppy scrolling on certain site pages, and not others. CPU usage doesn't even shoot up when it happens.

And I'm on an i5-750, shouldn't happen at all!

edit: i.e. this long comments page makes for some choppy scrolling now.

Works alright. Anybody know what happened to the Private Browsing feature?

Edit: Found it in the W7 jump list. Where is it in the actual browser, though?

lordcanti86 said,
Edit: Found it in the W7 jump list. Where is it in the actual browser, though?
The new menu isn't finished afaik.

ЀVÌ£ Ïñ Ðì§gû燎 said,
i dont have the red firefox button on the top left.. tabs arent on top.. feedback button is there.. but y hasnt the look changed?? anyone??

using a new profile or old profile ?
if old one, View>Toolbars >> uncheck "Menu Bar"
or try with new profile.

I have been using it since a week, and I got to say that I've been liking more Strata40 with Strata Buddy's theme, since I can get the little fox icon displayed at the left corner, instead of that "horrible" firefox button which bugs me a lot.

There is an add on called Addon Compatibility Reporter that you should install. It will permit the install of most any extension.

is there any way to change the blue colour of the tabs/address bar? I liked how stratabuddy let me select a white theme when tabs were on top.

I just want something that works. I like Chrome except the way tab works. I will stick with Firefox until that happens. And why not way to edit how things work in Chrome?

farmeunit said,
I just want something that works. I like Chrome except the way tab works. I will stick with Firefox until that happens. And why not way to edit how things work in Chrome?

What? I think chrome's tabs are the best (although safari and opera are nearly there)

Ps. Am I wrong in saying that the firefox 4 concepts came BEFORE opera 10's UI?

Tarrant64 said,
TwnetyTen Theme broke right from the start. just removed it - all is fine now. (OS X).

Still a while before we make that theme compatible

Tarrant64 said,
TwnetyTen Theme broke right from the start. just removed it - all is fine now. (OS X).

How on earth did you get Twenty Ten working on OS X in the first place?

Luis Mazza said,
My only wish to use this one as my primary browser is that it should support at least one of of my four addons.

Did you try disabling add-ons compatibility check under about:config by adding add new boolean 'extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b' and set to false.

KillerZ123 said,

Did you try disabling add-ons compatibility check under about:config by adding add new boolean 'extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0b' and set to false.


That's a terrible idea.

Luis Mazza said,
My only wish to use this one as my primary browser is that it should support at least one of of my four addons.

It's called patience. Eventually, they'll all support it.

Luis Mazza said,

Thanks guys, but TinyEye, Google Toolbar 7.1 beta, Download Helper and AdBlock Plus didn't work. I guess I'll have to wait.

Strange I know for a fact adblock should work because it worked for me as soon as I installed it before I disabled anything.

Looks to much like Opera and Chrome imo. To many browsers are taking this design if you ask me.

Purify said,
Looks to much like Opera and Chrome imo. To many browsers are taking this design if you ask me.

What's wrong with, "this design"?

I have a few reservations about some of the current UI trends myself, so I'm curious about yours.

Purify said,
Looks to much like Opera and Chrome imo. To many browsers are taking this design if you ask me.

Yes, but this you can customize. So if you don't like the tabs there, you can change it... Problem solved...

Purify said,
Looks to much like Opera and Chrome imo. To many browsers are taking this design if you ask me.

Browsers!! even IM Clients (Trillian)

Techno_Funky said,
Browsers!! even IM Clients (Trillian)

It looks like IE, too. It also looks like uTorrent. The browsing buttons reminds me of Safari.

Purify said,
Looks to much like Opera and Chrome imo. To many browsers are taking this design if you ask me.

It does, but I think the layout is very clean. I'm liking this beta.

lcg said,

It does, but I think the layout is very clean. I'm liking this beta.

It could use some breathing space between the menu button and the tabs. Right now the tabs are almost directly beneath the caption buttons. Also, there's no need to have that much titlebar space when maximized; if they still want the ability to drag down the window via Aero Snap, just leave a sliver of space for people to slam their cursor to the top and drag down.

Overall the layout is not bad.

M_Lyons10 said,

Yes, but this you can customize. So if you don't like the tabs there, you can change it... Problem solved...


So can you with Opera

Don't understand why people get so excited about the design. It's what a web browser does (display web content) that is important, not a silly resource hogging UI. In the end I would select one that does not harvest information on browsing habits, and allows third party add-ons to block this behaviour. Firefox does it for me!