Firefox 4 Beta 7 Lands

Although we won't be seeing a final version of Firefox until early next year, Mozilla have released beta 7 to the public while they press on with beta 8 nightly builds. This update brings in the most extensive changes between builds, and although it's not a finished product it is becoming much more usable and stable with each beta.

As DexMorgan points out on our forums, no less than 2439 bugs were squashed between beta 5 and beta 7; why no beta 6 you may wonder to yourself? Well Beta 7 was initiallly supposed to be beta 6, but 2 bugs surfaced shortly after the release of beta 5 prompting a small beta update in order to fix a stability issue on Windows and some rendering and keyboard/mouse focus issues on OSX related to plugins.

To put it into perspective, below are the number of bug fixes between the most recent builds:

beta2 - 684
beta3 - 510
beta4 - 651
beta5 - 650

beta7 - 2742 bugs fixed

You can grab the build here, it weighs in at 7.7 MB

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I cant understand mozilla or firefox team, WHAT THE HELL are they doing with the UI, first the tabs on the top and eliminate the menu and title bar, later the position of stop and reload button and NOW they eliminate the status bar.

The main issue of firefox its not the UI, i like the UI and so its the mayority of those that its still using firefox 3.6 and if we can account for ie, safari and firefox users we are the mayority, if people hated the firefox interface it the first place they changed to chrome or opera in the first place.

Why screw your default users in changing the UI just for the sake of the minority, i cant understand it, what its worse its that they think that copying chrome make sense... Most of the people i know that changed to chrome from firefox its because of the PERFORMANCE and SPEED, and that should be the main focus of mozilla o firefox team.

STOP messing the UI and forcing things (like the elimination of the status bar), one reason that people like firefox its because its one of the most customizable browser, and sure i can customize the thing a wanted it seems that the core functionality its force for those changes in the interface and that its so wrong.

I remember when ie moved to version 7 and people sticked with 6 it took almost two version from 6 to 8 so that the less savvy person can get used to it and now microsoft its changing it again with ie9.

Firefox dont need a change the ui, if people dont want the status bar they can disable it, but by eliminating it you dont give option to those that use it.. I think that firefox team its in the middle of identity crisis...

Sorry, I didn't read all the comments, but are they ever going to actually finish the thing? I have no issues with FF 3.6.

Just wondering.

Having a go overnight with it on my old Core Duo laptop (1GB RAM) has proven to be a CPU resource eater with an almost constant 15-20% CPU usage while surfing and peaking it at 90%. The interface itself becomes sluggish at times and the download speed somewhat awkward with rips of full throttle and slow downs to almost 0 bps.
Great interface though, leaving pretty much space for viewing the web without large icons, text and buttons blocking the way.
It is still a very beta one though.

UI Responsiveness is as bad as previous versions. While there is great improvement on page rendering/opening performance, UI still as slow as slug

Just gave it a go.

Wasn't bad per say, I just had some addons that even when forced to work didn't work very well. Like greasemonkey and Image zoom. Back to 3.6 I go.

warwagon said,
I just had some addons that even when forced to work didn't work very well. Like greasemonkey and Image zoom.
I hardly think that's surprising - though I believe greasemonkey has a beta build, and Zoom Page is working fine for me.

Not impressed by the new version. Buggy and laggy on my Dual processor workstation with Dual 1TB Video cards. Hardware acceleration what?

Although I like IE 9 Beta it has too many graphics bugs at the moment. Not consistent from page to page.

Chrome has been really nice. I switch back and forth. I have removed Firefox completely and Opera has never impressed me.

mrmomoman said,
Not impressed by the new version. Buggy and laggy on my Dual processor workstation with Dual 1TB Video cards. Hardware acceleration what?
That's entirely unlike my experience tbh. What kind of lagginess?

mrmomoman said,
Not impressed by the new version. Buggy and laggy on my Dual processor workstation with Dual 1TB Video cards. Hardware acceleration what?

Here's your problem, you're using video cards that don't exist (yet).

I'd be interested to see some screenshots. I'm wondering if the look is finally identical (or almost) to the mockups. Many of the awesome elements found in the mockups were not included even as late as 'Beta 6'.

I doubt I'll be installing Firefox again, so I'd rather see screenshots.

Calum said,
I'd be interested to see some screenshots. I'm wondering if the look is finally identical (or almost) to the mockups. Many of the awesome elements found in the mockups were not included even as late as 'Beta 6'.

I doubt I'll be installing Firefox again, so I'd rather see screenshots.

almost like mockups

This is pretty much how it looks right now

https://wiki.mozilla.org/image.../Current-vs-intended-design-%28windows%29.png

Edited by bogas04, Nov 11 2010, 5:34pm :

KavazovAngel said,
Impressive numbers... But kind of sad that there were that many bugs in the first place.

they are features first Jaeger Monkey's bugs are feature bugs , so its not quite right to call them bugs , but rather feature addition

Did they restarted from scratch when they shifted from 3 to 4? With so many bugs fixed between each beta release I guess so...

From 3.0 to the current 3.6.12, we can tell the latter should be close to bug free and they only fix newly discovered vunerabilities once in a while.

Rhialto said,
Did they restarted from scratch when they shifted from 3 to 4? With so many bugs fixed between each beta release I guess so...

From 3.0 to the current 3.6.12, we can tell the latter should be close to bug free and they only fix newly discovered vunerabilities once in a while.

The changes are not all bugfixes. Many are feature enhancements and tweaks.

In any case, no, it was not restarted from scratch - software is just inherently complex.

Kirkburn said,
The changes are not all bugfixes. Many are feature enhancements and tweaks.

In any case, no, it was not restarted from scratch - software is just inherently complex.

Enhancements and tweaks account for virtually null no the log sheet. You have 20-30 tweaks for every build vs thousands of bugs.

Firefox has still problem with the reflection delay on swiching tabs and on multitabbing. For me Google Chrome is now the best browser (I am using Google Chrome 9.0.576.0). I have opened like 70 tabs on google chrome and it was working fine.

70! Holy crap. I hardly ever have more than a few tabs open at once. What are you doing with 70 tabs? Doesn't it get confusing?

ccoltmanm said,
If you have 7 or 6 Beta builds, it should never have been in Beta in the first place.

I actually agree with you. The fact that they're adding features in a Beta makes it not a beta by definition. The problem for Mozilla is that if they didn't start releasing "betas", IE9 and Chrome would be getting all of the publicity, and Firefox would be at risk of losing its market share.

Cant believe its finally released... beta 8 comin up 2morrow?
Firefox 4.0 Beta 8 November 12 (tentative)
Firefox 4.0 Beta 9 November 26 (tentative)

gulshan666 said,
Cant believe its finally released... beta 8 comin up 2morrow?
Firefox 4.0 Beta 8 November 12 (tentative)
Firefox 4.0 Beta 9 November 26 (tentative)

its not updated tentative

gulshan666 said,
Cant believe its finally released... beta 8 comin up 2morrow?
Firefox 4.0 Beta 8 November 12 (tentative)
Firefox 4.0 Beta 9 November 26 (tentative)

Very unlikely, the Mozilla developers wrote on the newsgroup that it would take 2-3 weeks until beta 8. There are 2 possibilities as far as I can see:

1. The dates are plain wrong because some overzealous user put in some old numbers.
2. At least one major bug/security issue was found which forces Mozilla to release an unscheduled additional beta. That means that all features which were planned for beta 8 would automatically move to beta 9.

What I don't understand is their memory problem. I know, I know, it's not a memory leak.
3.6.x uses 50-90mb for 3 or 4 tabs. 4.0 bX uses....300+for nothing. 1 blank tab. Frankly that's a little insane, and there really can't be a reason for this. open gmail and I'm at 380mb. Why the long face, Mozilla, what's with the huge jump in ram feeding? nom nom nom

dancedar said,
What I don't understand is their memory problem. I know, I know, it's not a memory leak.
3.6.x uses 50-90mb for 3 or 4 tabs. 4.0 bX uses....300+for nothing. 1 blank tab. Frankly that's a little insane, and there really can't be a reason for this. open gmail and I'm at 380mb. Why the long face, Mozilla, what's with the huge jump in ram feeding? nom nom nom

Wow, if that's the case, that's pretty bad. I hope they resolve that...

M_Lyons10 said,

Wow, if that's the case, that's pretty bad. I hope they resolve that...

You're must be looking at the virtual size of the memory it uses. On my computer for one tab it reads 100MB

Nikos_GR said,

You're must be looking at the virtual size of the memory it uses. On my computer for one tab it reads 100MB

This is the Task Manager's Memory (Private Working Set) reported in Windows 7 - 3.6 is 50ish, 4.0bx is 300+ - nothing to do with reporting different things

Have a look at about:memory if you want a detailed and accurate picture of memory usage.

For example I currently have 7 tabs open and it reports:
Memory mapped: 223,346,688
Memory in use: 189,568,954

For completion: My Private Working Set is 253,024 K

Win7 x86, 2GB RAM, only AdBlock Plus installed and it takes 62MB with a single blank page. It's your crappy system man, not Firefox.

Pretty fast (and in loading too)! Just a few clicks from ditching chrome for this. A couple of my addons do not work, but what the heck! I can live without them.

Well done ffox!

Mouettus said,
still has problems rendering flash video containers? (and scrolling while those are on-screen)

That has always irked me when scrolling just breaks completely when a mouse pointer is on a flash video.

To put it in another kind of perspective:

Beta 2 32.57142857 average bugs fixed per day
Beta 3 34
Beta 4 50.07692308
Beta 5 46.42857143
Beta 7 42.84375

Just sayin'.

JamesWeb said,
To put it in another kind of perspective:

Beta 2 32.57142857 average bugs fixed per day
Beta 3 34
Beta 4 50.07692308
Beta 5 46.42857143
Beta 7 42.84375

Just sayin'.


great

I really like how the next URL shows up in the address bar. It'll take some getting used to since it's on the opposite side of the screen, but the way they present it makes sense logically.

Yakuzing said,
Oh yes it's true. I get all dreamy wishing Mozilla would expand to doing many more kinds of software.

Yeah, unfortunately they don't seem to have the resources... I think right now they're suffering from trying to do too much honestly. They really need to focus more on Firefox and Thunderbird...

bogas04 said,

not that slower too


a lot slower. even with hardware acceleration google maps, yandex maps and other dynamic sites lags A LOT.

Neoauld said,
I wonder if its faster, they got a lot of catchin up to do

Plain faster,
At least to my eyes and within some sites it's on par of Chrome 9

Neoauld said,
I wonder if its faster, they got a lot of catchin up to do

Its way more faster , worth a try , i have no problems with firefox now

bogas04 said,

Its way more faster , worth a try , i have no problems with firefox now

This is great. How is the UI responsiveness? In 3.6 I have noticed some lag in that regard, so that's one area I really do hope they improve in 4.

M_Lyons10 said,

This is great. How is the UI responsiveness? In 3.6 I have noticed some lag in that regard, so that's one area I really do hope they improve in 4.

check your add on. Basic Firefox 3.6 is fast enough for me in everyday use.

M_Lyons10 said,

This is great. How is the UI responsiveness? In 3.6 I have noticed some lag in that regard, so that's one area I really do hope they improve in 4.


UI responsiveness depend on Places - SQLite history database, which is poorly realized and optimized. No any noticeable changes in Places were made for FF4.

bogas04 said,
Yeah! Thats the 2 months work , enough bugs for google to number the such release if possible as Chrome 12
LOLOL, that right...
I don't get gg, it feels that they are trying to reach Opera in version numbers,
How stupid that can be?!?

bogas04 said,
Yeah! Thats the 2 months work , enough bugs for google to number the such release if possible as Chrome 12

Google doesn't go by number of bugs.

They use a six week release cycle to better match the trunk with the stable releases. Or in layman's terms: To get new features out faster instead of holding up for big launch parties with lots of cake.

And yes, they'll reach a "Chrome 12" next year, and way beyond that. There's around eight Chrome milestones per year with their new development model.

Northgrove said,

Google doesn't go by number of bugs.

They use a six week release cycle to better match the trunk with the stable releases. Or in layman's terms: To get new features out faster instead of holding up for big launch parties with lots of cake.

And yes, they'll reach a "Chrome 12" next year, and way beyond that. There's around eight Chrome milestones per year with their new development model.

I feel like palm slapping

Northgrove said,

Google doesn't go by number of bugs.

They use a six week release cycle to better match the trunk with the stable releases. Or in layman's terms: To get new features out faster instead of holding up for big launch parties with lots of cake.

And yes, they'll reach a "Chrome 12" next year, and way beyond that. There's around eight Chrome milestones per year with their new development model.

Chrome continues to be plain text, regarding features and looks. So that is not a great explanation for this silly version jumping.

Luis Mazza said,

Chrome continues to be plain text, regarding features and looks. So that is not a great explanation for this silly version jumping.

I think Google is taking advantage of the average user thinking a higher version number is "better"... I've actually had this conversation a number of times with people that argued IE was more up to date, etc. because it's version number is higher than Firefox's... I don't personally get it, but to a non techie I suppose the version number could be read into as meaning more than it is... Which is why I think Google is on such a ridiculous update structure.

bogas04 said,
Yeah! Thats the 2 months work , enough bugs for google to number the such release if possible as Chrome 12

Or maybe it just means that Firefox 4 is stuffed full of bugs that need fixing...

Samurizer said,

Or maybe it just means that Firefox 4 is stuffed full of bugs that need fixing...

haha....

version number means nothing.... get over it.

Samurizer said,

Or maybe it just means that Firefox 4 is stuffed full of bugs that need fixing...

Many features are added , that made the number count go up , not the glitches etc.
JM , WebGL , OpenFonts , ThemeEnhancements and so on ..

M_Lyons10 said,

I think Google is taking advantage of the average user thinking a higher version number is "better"... I've actually had this conversation a number of times with people that argued IE was more up to date, etc. because it's version number is higher than Firefox's... I don't personally get it, but to a non techie I suppose the version number could be read into as meaning more than it is... Which is why I think Google is on such a ridiculous update structure.

Do average users even know what version their installation of Chrome is? It doesn't say on the download page, it doesn't make a big song and dance (a la Firefox) when you first launch (or upgrade), and when you do upgrade it does so silently in the background.

They're just not ****ing about with the stupid "major/minor version" crap.

bogas04 said,

Many features are added , that made the number count go up , not the glitches etc.
JM , WebGL , OpenFonts , ThemeEnhancements and so on ..

I don't think that'd be such a bad thing. Regular releases at scheduled intervals are good, falling behind the competition for years and trying to catch up all at once resulting in unusably buggy betas and mis-scheduled development periods, not so good.

Northgrove said,

Google doesn't go by number of bugs.

They use a six week release cycle to better match the trunk with the stable releases. Or in layman's terms: To get new features out faster instead of holding up for big launch parties with lots of cake.

And yes, they'll reach a "Chrome 12" next year, and way beyond that. There's around eight Chrome milestones per year with their new development model.


...or they wanted to get to Chrome 9 so they could be the same version # as IE?!