First Impressions of Firefox 3

Firefox 3 is finally here. I've been testing the betas and release candidates off and on and there's no doubt it's an improvement on Firefox 2, probably a big improvement. I'm moving over to it. This is a good upgrade to a good browser, but it's not the godsend many make it out to be.

For me, the biggest improvement in Firefox 3 is that it no longer (at least not yet in my testing) consumes huge amounts of memory. As I work right now, with 4 tabs open including some Flash content, it's consuming 130MB, which is the most I've ever seen. Firefox 2 regularly consumed several hundred MB on my systems, and usually much more than Internet Explorer 7. Mozilla seems to have solved that problem.

But not everything about it is wonderful. Even if I'm basically happy with it, there are a few things I definitely don't like about it. For example, I use the Clear Private Data feature now and then, which clears the browsing history (when you drop down the address bar), among other things. You can select Tools-Clear Private Data or press Ctrl-Shift-Del. When you do this in Firefox 3, it does not clear any browser history where the domain is in a bookmark, so your address bar drop-down may still have addresses in it. This seems wrong and confusing, and I bugged it in Bugzilla during beta. To the developers, it's one of those "it's not a bug, it's a feature" things, and they provide no way to turn it off in about :config or anywhere else. I think this was a bad choice.

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