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Firefox 4 beta 2 adds app tabs, Mac tabs on top

updated 06:25 pm EDT, Tue July 27, 2010

Firefox 4 second beta turns tabs into permanent

Mozilla on Tuesday posted its second beta of Firefox 4. The update brings in a new App Tabs feature that turns tabs into permanent features. Much like Chrome, it collapses the tab to an icon but makes it always available on the left to jump to a favorite page, such as a blogging tool or Internet radio. Mac users now see tabs on top by default where they were strictly optional in the first beta.

Startup times should get faster, and the rendering engine now recognizes CSS3 transition effects. Long term updates such as Tab Candy are coming to Firefox 4 but won't necessarily be in the final build, although faster JavaScript, WebM and added HTML5 support are in place.

The new release is available for Linux, Mac and Windows PCs. Mozilla isn't ready to commit to a launch date for the completed Firefox but usually posts release candidates within weeks of the eventual launch.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Mike Richardson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009

    -6

    Tabs on top SUCKS

    Why would anyone want that?!?

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +2

    I can see the logic

    Now the location field is inside the tab, which makes sense since it changes as you switch tabs. Still, it will take some getting used to. On the other hand, it's not as bad as Apple's tabs on top debacle in Safari 4. That was just an awful design and I switched it back to normal as soon as a utility became available to do that.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2009

    -3

    still not good

    I would buy into FireFox if they just made a Mac client that followed Mac interface conventions and wasn't so damn ugly. The UI is completely over-designed.

    @CmdrGampu: Safari's tabs on top design was superior IMO and in the view of many other designers. Now that Chrome and Firefox are both doing it, perhaps the option will come back with the next Safari revision.

    This design is tasteless and overdone. The little picture icons on the tabs are ugly and unnecessary and the fact that they are there means Firefox has to put the close box on the wrong side of the tab. The "star" is tackiness personified. I've never understood why the heck the back button has to be bigger than the forward button either. I'm sure it makes sense for some users, but not for me or anyone I know. Are they saying people go back more than they go forward? Crazy cakes.

    To future designers ... If you *ever* get the urge to put cutsie stars on your designs slap yourself in the face and snap out of it. It's *never* a good idea (unless you are designing a kindergarten site).

  1. andrewbw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2001

    +2

    comment title

    "Are they saying people go back more than they go forward?"

    Actually, user interface testing by Google showed people do. Making it a larger target on the default theme has sense behind it. Of course, you can change the theme to whatever you want in Firefox.

    The rest of your comment comes across as a designer just starting out trying very hard to sound knowledgeable. It's cute, and I remember behaving that way about 20 years ago. You'll feel pretty dumb about it in a few years after you've had a few clients declare your work "garbage" and storm out of a meeting. It's humbling, and it teaches you never to dismiss ideas out of hand -- you never know when you may need those very ideas yourself.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +4

    Uh, Gazoobee

    Do you realize that the Chrome you hold up as another good evolutionary step also has the "ugly and unnecessary little picture icons" (a.k.a. favicons) on the tabs, plus the close button on the same side that you hate? By your reasoning, since Firefox and Chrome both do it that way, it must be Safari that's wrong. And Chrome also has a star in its interface layout to let you add a favorite. There's nothing counterintuitive about using a star for that purpose, but on the other hand, Safari's + button actually can be confusing to the uninitiated. What does the "+" add? A new tab? A new window? Can you think of something more appropriate than a star?

    And yes, people do go back much more than they go forward. Whenever people surf, they click on a link then when they're finished, go back to the previous page. Unless you've started a new session or a new tab/window, there's always something to go back to, but usually nothing to go forward to.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Still not good

    I would buy into FireFox if they just made a Mac client that followed Mac interface conventions and wasn't so damn ugly. The UI is completely over-designed.

    @CmdrGampu: Safari's tabs on top design was superior IMO and in the view of many other designers. Now that Chrome and Firefox are both doing it, perhaps the option will come back with the next Safari revision.


    The biggest complaint about tabs on top in Safari was that it didn't follow mac interface conventions. How can you complain about one program, than ignore it on the other?

    Of course, maybe if Apple would bother to learn the UI standards of other platforms and follow them, other developers would work at doing it for OS X.

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