Firefox 1.5 Rocks

November 26, 2005

I’ve been biding my time about saying anything about Firefox 1.5 — I’ve been playing with it since RC1 (“Release Candidate 1”), and it’s currently up to RC3, and looking rock solid.

Rumor has it that the formal release will be around the end of the month, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty close. PC Mag must think so too, since they just did a review of RC3.

Of course, I haven’t fooled much with the PC version (which they review), but I’ve spent a lot of quality time with the Mac OS X version, and I’ve got to say, Firefox 1.5 rocks.

The best “feature”, as far as I’m concerned, is that it’s much faster than previous versions of Firefox on the Mac. It now renders pretty much on par with Opera, which effectively ends my interest in Opera — now I can have reasonable speed and my plug ins.

It also seems awfully stable, again compared to previous releases. Firefox has always been a bit on the “crash and burn” side for me (and Opera still is), but the new version seems quite solid. In fact, if it wasn’t for various travel hassle issues last week, I’m guessing I’d have probably been running the same instance of RC2 right up until RC3 released and I had to restart it.

The bad news is that you can expect a degree of “this plugin does not support 1.5” issues if you run many plugins. The good news is that many plugins are already updated, and for many of the ones that aren’t, it’s trivial to update them (in many cases, the technically inclined can just edit them to tell Firefox that they support 1.5).

I don’t know if I’d recommend a release candidate version to the average user (although PC Mag did, and this one is awfully good), but at the very least, put on your calendar to update to the new version at the end of the month — you’ll be glad you did.

(Pssst — Safari diehards; if speed issues have been putting you off going to Firefox, this is the release for you.)

Firefox 1.5 (Release Candidate 3)

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