It’s always the little things that make a product even better and I personally think that the new ‘Remember Password’ feature is just one of those enhancements.
I have a huge number of usernames and passwords used across a variety of different sites and one thing that niggled me with previous versions of Firefox and IE was the ‘Remember Password’ dialog – it will popup before you’ve logged into the site – before you’re sure that the password is correct! ‘Yes Firefox, I would like to remember the password, but I don’t know if its correct yet….’
The new ‘Remember Password’ feature presents itself in the top bar of the browser (see above) in a non-blocking fashion, allowing you see whether the login has been successful before instructing Firefox to remember the password.
Yet more Firefox 3 goodness – great Extended Secure Certificate Information presented directly in the browser:
I like the fact that the status of the certificate is visible where you would normally be looking (i.e. to the left of the address bar) and is colour coded, rather than just displaying the ‘lock’ icon somewhere near the bottom of the screen that I have to go off and look for*.
I particularly like this feature for people of an older generation (like my folks who got their first computer a couple of months ago and who are really afraid of doing something online that will compromise their bank details etc.). It places the security information you need right in front of your nose, ensuring there is no ambiguity over the validity or security of the site.
More Firefox 3 goodness as and when I stumble across it, and possibly some BizTalk stuff too ;-)
* This isn’t entirely true: IE7 has the lock icon to the right of the address bar, but I don’t use IE for anything other than viewing Xml files so have never seen where the lock icon is…
Update: It might also be helpful if I provide a link to the Firefox 3 beta download page and the release notes….
I’ve been an avid fan of Firefox for many years and will happily admit to running some of the first milestone versions of the original Mozilla browser back when it looked something like this:
This is a screenshot of the Milestone 11 build – if you like this and want to spend a little time reminiscing, take a look at the excellent ‘A Visual Browser History, from Netscape 4 to Mozilla Firefox‘ by Andrew Turnbull.
So, I’m really excited to see that the latest version of the browser, version 3, is making good headway with the beta 3 release. There is a bunch of enhancements over version 2, including:
- Better memory management – opening lots of tabs still bloats the memory footprint, but several leaks have been addressed.
- New themes – there is a bunch of new themes for Windows and Linux, with the Mac OS X theme looking almost identical to Safari.
- Address bar – there are some really cool enhancements to the address bar (see the screenshot below) and bookmarks have been improved.
- Plugins / Addins – a new plugin manager has been introduced which allows you to search for new plugins directly from the browser, rather than being redirected to a web-page. Unfortunately, most of the Firefox 2 plugins (addins) are not yet supported (I’m already missing the fantastic Google Browser Sync plugin), however this should just be a matter of time before they are updated.
I’ve been running the build for the last few days and it feels really stable (even though its listed as a developer test build only). One of the new features I find most appealing is the new address bar which provides an excellent layout for address suggestions – something I’ve yet to see in any browser (mind you, I’ve not used Safari or Opera all that much and yes, that is the Mac version – life without a right-click is near impossible ;-) (click for a larger image):
But, the most important feature of this new version is the welcome page (click for a larger image). How cool is that?!?!