Firefox Download Day
I have been a big fan of Mozilla for as long as they have been in existence. Before that I was part of the Netscape crowd and worked with them on browser development even before Netscape Navigator 4. Early on I did some work on the Thunderbird project and Sunbird. During my time at Motorola I was a member of the Netscape Customer Council and worked closely with their server development teams integrating the Motorola PageWriter two-way pager into the Netscape environment. In fact I hold a patent for that work last I heard. So as Mozilla worked on the open source code that would become Firefox I was right there rolling up my sleeves. Firefox 2 has been my default browser since it was released. And while it has had its share of issues over time my loyalty has not wavered. That is not to say I wasn’t looking forward to its replacement. I was waiting rather impatiently to put it to the curbside and use something that was a little more memory friendly.
Mozilla has been diligently working on Firefox 3 for quite some time. Its feature set is quite more robust than previous versions of the browser. I have been trudging through beta versions and release candidates trying to get a feel for the interface and the inner workings of the application. Finally after man-months and years of work Firefox 3 is now ready for prime time. To help to celebrate its release Mozilla is going to try and set a mark in the Guinness Book of World Records for most downloads within a 24 hour period. They are referring to this as Firefox Download Day. In the days and hours leading up to its release Firefox asked people to pledge to download the software on the first day it was available. As a fan of Firefox who has been eagerly awaiting its release I immediately pledged my help. Not only that but I also began to evangelize the application to everyone I knew so that they too could be part of Firefox Download Day.
When the gates opened the Mozilla servers stumbled a bit but seemed to recover and soon I was seeing the download progress bar for this new release. Before long I had finished the download and immediately installed it onto my computer. The interface of Firefox 3 has a new look and I immediately noticed a much quicker browsing experience. Many of the features I have grown to love are still there like tabbed browsing and support for web standards. Most of my extensions and add-ons were also made compatible. The one exception was the Google Browser Sync extension which is not compatible with Firefox 3. Google has publicly stated that they have no intention of upgrading this add-on leaving me without an option of synchronizing open tabs, cookies, passwords, and bookmarks across the various computers that I use. That is unfortunate since I found this code extremely helpful. Mozilla is working on something that may ultimate replace Google Browser Sync. It is called Weave and shows promise but does appear to be a little behind schedule from what I can read. I just found this tonight so I have to admit I don’t have a lot of details on it just yet but I plan to look at it closely and perhaps volunteer for helping with development if needed.