I’ve been holding off on upgrading to Firefox 2.0. It’s the first version after the release candidates, so naturally I’ve expected it to have some bugs and glitches. I also wanted to wait until some of my favorite extensions were updated for the new version.
I finally upgraded this past weekend. I’ve been using 2.0 for the last several days, and overall, I’m not a fan. Sure, there’s some new features that I absolutely adore. For instance, there’s the built-in spellcheck. Very slick. Very snazzy. And I love the fact that session restore is now part of the package, requiring no extension to be added on.
What I _don’t_ like, what’s causing me to seriously consider reverting to a previous version, is the new tab scrolling feature. I’m a power surfer – always have been. At any given time, I have anywhere from 15 to 50 tabs open. It used to be that you could have that many tabs open and they would all be visible in the tab bar. In FF2.0, however, tabs now scroll off the sides, with scroll buttons that let you slide back and forth to find various tabs. You can adjust some of the about:config settings, of course, in order to make tab sizes as small as possible before the scrollbar kicks in, but ultimately, you can’t make the scrollbar go away completely. And I hate that. It defeats the whole point of having all your tabs in a single browser window because I have to scroll back and forth to find the tabs I want. One of the most important reasons for putting all tabs in one bar was to save time, make browsing more efficient by not having to switch between windows all the time. Now, however, I have to do virtually the same thing by sliding back and forth on the tab bar. Sure, it saves space on my Windows taskbar, but it still makes browsing the Internet inefficient.
There is also the fact that there are still some glitches that are proving to be aggravating. I’ve been trying to find a good solution for the scrolling tab bar (i.e. a way to get rid of scrolling completely). People on the Firefox support forums keep saying that the upgraded Tab Mix Plus extension will get rid of it. So I installed it – and it’s not true. Sure, you can get rid of the scroll buttons, but the tabs still slide off the sides of tab bar. Now, though, you simply can’t access them or see them. You _could_ go with the option of having multiple rows of tabs, but then you start eating into the visual space of the browser. None of the three tab bar options that Tab Mix Plus gives you is what I want (i.e. FF1.5 tab bar behavior), so I uninstalled it – only to find that my FF2.0 built-in session restore no longer worked. Frustrating? You betcha. So, I’ve had to re-install TMP(Tab Mix Plus) just so that my FF session restore feature will work properly again.
I love Firefox; I love what I can do with it, but this version of the browser has more problems than I’d like to see right now. Sure, it’s open source and built by volunteers, and sure any new version of software has its problems to go along with the new (and very cool) features. That’s par for the course. I’m just hoping that the developers get some of these issues ironed out in the next upgrade, and that they do it soon.