As many of you know, I’m a true Debian fanatic. Some even say I’m a Debian nut head, borderline evangelist. And mark my words, to call me an evangelist is something truly unique, seeing how my feelings are towards true evangelists. But it has to be said, that I without a shadow of a doubt love and cherish the open source community. Many of us have heard the term open source, both in the media and in our travels across the world wide web. But what is open source, and even more importantly the open source community?
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Has the Mozilla team done it? Have they made a browser that will finally be able to take up the fight with Internet Explorer? In my eyes, they have and with great style. Their new release in the Firefox branch has in many ways swept me off my feet. It’s fast becoming the number one choice for web browsers, and with a good reason. Firefox is nothing short of revolutionary.
Being a blogger and also being a nerd, you tend to be concerned about your pages being compliant to current web standards. Meaning, you want your XHTML, CSS, RSS etc to be correct and compliant so that it displays correctly in most browsers. Not only does Firefox do a great job at being compliant to these standards, but it’s built in support RSS is awesome! Your feeds go into your bookmarks, and whenever you go to a feed in your bookmarks the feed is updated automatically. It’s never been easier to see if a site you’re watching has been updated.
The list of new features in the new Firefox is quite long, but I’ll list a few of them here.
- Live Bookmarks.
The ability to subscribe to RSS feeds in your bookmarks. When you happen to surf by a site that offers RSS feeds, a icon appears in your statusbar. All you gotta do is click on the icon, and choose whatever feed you want to subscribe to.
- Improved find.
You now have a find tool bar which appears whenever you conduct a search in the current document. And I gotta say, it’s awesome Never has it been easier to find something, and with its built in automatic highlighting of search matches you spend less time finding what you’re looking for. I love this feature, being a coder/programmer. And of course, the ‘type as you go’ find feature is still there for links.
- Managing Annoyances and Protecting Security.
Finally the extension system blocks attempts to install extensions from all sites other than update.mozilla.org. If you want to install extensions from a site other than Mozilla’s official site, you need to add the site into a list of approved sites. If a popup is blocked, you now have the ability to open it if it was an “important” popup. God knows why they haven’t had this feature before, but at least it’s there now. Another feature that I love, is that it now changes the colour of the address bar whenever you enter a HTTPS enabled site. As long as you see that the address bar is yellow, you know it’s secure to transfer your personal details and credit card details when doing an online purchase.
- Strong Encryption For Passwords Available.
Finally Firefox has support for strong encrypted passwords. Consider this situation, you use a computer in a place that more than yourself have access to it and use it on a daily basis. Previously, all the passwords stored by Firefox’s password manager were stored unencrypted meaning that anyone with a bit of computer insight could easily steal your passwords. Well fear no more, now your passwords are stored encrypted and each time you start up Firefox it will ask for a master password that unlocks the usage of password manager. If the wrong password is supplied, password manager just lies dormant doing nothing.
Well, all I have to say to Microsoft is; Fear Firefox. I have recommended Firefox to all of my friends for ages, and I ditched IE ages ago for being bloated and prone with security issues. By this, I’m not saying that Firefox doesn’t have any security issues, any program has security issues. But it’s all about the severeness of them that is important to me. Firefox just keeps on getting better and better, and is for me the only choice. If you haven’t tried it already, I suggest you head over to Firefox’s page right now and download it. You will not regret it.
I’ve embraced Firefox as my new favourite pet. Do yourself a favour, do the same thing.