Rodney Gedda's piece of the Web

Deer Park: the next generation Firefox


Pulled down the Deer Park Alpha 2 release of the Firefox Web browser over the weekend.

I’m using Deer Park on my G3 iBook running Mac OS X 10.3 (I’ll get around to upgrading to Tiger one day) and from what I’ve experienced so far the future of Firefox looks even more promising.

A few quick observations:

  • After two days no crashes or hangs yet so it seems to be stable.
  • No significant user interface changes (well, for the Mac version anyway)
  • A generally more responsive interface and smoother rendering than 1.0.4 (sorry, haven’t tried 1.0.6)
  • The new tab drag-and-drop works OK and includes a little virtual arrow to show where the tab will slot in
  • My Sage blog aggregator is a Firefox 1.x extension, and, as hinted at by the release notes, didn’t work with Deer Park (it loaded but didn’t do anything)

Here’s a (very low res) screenshot:

Deer Park

From the release notes, some of the changes include:

  • Software update system to streamline product upgrades (currently disabled)
  • Faster browser navigation with improvements to back and forward button performance
  • Drag and drop reordering for browser tabs
  • Improvements to popup blocking
  • Better support for Mac OS X (10.2 and greater)

I can vouch for two of those new features, but only time will tell if the “several security enhancements” result in a safer Internet experience.

So go ahead and grab a copy of Deer Park and help drive open standards on the Internet. Deer Park comes with a “Report a broken Web site” tool so users can also help Firefox’s compatibility.


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