A friend told me she was unable to login to hotmail using Firefox anymore, getting some warning about not being a supported browser. She also had similar problems with Netflix. We’d recently released new updates on both Firefox 2.x and Firefox 3.0.x, so I stopped by her house to figure out what was going on, just in case…
Sure enough, we could easily reproduce the problems, so I started investigating. “hmmm… wonder what version she is using?
Ahhhhhhh!! A few minutes later I had installed FF3.0.5 over her existing FF1.0.7 installation.
- Firefox1.0.7 works just fine on PPC based Mac OSX 10.5.5. It had never crashed for her, not once.
- A pave-over install of FF3.0.5 over FF1.0.7 works just fine; history and home page were correctly handled in the pave-over install and worked perfectly. I didn’t check bookmarks, because she never uses them, preferring to use URLbar history instead.
- The amount of websites that still work with really old browsers is quite impressive. Obviously, new functionality might not be visible/usable, but having a website gracefully fallback in functionality so it still does *something* reasonable on older browsers is tricky to do, and I was impressed by the number of sites that made that effort.
“Oh, thanks for fixing that – but whats changed in this new version?”. Oh boy – whats changed between FF1.0.7 and FF3.0.5? Honestly, I didn’t know where to start. Tabs? Memory improvements? JS performance improvements? Awesome bar? Phishing protection? …? After a brief hesitation, I decided to only describe one improvement: how the browser can now check for new updates automatically, and showed her where this was set in preferences, so she should never be out-of-date like this again.
Heading home, thinking about it further, I still think that was a good choice, but it got me wondering what other people would choose. So, I’m curious – if you had to list just one “best new feature” since FF1.0.7, what would you choose?