My Firefox 3 Switching Experience

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 23, 2008
Updated • Mar 17, 2011

Daniel told everyone yesterday why he would wait another month or so before he would make the switch from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 and I thought I share my Firefox 3 switching experience with everyone. I downloaded Firefox 3 on download day and installed it directly on my system. Bookmarks and RSS Feeds were imported just fine which was one of my major concerns because frankly, everything else could be easily changed again. Talking about options, layouts and stuff like that.

Some of my add-ons were not working in Firefox 3 and I tried to force compatibility on them which somehow did work. One of them however, Snap Links, was causing strange right-click side effects that made it more or less unusable at that time and the author has not created a compatible version yet.

The second add-on that caused problems, or so I thought, was Brief. Brief is a Firefox RSS Reader that uses the Live Bookmarks to display feeds from websites that users are subscribed to. Feeds were displaying find but cpu usage was somehow jumping up to 100% every 45-60 minutes. I thought it was Brief, discovered that it was not and finally found out that it was caused by the Live Bookmarks. I'm not sure what it happening but after exporting them and importing them into Google Reader and deleting them the cpu spikes stopped.

Must be some kind of auto updating or database optimization thingy that is causing that. It's terrible. After that though everything worked smoothly and fine. I really do not care that much about the new location bar but discovered some nice features that had been added in Firefox 3 that I had to use an add-on for in Firefox 2. One that comes to my mind is the search for passwords form in the Password Manager.

Firefox 3 is nice, it's a good browser. Not perfect and I can fully understand everyone who wants to wait for an update or two before he is making the switch. There is not really a key feature, a must have, that forces everyone to upgrade immediately. I was never an extension junkie, only have about six installed in my main profile that I cannot live without and only one did not work.

On the other hand I was never someone who forced himself to use one browser only. I would not have a huge problem switching to Opera, Internet Explorer or any other browser that would come out if Firefox 3 would have been a failure.


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  1. Alan Wyatt said on June 23, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I seem to have problems with the Gambling sites playing At The Races Live Streams on FF3 – FF2 used to be incompatible with the Racing UK Stream, but played ATR. Now I just get amessage on ATR suggesting I’m logged in on another machine. It still plays on IE.

  2. rruben said on June 23, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I like the new Firefox a lot, but there are to problems for me.

    Firebug is not supported yet and when I close firefox a crash window pop up telling me that firefox crashed to send the problem to mozzila. A little strange., because as far as I am concerned nothing happened

  3. Matt said on June 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve always loved Firefox and have used it for years, but 3.0 has been really problematic for me. I have a recurring issue where the content for an inactive tab will “bleed” through to the active tab I’m looking at… so if I’ve got Gmail in tab #1 and in tab #2, with tab #2 selected, sometimes I’ll see my Gmail interface poking through at random. It isn’t limited to Gmail; it’s happened with several different sites. It seems to happen when I have five or more tabs open, so perhaps it’s a memory issue of some kind. Never happened with FF2. I’ve been using Opera 9.5 in the meantime, and actually kinda falling in love with it…

  4. Nosh said on June 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve upgraded (or found substitutes for) 42 extensions – all used, I promise :)

    FF3 seems way faster and lighter than its predecessor in every respect. I was genuinely shocked at everything actually working so soon and at just how much more superior it is to FF2.

    Snaplinks: Left-drag or middle-drag works just fine, left-drag gets in the way of my normal functionality so I use the middle button which isn’t as easy to control as the left or right, but I can easily live with that till there’s an upgrade.

  5. Faust said on June 23, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve had a not so great experience with Firefox as of late. Seems to crash at odd times. But no fear Opera is here! I’ve switched to Opera full time and only use FF for one site that is FF/IE only…. Aside from all that Opera is the browser of choice. Mozilla seems to be getting out of hand with code imo, but its my opinion…

  6. Transcontinental said on June 23, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I wished to make a clean install of Firefox 3. For this, I backed up my plug-ins folder and my bookmarks, dumped my extensions list, removed Firefox 2 completely (Program Files\Mozilla Firefox folder and Profile folder included)… and installed FF3. Took me roughly 24 hrs to re-install extensions — not all, either because some had become obsolete, either because some were incompatible (though I did bump all versions that were 3 beta compatible to 3.0*) –, and get acquainted with this beauty.

    No problems. A few crashes though, but I take into consideration that some bumped extensions might be in the way. Overall nevertheless is a real matter of satisfaction. Load time, page display and memory consumption are so improved that I remained stunned. Firefox 3 is an exceptional browser, took them 34 months to get it running, but it certainly is worth it!

  7. Daniel said on June 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Martin, my switching experience is waaaay better than your switching experience… :D

    I totally agree with you, I try to stay as browser independent as possible. Frankly this hasn’t really worked since some extensions are just so useful. However I don’t have any extensions I couldn’t do without, but I do love my Firefox :)

    I like Opera too though, I think it’s a good, solid browser.

  8. Gavin said on June 23, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Yeah, the main firefox addon that i’ve had trouble with is the Boost Toolbar for Facebook…you can force it to work, but only a select few features work…

    I haven’t noticed anything on my copy of snap links, however.

  9. Thomas Murphy said on June 23, 2008 at 8:49 am

    I have enjoyed using Firefox 3 so far, but maybe you can tell me why I can’t download the web developer toolbar :(

  10. Grimskallen said on June 23, 2008 at 8:39 am

    What about running a browser with updated security and stability?
    Those aswell as obvious speed changes are the reason of my upgrade.
    Some small extensions did not work when I upgraded, but no importnant ones I will miss.
    Perhaps even good I got rid of ’em.

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