I just finished upgrading to FireFox 3.0 and so far the good outweighs the bad. Some things I noticed immediately are the bookmarks in my toolbar are completely rearranged and outdated.
Several of my bookmark folders were simply replaced by two folders called “Most Visited” and “Places.” It’s almost as if the installation grabbed an old copy of my bookmarks as it upgraded.
That is forcing me to scramble to find some old back-up copies of my bookmarks. And that is a pain. About half my add-ons are working correctly. I consider the following add-ons to be essential for any installation of FireFox: Web Developer toolbar, FireBug, TabMix Plus. TabMix Plus isn’t compatible with FireFox 3.0 yet; nor is Mr. UpTime, TinyURL creator and view source chart. But I can live without those for a while (until the developers update them…hint, hint).
The good news.
The speed is fantastic. The startup and shutdown times for FireFox 3.0 seems at least 3 times faster than FireFox 2.0. Even faster than I expected.
FireFox 3.0 appears to be using less memory (RAM) than FireFox 2.0 used on a regular basis. This frees up more memory for other apps to be open at the same time.
The navigation bar has been slightly redesigned, making the back button (pictured above) larger than the forward button (and also graying out the forward button when it is not needed). This is an excellent example of Fitt’s Law (the time to acquire a target is directly related to the size and distance of the target) in action. Mozilla’s interaction designer probably noted that most people use the back button far more than they use the forward button and adjusted the size to reflect that. Pretty sharp.
Overall, I’d say the upgrade was pretty positive with a few hiccups.
Take my advice and back up your entire machine (on an external source) before upgrading. That way you can simply copy over anything you may be missing (or back out of the upgrade gracefully if something goes awry).
Speaking of Firefox add-ons…what are some of your favorites?