There’s not much wrong with the first beta release of Firefox. It performs well, never crashed during several days of use, and, thanks to changes in the menu bar, is much better at using available screen real estate. Unfortunately, it’s not an everyday-use browser. Yet.
It’s the lack of compatible extensions that keep this from being an everday-use browser. It has become very apparent just how much I use extensions in my day-to-day use of Firefox. Between Firebug, Greasemonkey, Read It Later and Xmarks, I can’t do more than just review how my sites look and perform in the new browser. The good news is that NoScript and AdBlock Plus *are* available now, so it’s not you’re browsing unprotected.
Most of the changes just take a bit of getting used to. Finding where the menu bar went and how to get there was a bit of a challenge, but, frankly, there aren’t many daily-use things in the menu bar that are not in the Firefox drop down menu.
During the time I used beta 1, I found only one rendering glitch, and that was with the pan control in the aerial view feature of Google Maps. There appeared to be a ‘ghost’ control behind the main control, and as a result, I couldn’t move to a westerly view. Closing the browser and starting over seemed to take care of the problem, though.
It appears as if there are new features still on the horizon; the extensions page says to ‘watch for something new’. And while eliminating dialog boxes was a focus of this release, several still remain, including the error console. An example of where a dialog box went away is the extensions page. Expect to see more of that in the upcoming beta releases.