As promised earlier, here is a quick review of Firefox 3 Beta aka Minefield. I am running the Linux version on Ubuntu 7.10 on a T5300 processor at 1.73 GHz and 1 GB RAM.
The Beta did not find a suitable upgrade to a few themes and del.icio.us toolbar. But that is not a major cocncern now since most of the developers would be working on it. At least I hope they are on it 🙂
At first glance, the beta version is faster than the previous version. It also consumes less memory. And the default theme integrates well into the desktop theme. Not only the toolbars and dialogs but also the buttons and text boxes on the web pages. Below are a few statistics.
Memory consumption on launching with a single blank tab – 23.7 MB of RAM
Launching Facebook on a single tab – 8% of CPU Max and 24 MB of RAM
Gmail on single tab – 24% of CPU Max and 40.6 MB of RAM
Ten tabs loaded with an assortment of Web 1.0 and 2.0 websites – 55 MB of RAM
There is a new Places folder which contains recently starred items, recently visited pages, recently visited starred pages, most visited pages and the like. This definitely helps in visiting pages that you are interested in. What remains to be seen is how differently can this be used when compared to Bookmarks.
A new website identification system is in place too. And this sits right where the favicon of websites appear. Clicking on it says if the site is secured or not.
And one more significant change is there is an Applications tab where one can customize which type of file should be opened using what application. I have been reading that the rendering is similar to Opera’s progressive rendering. But I still see that the entire page is rendered at one go.
So far everything looks good and it should only get better as we go through various betas and the release candidate.