Firefox 1.0 PR and Thunderbird 0.8

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Firefox 1.0 PR and Thunderbird 0.8

In the last week Firefox 1.0 Preview Release and Thunderbird 0.8 were released.

The Firefox release was originally planned for July, but has been postponed again and again. Finally it is here. Two new features of Firefox are really neat. The first one I stumbled upon is that the URL bar has a yellow background while visiting a secure site. You don’t need to search for the lock icon in the status bar. This yellow URL bar boldly tells you “You are on a SSL site now”. Very nice.

The second feature is called FastFind. Users of jEdit and other applications will probably know this feature as Hypersearch. As soon as you press CTRL-F a search bar opens at the bottom of the window. At first this is a bit irritating and you catch yourself pressing CTRL-F and muttering “Where’s that f… search dialog” until your eyes find the search bar. But when you get used to it, it’s kind of cool. Nice thing is - the Hypersearch part comes now - that Firefox marks the nearest matching position while you type. So sometimes how can stop typing in the middle because Firefox already marks what you searched.

Another feature which is quite useless to me is Live Bookmarks. You can bookmark an RSS feed and Firefox will change it into some kind of folder that always contains the current contents of the feed. I’m using a real feed aggregator so this is nothing for me. For occasional RSS users this might be quite useful. As Ben Goodger points out this feature is not meant to be a full fledged aggregator. Anyways, sometimes it can be quite useful for aggregator users. Some sites that have RSS feeds available, are quite successful in hiding them. On those sites Firefox might find it in the meta data of a page. In that case you will see a nice RSS icon on the right side of the status bar. Click on that icon, subscribe to the feed, right-click on the feed in the bookmarks menu and copy the feed URL. Would be nice to have another menu item on that icon “Copy feed URL”. That would spare me creating the bookmark.

I was using some of the Thunderbird nightlies, so there wasn’t that much new for me. Thunderbird now includes Forumzilla. I used Forumzilla some time back and it is quite good, if you like to view your feeds in the e-mail application.

One very nice new feature of Thunderbird 0.8 is automatic remote image blocking which can be switched off for individual e-mails. Earlier it was: View all remote images or none. Some of the ads I get I’m actually interested in. So for them I switch off image blocking. The others stay blocked