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Mozilla Firefox 1.0PR downloaded 1,3 million times in one week

A preview release of Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was made available 14. September. This version of the popular Internet Web Browser is probably the worst ever released, and a major set-back when it comes to usability. Read on to find how why 1,3 million flies are wrong when they regard horse-shit as food.

  1. The power of a huge community's combined advertisements
  2. Is my cordless keyboard running low on battery, or is Firefox seriously broken?
  3. The Bookmark King
  4. New (useless) Find Bar
  5. What else is new?
  6. Should you upgrade?

1. The power of a huge community's combined advertisements

The Mozilla Foundation aimed at having Firefox 1.0PR downloaded a million times the first 10 days after the release. A counter at the newly released website Spreadfirefox, dedicated to convincing the world they should use Firefox as primary browser, shows it has already been downloaded 1,316,924 times already. And the number is increasing...

Time passed since release Number of downloads
72 hours 790,000
100 hours 1,000,000
1 week 1,300,000
2 weeks ?

And these numbers are really much higher. The download service c|net alone has already had 665,445 downloads so far..

The Spreadfirefox website currently has a number of campaigns aimed at spreading the Firefox message. One campaign encourages placing a Firefox logo on your website. You receive points every time if referred from your page, and those with most points get linked back at Spreadfirefox. A GMail campaign offers you Gmail invitations for having a Firefox logo on your website.

Another popular Web browser passed the million mark this week: Opera Software announced that the mobile version of their popular Opera browser has been downloaded one million times 20. September.

2. Is my cordless keyboard running low on battery, or is Firefox seriously broken?

Firefox seemed to be completely useless the first time I tested it after upgrading to 1.0RC1. None of the normal keyboard shortcuts worked, and I experienced numerous other issues the first minutes using it. Opening Help -> About Mozilla Firefox gave me no option but to xkill Firefox, the OK button that closes the About dialog did nothing.

I quickly discovered this was because I still had my old profile from Firefox 9.x. Staring firefox -ProfileManager allowed me to create a new profile, and a quick test verified none of the above issues were present when using a clean profile. I have used Firefox since the time the project was named Phoenix (later Firebird), and have a huge variety of passwords, sites to block images from, cookie permissions and other information stored in my profile. Upgrading means loosing all of this. It is comparable to releasing a new version of a word processor like OpenOffice Writer or Microsoft Word that are unable to open any document made with a previous version...

The first thing that appeared when staring Firefox with a new profile was a box asking if I wanted to make it my default browser.

While this concept may actually mean something on the Windows OS, it means nothing to me. This dialog should be reserved for Windows users or renamed. A quick search on the net revealed the box does apply to Gnome, but has no effect what so ever on KDE.

3. The Bookmark King

Firefox 9.x had support for bookmarking smart location bar searches.

The latest version of Firefox now supports bookmarking RSS News Feeds. You will get a bookmark folder with the latest news headlines from the site in question by bookmarking a RSS news-feed.

The new version also recognizes sites who provide a RSS News feed and shows a small RSS logo in the lower right corner, allowing you to quickly add a bookmark with the feed. Webmasters can make sure Firefox knows about RSS feeds by adding a alternate link to the feed in the head pages head section:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/xml" title="RSS" href="">

4. New (useless) Find Bar

Pressing ctrl-f to search a page now opens a Find toolbar instead of the old dialog box.

The Find toolbar must be operated using the mouse. Pressing ctrl-f, then entering the keyword, then pressing enter does NOTHING. You would probably guess a tab would take you to the options "Find Next" and "Find Previous", but no. Tab takes you to the top of the page. This is ridicules for a person who gets annoyed every time he needs to move his right hand away from the keyboard to do some stupidly simple task just because the developers were not considerate enough to make the application fully usable on systems without a mouse. Try to change your habits for a short while if you have the habit of using the mouse for anything and everything, you WILL find that most tasks can be completed in half the time you use moving your arm from the keyboard over to the mouse.

Being able to access those buttons using the keyboard would be useless anyway, they do not work. Highlight, however, works: The text you are searching for is highlighted yellow. This is currently the only thing the search bar is capable of on Linux systems, searching doesn't even take you to the first instance of the word. The "Search Bar" should be renamed "Highlight-using-the-mouse-only-bar".

5. What else is new?

Not much! You will notice some small changes here and there, but it's basically the same product as 9.x - only somewhat crippled in many areas.

6. Should you upgrade?

Yes, you should! Not because the new version of Firefox is worth installing, but because the previous versions have unsolved, known security issues. You should upgrade all other Mozilla products for that matter. Make sure you are using at least version:

Product Version
Firefox 1.0 Preview Release
Mozilla 1.7.3
Thunderbird 0.8

Previous versions of all the above products have at least one very serious security vulnerability! (1)

Existing Linux Firefox users: You are running a risk when you are surfing the net using older versions for Firefox. How do you know this site did not replaced your location bar with a fake one that logs all your actions when you entered it? You can't. Your choice is either upgrade or remove Firefox. I personally recommend the latter, Mozilla 1.7.3 is basically the same and that one is still usable..

Windows readers: Only the Linux version of Firefox is tested by us, the Windows version may differ.

Related reading: How to browse the Internet using the Mozilla 1.x and Mozilla Firefox browsers

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