Firefox 2.0 Recap

Besides the ugly new theme, the convoluted “too-cool” first-run website, and the myriad of half-baked features that Firefox 2.0 brings to the scene, there’s a couple of not-so-welcome policy changes in Firefox 2.0 that make us wonder what’s going on at Mozilla. Basically, these changes go against everything that the Firefox team has been doing for the past couple of years, and make it look like Firefox wasn’t run by an open-source community so much as a big corporation with nothing but money on its mind.

When Firefox 2.0 came out, we didn’t really care to review it – after all, there were plenty of reviews already out there from the Beta and RC stages. But now, a month into the RTM release of Firefox 2.0, we find a re-cap being called for.

The “New & Improved” Theme?

We’re not going to delve into this too deeply, suffice to say that when we first said Firefox’s excellent theming engine’s only shortcoming was the lack of a decent default theme we didn’t think they’d actually change anything. What we really didn’t expect was some washed-out toolbar icons that looked like they came from Internet Explorer 4 with some “Web 2.0” shading (gamma circles) applied. They just don’t fit Firefox!

Ugly, New First-Run Website?

Since the release of Firefox 2.0, the first-run homepage has undergone several iterations – all of which are absolutely appalling compared to the original “Welcome to Firefox” page that used to display in the old 1.5 series. To tell the truth, it looks like someone handed a 3–year-old a bunch of vector-drawing tools, and told him to ‘go Picasso’ – without the slightest idea regarding color theory, aesthetics, or knowledge of the generally-accepted location for body parts – except it didn’t come out quite as nice as Picasso’s work did.

Who blends orange and blue? It turns a ghastly shade of green, and especially when you add to it the improperly done “wave lines” it’s just a complete eye-sore to be showing around to someone turning on Firefox for the first time. Compare that to the default Internet Explorer 7 page: clean, aesthetic, and simple! But the problem is, that start page was changed several times since 2.0 was released, yet it still looks appalling.

Lack-Luster RSS?

Firefox was one of the first browsers to take RSS to the next level, and is largely responsible for the ubiquity of feeds today. But for some reason, Firefox has serious issues implementing a decent RSS reader into the browser. Before 2.0 you could view the headlines for RSS feeds and click-the-link to view the rest. Firefox 2.0 has an “improved” RSS reader that finally displays full-text articles for feeds. But it still lacks the ability to filter out entries based on categories and tags, nor dynamic searching of feed entries.

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  • 54 thoughts on “Firefox 2.0 Recap

    1. and the default theme of opera is better? it looks like it was written in java or something. so ugly! firefox doesn’t have the most amazing default theme ever, but at least it looks decent under the classic theme in win xp…

    2. umm heres a novel idea… don’t use it? I mean even the the firefox developers would agree open source is about choice. if you dont like it and think you can do it better your actually welcome to give it a shot then let over 2mill people download your product and tell you how much they think it is a disgrace upon mankind. I guess this is why people as close minded as you are biased journalist instead of degree sporting software engineers.

    3. I like the new Firefox toolbar icons and the first run page.  The 80’s are coming back in weird ways it seems.

    4. I really like the new Firefox, the theme is straightforward and simple. A browser is NOT about how good it looks, it is about productivity, what can you DO with the browser. IE7 fails for the simple reason that so much clutter and graphical “niceties” drag your attention from the important stuff – the content.

      Welcome page? Please. You look at it once, stop whining. Incidentally, I didn’t see any “green” colouring as a result of that blending, are you still thinking your drawing with paint on a canvas? 

      The other browsers have their merits, but please, if your going to write a summary about a browser concentrate on points which actually have importance. Not random stuff to pad out your article to more than one page. 


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