Another New Arrival: Firefox 3

Firefox 3 is officially out of beta testing — first release today (17 June) and the team behind it are aiming for a Guiness World Record for the most number of downloads in a 24 hour period.

Firefox has a long and distinguished lineage, all the way back to the Netscape browser which grew out of the Mosaic Browser — one of the first browsers I ever used back in the early days of the web in about 1993. It took Microsoft by surprise then and they took a while to catch up with what was still an inferior offering. Fast forward a few years and fed up with Internet Explorer’s rapidly aging features, lack of support for modern web standards and major security flaws, those of us who use the web a lot moved to the Firefox browser from the Mozilla Foundation. Most of us still use it to this day, even since Microsoft belatedly joined the web standards table with Internet Explorer 7. There is a tremendous community behind Mozilla and also a lot of great add-ons that extend Firefox functionality and make our jobs as web developers and SEO’s a lot easier.

According to BBC News “New features in Version 3 include automatic warnings when users stray onto webpages booby-trapped with malicious code. Also in Version 3 will be “Smart Location Bar” that lets people return to places they have visited even if they have not bookmarked them or cannot remember the full web address. ”

I highly recommend checking it out if you use the web a lot. Get it here.

My favourite add-ons:

Ebay Companion – Ebay features integrated into the browser
Fireshot – take and annotate screengrabs. We find a picture tells a thousand words. Much easier than trying to explain what changes you want making in words!
Web Developer – lots of tools for looking more deeply at website code: one for the geeks (this must be popular as it is #1 in Google for the search “Web Developer”!)

I would also recommend SEO Quake but unfortunately that does not yet work with v3. I’m sure it will soon and it integrates a load of useful SEO tools into the browser so they are just a few clicks away.

Loads more add-onscan be downloaded here.

Any other Firefox users like to share their favourite add-ons?