I also finally got around to switching to Firefox 3 yesterday. I’d kept using Firefox 2 because of some of the browser add-ons I prefer not yet being supported on FF3. But they flipped the switch to start prompting FF2 users to upgrade, and I decided enough of the add-ons were now available to make the jump.
- Adblock Plus 0.7.5.5
- BugMeNot 2.0
- ColorZilla 1.9
- FirefoxView 1.0
- Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer 18.104.22.168
- FoxyTunes 3.0.4
- Google Gears 0.4.15.0
- Google Toolbar for Firefox 3.1.20080730W
- Html Validator 0.8.5.2
- IE View Lite 1.3.3
- Image Zoom 0.3.1
- InfoLister 0.10
- Linkification 1.3.5
- Linky 2.7.1
- Live HTTP Headers 0.14
- MR Tech Link Wrapper 2.2.1
- Plain Text to Link 1.5.20080618
- Tab Mix Plus 0.3.7pre.080816
- Tweak Network 1.3
- View Cookies 1.7
- Web Developer 1.1.6
Unfortunately it looks like two of my favorite Firefox extensions are gone for good – Tabbrowser Preferences and Google Browser Sync. Tabbrowser Preferences was last updated in 2006 and it looks like development is dead and it won’t be updated for FF3. I’m trying out Tab Mix Plus as a replacement, and it seems to do a decent job, but if anyone has a suggestion for a better add-on to replace Tabbrowser Preferences I’d love to hear it.
And I was upset to find that Google has discontinued Google Browser Sync. If you currently have it installed you can continue using it through 2008, but you can no longer download the add-on and it wasn’t updated for FF3. This is the biggest loss for me, I made constant use of this. I loved being able to close FF and re-open it later with my existing session even moving from one machine to another. And keeping everything in sync – passwords, bookmarks, etc. I was thrilled back when it came out because it finally gave me something to match the old Roaming support in Netscape 4.7.
So far I haven’t found a replacement for it. I’m using Foxmarks for bookmark sync and backup, but it only does bookmarks. Tab Mix Plus has some session persistence, but only on the same machine. I checked out Mozilla Weave but it is in the very early stages, and right now they aren’t accepting any more users anyway. Google has turned over the code via Google Code so someone may resurrect it in a new form. But in the meantime I’d love to hear there is a good replacement out there.
This was an especially bad thing to find out because during the upgrade I lost my current bookmarks and they reverted to a set many months old. Back when FF3 was in beta I’d installed it alongside FF2 and it imported my bookmarks. I’d since removed the FF3 beta from my system. But apparently the imported bookmarks lingered, and when I upgraded from FF2 to FF3 yesterday instead of importing my FF2 bookmarks it just used the old FF3 set, yet it seems to have completely removed any trace of my FF2 bookmarks from my system. So I’ve lost any new bookmarks I’ve added since then, and, of course, just last week I’d finally gotten around to cleaning up my bookmarks to delete a bunch and file them, and now all the junk is back and messy. Sure there is a nice copy stored in Google Browser Sync, but now I can’t get to them. Even if I reinstalled FF2 the add-on download is gone. (If anyone knows where I can get the XPI to install it, that’d be great.)
In general FF3 is a nice upgrade, despite the troubles, though I’m really not seeing what is so awesome about the ‘awesome bar’ (as some call the URL/Location bar in FF3). Even in FF2 I disliked the way it’d suggest pages from the history and I always lock that down to just pages I’ve actually typed – as below. If there are any other add-ons or configuration tweaks you think I just have to check out, let me know. Share your Firefox tips for everyone to see.
Some of the settings I tweak in about:config in FF3 (definitely not a comprehensive list):