I couldn’t resist upgrading to Firefox 1.5, even though I expected that some of the extensions I had installed would not be compatible. The extensions that are still enabled (or were added during the upgrade) include DOM Inspector, Talkback, Nuke Anything, AdBlock, FoxyTunes, Web Developer, Piggy Bank, View Rendered Source Chart, del.icio.us, Customize Google, ASCIItoUnicode, AJAX Yahoo Mail, Tab X, and Disable Target for Downloads. Extensions that didn’t make it, or at least not yet, include Nuke Anything Enhanced, Foxylicious, LiveHTTPHeaders, SessionSaver, and Bookmarks Synchronizer. GreaseMonkey, Open Java Console, Tamper Data, and Venkman also need to be updated.
One new feature I’m glad to see built into Firefox is drag and drop tabs. I used to have to install an extension on all my machines to get that feature. I use FireFox regularly on five different machines (with a mix of Linux, Windows, and OS X), so that was a lot of extra installs.
Another feature that I don’t need much myself, but would find desirable on a public machine with Firefox installed, is the new Clear Private Data option in the Tools menu. It gives you the ability to clear any or all of the following – browsing history, saved form information, saved passwords, download history, cookies, cache, and authenticated sessions.
The Blazer browser on my Treo allows me to navigate through the links on a page using a keypad button rather than using the stylus. This feature turned out to be far more valuable than I expected. Firefox now lets you do the same thing by pressing the tab key. As long as there aren’t too many links on a page, this is a very convenient way to navigate a website without having to reach for the mouse.
Firefox 1.5 also includes, at least on Windows, integration with a mail program via options in the Tools menu. When I selected Read Mail, Outlook Express was automatically launched. No sense in suffering further with Outlook Express, so I finally was inspired enough to install Mozilla Thunderbird. It automatically imported all my settings from Outlook Express, which I had rarely used anyway. Now, that will be never. I’m already much happier with Thunderbird.