Nearly two months after its release, I’m finally using Mozilla Firefox 0.8 on my Powerbook. I’ve been using it on my Win2K box at work since the release, but I had issues under OS X.

Since yesterday, two important things have occurred. First, Arvid Axelsson released the Qute theme for Firefox OS X. I don’t care for the new default theme under OS X, and I think it was a mistake to release 0.8 with a new default and without the theme used on other platforms (Qute). One of the big advantages I find in Firefox is that it’s the same on my Mac and on my PC. By not offering the same default themes (at least as choices), its value as a cross-platform browser is diminished. It’s not completely the same as before; the icons are the same but the tabs look different. Hopefully this will improve.

Today, Shimoda Hiroshi (a.k.a. Piro) released an update to his Tabbrower Extentions, which finally lays to rest the last of the OS X/FF0.8/TBE compatibility issues. TBE has become an such an integral part of my browsing experience that I just refuse to work without it.

So far, the ‘Fox seems to working ok. As well as Firebird 0.7 served me for many months, I was really looking forward to this upgrade. 0.7’s performance under OS X was pretty poor at times. Closing a tab or window could at times take 10 seconds or more. Shutting down the whole app could take minutes. I haven’t noticed performance problems so far under 0.8, but it’s early yet. To be fair, some of the issue I had under 0.7 could have been the fault of TBE; Piro says on his site that the TBE can slow browser performance. At any rate, it never got so bad that I’d consider dropping TBE. In addition to the FF upgrade, Piro’s had a number of releases to TBE in the past couple of months, so hopefully I’ll see improved performance across the board.

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