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25 Oct 2006

by Noel

Firefox 2.0 Review

I’m editing this post using the
Performancing extension for the new Firefox 2.0 browser. Being a web whore I simply had to download the latest version of Firefox as soon as it was out.

If anything, Firefox 2.0 is proof that the browser is now a stable product. The changes from 1.5 are incremental. There is nothing that particularly excites me on the user end.

From the point of view of a developer, it’s a different story. Javascript 1.7 continues the evolution of Javascript from a hairball to a language you wouldn’t be embarassed to take to school to meet your Professors. Array comprehensions, proper lexical scoping, and generators are the main features. Support for the WhatWG client-side session and persistent store adds more possibilities for storing continuations on the client-side. I’m interested to see that their motivating example is exactly the same as the one Shriram uses when proselytizing continuations (the “Orbitz bug”).

Of course, to use most of this you’re stuck with Firefox. However, as Firefox evolves further from the functionality offered by IE it becomes more compelling as a platform is its own right. Somebrowser stats show encouraging numbers of people are using Firefox. Give it a few years and IE support may legitimately be optional.

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