Firefox 3.5 on Linux
I’ve just upgraded my Firefox 3.0 browsers to Firefox 3.5 on some of my machines, and thought I’d share my experience. I’ve done the upgrade on two machines so far, all SuSE 11.1 boxes running KDE 4.3, but my comments might apply to other flavors of Linux and other KDE versions as well. One box is an old 32-bit Dell desktop computer, and the other one a recent Fujitsu Amilo 64-bit machine.
I’m using a lot of browser add-ons/extensions (see my article on Firefox extensions), so I was somewhat afraid that many of them would stop working in Firefox 3.5. (This had happened to me when upgrading from Firefox 1 to version 2, and to a lesser extent when upgrading to version 3.0.) My worries were unjustified, though. Only two extensions gave problems, but I could easily fix those by switching to alternative add-ons with the same functionality:
- TinyURL Creator had to be replaced by TinyURL Generator.
- Tab Mix Plus had to be replaced with Tab Mix Plus. (No joke; Tab Mix Plus 0.3.8.1 was reported as incompatible after the upgrade, so I used the built-in add-ons search and found – Tab Mix Plus 0.3.81, which installed just fine. After restarting Firefox it worked flawlessly, with all settings restored.)
On my 32-bit box, I had a problem with sound under Flash. YouTube videos would play fine, but without sound. I poked around and searched the web, only to find that Flash sound didn’t work in other applications like Opera, either. The solution was to deinstall libflashsupport and restart the applications that use Flash. Now sound in videos is back again.
Speaking of Flash, for some reason videos on the most popular German news site, Spiegel Online, never worked with Firefox 3.0. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they work with no problem in Firefox 3.5.
I highly recommend upgrading to Firefox 3.5, at least when you’re on Linux. Just from „clicking experience“ loading pages is at least two times faster in Firefox 3.5, as compared to Firefox 3.0. The browser starts up a bit faster, too. I haven’t found the time to explore all the HTML 5 goodies that Firefox 3.5 provides, but will certainly give this a try soon.