Firefox (nee Firebird) 0.8 Is Here!
The latest and greatest version of Mozilla.org’s fast-and-light Web browser is here, and with it comes a new name — say goodbye to Firebird and say hello to Mozilla Firefox 0.8.
I’ve been running nightly builds of 0.8 for a few weeks now, and this is a significant upgrade over 0.7. Many of the improvements fall into the realm of “fit and finish” — the little things that make you feel like you’re using a real, complete piece of software and not a preview release. Windows users, for example, now get a Windows installer when they download Firefox, instead of a ZIP file, making installation double-click easy and making it feel more like a “real” application to less technical people. Other improvements include a much, much better download manager and bookmark manager, improvements to the browser’s MIME-type handling (so files sent from incorrectly configured servers no longer show up as garbage in the browser window), and a lot of bug fixes.
So, why the new name? Because, it turns out, there’s already another open-source project named Firebird, and even though they have nothing to do with Web browsing (the other Firebird is a database, of all things), they were pretty obnoxious about insisting that people would confuse Firebird-the-browser with Firebird-the-database. So the Mozilla folks had to come up with another name that wasn’t already in use. Given that, I think Firefox is a pretty good alternative (certainly better than I would expect, given the sorry history of open-source project names).
So what are you waiting for? Go download it already!