The official release of Mozilla Firefox 3.5 is due this week. It's a significant milestone in the open-source browser's history. Putting pure features aside, let's take a look at some of the big design changes Mozilla has made over the years, beginning with version 0.8 when Mozilla renamed it from Firebird to Firefox.
For the sake of simplicity we're keeping it limited to just the Windows and Mac versions. And for certain features where there is little, if any, difference between the platforms--we're sticking to the Windows version.
The four things we're comparing are navigation, tabs, bookmarks, and the settings menu:
Navigation has experienced subtle changes over the years, with the exception of version 3. This brought the increased size of the back button, and noticeable shrinking of the rest of the controls. Mozilla also made it easier to bookmark pages, by adding a star button right into the address bar, which users can click, avoiding having to use keyboard shortcuts or on-screen menus to save a page.
Note: To see the full-size versions of these images just click on them.
Tabs are a very important part of Firefox. Version 3.5 adds a new plus button that users can click on to create a new tab. Previously this required a keyboard shortcut or selecting the option from a menu.
Version 3.5 is also getting "tab tearing," which lets users pull away tabs from one window to add to another, or break off into an entirely new window. Early versions of the browser wouldn't even let you… Read more