I downloaded Firefox 2.0 earlier in the week, and I couldn’t be happier. While there are some sites on the web that have glossed over some of the new features, and downplayed the latest version of Firefox as playing “catch up” to Internet Explorer 7, I’m totally excited about this new web browser. Why? To answer that I thought I’d break it down for different categories of users.
From an Educator’s point of view:
Spell check!! I have spell check in a web browser! WOW! No more publishing misspelled blog posts! Students can have their Internet search terms instantly changed to correct spelling, just with a right click on the mouse, like in Word. Anything written into a form, a search box, anywhere on a web page, can be instantly checked for spelling mistakes. Students don’t have to type something up in a word document, and run spell check, then go through copying and pasting. Firefox even underlined my misspelled words with the traditional squiggly red line to let me know I had made a mistake. I can’t wait to see if we can have the older version of Firefox updated on our school machines. While leaving comments on blogs or making changes in wikis (heck, even doing an online mad lib) my students can now check their spelling even easier than going to a classroom word wall or dictionary.
From a Student’s point of view:
oh, man!!!!! spellcheck? now i have to watch my spelling when i’m on the internet two? mr. Rimes probalby wants me 2 make sure i’m using the home row 2. argh!!!
From a Blogger’s point of view:
The people behind the Firefox development definitely put some thought into expanding and improving the RSS features of the new browser. The auto discovery tools have been enhanced, meaning that Firefox is much better at finding various RSS feeds on a web page now. Before, while visiting my site I only saw a few feeds listed that I could subscribe to when clicking on the little orange “feed button” in the address bar. Now I can see most of my feeds, including the Atom feed.
From a Techie point of view:
After starting up Firefox 2.0 not only did it let me know which of my old plugins would no longer work, but it also checked for new updates on my existing plugins that still worked. After working all day, then shutting the computer down and turning it back on, it still found new updates for my weather plugin, as well as my in-browser IRC chat plugin. The best feature by far was adding a co-comments button on the toolbar, so following all of my blogging and comment conversations is much easier. All that, and it’s improved security means that even more pops ups are blocked, and websites are secure.
Of course, there are many other points of view, so feel free to share if you have one, and if you don’t; go get Firefox 2.0 and check it out.