The final alpha variants of Minefield/Gran Paradiso are being released and soon we will be witnessing the release of the 3rd generation of Firefox. I’m using the alpha variants for more then two months. The changes aren’t that big. Maybe some of the more unexperienced users won’t even notice.
But one thing is certain. I like Firefox 3. Why? You might ask.
Well for start the speed improvements are considerable. Pages load faster as previously, back and forward navigation is also faster and maybe but only maybe the startup of the browser is a bit faster too. Memory usage seems to be much better and you don’t have to permanently close down the browser and start it again to free up some memory.
An important new feature of Firefox 3 is the Tab called Places on your Toolbar. Here you can have access to your favorite sites ordered by Most visits, Stars (yes you can star webpages in Firefox 3 similarly to how you star messages in Gmail), Tags (you can use tags too).
About drawbacks i can say that the most annoying is the lack of compatibility with the plugins that you have installed in Firefox 2. But that will change with the release of the final version.
I will come back sometime soon with a more detailed analysis of the browser from the perspective of a web developer, but now i just wanted to say that finally Firefox is evolving in the right direction.