I have high hopes for Fennec, but right now I stick to MicroB, even though I miss my Weave bookmarks, tabs, etc madly. Why?
1. The zoom gesture is awesome. Please copy!
2. Zooming using volume buttons is awesome as well (iaaw). Please copy!
3. The way to get a pointer to hoer over stuff or select text iaaw. Please copy!
MicroB is fast. Sorry to say this but Fennec - even RC1 - is sluggish. Reacting slowly and loading pages slowly. This is a common complaint and something must really be done.
Additional System Details
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; sv-SE; rv:22.214.171.124) Gecko/20091216 Fedora/3.5.6-1.fc12 Firefox/3.5.6
Provide instant feedback for pressed links and buttons. Seriosly! I can't tell wether a link has been activated and the page is loading until five or ten seconds later.
I usually look at the load progress indicator at the tabs, but gess what? Fennec has no tabs at fullscreen. Same for buttons at the "install add-ons" page. At the very least, links should have a strong "on press" visual feedback (is that "selected text effect" supposed to be it?). A "Loading..." tooltip a-la GMail would be better, since it's a persistent indicator of the loading state.
Also: why are "tabs" and "forward/backward" buttons on the opposite sides of the screen? I'm always opening the wrong one when I want to "navigate away of the current page". I suppose I could habituate to this, though.
Also: how is one supposed to use drag'n'drop in a web application? The page layout keeps scrolling. (See for example Slashdot's new interface "expand comments" bar). I've tried the old (and cumbersome) "hold a key while dragging" trick but it doesn't work. I've added the Hold4Tab extension but it doesn't help. (I would have posted this last question at the "Firefox for Mobile Support forum " but it doesn't show a "Post message" box for me - using Firefox 3.5.6 on Ubuntu)
The "don't show ask me this question again" doesn't make sense with the transformed "yes/no" check button.
What does "no" mean in this context? "No more questions"? or "No, I really want you to ask me this question again"?
Double negatives don't work well in dialogs. The "don't show this dialog again" idiom works well with a regular checkbox (activate = this applies, desactivate = ignore") but it doesn't work with the redesigned checkbox. You should be more careful when performing those wild redesigns of standard widgets - they will come back to bite you in unexpected places.
I have to agree with the first poster re items 1, 2 & 3 - am trying RC1 on my N900 and really want to like it but it is soooo sloooow. Nearly 1 minute to load BBC homepage for example. Then really hard to edit my preferences on the BBC page as it takes so long to respond to taps that I think they haven't registered and tap again.
Re point 3 - can't scroll round Google maps, makes it very hard to use
Thanks for all your valuable feedback. With regards to the comment around speed: "MicroB is fast. Sorry to say this but Fennec - even RC1 - is sluggish. Reacting slowly and loading pages slowly. This is a common complaint and something must really be done."
There was a major regression in RC1. We discovered that disk cache had effectively been turned on, which caused a major regression in page loading performance. I encourage you to install RC2 (coming very soon) or fix this pref immediately by following these steps:
1: Click on the URL bar and enter "about:config" 2: You will see this goofy prompt. Click the button "I'll be careful, I promise!" 3. You will see this list of settings. In the "Filter" box, type "browser.cache.disk.enabled" and press enter 4. The Preference Name list will only show one setting 5. Touch the "browser.cache.disk.enable" row in the List. It will turn orange. 6. Press the enter key on the keyboard. The "Value" setting will change from "true" to "false" and the row will become bold. 7. Restart the browser by clicking the large "X" in the upper right, then launching the browser again.
By following these steps, you will experience a noticeable difference in page load performance.
"Also: how is one supposed to use drag'n'drop in a web application?"
Yes - this bit me as I was trying to customise the BBC home page. I need to drag stuff around and there seems to be no way to do it in FF on the N900. That could be a big problem, lots of web sites have this type of feature these days. As I mentioned, Google maps is another.
The good news is that the speed is much better with the change above. Still not brilliant, hopefully things will improve when the bug is properly sorted out.
Also, the clock in the top right of bbc.co.uk doesn't work in FF. It's fine in MicroB.
"Also, the clock in the top right of bbc.co.uk doesn't work in FF. It's fine in MicroB. "
Update: It seems to work if you zoom in. It stays working if you zoom out again (but resolution is poor).
I think I'd be more patient with it if I knew it was definitely doing something when I clicked a link or some other gesture - I tend to take it out of full-screen mode and look at the CPU meter at the moment. Using RC2 on a N810.
I also tried creating a symlink to /usr/lib/browser/plugins/libflashplayer.so in /opt/mozilla/xulrunner-1.9.2/plugins/ to get flash to work, but it crashed on the second site I tried (we7). The flash "about" page worked okay though. I don't know if doing this is a good idea - I've now removed the symlink.
Thanks to everyone working on this project.
Regarding Flash --
On the N810, we have disabled flash by default for new profiles. The flash that is installed on that device doesn't support the fast drawing we need (something called ImageExpose).
You can still turn it on via preferences, but result may vary. I'd imagine that audio and games that do not require very high frame-per-second will work, but video will not.
There might be a solution for this performance bottleneck on the n810, but I can not really say when.
I doesn't even install on windows mobile like the site says it does. WM won't run .install files
The Maemo builds won't install on Windows Mobile. You'll need to grab the latest WinMo build.
TuringTest -- you're completely right about double-negatives in some dialogs. A number of the phrasings from desktop Firefox that show up in mobile don't work well with the the more finger-friendly-than-checkboxes [yes/no] toggles. Fixing and simplifying these strings is definitely on the to-do list!
Lars Gunther -
As for zooming - we're looking at ways at letting you use the volume rocker to zoom (having to balance this against some people wanting it for volume when watching video, etc., in the browser) - possibly through an add-on.
About the spiral gesture - I agree that it's a good concept for devices lacking multitouch (where pinch to zoom is becoming the de facto standard). There's been thinking about this as a secondary zoom mechanism for a long time:
The thing I'd like to see worked out there is a way to get into the zoom without moving the page around, initially.
Ok I've had a look at the wiki. Impressive as it is I miss a few features, besides the one mentioned above:
1. View source
2. Find in page
3. Leverage the keyboard more for power users Make CTRL+F and CTRL+U behave as in the desktop version. Make the page scroll with spacebar and pan with the arrow keys - except when in caret mode or using form widgets.
Since there is no tab another way to jump between links would be good as well. I don't know exactly how, but think this will be needed for accessibility besides power usage.
I also second Turingtest's thoughts about instant feedback when activating a link.