Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 is out. It’s nice to have the cute little fox icon back again – the Deer Park alpha builds used the unofficial branding.
Other things that are new since Deer Park Alpha 2 (and that I have noticed after a couple of minutes):

  • The web feed icon now appears to the right of the address bar, not in the status bar – a bit like in Safari
  • New error pages – they look much nicer now, and better than the error messages of before.
  • The ‘Sanitize’ function is now called ‘Clear Private Data’
  • The menus now more closely match the Windows theme in XP
  • In the Options dialog, under Content, the Advanced Javascript options dialog is back – previously it had been replaced with ‘Disable common annoyances’.
  • The Extensions dialog has a ‘Find Updates’ button, which instead of launching a wizard shows the update process inline. Unfortunately only one of my extensions is compatible with this beta (mozCC) – I’ll have to wait for the rest.

And of course there’s all of the other improvements that came with the alpha builds – new options dialog, better software updates, drag’n’drop re-ordering of tabs and more responsive back/forward buttons. If you’re happy running beta software, give it a go – the alphas have been very stable for me and the beta looks good so far.
Update: As you may be aware, most versions of Firefox are vunerable to a security hole caused by a buffer overflow that can lead to arbitrary code execution. There is a preliminary patch available already, which at the moment just disables support for IDN, however if you would rather not install it you can manually disable IDN by typing about:config into the address bar, finding the option called network.enableIDN, right-clicking it and selecting ‘Toggle’ to disable it, then restarting Firefox. A proper patch that keeps IDN enabled and closes the hole is apparently on its way.


  1. I know this sucks. I’ll ping you, brb.

  2. More on Firefox 1.5 Beta

    I’m now covering Firefox 1.5 Beta a little more in depth now. Firstly, like all new Firefox builds many extensions do not work; well actually nearly none. The reason? I don’t think the engine has been re-written, just many extension are for versions …

  3. Have you heard about the exploit regarding IDN domains yet? CNET, and Slashdot have coverage of the bug/advisory. No known patch at the moment, but it looks like if you disable the IDN system the bug can’t function.

  4. It’s wonderfully stable. I’ve run the candidate builds for a few days and I’m amazed that a great browser can get so much better and faster.
    Sorry to say, but there’s a new vulnerability (mozilla bug #307259) with the handling of URL:s. The temporary solution is to turn IDN off.

  5. The only thing that worries me is the compatibility with my extensions. The issues to upgrade from pre 1.0 were a bit of a problem with extensions. If you disect them you see a lot of them only support up to version 1.0…. wonder how these’ll work.

  6. >The web feed icon now appears to the right of the >address bar, not in the status bar – a bit like in >Safari
    …and Opera. Opera has a similarly labelled “Delete private data” menu item too,

  7. I know this isn’t the place to be posting Firefox bugs and whatnot, but does anyone else see a hideous 2px dotted yellow border around bookmark and history items in the sidebar when you click on them (more specifically, while the mouse button is pressed down)? It wasn’t present in 1.0.x and I’m sure it wasn’t present in Deer Park Alpha 1/2 either.