One more Firefox 2 version is out the door

What may not even be the final version of Firefox 2 was officially released this morning, after an extensive testing process during which newer security issues were apparently addressed.

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Despite the fact that Firefox version 3 is well under way, the Mozilla organization maintains a commitment to older versions, often for an unspecified length of time. So it is that the fifteenth security and integrity rebuild of Firefox 2 was released this morning, though obviously without the fanfare of last month's record setting download.


Mozilla has said very little about what issues version specifically resolves, other than to call the project "a normal security release." Builds for the 15th iteration began last June 6, and had originally been scheduled for completion on June 25.

While many users are viewing Firefox 3 as the ultimate solution to Firefox 2's ills, including its notorious memory leaks, there continue to be some add-ons and several themes which are incompatible with the newest version -- for instance, a plug-in called X-Ray that lets users scan the underlying code of Web pages in accordance with their location on the page; and Tabbrowser Preferences, a plug-in that gave users more control over the appearance of tabs in the browser, including moving them from the top to the bottom.

For users who must have that functionality and can't bear to part with it, they may want to stick with Firefox 2 in the meantime. There are, however, multiple alternatives and other methods; for instance, this blog entry offers Firefox 3 users instructions on how to modify their own preferences files to accomplish the same customizations as Tabbrowser Preferences formerly provided to Firefox 2.

A check this morning of NetApplications' hour-by-hour scan of Firefox 3 usage share shows the new version was responsible for as much as 7.39% of the world's HTTP requests at 6:00 am EDT this morning, before settling down to around 5% by noon.

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