Following a rapid release schedule that has upset several people, Firefox 9 was made available yesterday. Although it has been said that Google Chrome has taken the #2 browser market share position, I will continue using the Mozilla browser because, to be honest, none of the arguments against Firefox has been heavy enough for me to drop it. In addition, I like Mozilla's open Web philosophy and the useful extensions that can be incorporated to "the little browser that could".
Hence, I downloaded Firefox 9 and unzipped the tar file. Since the created directory is called "firefox", I changed its name to "firefox9" to be able to run the previous version if the new browser failed the test. Then, after opening Konsole and typing SU and my root password, I used this command to move the folder:
cp -r /home/my directory/Downloads/firefox9 /usr/lib/
I then added the menu entry and started Firefox 9. It first checked compatibility with my add-ons (WOT, NoScript, Zotero, Webmail notifier, Ad Block Plus, Download Helper) and loaded without much trouble. The add-ons are working flawlessly, too.
Is Firefox 9 faster? Well, Google+ lasted 2.67 seconds to load with Firefox 7.01. It took me 1.12 seconds to load this page with Firefox 9. The time difference is not a big concern for me, but it seems vital for some other people.
Aside from that, my untrained eye only caught two other differences: outline for missing icons and the page reload button.
Firefox 7.01: Blank page icon
Firefox 9: Outline of missing icon
As for the page reload button, it is inside the address bar in FF9.
I consider my test drive a success. I'll keep the new version to see how it performs. I have tried all critical pages (including the financial institution with which I do online banking) and I haven't had any major problem so far, only some funny display issues here at Blogger. I can live with it, though.