==Usability experiences== (remember, this is our aim) ---
I put a user who is very familier with IE down in front of my Mandrake 9.1 running firefox and told him to surf the web.
He loved the lack of popups and the ability to "nuke" things (I have the nuke anything extension installed). B/c Firefox is not that differnet than IE he picked up on how to do things right away, When I demonstrated tabbed browsing he liked the idea but when I just left him to himself he didn't seem to use it at all.
He was confused by the "download" feature (particualry b/c I have it set to open in another tab behind the active tab).
Overall I think that FF is a very "newbie friendly" program and more distibutions should use it as the default browser rather than mozilla or Konquerer.
I find FireFox to be amazing. Flash finally installs properly (where as I couldn't get it to install on any other browser), I have no problems with plugins what so ever, and the speed of the browser rivals that of IE launching in windows. Quick, responsive, looks great, and has the expandability to be whatever you want it to be.
Worst browser ever. It is too difficult to install all the plugins needed. An older version (0.9 release candidate) is extremely buggy.
Note: Thats why its a release candidate; beta. I'd suggest using stable versions for this project. For Firefox, that would be 0.9 right now.
FireFox Shortcut problem: Fairly old-newbie using Firefox 0.8. Made my own link in the KDE Taskbar, but clicking it only works once (says the profile is already loaded); it wouln't simply open a new window. How can I get it to figure this out?
Locked profiles: Note: When FireFox starts it essentially "locks" the profile that you're using. When you click that button it essentially tries to start it up from scratch again and it checks your user profile which is "locked". If you want a new window open it from within Firefox either using File.New Window or Ctrl=N. You should also try out the tabbed browsing feature: File>New Tab or Ctrl+T
Tabbed Browsing is something that might have to be explained or shown to the new users who probably don't even know such a thing exists.
Note: The latest Firefox (0.9.1) makes this question moot; a new windows is now opened in the same profile.
Few gotchas: (fonts and plugins)
- Get the GTK+XFT version, of course, for nice fonts.
- If you use kde, fonts might be small and/or unantialiased since Firefox uses system (GTK) fonts. (The solution may be to download and install the gtk2-engines-gtk-qt package. After installation, a new "GTK Styles and Fonts" panel will be available in KDE's Control Center under the "Appearance" settings.)
- Install plugin files (those .so files) to ~/.mozilla/plugins so they'll work also in mozilla and other browsers.
I'd been wondering about the font size thing under KDE. That's been bugging me. Thanks, at least for the heads-up.
Mozilla Firefox in Linux looks and feels the same as the Windows equivalent. If the appropriate fonts are installed, pages will display exactly the same as the Windows version.
I love Firefox (and the bloated Mozilla equivalent) but in every distro I've used, the menu and application fonts (not the Web site fonts, which can be easily adjusted) under KDE are usually much *larger* than compared to other KDE applications. Mozilla and Firefox seem to ignore KDE's default font preferences; for instance, the default menu bar font will be set to 10 point Bitstream Vera Sans, but Firefox menu bars and drop-down menu fonts will display as 16 point Helvetica. Under Gnome, Firefox and Mozilla look fine; menu fonts default to the Gnome default font settings.
I've seen advice offered such as "just change the settings in about:config", but it doesn't seem to help. If you're using Debian, apt-getting getting other flavors of Firefox (various combinations of GTK and/or XFT) isn't an option.
Features I've found very convenient is tabbed browsing. This feature allows me to have windows open in a bar in my browser not in an already crowded taskbar. I love to press control+left click to open links on pages in new tabs! Mozilla Firefox is nice after years of Internet Explorer's lack of change over time.
==Suggestions== (because of usability issues)
Firefox is great. My entire technically-challenged family uses it with great success. They love the pop-up blocking especially.
My suggestion would be to distribute Flash and Shockwave with Firefox, if licenses allow it. This would be a bigger download (perhaps an optional package?), but would eliminate separate downloads and installations for two of the most-used plugins for any browser.
Easy to use browser. Newbies should have no difficulty in using it if they have some previous experience (such as with the IE), and will be delighted once they look through all the preferences options and learn how to block pop-ups, use tabs, etc.
However, in order for it to be convenient, all needed plugins should be previously installed and configured. Especially used most often, such as Flash and Java.
==Information== (doesn't really fit here)
The latest version of the Firefox browser is currently 0.9, the offical download page can be found here.
Best browser ever. If you have difficult to install the plugins see this page.
I use FireFox for the sole purpose of avoiding spyware that comes with IE vulnerabilities.
Whole non-techie family now use firefox with no problems at all under windows. Under Linux install process is poor. under Linux: No installer. RPM not on Mozilla site (TAR ball only) have to find elsewhere. Install process does not say where it is putting files. Install process does not create KDE or GNOME desktop shortcuts, menu entries, or task bar icons. Not even a suggestion as to what docs to read to do this. What should be a simple click,click, click process (as under windows) now becomes a voyage of discovery on how to edit KDE menues. Voyage not at end yet. Still looking..... So far resorting to opening term window and running firefox from cmd line. (after first finding where exe was put, then adding that dir to my path by manual edit of .profile file. Not newbie friendly.) What about auto updates under Linux? Havent seen those yet...... Greg M.
You should forget about the idea that you have to search for programs yourself. The distribution of your choice comes with some neat tool called package manager (YAST in SuSE, adept in Ubuntu, look it up for your distro). If you want to install a program, you just start the package manager, type in the name of the program you want to install and it will be installed for you, usually neatly integrated in your desktop, without any fuss :-)