Dealership Communication Tools

Fox 1, Fox 2, Fox 3 – another missile has launched!

If you haven’t already heard, the latest from Mozilla is out in Firefox 3.  And I’ve got to say AWESOME is a pretty good word to describe it.  On the surface it doesn’t look like much has changed, but underneath it has become even more customizable than before.

Instead of just using a padlock to let us know when a site is safe, the padlock has now moved to the status bar and it provides much more information about the site you’re looking at.  It is also color-coded to give you a quick idea of the site’s security credentials.  Gray means none and Green means maximum.  It even tells you which cookies you’re going to pick-up when you visit.

Interface Improvements:
Better graphical integration with your OS (think Vista and OSX).  Session saving which can be setup to prompt you if you wish Firefox to remember your last browsing session every time you close it.  Improved Download manager that allows you to pause, resume, and save downloads – you can even save a download to your clipboard for IMing or emailing!  The password manager is no longer a pop-up, it drops down like an ActiveX control prompt in IE7.

You can now tag your bookmarks for easier/better cataloging.   There is a star next to your address bar for easier bookmarking and categorizing too.  Mozilla now has a thing called “Smart Bookmarks” which is similar to iTune’s smart playlists with top sites, most recently visited, etc – totally customizable.

Awesome Bar:
No longer called the location bar because it is….well….Awesome!  When you start typing a new URL into your address bar it will give you multiple options instead of just a list of URL’s you’ve visited since your last history dump.  You’ll have to try it to see it.

Memory allocation:
This is one of my favorite features.  When you spend a lot of time going through numerous sites your browser will store all that history in a “short-term memory” block that will start to make your virtual memory slow down.  After every 30 minutes of browsing Firefox 3 will dump this little block keeping your system’s resources more available for other applications…..very cool!

This is my other favorite new feature.  Pre-FF3, when you zoomed (CTRL+scroll wheel or +/- keys) only the text changed size.  Now absolutely everything on the page resizes!  You can make images larger/smaller, videos scale, and borders.  On top of that, FF3 will remember where you last scaled the page to, so when you go back it will still be at that size!!!  So friggin’ cool!!!  I have a feeling this is the start of a major movement away from GIF’s and JPEG’s into better scaling image types (EPS images, PNG’s, PDF’s, etc.) – the Internet is going to look good!

You still have skins, plug-ins, and other add-on’s for FireFox, but imagine the kind of SEO tracking pieces that will come out of FF3.  It opens new doors in the developer arena!

Research for this article came out of the August 2008 issue of Maximum PC.

Who knew an argument with Jeff Kershner, in 2005, would lead to Alex becoming a partner with him on DealerRefresh. Where will the next argument take ...
have you tried it with the control panel?
they sent me a email saying that they had to work on making site composer compatible with ff3....just curious if you had tried yet?
Also curious if they fixed the memory issue that was present in ff2?

C'mon Brian - don't you know me well enough by now to know that when I'm told not to jump off a bridge, I have to do it! I didn't notice any issues, but I only tried FF3 and DDC lightly. I'm sure they'll start supporting FF3 very soon. It works fine with iMagicLab too.

I never had the memory issue with FF2, so I can't comment on that.
yeah I should have figured, hmmmm.... don't take the over on our wager :) on the memory issue; I should have read your article instead of scanning through it. The memory allocation feature should correct the problem ff2 had with v mem.
Been using it as well...make the switch if you haven't yet.

The FireShot feature is a great tool...


Brian get the IE tab add-on and set it to open CP using IE rendering engine...

PicLens is pretty call too... check it out...

FireShot is a must... same goes for FireBug and FireFTP if you are developing stuff... and ChatZilla if you are on IRC.


Although I do like some of the new features and anything not MS is a plus for me, but Firefox download tool is annoying. Its like Higher Gear making me confirm that I want to do something. When I click a download button, I want to download and not get another popup that shows me this.

Not really impressed with the new features. FYI Your zoom feature was already on IE7 and still annoying is the fact that you do not have semi open tab, to create a new tab (in IE7 there is a half opened tab to activate a new tab instead of having to go to the menu to create a new tab in FireFox).

Yes I am aware of the scaling feature in IE7, but this is an article about FF3. It is a new feature for Firefox.

You can turn the download manager off, or get an add-on that kills the pop-up box. I agree with you - it is annoying. I was able to get rid of it, but I forgot how. I still have the ability to pull a history of my downloads, and that is very useful.

I have no idea what you're talking about with "half-opened tab"????
BTW - I use keyboard shortcuts (old Photoshop habit) and the shortcut for opening a new tab is CTRL+T. I've never used the buttons at the top to open a new tab. And that shortcut works in both FF and IE7.
You can download an add-on called "new tab button on tab right" to get that half-opened tab thing you're talking about. Call me a peacekeeper
ctrl+t will do just fine. I am a big fan of shortcuts too, just do not know all of them.

I would like to know how I can get rid of the download window if someone can help me out with this.

  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • July 4, 2008
Oscar said.. "Its like Higher Gear making me confirm that I want to do something."

That's FUNNY!! and SO true.
My biggest complaint is that it is not playing well with roboform yet. :( Then again I have not looked for a fix yet either,