Yesterday I did something I don’t normally recommend- I downloaded a piece of Beta software and installed it. If you have been following things on this site, you know that the number one rule is to abandon Microsoft Internet Explorer for Firefox (the reasons are too many to list). And when the new version of Firefox reached Release Candidate phase- it was too tempting to pass-up for one HUGE reason: it adds a spell checker to writing blog posts in WordPress, yes, you read that right: a spelling checker!

That alone is worth all the headaches that normally come with Beta software. However, I immediately found out that it also disabled almost all my plugins- including the Sage RSS reader. I was in instant info-withdrawl, and started searching for another solution.

Alas, I wasn’t finding any that would install with this release (no matter what the documentation said: wizz wouldn’t install). Then I found the magic bullet: Nightly Tester Tools extension for Firefox which will allow you to overide the compatibility check that prevents your standard extensions from loading. Once installed, it will give you the option to install software that Firefox says is incompatible. It fixed both Sage and Autofill, two of my favorite extensions for Firefox.

I haven’t had time to check all the features of Firefox 2, but the spell check function alone, makes it a must have for any blogger using WordPress.

Mozilla Developer News » Blog Archive » Firefox 2 Release Candidate 1 is now available for download

Firefox 2 Release Candidate 1 (RC 1), the preview release of the next version of the Firefox browser, is now available for download. Web application developers, our testing community, and users who want to get a sneak peek at the next version of Firefox should download and install this release candidate. Please note that at this time, users should not expect all of their extensions, plugins and themes from previous versions of Firefox to work properly.The release notes have a detailed list of what’s new in Firefox 2 RC 1, including:

* A new theme that updates Firefox’s familiar interface
* Built in Phishing Protection
* Enhanced search engine management and search suggestions for Google, Yahoo! and
* Improvements to tabbed browsing, including the ability to re-open recently closed tabs
* Firefox will resume from where you left off after a system crash or browser restart
* Better support for previewing and subscribing to Web feeds
* Inline spell checking in Web forms
* The ability to create bookmarks with “Live Titles” for Web sites that offer microsummaries
* New Add-ons manager that simplifies management of extensions and themes.
* Support for JavaScript 1.7
* Extended search plugin format
* Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions
* Support for client-side session and persistent storage
* Support for SVG text using svg:textPath
* New Windows installer based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

You can download Firefox 2 Release Candidate 1 for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux in more than 40 languages. We encourage our users to give us feedback on this release, either using this online form or by filing a bug (please read the bug filing instructions first, and check out the list of known issues.)


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