Firefox 1.5 Released -- The Mozilla Corporation has released Firefox 1.5, the latest version of the popular open source Web browser for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Important new features include an automated update capability, improved navigation performance, drag-and-drop reordering of tabs, improved pop-up blocking, a one-step method of clearing private data, more-descriptive error pages, automatic RSS discovery, better accessibility, a wizard for reporting broken Web sites, enhanced support for Mac OS X (including profile migration from Safari and Internet Explorer), and numerous security enhancements. Firefox 1.5 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is a 9.4 MB download.
Ironically after my article about simplifying installation in TidBITS-807, the Firefox disk image provides only graphical instruction that's actively confusing. An arrow leads from the Firefox icon itself to a smaller, greyed-out version of the Firefox icon that is presumably being dragged, to judge from the non-Mac-like pointer and + badge, and then to a greyed-out icon that looks like the Applications folder. Unfortunately, it's all representational - the Applications folder is just a picture, and not a symbolic link, and there are no textual instructions to clarify what to do. I've already heard of people not realizing they had to copy the Firefox package and instead running it from the disk image. Worse, the instructions on the Firefox Web site say "double click the Firefox Disk Image to open it in Finder, and then drag the Firefox application onto your hard disk. Drag the icon to your Dock if you want it to appear there." I'm sure there are people who will promptly drag the Firefox icon from the disk image to the Dock, instead of copying it to the Applications folder and then dragging the copied version's icon to the Dock. Obviously, there's nothing all that hard here, but that's no reason not to make it easier yet.
In comparison, applications that deserve kudos for using this installation technique include Jim Matthews's Fetch (of course!), James Thomson's PCalc, and Frank Reiff's A Better Finder Rename, with extra points to Rainer Brockerhoff for using the technique for his XRay utility since 2003. Some disk images don't force icon view if the user has Open New Windows in Column View set in the Finder preferences, which eliminates any graphical or textual help that would otherwise appear. I'm not yet sure how to force icon view in all situations. [ACE]