With the release of Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) yesterday (31/10/08) I am once again running a stable relase – Which meant I had to find something else to screw up :)

I decided to testdrive the latest Firefox 3.1 milestone; it does make it a lot easier that Fabien Tassin has been kind enough to set up a repository as well as keeping Firefox 3.1 and other packages up to date.

Start by adding these lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/fta/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/fta/ubuntu intrepid main

Installing was as easy as always

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install abrowser-3.1-branding

The abrowser-3.1-branding package installs Firefox 3.1 as “A Web Browser” without the Firefox name and logo. Both the ABrowser and Firefox packages depend on xulrunner 1.9; these packages will happily coexist with Firefox 3.0. Be warned that Thunderbird 3.0 will use the same profile as Thunderbird 1.5.

After starting for the first time (which was very fast) I needed my favourite addons up and running again.

Some of them worked out of the box while others complained that they were not compatible with Firefox 3.1. I tried installing Nightly Builder Tools but even after this some of them still
would not install.

Luckily Mozilla has provided us with the possibility to completely disable the version check. Type about:config in the address bar and search for the key extensions.checkCompatibility and change the value to false.

So for I haven’t had any real problems, except a small error in Google Redesigned

GR error

and a problem with Sage-Too; I cannot select the “Show only updated feeds” button.

Once this was done I wanted to see what all the fuzz was about and looked at enabling TraceMonkey, Mozilla’s new JavaScript engine since it’s disabled by default.

Again, this wasn’t very difficult, open about:config and look for the key javascript.options.jit.chrome; change the value to True, restart the browser, and it’s all systems go.

All in all my experience with Firefox 3.1 is a pleasent one – It does feel faster than my 3.0.3 installation but I have nothing to back that feeling.