Firefox 3 Initial Impressions – VectorLinux Site Hacked

I read an article that the Mozilla folks are so proud of Firefox 3 beta 4 that they’re encouraging it for average users. So I decided I would give it a spin.

I downloaded the tarball and set it up in /opt. From a console, I opened it up. I got the first box asking if I wanted to import my bookmarks and settings from Seamonkey (which was installed by default in Vector, and which I manually upgraded rather than using their package because I didn’t want to slow my computer down with all the slick Vector imagery — an issue which I’ll address soon). I did. It then announced my settings were brought over and asked if I wanted the Mozilla search page or my existing home page. I selected my home page.

Then the fun began. Some Arabic writing appeared on the window title bar. And in the tab. My first concern was that I had downloaded an Arabic version instead of the American English one. Looked at it. Umm, nope. Got the right one.

Vector apparently opens to their website when browsers are fired up the first time. That’s another peeve of mine — when someone insists on including configurations that direct me to their sites (you think six links to different parts of the site aren’t enough? am I really important enough to count me when I run seamonkey and firefox the first time?). In the process I found out their site’s been hacked.

This is a later shot when I realized what was going on (and I left open a tab when checking on this to make sure the file I downloaded didn’t have any known issues). But you get the point.

When I realized what was going on, I decided to open the site in dillo and that’s when I found out the criminal did a bit more. Dillo displayed it, Firefox resulted in a 404.

Anyway, hitting a hacked site because the distro I’m using includes a hit to that page in the default install even if I don’t use their packaging has given me a more negative impression of Vector than Firefox. I’m sure others who are using Vector for the first time this evening have the same impression — maybe worse.

I haven’t had time to weigh how much better Firefox 3 behaves with respect to memory, nor have I had time to delve into any new features. So far I see a familiar interface that handles things identically to earlier versions. I’ll have more time this weekend to try it out.

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