About 36 hours ago Firefox 1.5 (final) was released. I upgraded, but I have to say quite reluctantly. I didn’t want to lose my plugins and run the risk of so-called ‘ruining’ my current browsing experience, which was quite up-to-the-mark. But of course, I did upgrade and I’ve found 1.5 to be a bit, although not a lot, better and I’ll say I’ll stick to it.
First of all, beware when you’re upgrading, if you’re like me and you don’t go with the crowd but with your neccessity, you’ll find you have some plugins that aren’t exactly what you’ll call in the ‘popular’ list at addons.mozilla.org. This, obviously may result in the plugin being incompatible with 1.5 and I’m afraid you’re gonna have to lose it. This happened to me with NeedleSearch and a few others, and the absense of these is actually quite time-consuming. Only upgrade if you have nothing or not too much to lose.
As for the themes, the above is true as well. I almost lost Phoenity but then found a version compatible with 1.5 (note: there’s no upgrade for the one you’ll have installed for 1.x). If you’re cool with change, go for it, but if you’re like me and quite sensitive to it and using any other theme feels unusual, you may need to reconsider.
The people at Mozilla have already said this — Firefox 1.5 is more of an internal ‘can’t-be-seen-by-the-eye’ upgrade than a shiny UI one. It’s got better security, faster speed and what all, but don’t expect a drastic change to the way you browse except probably losing a few plugins and/or themes. 2.0 will probably like be what most may expect, but 1.5 ain’t it. It’s good, not awesome, sort of like IE 6 to 7 without the tabs. In any case, I do hope the folks who worked at NeedleSearch get this message.