I was able to play around with a beta of the upcoming Firefox 3 (which is scheduled for release this year, according to the roadmap) and was a bit underwhelmed mostly because it drags. I was an early adopter of the Gecko-engine: that was back in 1998, 1999 when the project was still in its infancy and called Phoenix. I chose for it because of the program’s small footprint (on several occassions, Alfons afterwards provided me with hand-compiled versions, distributed via his dyndns account). On the other hand, if you compare Firefox to Internet Explorer, at least FireFox obviously tops IE7 standards-wise (Related: LifeHacker’s preview of FireFox 3, Firefox visual refresh).

Then I was asked about my opinion about ‘Android’, or the Open Handset Alliance, an initiative led by (your favourite searchengine) Google. I think this video (or direct link at YouTube) is overly cute but then there is that: I haven’t really used a cell phone in the last past years. When Alfons visited me a month ago, I was startled to see his phone being capable to connect to our local Rogers Network, a feat I wasn’t able to do with my Nokia (company) cellphone when I came over here the first time in 1999 (that is, my provider suggested me to buy a different phone and switch SIM cards). But back to Android: it’s software for the cellphone (or mobile petgadget) and comes with an operating system, middleware and ‘key mobile applications’.

Talking about Google: I was alerted of the fact that my Gmail now sports a new interface. At first I didn’t notice the difference and just now, I found out that I still don’t get what exactly changed (except for slight rounded corners at some spots). I assume that the ‘new thing’ is that Google has finally ported all generic HTML components to their own ‘webkit’ components, a kit which you can find around here (open-sourced).

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