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Firefox 2.0 moved closer to its official launch with the recent availability of Release Candidate 2 of the popular open-source Web browser. And while Firefox RC2 differs little from RC1 and the previous betas that eWEEK Labs has reviewed, a couple of small—and, in our opinion, negative—changes jumped out during initial tests of this release.

Click here to read eWEEK Labs’ review of Firefox RC1.

Firefox has, for a while now, included a useful feature that brings up a Find In This Page tab at the bottom of the browser window whenever a user starts typing a search term. We’ve always liked using this feature to quickly find a word within a Web page, but, with Version 2.0 RC2, the functionality of this feature has changed: When we began typing a search term in RC2, a Quick Find tab opened at the bottom of the browser window that offered only a small field for the search term, removing the “next,” “previous,” “highlight all” and “match case” options that we have become accustomed to in the Find In This Page tab.

Some will welcome this change as a simpler option, and we liked that the Quick Find tab disappeared quickly once we stopped typing. However, we prefer the full Find In This Page tab, which now comes up only if the user hits Ctrl-F or accesses the Find In This Page option from the browser menu.

Another change in Firefox 2.0 RC2 is the removal of an option that has been standard in Mozilla Foundation browsers, and all competing browsers, for several years now. When configuring how Firefox handles cookies, users have always had the ability to allow cookies only from an originating Web site. RC2, however, removes this option. Now, the only way to have the browser handle cookies in this way is the much less friendly method of entering about:config in the address bar and changing the value of the network.cookie.cookieBehavior preference setting from 0 to 1.

While most people probably won’t notice this change, users who are very privacy-conscious and who have become accustomed to blocking cookies from sites they are not viewing will be disappointed if this change persists to the final release of Firefox 2.0 (due within the next month).

Those interested in trying out RC2 of Firefox 2.0 can download it at

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at

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