This seems like a very trivial thing to be blogging about, but I can’t find anybody else even mentioning it. I’d like to think that I’m just not using the right search terms, but who knows?

Anyway, the latest test version (RC1) of the soon-to-be-officially-released Firefox 3 has been available for a few days now. Under the hood it’s even faster and less buggy than the last test release (beta 5), and cosmetically the default theme, images, and indicators are all looking much more polished and professional. Unfortunately, the home button still has a yellow roof on Windows XP though.

But one of my favorite little visual tweaks that’s new in RC1 is the new image placeholder icon.

When you’re on a slow internet connection, visiting a site that’s particularly slow, or waiting for images to load on a page FULL of large images, you’re likely to see a nearly empty box representing the spot where a yet to be loaded image will eventually be. These empty boxes have a little icon in the top left corner to indicate that they’re for an image.

But Firefox has used the same image placeholder icon from its first days as version 0.1, and its ancestors (Netscape and Mozilla) used the same one before it. So it’s nice to finally see it refreshed with Firefox 3.

Here are the old and new icons side by side. See if you can guess which is which (and hover over either for the answer).