Extend Firefox Contest Winners

The grand prize winners of the Extend Firefox competition are in. One of them is the one I use on a daily basis. In fact it’s the biggest reason why I’m using Firefox as my main browser. Props to Chris! 🙂
But IMHO the Web Developer toolbar is only usefull for us web developers (and people who are affiliated to them). Anyway, here are the three winners:

Grand Prize Category Winners:

I’ve installed Reveal and am evaluating as of writing. Can’t say I like it. It’s … just bizarre. 🙂

Google Page Creator (Beta of course)

Googe Page Creator BetaNormally I wouldn’t blog about yet another new Google product release. Now would I? 😉 Hey, I’m not the Googleblog you know.
But this time they’ve released a product that lets my mother create webpages in no-time, although I doubt if anyone’s waiting for another bridge-site. (Sorry mom. :-))

So what is it?

It’s an easy-to-use webpage publishing system. It’s easy as point & click to start creating pages, all with the familiar Google GUI as used in GMail/Base/Reader/etc. The site is currently coupled with your GMail account, meaning your mail username is also used to address the site. You’ll get a 100MB of space, so that should be enough to build a photoalbum or the likes. Uploads are handled beautifully by the way. And linking to other pages or sites is automatically checked, so it’s hard to make a mistake there.

Continue reading “Google Page Creator (Beta of course)”

Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview available

IE 7 LogoIt’s public! So if you want to have a go take a look at the Internet Explorer 7 website.

But before you do so, also take a look at the IEBlog:

Especially note:

Can I run the preview and IE6 at the same time?

No, the preview is a system upgrade that replaces IE6 on your computer with the preview code.

As Chris Wilson pointed out, “‘IE’ is actually a collection of system components – networking, browser hosting, core HTML rendering, printing, etc. When we install a new version of IE, we’re installing it for all applications that use these system components – including the tiny iexplore.exe itself.” Because of this, we do not support the various hacks that allow side by side running of IE6 and the IE7 Beta 2 Preview. Running with these could cause issues with the stability of a system.

But that quote from mr. Wilson did not end there. He made a remark that I, as a webdeveloper/-designer, found rather interesting:

… That’s why it’s hard to have multiple side-by-side IEs. We are working on a solution for just HTML rendering, but we can’t have multiple system components installed with the same name.

Now if MS made THAT tool available I would be happy. Hope they don’t forget to put in a IE 6 rendering engine and for old times sake a IE 5 engine… That would make testing/hacking a lot easier.

Note: I’ll refrain from installing as I don’t want to compromise my dev-system.

Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

Over at Google Code they ran a survey, in December 2005, looking at a couple of webpages trying to find out which elements and their respective attributes are used most. And more importantly how they are used.

We took a sample of slightly over a billion documents, and looked at what elements were used on the most pages, what class names were used on the most pages, and so forth.

Pretty interesting read this Web Authoring Statistics study.
E.g. why would anyone use a <table>-tag and not put any <td> or <tr> inside? Beats me… Is it a remnant of MS ‘HTML’? Or someone deleting a table in a WYSIWYG environment? And there are more examples.

Which Browsers matter in 2006?

BrowsermixIf you are planning to build or rebuild a site this year you may wonder at some point which browsers you should support. If not, you should! Just looking at your new design in IE 6 is no guarantee it works and behaves the same in any other browser.

Not that long ago the browser shortlist consisted of IE 6, combined with IE 5, IE 4 & Netscape 4. And maybe some other occasional ‘weird’ browser. But times have changed and are changing. IE 4 & Netscape 4 are ancient history, support for IE 5 has been dropped in most cases by Microsoft itself. And there are emerging new browsers, either driven by innovation or security issues.

So what browsers should you support today and for the upcoming year(s)? Simple question, simple answer: Check your visitor stats and build/optimise for what they use.

Continue reading “Which Browsers matter in 2006?”

WordPress 2.0 Cache Is Broken!

WordPress takes a bite. As of version 2.0 of WordPress you’ll get a caching feature, which means it’ll ‘remember’ the most frequent accessed static information from your blog. This way it’s supposed to not bother the database but make a ‘fast trip’ to the server to fetch these pieces of info. In the end this should make your weblog go faster, because the information is already there to present.

Unfortunately it’s broken. Continue reading “WordPress 2.0 Cache Is Broken!”

Is WordPress 2.0 that sluggish?

ThinkLemon in AlphaDirectly after upgrading this weblog, little over a week ago, I felt it was a little bit sluggish. Compared to the 1.5 version I was running before. Maybe it could be just the webserver as I’m running on a shared hosting solution. Therefore one of the neighbours could be having a party… again. 🙁

But finding it slow on and off I decided to see how slow or fast WordPress 2.0 really is. This new incarnation of everyone’s favorite weblog tool supports ‘object caching’. Caching generally is a good thing. The results? Hmmm not good…

Continue reading “Is WordPress 2.0 that sluggish?”

{Canvas} demo

If you’re viewing this post with a release candidate of Firefox 1.5, take a look at the below <canvas> demo.

Canvascape - 3D Walker

For now, you can only walk through a maze from a first person perspective. But it runs smooth and looks pretty impressive.

See the “3D Walker” demo on Canvascape

PS: It is rumored to work on Safari too, but I haven’t tried it yet. Confirmed. The demo works fine on Safari (2).

Small update: It appears to be a bad idea to use (encoded) tags in post titles. So I changed it slightly.

Update: This just has cross-browser* Wolfenstein 3D written all over it. 🙂 Or, … yes there I go again… Google Earth?

*IE6 doesn’t support the canvas-element nor is there an indication IE7 will.

Yahoo! Local Maps Beta

Yahoo Maps Beta LogoYahoo! Maps is offering a Beta version which is based on Flash! – shock & horror – What were they thinking? 😉

I do like it. It’s snappy, looks good and simply works. (hearing that MS?) Go see the Yahoo! Maps Beta for yourself.
For instance check out the ubiquitous “Pizza in Redmond” sample. Hover & click to see more info. Nice. Although at the largest zoom-level you won’t find anything.

Another nice feature is Live Traffic with which you’ll get up-to-date traffic info like congestions and construction work details. Now all they need to do is add the rest of the world and of course satellite imagery. Take a look at the features overview.

How about an API you ask? Here are the Yahoo! Maps Developer APIs.

Also see TechCrunch’s story on the Yahoo! Maps Beta and WeBreakStuff’s first look .

On a sidenote: Is it the time of the year or what? It seems everyone is releasing stuff like crazy.