Firefox 1.0.5 released

Take back the webWhile Firefox 1.1 is underway we’re presented with yet another 1.0 update. So what’s new?

Firefox 1.0.5 is a security update that is part of our ongoing program to provide a safe Internet experience for our customers. We recommend that all users upgrade to this latest version.

Also the promise of “Improvements to stability.” sounds good to me. I’ll give it a try.

Update: Back on air with 1.0.5… don’t know what they did, but it’s lightning fast. Did they already activate the ‘back and forth’ caching? 😕
Oh and be sure before upgrading, that you’ve visited all your tabs…

Google Toolbar for Firefox

Google has released an official beta, what isn’t beta from Google these days, of their toolbar for Firefox. Previously this was only available for IE-users. Get the toolbar at: http://toolbar.google.com/firefox/

Furthermore they’ve released two more extensions:

IE’s dead, hail the new King!

… and the new king is ‘Longhorn‘!

Well, not exactly, it’s RSS!

I’ve watched the video, scanned Technorati, clicked on TechCrunch, taken a look at the IE Blog, re-visited C|Net, shivered at the Creative Commons Blog, read the last Gnomedex’r story, …

What’s left? I say, Redmond got the idea late in the game. But as usual they took a run with it. Not in a bad sense! It’s just… too overwhelming.

The team formerly known as the IE team apparently renamed itself The RSS team. And they’re considering promoting RSS to be the main glue in the new upcoming Windows. … I’ve got to let this sink in. Amazon wishlists, sorting feeds, OS handling of feeds, RSS aware applications OS, all application use ‘Common Feed List’, Microsoft doing a Creative Commons Share Alike, …

Let’s not forget, it’ll be available officially in 2007. So what does it mean now? I don’t know. What I’m sure of. I got to take a different look at RSS and enclosures.

Turning off the ‘friendly HTTP error messages’ in Firefox

Get Firefox By accident I stumbled upon this Firefox somewhat equivalent of IE’s ‘Show friendly HTTP error messages’ option. Any webdeveloper should have this turned off by default. How else will you know what the problem is? So here’s how to do it:

  1. Open up a new tab (CTRL+T) or window (CTRL+N).
  2. Type in de addressbar: about:config.
  3. In the filterbar type: error and press enter.
  4. Now set the value of the ‘browser.xul.error_pages.enabled‘ to ‘true‘. Double clicking will do.
  5. Restart Firefox.

Now you’ll get extended warnings instead of the simple warning dialogs when, for example, you accidentaly link to a non-existant domain. Or, like me, the dreaded ‘The document contains no data’.

If you don’t know where to find this in IE: ‘Tools’ > ‘Internet Options…’ > ‘Advanced’-tab > Near the end of the ‘Browsing’-section. > Uncheck.

The end of IE 5

IE LogoI’ve given up on IE 4 and Netscape 4 a while ago. Meaning I won’t do anything extra for them anymore. They’ll just have to take the page as-is, no unnecessary or fatal script errors though, but that’s where it ends. If it doesn’t work or looks horrible, too bad.

So how about IE 5? Will I say goodbye to that one too? Well, as long as there is a substantial public I will support it. But a quick scan of some statistics is showing a decline. Take a look at the W3Schools stats, which states a 2.8% audience of IE 5 in June. Looking at my own stats, I have to look hard to find any record of IE 5. But this will differ from site to site, so I haven’t written it off yet. So give it another half year or so?

Microsoft itself has a helping hand in the decline by pushing IE 6 with it’s Windowsupdate service, pulling support for Windows 2000, pushing XP and Server 2003. There is even the upcoming IE 7. And more importantly it doesn’t support IE 5 no longer (or at least will do so very, very soon).

Gervase Markham has a nice post about the IE 5 decline. He even invites us, web developers, to drop support for it already. I wouldn’t go that far, yet. Although with so many alternatives available I wonder why anyone will want to keep hanging on to IE 5.

If you’re still using IE 5, please take a look at IE 6, Firefox or maybe Opera. Oh and for those on a Mac. There’s Safari, Firefox or Camino.

IE 7 around the corner…

Looking back at my blog I see that I post a lot about Firefox. But there is another browser around that is even more popular. Yes, Internet Explorer!

Unfortunately IE6 has been around since 2001(?) and hasn’t been updated since. Apart from the occasional Service Pack or Security Update, IE6 has basically remained the same for about 4 years.

You say: “Hold up. The sites I visit are getting more advanced! So IE6 is up-to-date.”

Yes and No. IE6 is a capable browser. It has been ever since its release in 2001(?). But… back then IE6 was just a newbie. The majority of the browsing public was using IE4. And every webdeveloper/-designer can tell you that although the technology was there, ‘we’ had to consider making our pages visible in IE4, and God-Forbid NS4. So there was no way we could use all the nice ‘cool’ features of IE6.

Now that no-one is using IE4 or NS4 anymore (If you do, consider upgrading! Please!) we developers are using more & more sophisticated techniques. Like CSS, XHTML and/or XMLHTTPRequest. The latter was originally conceived in IE4’s RDS, but back then no-one used it. Nowadays Google’s GMail revolves around it. But I digress.

Back to the story. Seemingly to Firefox’s success the developers at Microsoft woke up. Back in january the development team was brought to life again. And they promised a beta version would be available mid-2005. (It’s june already.) I’m not trying to sound negative. But having Firefox as default browser for over half a year I’m anxious to see what comes from Redmond. I see they promise tabs, maybe RSS, …

BUT it will all be ONLY available for people running on Windows XP Service Pack 2! Way to go Microsoft. No longer available for Mac, Windows 2000, Windows 98SE, Windows ME. I personally think that’s not a good strategy. But that’s me.

To do: Upgrade family to Servicepack 2…

Codename: ‘Strippenkaart’

Catching up with my feeds tonight this one caught my eye. Codename: ‘Strippenkaart’. It makes me smile. 🙂 Why?

For non-Dutch this would probably mean nothing. Except for ‘some’ who went to the XTech conference last week. And for those who know there’s a developer preview release of Firefox 1.1 available. So why am I smiling?

Well, the developers of Firefox all went to Amsterdam last week to visit this XTech conference and they chose to name this release ‘Strippenkaart’. A ‘strippenkaart’ is nothing less than a pre-paid public transport ticket. So it is funny, for Dutch, to see something so mundane to be chosen as a codename. Or maybe the Firefox development team were struck in awe with our public transport system… (I think not)

@Firefox developers: I suggest to name Deer Park Alpha 2 ‘Codename: Tankpas’. Or if that doesn’t sound right: ‘Leaseauto’. Just a suggestion. 😉

For more entertaining reviews of The Netherlands take a look at Daniel Glazmans weblog.

Firefox is Product of the Year 2005

PC World published their ‘The 100 Best Products of 2005‘ and made Mozilla Firefox the Product of the Year:

WEB BROWSER (Free) Let the browser wars begin anew: This open-source program is streamlined, customizable, and just plain better. No wonder it has attracted millions of users in just a few months. Is it merely a coincidence that Microsoft finally plans to give the aging Internet Explorer the major overhaul it has needed for years?

Don’t forget to check out the other 100 best of breed. 😉

[Via: blakeross.com]