Firefox 1.5 released

YES!!! The long awaited sequel is here. Get the official update of Firefox. It’s available on Windows, OS X, Linux and some 20 odd language versions. 20 times 3 makes 60, not? See all versions.

This release comes with a revamped preference panel, tabbed browsing enhancements, loads of bugfixes, faster back- and forward, … in short it just got better. How much, you’ll have to find out yourself.

BUT If you plan to upgrade, please make sure none of your critical extensions break. If they do, persuade the original extension creator to fix his/her extension ASAP. Or take a look at the Mozilla Quality post: “Some help testing Extensions for Firefox 1.5“.
Personally, the only extension that hasn’t been updated for me, are the Furl Tools.

And as of this release the new mozilla.com site is live as well. (As opposed to the former .org one)

On a sidenote: I expect the Portable Firefox version to be released very soon.

Go Get It!

Update: This final release seems to have the same timestamp of FF RC3. Which some of us have been running since November 11th. I must admit, I have not run into issues since. Some extensions reserved.
And it seems mozilla.com is favoured over mozilla.org. I see former links pointing to .org redirected to the .com.

{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. πŸ™‚ Or, … yes there I go again… Google Earth?

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

Disruptive technology, the Firefox way

No this isn’t about Firefox taking over the world. It’s about taking over my ‘browsing experience’. πŸ™

Just moments ago I was minding my bussiness perusing stuff on the internet. When I suddenly was confronted with a popup. A popup? In Firefox??? Yes a popup, pleading me to restart Firefox… No thank you, I’m not ready for a restart just yet… You are ‘disrupting’ me!

Firefox Software Update popup

I do applaude the concern at Mozilla to provide me a safe and up-to-date browser. I do think the blue/green/red ‘christmas trees’ were a little bit confusing. (If you see one in your copy of Firefox right now, I suggest you click on it.) But ‘disrupting’ a user while at work is a bit too much, IMHO. Especially when there is no further indication as to why I really need to restart my browser. Clicking the ‘details’ link does not reveal what is ‘updated’.
To cut things short: Bad user experience! How about a less intrusive way, somewhere in between a popup and a ‘christmas tree’? ‘Important update’? You and everyone else has an ‘important update’! πŸ™„

Update: It seems there is some confusion about the ‘christmas trees’ I was talking about. Here’s what they look like.
Firefox Update "Christmas Tree" Icon
They also come in a blue and red variant. But I’m confused as to what the colors mean. Red is propably critical. I guess.

Firefox: “The choice of criminals”

If I may quote the ‘Alternative browsers pose challenge for cybersleuths‘ article by C|Net:

Internet Explorer hides nothing from police and other investigators who examine PCs to discover which sites the user has visited, according to a class held Wednesday at the annual training meeting of the High Tech Crime Investigation Association. Investigators know the location of the IE browser cache, cookie files and history, and they know how to read those files. Also, popular forensics tools can help out.

But that story changes when it comes to alternative Web browsers such as Firefox and Opera, instructor Glenn Lewis said at the well-attended session. These programs use different structures, files and naming conventions for the data that investigators are after. And files are in a different location on the hard drive, which can cause trouble for examiners. Furthermore, forensics software may not support the Web browsers, he said.

Where’s a :smilie_hitting_brick_wall: icon when you need one? πŸ™„

Happy Birthday Firefox

A year ago, to the day, Firefox 1.0 was launched. So I guess a ‘happy birthday’ is in order. 😎

Logo Firefox 1.0In the past year this little app shook up the browser world. Among some of the things accomplished are, in no particular order:

  • Grab a larger than 10% marketshare. Exceeding the ‘promise’ made at launch.
  • Wake up that other browser development team, in Redmond.
  • Change the way I work on, code and debug my websites/applications.
  • Make companies big or small aware they have to support web-standards a.k.a. not only support IE.
  • Inspire Opera to also deliver a fine browser for free.
  • Setting a few download records. The current score is more than 106 million downloaded copies (spread over 7 iterations).
  • Prove that Feature Creep is bad and Open Source Software doesn’t have to come with a ‘Nerd Alert’.

You also may want to take a look at:

All that is left is the wait for Firefox 1.5

Update: Next part is adult only!!! So if you are not of legal age in your corner of the world, try Disney. For Tarantino afficionados: Kill Bill’s Browser LOL πŸ˜€ And for some Firefox Ooh Lala. Firefox, definitely the cutest and sexiest browser in the world! πŸ˜‰

Extend Firefox Contest

The Mozilla foundation kicked off a competition for Firefox extension developers (to be). So if you have an idea for an new extension or upgrade your existing one, take a look at the extend firefox contest.

Do so before January 6, 2006. And it’s not for eternal fame only. There are some nice prices to be had.

PS: I’d like to have a GMail notifier that checks multiple accounts, maybe throw in a POP3 checker for generic mail accounts… It’s just an idea. πŸ™‚

Update: Asa is pointing to the “New features for extension developers in Firefox 1.5” by Jesse Ruderman. Which should provide enough idea’s for 1.5 extensions.

Windows Live Beta. Don’t bother…

Windows Live Beta LogoAs the rest of the world is doing right now, I was going to drop my two cents on the new Windows Live Beta. But in this context Beta means Broken. Severely! It doesn’t work in Firefox, but worse, it also borks in IE.

If you ask me, it’s a rush job. Because the hotshots already had their little get-together planned. I can imagine a ‘Live Team’ developer’s first reaction: “They are going to do WHAT?!?!?!? %@^&%@$”. (Probably not far from the truth. ;-))

Just take a look at start.com and than at the all new launched live.com. See any familiarity?
That’s because they are, in fact, the same. Take a look at the page source… Hello Atlas. Looks like someone just did a ‘find & replace’.

So if I may roundup the current state:

  1. start.com = live.com = google fusion = my yahoo. A.k.a. a ‘portal solution’. I’m not up for this niche, but some might.
    Note the footer of start.com: this site is not an officially supported site. it is an incubation experiment and doesn’t represent any particular strategy or policy. Aha!
  2. As a plus you could, as a ‘customer’, build upon Windows Live with ‘gadgets‘.
  3. Scott doesn’t get it. As does Mark. But according to Robert this isnÒ€ℒt about just the portal. Its about search.msn.com, or how live.com is going to be the new Microsoft search. And a Microsoft ‘Adsense’. And webmail. And an online virusscanner. And …
    Someone found out that DNS changes aren’t accomplished ad-hoc and/or building a portal upon MSN Search with all the ‘Kahoona’ is not going to happen any time soon. (IMHO: overdemanding people who control the money and time… you cannot live without them… :-()
  4. There’s also an Office Live. More nothingness.
  5. There’s a new messenger. Windows Live Messenger. As if the confusion between Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger wasn’t enough.

IMHO: Rounding up the roundup. Live is the new XP. It’s a marketing word. Everyone keep their pants on. We won’t be seeing anymore of it this year. Maybe in 2006. My guess it’ll be all revealed at launch-time of Windows Vista.

So there you’ll have it. My two euro-cents… πŸ™‚

Google Earth for Mac, alternatives

It seems a lot of Mac owners, like me, are anticipating the arrival of the Google Earth client for Mac. Alas… it is nowhere in sight. πŸ™ But do not despair. Actually, there are alternatives available, here’s three I can think of. ‘Virtual PC for Mac‘, ‘Remote Desktop Client for Mac‘ and ‘Google Maps‘.

Continue reading “Google Earth for Mac, alternatives”

The Orange Icon..

You know the one that signals a webfeed (formerly known as RSS or Atom). Over at Microsoft they’re pondering what new icon they should pick. Mind you, this single icon will be viewed by millions of upcoming IE 7 users.
So all you usability guru’s, web designer, graphic designers, … if you have an alternative or an opinion go and leave a comment on their Team RSS blog now!!!

This is what they’ve come up with so far:

  1. beta 1
  2. gleam
  3. ring
  4. spark
  5. waves

Personally I’m not sure what to think of it. Besides “I don’t like them…”. Maybe it’s because they’re ripped out of their context, namely the address bar of the upcoming IE 7. Or it’s just something brewing in the back of my head. (And should I tell Microsoft…?)