Firefox webdeveloper survival kit

Today and probably the rest of the week I’ll have to work on a loaner. The trusty laptop has to go into shop for scrutiny and hopefully some repairs. 🙁 In the meanwhile I’m looking at this barren desktop of a semi-fresh Windows XP. I’m wondering, how am I going to cram Photoshop, Dreamweaver and the rest of my stuff on this 10Gigs of HD. Not mentioning the 256Megs they will be fighting for. 😉

Laptop trouble Well, the first thing I installed, you’ve guessed it right, was <blink>Firefox</blink>. 🙂 How else am I gonna survive? It took me a whole 10 minutes to get up and running. Including installing the much needed extensions to complete the survival kit.

So here’s what I define as the ‘webdeveloper survival kit‘:

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Using Furl for almost a year.

Furl logoI’ve been using Furl for almost a year now. In fact it was Jul 23, 2004 at 23:13:58 GMT that I ‘furled’ my very first furl: Furl – How to Save. Using it on a daily basis, I collected some 500+ interesting, funny, need-to-know, nice-to-know or what-else public links. Not much compared to others, but still a respectable number nonetheless. 🙂

So what have I been hamstering this past year? Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

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Finally, I got Pagerank!

Finally! It has been a long wait. 🙂 But it’s only a meagre PR of 1! Damn it. 🙁
It’s about time I remove my homepage then. 😉

In a weird way my homepage has received a 1, but the rest a 4. Take for instance the reference or the Google Search category.

Ah well… everyone knows the PageRank is for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. Yeah right…
When is the TrustRank due?

Update: Oops. It seems there is no pagerank for the rest of the site. 🙁

MediaWiki and Google Sitemaps

As I could not find an extension or script specifically for MediaWiki that would automatically deploy a Google Sitemap, I thought, why not build one myself? And in the process try and learn some PHP on the way.

So here’s my result: https://www.thinklemon.com/wiki/sitemap.xml.php

It’s submitted to Google as of yet. Let’s see what it’ll do. …

A decade of WebDev.

What did people do before there was the internet? Well, they … uhm… well there was tv and board games. You had to do stuff using pen (as opposed to an ink-cartridge) and paper. And I think you physically went to a store to buy stuff. But seriously, the World Wide Web (does anyone call it that nowadays?) is only some 15 years old. It was in 1990 that the first browser and webserver saw the light by the hand of this guy called Tim Berners-Lee. So you could say he was the first web developer. But that’s just the prehistory. We’re living in 2005 right now. What was it like for web developers like say in 1995? The web was alive and kicking for 5 years then. Or was it? Let’s have a look at june 1995.

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To Watch: Microsoft to Add Ordered List support in RSS?

Microsoft has a history of inventing proprietary things. So when I found this announcement on C|Net I was a bit sceptical at first.

What’s the deal? It appears Microsoft will announce an extension to RSS (2.0?) today at Gnomedex for a better support of ordered lists in feeditems. Big deal! Everybody is putting lists in their feeds already. Why need an extension?

Here’s the catch. Dave Winer has posted about it on his blog on wednessday and he was somewhat impressed. So maybe there might be something interesting in the Microsoft offer? We’ll see today.

(via The RSS Weblog)

BTW: Maybe we’ll see a glimpse of the upcoming IE 7 today when Microsoft reveal their plans today?
BTW2: Maybe Winers interest is fueled by his Instant Outliner?

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.

Usability Week 2005 San Francisco

Nielsen Norman Group This week, from June 20 till 25, the Nielsen Norman Group is holding a conference on usability in San Francisco. This is the last in a series of conferences which were held in New York, Stockholm and London.

The Usability Week 2005 Conference is:

Usability Week 2005 takes you beyond the typical conference experience, offering a three-day usability camp, a two-day intensive on interaction design, and several exceptional day-long tutorials that get both broad and deep on core usability topics. Attend as few or as many days as you like.

My lucky colleague, who somehow managed to be in San Francisco this week, is attending some topics. While we’re sweating it at the office. Being interested in web usability I just want to know what’s being covered. So strolling around the standard search tools it struck me that there are no reports, experiences, comments, etc. to be found. Google, nope. MSN, nothing. Yahoo, uhm. Technorati & Feedster, nada. What could this mean?

  1. Or usability experts don’t know how to blog
  2. Or NNg forces an NDA on every attendee
  3. Or there simply isn’t anything to report
  4. Or …

Dear Mr. Nielsen, please have a look at this aggregated coverage site of the XTech conference. Wouldn’t that be a good idea for your next conference?

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.