Archive | July, 2008

Firefox 3.1 News and Dates

Firefox 3 has been launched with great success, so now it is time to start looking at Firefox 3.1.  Right now it appears Firefox 3.1 Alpha should be released July 25th with a beta coming as soon as early August.  It doesn’t look like Firefox 3.1 will just be fixes though, there are a lot of new features coming our way too…

Here are a few of them that are targeted for Alpha 1:

  • worker threads (under review)
  • offline storage / local storage (under review)
  • downloadable fonts (kinda maybe)
  • native JSON (under review)
  • WHATWG <canvas> text API
  • Awesomebar improvements (need review gavin, shepherding)
  • border image (under review)
  • media queries (under review)
  • bulk tagging
  • ctrl-tab

Will Firefox 3.1 create as much excitement around the world as Firefox 3 did?

Change Firefox to Any Color You Wish?

AnyColor for Firefox I love the customizations, so after checking this new add-on out I had to share it with one and all.  AnyColor for Firefox is a great new Firefox add-on that allows you to apply preset color to the browser instantly.

Here are a few of the features AnyColor has to offer:

  • Choose your own colors and preview them immediately.
  • Select background images for the top and bottom part of the browser’s main window.
  • Choose one of the built-in appearance presets or create your own.
  • Create “appearance scripts” and change the browser’s appearance using dynamically generated content.

The thing that makes this different than your average theme is that it is customizable and can update the browser’s appearance on the fly; no restart is required.  You can download the add-on on the Firefox add-ons site (login required). 

Tab Switching Gets Prettier

New Tab Switching in Firefox 3.1

According to Mozilla Links, Firefox 3.1 will be getting the rumored update to tab switching that got a little buzz after Firefox 3 was launched. 

As said, there’s also a new behavior for Ctrl + Tab. Instead of just moving left to the next opened tab, now it switches between the current and the last viewed tab and I have to say I’m already loving it. I usually have to check several other pages while posting and to ease the tab switching I moved the reference tab next to the post edit tab to have it a couple of keystrokes away. There’s no need now: I just took the long way to the reference tab once and then it’s already at reach.

Want this feature now?  Check out the Ctrl-Tab add-on for Firefox.

Change the Browser Icons with Favicon Picker 3

Favicon Picker used to be one of my favorite add-ons for Firefox, mainly because I am a ‘bit of a control freak and I like to be able to customize every single little thing about my browsing experience.  Yes, even down to the favicon image that is saved for my bookmarks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the extension, it adds an interface for replacing bookmark icons.  Just right-click on any bookmark, select “Properties”, then “Browse”. (Folder icons aren’t supported yet).

Here are some of the other features of Favicon Picker 3:

  • It works with popular image formats including jpg, gif, png, bmp, ico and animated gifs!
  • Any image size can be used, as well as the standard 1kb 16×16 pixels
  • You can grab images from a URL.  Click “Browse” and paste in an address like http://www.cnn.com/favicon.ico or if a page has an image you like, right click on it and select “Copy image location”, and paste that in.
  • favicon-picker-3

Get to customizing your own bookmark favicons with Favicon Picker 3 today!

Firefox 3.0.1 and Your Add-ons Not Working

Has Firefox 3.0.1 given you trouble?  Well it sound like you might want to contact the extension’s author to make sure thy are using the right compatibility range. Once again Basil does a great job at explaining this in a way that should make sense to us all.

When add-on authors publish their add-on they declare the compatibility range for an add-on. It typically looks like “2.0 to 3.0.*” – meaning that at minimum, this add-on requires Firefox 2.0 and works with any maintenance release of Firefox 3.0. (End of the compatibility range is also called the maxVersion).

Some add-on authors have erroneously used “3.0″ as their maxVersion so when users with these add-ons upgrade from Firefox 3.0 to Firefox 3.0.1, the add-on gets disabled. We encourage these add-on authors to use “3.0.*” as their maxVersion.

So shoot your favorite extension authors an e-mail and ask them to get this fixed, or check to see if this might be the problem.  Another suggestion for people with lots of problems would be to try running Firefox with a new profile or Safe Mode.  In Safe Mode, you can reset some settings or disable extensions and themes that might be the source of the issue. By comparing Firefox behavior in normal mode to its behavior in Safe Mode with various items disabled, you may be able to diagnose issues.

Firefox 3.0.1 = Patched Up and Ready for the Masses

The latest version of Firefox is out and patches a few holes here and there in our favorite browser.  Here is the official word from Mozilla:

We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release. If you already have Firefox 3.0, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This update can also be applied manually by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu.

get-firefox-301So what exactly is new in Firefox 3.0.1?  Here are a few of the details from the release notes.

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Fixed an issue where the phishing and malware database did not update on first launch.
  • Under certain circumstances, Firefox 3.0 did not properly save the SSL certificate exceptions list.
  • Updated the internal Public Suffix list.
  • In certain cases, installing Firefox 2 in the same directory in which Firefox 3 has been installed resulted in Firefox 2 being unstable. This issue was fixed as part of Firefox 2.0.0.15.
  • Fixed an issue where, when printing a selected region of content from the middle of a page, some of the output was missing (bug 433373).
  • Fixed a Linux issues where, for users on a PPP connection (dialup or DSL) Firefox always started in “Offline” mode (bug 424626).

For more information, be sure to check out the official release notes for Firefox 3.0.1 and happy browsing to all, and to all a good night day.

    Google Calendar Notifier

    google-calendar-notifierNeed a quick reminder as to what you need to do today?  Now there are several ways of making Google Calendar more accessible to you via Firefox, but not too many extensions.  the Google Calendar Notifier has been updated to Firefox 3 though to handle that problem for you.

    Living in your status bar, the extension will pop up with your daily to do list.  It provides you with robust notifications and display of your Google Calendars for today, as well as showing any upcoming all day events for tomorrow.

    google-calendar-notifier-2 On the positive side, this add-on for Firefox looks like it would make the perfect companion to the browser (if your a Google Calendar user).  On the bad side, if you visit the official web site for it the author says he’s not supporting it anymore.

    Maybe he could hand it off to somebody interested in keeping it up?

    Pick it up while you can, the Google Calendar Notifier promises to keep you up to date when it comes to keeping track of your schedule.

    Move Tabs to the Sidebar

    thumbnails-in-sidebar The Tab Sidebar add-on for Firefox does a simple change, but after I can promise you you’ll get a whole new perspective for the way Firefox works.  It acts more like a replacement for the tab bar and includes an always visible thumbnail preview of all the tabs you may have loaded up.

    Here are some of the other Tab Sidebar features:

    • Provides navigation options for each tab including history, stop and reload
    • Allows you to move tabs around with drag and drop
    • You can drop links, local files and bookmarks anywhere you like
    • Displays the security status of tabs
    • Automatically refreshes the tab preview whenever the page changes

    To activate the extension, just go to View and then Tab Sidebar to see it.  On the down side, some have complained that CPU usage goes way up when using this addition.  On the good side though, hey – you get pretty thumbnails for all of your tabs!  In the “what would I like to see” I would like to see if work flawlessly with the scroll wheel on your mouse. 

    There is a lot of promise and a lot to already love, so give Tab Sidebar a download either via the Firefox Add-ons site or the official web page for the extension.

    Launch Plurk in a Floating Sidebar of Productivity

    mobile-plurk-sidebar I have made not secret that I am a big fan of Plurk, one of the newer social status micro blogging services out there.  I needed a way to keep tabs on it without taking over any of my current browser real estate though.  The solution?  Another bookmarklet!

    This one I call mini plurk.  After you have clicked, it will launch a popup window you can move around to where you need it so you can both browse the web and Plurk about it at the same time. 

    Just drag and drop this bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar:

    mini plurk

    That isn’t the only Plurk love I have for you though:

    So do you like to Plurk or do you need a friend?  Feel free to add your favorite Firefox fanatic to your own friends list. (*cough* that would be me *cough*)