MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

The Bleeding Edge

May 28th, 2008 Viewed 1113 times

firefox3 Yes, I’m one of those.  If there’s a beta program available for a piece of software that I like, I’m in it.  I was in the beta program for Office 2007 (which I really like) and I’ve downloaded betas for Firefox 3 as they’ve been coming out.

And now I’m running Firefox 3.0 Release Candidate 1.  For those of you not in the software industry, this means that they’ve gotten FireFox 3 to the point that they think that it might be good enough for the general public (meaning that the number of known issues and bugs are sufficiently low that they believe they’re ready for everyone to grab it).  And you should!

5 Lists of Firefox Add-On Information

August 8th, 2007 Viewed 2067 times

Keyboard Have you seen the new Firefox Add-Ons recently?  The one that’s really been getting the news is the new one released from Yahoo! called “YSlow“.  This Add-On utilizes the Add-On that I’ve told you about before named Firebug to analyze your site and tell you what you can do to speed up performance for both first time and return visitors!

This Add-On uses different metrics and even explains how to go about implementing its recommendations. I’ve already applied some to this site!

Here’s some other great lists of Add-Ons:

  1. Developing a Firefox Extension That People Actually Use.  This page has 32 tools and tutorials to teach you how to build your own Firefox extension– and to build one that people will actually use!
  2. 20 Firefox Extensions That Will Save You Money.  This list has some great suggestions.  I’ve downloaded the Grocery List Generator but have yet to really put it to good use!
  3. Top 10 Firefox Web 2.0 Add-ons.  Want to make your web browsing more interactive?  Try some of these Add-Ons.
  4. Top 15 Firefox Extensions.  PC Magazine offers there tope Firefox extensions for you to consider and run!
  5. I want a Firefox Extension to…  A list of 200+ (whew!) common problems solved.  This list breaks it down to what you want to do with the Add-On and goes from there.

Well, that raps up this week’s tech help.  Better go out and make sure you have the latest version of Firefox and see what Add-Ons you’d like to try!

Grease Monkey, Your New Best Friend

March 28th, 2007 Viewed 1752 times, 1 so far today

With my recent change from using a smart Captcha to Akismet, I remembered reading somewhere about an extension for Firefox that would allow me to save my finger from scrolling a lot when reading down through Akismet spam. So, off to Google I went, and found that it was actually a two step thing– I needed a Firefox extension and some extensions to that extension. What I didn’t know what just how useful the first extension would be to my browsing.

Let me introduce you to Grease Monkey. This handy little extension is a basic tool that lets you do a lot with anything that you see in a web page. It does this through executing scripts that people write and post to Userscripts.org and you install them and run them in your Grease Monkey extension. So, in the case of Akismet, I have a Grease Monkey Script that goes through and shrinks the entries of the comments so that they are one or two liners instead of the full height.

But that’s not all, I’ve found and installed scripts to remove profanity from a site you a browsing, tons of stuff for ebay like displaying the total with the shipping, keep you logged into my ebay, and add a count down to the ebay page. But don’t just take my word for it! Browse through all the different scripts and see what you can do about changing the color, styling and information that’s presented on any page.

Uncover the Secrets Behind Any Web Page in 1 Click!

March 21st, 2007 Viewed 1963 times

Of the many Add Ons that I have installed, one of the ones that I find myself using the most frequently in my current work is FireBug.  For me, web development will never be the same.

What is it?  FireBug is a panel (or separate window) that gets added on to your browser that tells you everything you need to know about what it going into the making of the page you are viewing.  The panel displays the HTML code (when you hover over the code, it highlights the area on the screen that is being generated by the code), CSS (you can see the cascading and hide, add, change styles and see them represented on the fly), and scripting languages.

Network Usage

Ever wonder just how long your site is taking to render in the browser and what components are the slowest?  FireBug will monitor the site’s loading and show you with a graph just what pieces take the longest.  It is with FireBug that I found that the “Add to Netscape” button I had on the site a little while ago was really slowing me down!

Inspect

I use this one all the time.  Point your mouse to an area of the screen and FireBug will take you to the exact HTML and CSS for the item and show you how it’s being made.  I use this to find problems in HTML or to figure out the code behind someone’s great display in the way I talked about last week.

This Add-On may open the door to HTML for you– it’s certainly something that’s fun to play with for the novice, and a must have to the web developer.

Blog This for Firefox

February 21st, 2007 Viewed 1769 times

Blogging with Firefox and Windows Live Writer just got better. Microsoft (on its Windows Live Gallery site) has released a Add on for Firefox called “Blog This” which adds a really nifty little icon to your Firefox menu bar. This new icon lets you choose to start a new blog post, or open a blog post in Windows Live Writer, but it’s the third option that I like.

IE Tab– Never Use Internet Explorer Again

December 20th, 2006 Viewed 2285 times

One of the biggest reasons that I hear for people to not switch or even try Firefox is that certain banking institutions, company websites, or other sites that a user frequents rely on technology that is only available through Internet Explorer.

Not delving into the debate whether it’s good and ethical to create a need for only one company’s browser to work with sites or whether it’s poor design on the web authors to only support a proprietary piece of software, the fact of the matter is that there are still many of these sites out there.  Enter IE Tab.

You see, if you are running Windows you have Internet Explorer installed whether you use the browser or not.  It’s the technology behind “My Computer.”  It’s the default tool that Windows developers can use if they want to throw a browser engine in a program– so it’s around.

So the great guys at mozdev provided us with a way to switch to the IE rendering engine from right within a Firefox tab!  That way, if you come upon a site that will only display correctly in IE, with a click of the button your page works!  You can also key in certain pages that will display in IE automatically in case you frequent that page.

Firefox 2.0

November 29th, 2006 Viewed 1869 times, 2 so far today

Why are you still using Internet Explorer 6.0? You know who you are. You’re that person that just uses whatever web browser came installed on your machine (you’re probably writing documents with Word Pad) and you keep saying “but it works.”

Sure, you’ll upgrade to IE 7.0 (which just came out) and be amazed by technology that has been around for years and think it’s new. Or maybe you’ll never get around to trying tabs, but there are many more features out there in the world of browsers that you’ll never see if you don’t take the plunge.

Internet Explorer– Are You Still Running That Old Thing?

June 2nd, 2006 Viewed 1538 times

BallmerI’m really getting to like some of the new tools coming out by Microsoft. I mean, you have to admit that they certainly can leverage their size and come out with a decent product every once in a while.

However, there is this streak in me that relishes using Mozilla Firefox just to get at Microsoft. There’s something about the little guy. Especially when the little guy is more extensible, more advanced, and there’s this

The list of serious unpatched vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser keeps getting longer and longer.

Less than a week after researcher Michal Zalewski went public with a new zero-day vulnerability that could be used in code execution attacks, the software maker has acknowledged yet another flaw affecting fully patched Windows systems.

The new IE flaw was discovered by Secunia researcher Andreas Sandblad during code analysis into the Zalewski warning.

In fact, Secunia initially reported its findings to Microsoft as a “successful exploit” of that bug, but according to Microsoft’s internal investigations, Secunia actually found a new problem.

“This is potentially a new, privately reported, exploitable vulnerability,” a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK.

Secunia has since updated its advisory with a note that its discovery is a “variant” of the bug reported by Zalewski.

The flaw is due to a memory corruption error when processing a specially crafted HTML script that contains malformed “object” tags, and could be exploited by attackers to remotely take complete control of an affected system by convincing a user to visit a specially crafted Web page.

“[We have] confirmed code execution on a fully patched system with Internet Explorer 6.0 and Microsoft XP SP2. Other versions may also be affected. Details about this variant will not be publicly disclosed at present, but have been sent to
Microsoft, who is currently working on a patch,” the company aid.

Destroy IE!

April 26th, 2006 Viewed 1423 times

In case you haven’t switched to Mozilla Firefox yet, there’s a new group of people out there encouraging web developers to put content on their pages to get you to try the “rebel” browser:

According to the Explorer Destroyer Web site, the group offers
Web-site owners scripting technology that detects whether a visitor is
running IE. If so, an alert will appear advising the visitor to
download Firefox so they can either view the site better or view it at
all. Whenever a visitor to a Web site using the group’s technology
switches to Firefox from IE, the owner of the Web site will get the
referral fee if they have signed up for Google’s AdSense program.

There are three types of alerts site owners can put on their page–“gentle encouragement,” “semi-serious,” or “dead serious.”

If a Web site owner chooses “gentle encouragement,” site visitors
who are using IE will see a banner across the top of the page that
encourages them to download Firefox. A “semi-serious” site will put up
a splash page encouraging a user to download Firefox, with a link for
downloading Mozilla’s browser as well as a link to the Web site.

Those who choose the “dead serious” alert actually block users with
IE from viewing the page, informing them they must install Firefox to
view the site. View a demo of what happens when a user clicks on a site with this rating.

I’ve used Firefox for a long time– it’s my primary browser. There are many cool add-ons, and I’ve made a few converts myself. So, if you’re so inclined, try it out!

Firefox

September 16th, 2004 Viewed 1185 times, 1 so far today

I’ve joined up as part of the campaign to get people to download and try Mozilla’s Firefox browser.  I’ve been using it pretty much exclusively for months now, and it’s finally in it’s 1.00 Preview release form.  I think if you tried it that you’d find it much more friendly and extendable than IE or Netscape.

Better than IE:

  • Popup blocker built in
  • Has it’s own RSS reader built in.
  • Ad Block Plug in removes flash and any banner ads from your web page for faster browsing
  • Not integrated into the OS
  • No ActiveX
  • Does not have confusing Zones to be exploited by hackers
  • Tabbed Browsing with the mouse wheel click.

Better than Netscape:

  • Only a browser (has separate mail program)
  • No Netscape branding
  • Faster page rendering

So, if you haven’t tried Firefox, or you’ve tried an early version, please give it a shot and see what you think.  You won’t be sorry you did!  Just click on the image below

Get Firefox!

Now that this ad is over, we resume our regular blogging.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.