Browser Swap

After many years of using Firefox I’ve recently found myself leaning towards the Google Chrome browser more and more, the “once alternative browser champion” has become rather slow and tiresome to use.

Yes I know you can tweak some settings in the config and download a extension that delivers 25% faster browsing but I really can’t be arsed if I’m honest.
I like that the Chrome browser just works quickly from the start just like the old versions of Firefox when it first appeared on the scene. Opening the browser and waiting for 2 minutes isn’t ideal and time is more of a managed resource in my day-to-day live now.

I’m not saying that Chrome is perfect but in my opinion the pros certainly outnumber the cons when I compare it to Firefox. For now I’m enjoying the change of scenery.

Perhaps I just need to wipe my Firefox install and give it another chance I know there are most likely files in my profile that date back to when it was branded Phoenix, I’ll keep notes on how it goes.

Ubiquity for Firefox

A very interesting tool that wraps Web 2.0 functionality up and houses it within the firefox browser. At first the thought of a command line driven tool in this interactive/Drag & Drop era is one that is set to generate a good ammount of interest.

So what is it about?
Well the phrase that this project is labelled with is “An experiment into connecting the Web with language”. This indicates what the application hopes to reach in terms of long term goals, using command keywords to perform various actions when the user needs it.

This experimental Firefox extension that could allow you to reclaim time spent looking up that address on Google Maps. I for one like the wikipedia functionality as it's a daily stop of mine. So will the time needed to perform online tasks be reduced overall? Hopefully, but I think there are some steps in learning that will need to be mastered before you'll see any benefit.

There are some dangerous with such a system becoming bloated and full of useful functionality that nobody wants or finds useful. I'll keep my fingers crossed that  it remains that way, currently the functionality appears limited to a set of tools that I'd happily use on a daily basis.

There is a video here that displays the functionality:

Some screenshots can be found one this tutorial:

Browser-woes and Firefox 3 beta

Excuse my lack of updates this week, I have been quite busy creating themes.

I must admit that I haven't had quite as many problems in the past as I'm experencing now with IE6. Only my laptop has IE6 running now which makes for fun testing, yet I managed to get VirtualPC installed and using a hardrive image I have IE6 working on my desktop.

In addtion to having that resource for testing available I've also being using which is a free open-source service that takes screenshots of the website you specify on various browsers on windows/Mac or Linux operating systems. It cant take a little bit of time the screen capture to be returned as each request is placed in a queue.

Here is an example I created for my website as you can see the results are interesting. I think you'll agree for those of use without access to a Mac or Linux operating systems it's interesting to see how a website renders for your non-microsoft visitors.

While on the topic of browsers I'll quickly mention the fact that Firefox version 3 is available for beta testing. I only managed to have a quick try of it last night and from what I've seen it's shaping up nicely.

Here is some of the functionality that you can expect to see : The ability to click the Favicon on the address bar and have infomration relating to the website pop up is a nice feature. That along side the warning for potential hazardous websites via a blacklist or google certainly brings security to the forefront again. 
The MIME system appears to be greatly improved, which wasn't that difficult as previous versions weren't user friendly or intuitive. 

A new feature that is quite far down the list but one of my favourites, is the save password functionality. New functionality aims to offer you the ability to save the username/password once you can see if you have logged on successfully. 

I'm not sure how hopefully starring and tagging URL's will be in the overall big picture, but you never know it could become a common feature.

Microsoft aim to expand IE7's usage

This is copied from my post on ZDNet

Well considering how much effort Microsoft has put into the Windows Genuine Advantage program. It's suprising to learn they are going to disable it in Internet Explorer 7 for users on XP.

But since launch IE7 hasn't really seen a big uptake. people choosing to remain on IE6 either by choice or because they can't pass the WGA validation. Another reason is that people are using other browsers now and like some of the options other browser offer.

Personally I have IE7 on my desktop and still have IE6 on my laptop, but always I use Firefox on both, unless i'm website testing. 🙂

Source : IE Blog

I’ve Come Over all Open-Source

I’ve been testing the Mozilla based Firefox web browser since version 4. It’s changed alot over that time.

What is it about the browser that I like?
There are some many points I could list here, I’ll stick to 3 that appeal to me the most.

1. Tabbed Browsing
A wonderful feature I first use in the Opera browser. It cuts down on the number of items open on your task bar, plus you can shut them all down at the same time if you need too. The part of this feature I love is the way you can open a Folder of favourites in separate tabbed windows. I read 10+ websites a day when I get home, it’s great to just open all of them and work my way though them.

2. Internet Annoyances
Built in Popup blocker that works very well keeps those crappy adverts from hindering your browsing experience.
The following one is not meantioned much as a feature but I love it, it’s remote picture linking. Basically stopping websites loading in pictures from other sites ( normally adverts ). This is configurable so that if you visit a site that shows mainly remote pictures you can still enjoy the without much fuss.
URL masking via the status bar, this is one of my bugbears about some websites, FireFox gives you the options to disable this, thus allowing you to see the true URL of a link.

3. Customised
I like to toy with things, in IE you haven’t alot of choice, your stuck with that same boring button combination and lovely windows default colored browser header. The themes that are being build for Firefox are wonderful they allow you to customise the look and feel of the browser. 
The 2nd thing is the extensions, these rock and give you a wonderful set of enhancements to choose from. Like the GoogleToolbar that does every thing that the IE GoogleToolBar does.
Configurable extensions for Mouse Gestures allow quick and easy navigation without touching the keyboard.
There are new themes and extensions being released all the time.

With Firefox’s final version nearing it’s release, I can say that I’m extremely happy with switching from IE.