Archive for April, 2005

Friday, April 29th 2005

Halfway (almost)

… to a nice, round 100 million Firefox downloads:

Friday, April 29th 2005

SVG in Firefox 1.1?

It looks like Firefox 1.1 could get pretty solid support for SVG. This is good news, since there are some pretty cool things you can do with SVG.

Opera 8 already has support for SVG Tiny, but as I understand it, the support that has been checked into Firefox goes far beyond that. I may be wrong though, since I haven’t studied this very thoroughly.

Thursday, April 28th 2005

Hyatt Pushes Safari Across the Acid2 Finishing Line

David Hyatt has now fixed all the bugs in Safari which kept it from displaying the Acid2 test correctly. Now it just remains to be seen who does the first release which correctly renders the test. T’would surprise me though if it weren’t Apple.

Tuesday, April 26th 2005

Seriously Cool Firefox Theme

If you haven’t yet tried the Abstract PC theme for Firefox, do so right away. It looks really professional and cool, both as in hot and low temperature.

Tuesday, April 26th 2005

Firefox 1.1 Gets Lightning Fast Back & Forward?

Opera has long had blazingly fast back and forward performance. Now it looks like we might get this in the upcoming v1.1 of Firefox too, judging from the amount of activity in bug 274784.

Tuesday, April 26th 2005

Good Free Software

I’ve been thinking for a very long time that I should put together a list of the free software I use. Free in the $0, no nags, no ads, we-want-you-to-use-it-for-free way. (If for no other reason, then at least so as to give them some well deserved Google juice.) So, here it is:

  • FTP client: FileZilla
  • Drive emulator: Daemon Tools
  • CD ripper: CDex (Latest ogg codecs here.)
  • Music/video player: Winamp
  • Calculator: GraphCalc (For those who feel limited by the windows calculator.)
  • Image editor: GIMP (Feels a little strange to begin with, but is pretty powerful once you get to know it.)
  • Office Suite: OpenOffice (Will rock even more once version 2.0 is out.)
  • Web browser: Firefox (Goes without saying.)
  • Email: Thunderbird
  • Anti-spyware: Spybot Search & Destroy
  • Antivirus: AVG (Not free for businesses. Now even easier to get – no registration necessary.)
  • Bittorrent client: Azureus
  • Instant messenging: Gaim (Chat without those pesky msn ads!)
  • PDF maker: Ghostword (Short guide here.)
  • Website/HTML editor: Nvu (The preview release still has some bugs, but v1.0 should be out pretty soon.)

Edit: As I see it there are three levels of free:

  1. Free: Use this software, but you’ll have to put up with enless nags about paying and/or ads.
  2. Free-er: Use this software without paying, and with no nags or ads.
  3. Free-est: Use and alter our software in any way you like.

Software classed as free-est can be counted as belonging to the free-er class too, since it to most users is simply free – $0, 0 nags.

Sunday, April 24th 2005

OpenOffice.org Gets a New Look

I was just stopping by at OpenOffice.org, and saw that they have redesigned there website. Very nice!

Tuesday, April 19th 2005

SP2 Turns AMD 3200+ Into AMD –3200

Today I decided I’d have a go at installing SP2 for Windows XP. Having heard of the various problems people have been having with SP2, I made a system restore point before starting.

I wasn’t really expecting any problems, thinking “Oh, I’m sure those things won’t happen to my computer”… Well, it turned out, SP2 made my AMD 64 3200+ (relatively speaking now) extremely sluggish. Everything that had previously been quick as a flash (like raising and lowering windows) was now excruciatingly slow. Windows were slowly rolled out over the desktop instead of just being maximized. Also, it decided to paint vertical turquoise lines of various lengths all over the screen.

So, after about one minute I decided to get rid of it. Thankfully, that wasn’t too difficult. I first went to Add/Remove Programs and uninstalled it from there. After the computer had restarted, I did a system restore back to the point I had saved before starting the installation. Now things are back to normal. And, strangely, the bug which pushed me into trying SP2 in the first place seems to be fixed now. (Dragging shortcuts from submenus of the Start menu to the Start menu itself didn’t work.)

So far, I’ve stayed safe by just using Firefox for (basically) all my surfing, Thunderbird for email and by using the NAT firewall in our WLAN router. (Plus an up-to-date antivirus of course – AVG 7.) That has been enough security to prevent any spyware or adware from getting in. The worst intrusion I’ve had so far has been a few tracking cookies. (Most of which have got in through Internet Explorer, for some strange reason.) I guess I’ll just have to cope without SP2 in the future too.

Tuesday, April 19th 2005

Macromedia + Adobe = ?

MacDobe? (Would probably get them sued.) Adromedia? (Sounds like a galaxy.) AdMedia? (May send out unwanted signals.) Macrodobe perhaps? Any more suggestions?

Tuesday, April 19th 2005

Opera 8 Officially Out Today

Opera have now officially released version 8 of their browser. I welcome the simplified default toolbar setup, which in version 7 could be pretty dauting even for a nerd like me.

Still, I find that Opera are a little inconsistent when they choose to always show the tab bar as default. The statusbar has long been set to auto-hide as default to maximize page space – why not hide the tab bar when only one tab is open? (I know there is a “show only when needed” option, I’m just wondering why it isn’t ticked as default.)

Also, the popup blocker in Opera 8 doesn’t seem as efficient as Firefox’s. When checking my website stats at my.statcounter.com I get a popup which I never get when using Firefox.

Update: Opera.com seems a little under the weather rigth now.

Monday, April 18th 2005

Safari to Win the Acid2 Race?

It’s looking more and more likely that Safari will be the winner of the race towards correct rendering of the Acid2 test. David Hyatt’s latest blog post shows that he only has about two errors/bugs left to fix before Safari crosses the finishing line. Although, it will still have to be made a public release to win in my eyes.

Thursday, April 14th 2005

Safari Trip

David Hyatt is making some speedy progress on fixing Acid2 rendering in Safari. He’s already worked out two of the bugs visible when using v1.2.

Safari 1.2 and 1.3 screenshots are available at The SeBlog.

Thursday, April 14th 2005

W3Schools Visualized

The latest browser stats from W3Schools have just arrived, and I had some fun making a graph: (I love making graphs)

Remember, this only reflects what the tech spear-head internet users are browsing with.

Edit: Does anyone know what can have caused the pothole in the IE curve, back in 2002?

Thursday, April 14th 2005

One Bit at a Time

Fascinating fact: (Well, sort-of) The soon-to-be 45,000,000 downloads of Firefox will equal about two-hunderd-and-fourteen and a half petabytes of data. Assuming that the downloads were evenly spread out, that equals a constant bitrate of 127 Mbps from the Mozilla mirrors put together. Putting it that way makes it sound less impressive. So I’ll just stick with the petabytes.

Anyway. All of this downloads counting reminds me of how McDonalds in the US keep (or kept?) saying “We have now sold X godzillion hamburgers”. Still, counting is fun.

Wednesday, April 13th 2005

Acid2 Already Affecting Rendering Engines

The Acid2 test is already having impact on some of the main browsers. David Hyatt, who is one of the developers behind Mac’s Safari, has just blogged that he has already fixed two bugs which cause Safari to not display the test correctly. More bugfixes are on the way, too. The Mozilla browsers have also joined the party – an Acid2 bug has been created in their bugtracking system, which is meant to make up a list of all the rendering bugs which make Firefox et al fail the test.

Let’s just hope these guys also decide to come and join the fun.

Tuesday, April 12th 2005

Avoid Haloscan

Some of you may already have noticed that comments which were posted here during the slashdotting today (and all previous comments too) have disappeared. That’s because I had installed the Haloscan comments and trackback system, and I uninstalled it today when I was re-doing the appearance of this blog. Apparently the system isn’t smart enough to save the comments.

I know the new look is a little boring and square, but it will do for now. I may get round to improving it a bit more later on.

Tuesday, April 12th 2005

44,000,000

The counter over at Spread Firefox has been restored. As I write this, Firefox has been downloaded 44,317,787 times. That should probably equate to just over seven per cent web-wide usage according to WebSideStory. We’ll see. They should be updating their statistics soon.

Sorry – that’s 44,318,415 times.

Edit: Corrected the wording to avoid lying.

Saturday, April 9th 2005

Around the US in 80 GMaps

Found this enjoyable blog which collects links to Google Maps showing things worth seeing in the US.

So far, I think Rainbow Bridge (Utah) is the coolest sight. This will be even more fun when the Google Maps cover the whole world… (I just presume that’s what Google are working towards.)

Update: Corrected the title, replacing the World with the US.

Friday, April 8th 2005

Web Standards: The Acid2 Test

About a month back, Håkon Lie announced the planned creation of a browser technology test page named Acid2. The Web Standards Project agreed to sponsor and host the effort. Now the Acid2 test has been launched, although it hasn’t yet been officially announced.

It’s quite an ingenious work of art actually. It consists of a complex HTML page which makes use of a whole number of advanced CSS2 features. If rendered correctly, the various divs and spans and what-nots will make up a happy yellow face.

This test page makes me realize that even though Opera and Firefox are pretty good, they still have some way to go before they fully implement the available and useful standards. Here are screenshots showing how three common browsers cope with the test:

Here are screenshots of some old and some yet-to-be-released browsers: (Comparing Netscape 6.1 and a recent Firefox nightly build shows how far the Gecko layout engine has come since August 2001.)

Hopefully the Acid2 will inspire all the browser makers to further improve their standards compatibility. He who lives shall see.

Update: Reduced the size of the screenshots a bit.

Update 2005-11-02: Safari now passes the test! HamsterDeCombast posted a screenshot in the comments.

Wednesday, April 6th 2005

Improvements for Firefox 1.1

The great thing about open source programs like Firefox is the steady, never-ending stream of improvements and bugfixes. Here are some of the recent fixes, which will appear in Firefox 1.1:

  • The default settings have been changed to open requests from other applications in new tabs. (Bug 275430)
  • The CSS 3 outline property has been implemented. (Has previously been available as -moz-outline.)
  • Websites can now specify an image as the mouse cursor. (Bug 38447)
  • Selecting text on a page with a background colour similar to the text selection colour will now cause Firefox to invert the text colour and the background colour. (Bug 56314)
  • When zooming in on an image which has been automatically fitted to the window size, Firefox will now zoom in on the selected part of the image. (Bug 207219)

Of course, this is on top of some fairly major improvements already made:

  • The options dialog has been seriously improved and simplified.
  • The Sanitize function has been added, making it possible to automatically sweep your tracks when exiting Firefox (or via a key-stroke).
  • The Internet Explorer style error pages now work properly. (These error pages are enabled by typing about:config and setting browser.xul.error_pages.enabled to true.) (Bugs 237244 and 157004)

Also, maybe of minor importance, but good for website devs:

  • View source now shows exactly the HTML code sent by the server. (Bug 57724)

For up-to-date info on fixed bugs in Firefox, see the Burning Edge