Archive for July, 2006

Monday, July 31st 2006

Recent and Upcoming Improvements to Firefox 2 betas

There have been some great improvements to the Firefox 2 Beta nightlies lately. I’ve already told you about the improvement made to the tab overflow solution.

Yesterday the keyword handling was improved. Previously, if you typed some keywords into the URL-bar, Firefox would do a Google “I’m feeling lucky” search. Now it will do a Google “Browse By Name” search, which means that if there isn’t a clear top match, you will get to the Google search results instead. This is a great example of a good feature which just works without getting in the way.

They’ve also added a keyboard shortcut for “Undo Close Tab”, Ctrl+Shift+T. This was necessary, since that functionality previously wasn’t reachable if you had closed all tabs but one. (You had to open a new tab, and then right-click the tab area.) However, I can’t see that the keyboard shortcut is listed anywhere… It has to be if people are to find out about it. I also just realized there is a list of recently closed tabs on the History menu, which is very usable.

Another improvement, which it seems I can’t verify, is that the textbox spell checking now shouldn’t underline URLs. While writing this post, though, Firefox still seems to be doing just that.

Then, of course, there is the yet-to-come Visual Refresh, which you already know about.

The Options window is getting a makeover (again), to improve the categorization, and to better include the new options for Anti-Phishing. For instance, the Tabs tab has been moved to position 2, since it deals with one of Firefox’s main features. The networking options has been moved to Advanced, and the download location selector has been moved to tab number 1, named Main (previously General). Also, many prefs are renamed with easier-to-understand labels.

A small detail to finish off with: The close button has been removed if there is only one tab open (and you have chosen to not hide the tab bar).

As I’ve already said, many times: Firefox 2 will be a very nice update from 1.5!

Sunday, July 30th 2006

Serious Layout Bug in Opera

After redesigning my photography website today, I noticed that Opera 9 has a fairly serious rendering bug:

I don’t understand what I’ve done to make it do that… The CSS for H1 is here:

h1 { font: 220% Georgia, “Gill Sans MT”, “Trebuchet MS”; margin: 0.5em; letter-spacing: 0.25em }

h1 a { border-radius: 0.5em; -moz-border-radius: 0.5em; padding: 0.2em 0.4em; background: #eee; opacity: 0.5 }

h1 a:hover { opacity: 0.65 }

Maybe Opera applies

h1 * { display: random }

by default?

Saturday, July 29th 2006

New Gallery: Drops

I’ve just put together a new gallery at my photography website, Drops. Close-ups of rain-drops on plants, all taken with my EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens and the 500D screw-on close-up lens, at our summer cottage in June.

Saturday, July 22nd 2006

Firefox 2 Tab Overflow Revised

The planned method of handling tab overflows in Firefox has been revised. Until now, the Firefox nightlies have had scroll buttons which have appeared at both ends of the tab bar. Those of us who have tried them know that they aren’t exactly wonderful to use…

Anyway – now the Firefox devs have thought up a better method of dealing with too many tabs. Instead of the scroll buttons, it seems like Firefox is getting a drop-down button at the right end of the tab bar, with a list of all open tabs. The tabs which are currently visible are meant to be highlighted in some way. Here’s a screenshot for you:

For the full details and developments on this feature, see bug 343251. It also seems like IE7 has a very similar solution.

Friday, July 21st 2006

New Photography Web Site

I’ve just opened my new photography web site, over at Instead of grouping the photos into subject categories (which I did before), I have now made smaller galleries with only four photographs each, grouped in much more arbitrary ways.

Wednesday, July 12th 2006

Firefox 2 Visual Refresh

How on earth has this slipped by without me noticing? Firefox 2 is apparently getting a fairly serious visual polish (for beta 2). The whole browser interface will look more modern, and will fit in better with Windows Vista, as well as the other OSes. See more at the Firefox 2 wiki.

Firefox 2 will be getting quite a few other new features, too. I’ve covered some of them previously, but not all. Other changes in Firefox 2 beta 1 compared to version 1.5 are…

  • Session restore. After a crash, Firefox will open the pages you had open before the crash.
  • Undo Close Tab. Sits in the context menu (right-click menu) of the tab bar. However, there doesn’t seem to be any way of accessing this if there is only one tab open.
  • Tab Overflow Scroll Buttons. If there are too many open tabs, scroll buttons appear at the left and right end of the tab bar. In the nightlies a few days ago, this feature was very annoying because the scroll buttons appeared if there were no more than about eight tabs. Now it has been adjusted – I can open 20 tabs without them appearing, which is a much better limit.

More info at the Mozilla Dev Blog and at Mozilla Links.