Archive for the ‘Mozilla Firefox’ Category

Sunday, August 21st 2011

Disable Compatibility Check in Firefox/Beta/Aurora/Nightly

After Firefox 4 was released, Mozilla switched to a so called rapid release cycle for Firefox. This was done in order to get new features out faster.

The idea in principle is great, but sadly this change was slightly rushed. For instance, the update mechanism wasn’t made completely invisible before starting with the rapid releases. This means that users are still getting dialog boxes thrown in their faces with every update, every six weeks. Compare this to Google Chrome which has updated completely silently from day 1, if I’m not mistaken.

For some reason Mozilla also still feel the need to show a first run page after each update, informing you about the update.

Extensions being automatically disabled with updates has been a long-standing problem with Firefox, and if anything it has gotten worse with the rapid release cycle. Ideally the user should never have a reason not to update to the latest and safest version, and this is a huge issue for many Firefox users.

To stop your extensions from being disabled you need to switch off Firefox’s extension compatibility check. The good news is that this is fairly simple. The bad news is that you have to redo this procedure with every new version of Firefox (i.e. every six weeks) until Mozilla work out a better solution.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Check which version of Firefox you have. Go to Help -> About Firefox and make a mental note of the version.
  2. In the location bar, type in about:config.
  3. If you get the prompt, promise to be careful.
  4. Right click in the list of settings and choose New -> Boolean.
  5. Name the new value extensions.checkCompatibility.X.X, where X.X is your Firefox version number.
  6. Choose False in the next dialog box.
  7. Restart Firefox for the change to take effect. Now you should be able to enable any extensions that had been disabled.

The above works for the update channels Release, Beta and Aurora. If you are on the Nightly update channel, you need to put in nightly instead of the version number X.X.

Now let’s hope that Mozilla get their act together and fix the current update mess and do something about the extension problem!

Tuesday, March 29th 2011

Tillägg till Firefox: Easy App Tabs

De enklaste, simplaste Firefox-tilläggen är ofta de man fastnar för mest. Här är ett som är väldigt praktiskt att ha i Firefox 4 för den som använder sig av App Tabs, eller programflikar som de tydligen heter på svenska.

Med Easy App Tabs är det bara att dubbelklicka på en flik för att göra om den till en programflik.

Easy App Tabs for Firefox 4

Tillägget finns att ladda ner här.

Tuesday, March 22nd 2011

Firefox 4

Om du använder Firefox är det dags att ladda ner Firefox 4 som släpptes för ett par timmar sedan.

ladda ner Firefox 4

Om du använder Chrome, men helst av allt skulle vilja ha en Firefox som var mer som Chrome, så tycker jag du ska prova fyran.

Friday, March 4th 2011

Snart dags för uppgradering

Firefox 4 är i princip färdig att släppas. Det ska bli väldigt trevligt att få den nya versionen på jobbet, där vi kör Polopoly för att driva

Polopoly bygger på en hel del javascript, och kan inte direkt anklagas för att vara överdrivet snabbt. Firefox 4 är omkring tre gånger snabbare än version 3.6 när det gäller att köra javascript. Det borde alltså innebära att mitt huvudsakliga arbetsredskap blir märkbart snabbare när Firefox 4 släpps!

Kör Chrome i stället, kanske någon tänker. Och ja, Polopoly är väldigt snabbt i Chrome, men då uppstår i stället en del andra buggar. Bland annat beter sig textredigeringsfälten konstigt.

Så tack, men nej tack. Jag väntar hellre på Firefox 4.

Sunday, January 16th 2011

Firefox 4: OMG Change!

If you’re trying out Firefox 4 (beta at the moment) and don’t like the new, sleek and streamlined look – don’t panic. There is help to be found.

Justin Scott has a great post showing you how to get Firefox 4 to look more like Firefox 3.x.

Saturday, January 8th 2011

Firefox 4 Nightlies Have Tabs in Title Bar

Firefox’s Bug 572160 has been fixed. That means that if you choose to have “Tabs on Top” checked the tabs will move all the way up in the title bar if you are in a maximized window. Like this:

Screenshot of Firefox 4 beta with tabs in the title bar

That means there is no need for hacks like this one any more.

Bug 465086 is also well under way, which will make it easier to close several tabs with the mouse. Tabs will automatically re-size so when you’ve closed one tab, the close button on the next tab will end up directly under the pointer. So to close three tabs, you just go click click click without moving the mouse!

Saturday, December 11th 2010

There is hope for Firefox 4

My top two love-to-hate bugs for Firefox 4 look like they might get fixed for final version.

Bug 572160, put tabs in the title bar when the window is maximized.

Here’s what it might look like:

This makes much better use of the screen space than before. The bug has finally been made a blocker, which means that Mozilla will make sure it is fixed before version 4 is released. Good stuff!

Bug 455694, implement animation for tab reordering and detaching.

Here’s a video of this feature in Internet Explorer 9:

This bug isn’t a blocker, but there is plenty of work being done to fix it. If I’ve understood things correctly, they are also getting rid of the weird, useless miniatures that appear when you drag a Firefox tab.

Sunday, August 22nd 2010

Move Tabs to Titlebar in Firefox 4

Edit: As of Firefox 4 beta 9, tabs will automatically move to the title bar when the window is maximized. So the following hack isn’t really needed any more …

Firefox 4 beta has moved the tabs up above the navigation bar, but not all the way up in the title bar where Chrome and Opera both have put them.

Firefox 4 beta with tabs on top.

Firefox 4 beta

Opera 10.6 with tabs in title bar.

Opera 10.6

Chrome 6 beta with tabs in title bar.

Chrome 6 beta

The hack

Now, the Firefox developers seem to be working on a fix for this, but in the mean time there’s a quick hack which lets you do this right now in your Firefox 4 beta.

First, locate (or create) your userChrome.css file.

Then add the following code:

padding-left: 110px !important;
margin-right: 110px !important;
padding-top: 8px !important;
margin-top: -30px !important;

position: fixed !important;

#navigator-toolbox[tabsontop=”false”] #nav-bar{
margin-left: 108px !important;
margin-right: 140px !important;
padding-top: 12px !important;

#navigator-toolbox[tabsontop=”true”] #TabsToolbar{
margin-left: 108px !important;
margin-right: 140px !important;
padding-top: 8px !important;

Edit 2: Thanks to dsid who posted this css code which seems to work with the latest nightlies and betas (as of 2010-09-10).

Firefox 4 beta with the tabs in the title bar.

This will make the tabs go all the way to the top of the window, which makes them very easy to target with your mouse when the window is maximized. (Since it doesn’t matter if you push your mouse outside the screen.) However, this means you can’t grab the window above the tabs to drag it. You can still grab it to the right of the tabs though. With the code above, there will always be an area next to the minimize-maximize-close-buttons which you can drag.

If you like, you can move the tabs down from the edge by increasing the padding-top values.

Hope you found this as useful as I did. Thanks to Gdgtry for the original code!

Monday, August 16th 2010

Things to like in Firefox 4

I’ve been using the nightly builds of Firefox 4 for a while now, and thought I’d just blog about a few of the nice improvements that have been made.


Firefox now lets you connect and sync your bookmarks, passwords, history and settings between different computers. Personally, I have been using the Weave extension to do this for quite a while. Specifically I have synced history and passwords between my home and work computer. Bookmarks I have intentionally kept separate.

The especially nice thing is that this works with Firefox Mobile too. And if you have an iPhone, there is the Firefox Home app which loads your Firefox history, bookmarks and tabs for the Safari browser.

Tab sets

A new feature for those who have a *lot* of tabs open. With tab sets, you can hit Ctrl+Space and organize your tabs into groups. It is hard to explain in words, so have a look at the video here.

New theme

Firefox’s look has been given a complete overhaul. The goal of the new theme is to get out of the user’s way and to leave as much space as possible for the web content.

Here’s what the end result should look like:

Mockup of Firefox 4 theme

The current betas have parts of the new theme, but not all of it.

For anyone using Windows Vista or Windows 7, this will be a welcome update since it fits better in with the operating system. Especially since the new theme supports Aero Glass, i.e. the semi transparent windows in Vista & 7.

Tabs on top

One major part of the new look is the fact that tabs have been moved to the top of the window, above the navigation and bookmark bars. (Anyone who wants the tabs below the navigation bar can move them back.)

There are pros and cons to both placements. Having them at the top feels more logical though, since the tab applies to navigation buttons and the location bar. Also, there is screen space to be saved if you push the tabs all the way to the top of the window when maximized. This hasn’t yet been fixed, but it looks like it will be.

WebM support

WebM will probably be the next big thing on the web. Imagine being able to watch video on the web without the hassle of plug-ins? Well, when the web browsers all support a common video format that could become reality. At the moment, Internet Explorer is the only browser not to support WebM.

App tabs

In Firefox 4, you can right-click a tab and make it into an “App tab”. This basically pins the tab over to the left and hides the page title. Useful for tabs that you keep open all the time, such as e-mail or Facebook. Here is a nice video explaining the feature.

Behind the scenes

Apart from the new features that are directly visible to the user, Firefox 4 has loads and loads of improvements in the way it interprets web pages. So when you do upgrade, you’re also making life easier (& more fun!) for every single web developer out there.

If you haven’t already, you can get the latest Firefox 4 beta here.

Wednesday, May 12th 2010

Firefox 4 beta not far off

It was very interesting to read and see what Mike Beltzner has in store for us in Firefox 4. But I’m guessing you have to be pretty nerdy (like me!) to watch the full one hour video …

Apparently, the Firefox team are aiming to release the first beta of version 4 in June. Sounds pretty optimistic to me, but I’d be all the happier if they can do it!

If the plans materialize, Firefox 4 should be the biggest upgrade so far.

Friday, April 16th 2010

Drag and Drop Attachments in Gmail

This is really cool.

The Gmail team have implemented drag ‘n’ drop for attachments, if you’re using Firefox 3.6 or Chrome.

I gave it a try and it works beautifully! This is the first real implementation of Firefox’s drag and drop support that I know of.

Monday, March 22nd 2010

Giving Chrome a Chance

I have had Google Chrome installed basically since the day it was released. But I have never had a serious go at using it.

The other day I decided to give it a try. So I re-installed it to get a blank new profile and then imported my Firefox bookmarks, history, search engines and passwords.

Screenshot of Google Chrome

Here are a few things I noticed:

  • Speed. Chrome feels very responsive. Especially I notice that Google Reader runs extremely smoothly. No lag at all when I hit n to jump to the next news item.
  • Design. I have always liked the Chrome design and layout, with the tabs right at the top, maximizing space for web pages.
  • Imported passwords? Chrome claimed to import my passwords from Firefox but they are nowhere to be found. Perhaps because I use a master password in Firefox, and hence the password data is encrypted.
  • Searching. Using Chrome’s location bar (omnibox) to search using the installed search engines is not as simple and intuitive as using Firefox’s search box. The idea is that I should be able to type goo and hit tab to select the Google search engine. But if Chrome has ranked something else higher than – in my case Google Reader – tab won’t select the search engine. This brings me on to my next point.
  • Tab. The tab button doesn’t move the cursor from the location bar to the list of matching web pages. Instead it jumps to content in the current web page. Of course, I’m meant to press the down arrow to get to the list, but Firefox lets me use Tab which is much easier to reach while typing.
  • Location bar matches. Just like Dave Dash noticed, Google Chrome isn’t at all as good as Firefox when it comes to finding what I want in the location bar. The last two days I have typed recent many times to get to Recent forum activity at It still brings up a Google search for recent as the top choice and Flickr’s recent activity page as the second choice – a page I haven’t visited even once using Chrome. Chrome’s location bar needs to get better at reading my mind.
  • In-page searching. There is no way of making Chrome search a web page as soon as I start typing in text. This is one of my favourite features of Firefox.

Those things were enough to make me want to go back to Firefox. Two days in Chrome is still longer than I’ve ever managed before 😉

Tuesday, March 16th 2010

Internet Explorer 9 on the way

It looks like Internet Explorer 9 will have quite a few nice new features for web designers and developers!

Microsoft are demonstrating some of the new browser’s capabilities here. They include rounded borders, CSS3 Selectors, JavaScript speed to match Firefox 3.6 and many more things.

I must say I’m quite impressed, although I haven’t actually downloaded and installed the preview yet.

Screen Shot of Internet Explorer 9 demo site

But why can’t they just call the test version IE9 preview or something logical. Internet Explorer Platform Preview??

Friday, March 12th 2010

Why the Delay, Mozilla?

Apparently, Mozilla hasn’t offered Firefox 3.5 users an upgrade to 3.6 until now. Why did it take so long? 3.6 was released almost two months ago.

Tuesday, February 9th 2010

Some Great Firefox Extensions

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now. I have found a few new favourite extensions for Firefox. Mainly they help me make the most of the space on my screen.

Here’s what my screen looks like right now:

Screenshot showing Firefox with Hide Caption Titlebar Plus and Tabs On Top

  • Download Statusbar cures one slight annoyance with Firefox. Instead of opening the Download Manager whenever I save something from the web, the Download Statusbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Kind-of the same thinking as with the neat Find bar that Firefox has. You can make it hide automatically when you’ve opened your downloaded files too.
  • Hide Caption Titlebar Plus lets you get rid of the titlebar at the top of the window. As you might have guessed. This gives you more space for web pages. Works really well with the next extension.
  • Tabs On Top puts Firefox’s tabs at the top of the window. Used together with Hide Caption Titlebar Plus above, this makes them easier to target with the mouse.
  • Link Target Display is another great extensions which indirectly increases the space left over for web pages. With this extension, you can hide the status bar, and still get to see the URLs that links point to.

Hope you find these useful!

Thursday, January 21st 2010

Firefox 3.6 Released Tomorrow

Mozilla are opening the flood gates on Firefox version 3.6 tomorrow. Here’s a short video showing what’s new:

Monday, December 14th 2009

Firefox 3.5 most used browser this week

This week, Firefox will most likely become the most used web browser version in the world, according to Statcounter.

Browser market share graph from Statcounter

According to Net Applications though, Firefox 3.5 has a while to go before being king.

I wish Google would share their browser data. They did, way back, didn’t they?

Monday, November 9th 2009

Firefox 5 years today

Today, the 9th November, is Firefox’s 5th birthday. Firefox 1.0 was released the 9th November 2004.

Firefox 5 years birthday cake.

Photo by Christopher Blizzard.

I didn’t start blogging until December 2004 so I have no historical blog post to link to.

Back in 2004 I’d already been using Firefox since version 0.6, released in May 2003. And I’d been a fan of the Mozilla Suite for roughly 2 ½ years. (Mozilla 1.0 was released 5th June 2002.) And before that I was happily using Netscape 6 since its release in November 2000.

In 2005 I wrote a long version of how I became such a huge Firefox fan. Towards the end, thinking about the future, I wrote:

Imagine being a web developer in 2009, with almost 93% of the browser market being CSS3 compliant.

Hah, that’s a laugh. It turns out things don’t move quite that fast. Still, we’re basically rid of the IE6 plague and IE7 is heading in the same direction – down.

Here’s to another 5 years of Firefox gaining market share! In 2014 it should have at least 50 percent. IE will be a minority player.

Tonight I’m meeting Mozilla Sweden, i.e. David Tenser and Patrick Finch at the Bishop’s Arms for a … beer? Naw, a coke maybe. 🙂

Edit: Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler has a good blog post up.

Saturday, October 31st 2009

Firefox 3.6 beta 1

Firefox 3.6 beta 1 has just been released. Read all about it here. Get it here.

Three small improvements that I really like:

  1. When you fill out a form in a web page, the autocomplete suggestions are now ranked based on how recently and how frequently you use the different words (aka frecency).
  2. If you middle-click or Ctrl+click a link to open it in a new tab, the new tab will be created directly to the right of the current tab instead of at the far end. This makes it easier to switch to, and related tabs are kept together.
  3. Videos embedded in a page with the <video> tag can now be shown fullscreen.

Wednesday, October 28th 2009

Ubiquity – Whoa!

I just tried the Ubiquity add-on for Firefox for the first time. This thing is incredible! I just typed in weather and somehow it already knows where I am?! Almost scary!

Screenshot of Ubiquity with the weather command.