Posts Tagged ‘firefox’

Getting Delicious on Firefox 4

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Yahoo is really pissing me off.

I’m glad that Delicious hasn’t gone the way of the dodo (by all accounts a delicious bird that pirates feasted upon), but I’m annoyed beyond all belief that since I’ve upgraded to Firefox 4 that I can’t make use of the add-on anymore.

Manually going to Delicious and doing the bookmarking directly on the site is like being forced to create mayonnaise by scratch for every sandwich. Somewhere, at some point, you just switch to Miracle Whip.

Gentlemen, I hate Miracle Whip.

Seriously, what’s in that stuff?

Today, like most days, I went to hit the Delicious icon to store a lovely page in the cloud for my perusal later. And today, like every day since Firefox 4, I cursed as I remembered I can’t do that anymore. So I went searching in a futile hunt for an update. It’s been weeks. Surely some Yahoo engineer somewhere fixed it already. Right?

Wrong.

But as fortune has it, someone else shared my distaste for waiting, and was more clever than I. Go here for instructions by James Moss on how to make the add-on work in eight easy steps. Thank you, James. You’ve saved my sanity.

Firefox 3.6, box-shadow & transform

Friday, March 18th, 2011
The Forest Browser Friends posing together for a photo.

As long as you’re not on a legacy browser, to the left you’ll see an image that is rotated 90 degrees.

If you’re using the current version of Firefox (3.6 as I write this), you’ll also notice a rather unpleasant visual effect on the box-shadow, which isn’t properly surrounding the rotated image like it should be.

I came across this by accident while working on some 2d transforms for a series of photos in a client’s project. I didn’t catch it at first because it only happens somewhere between 82 degrees and 108 degrees (and the direct opposite around 262 degrees to 278 degrees). I might be off by a degree or two, but that’s about the range where the shadow sheers off and snaps down to the picture’s height in its original orientation.

I’ve got a test case here. You’ll note Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer (yes, even IE) are doing it right in their current versions. Only Firefox isn’t.

Considering how long Firefox has been implementing transforms in comparison to Internet Explorer (infamous inbred step-child of the browser market), this is really disappointing. It’s details like this that are slowly costing me my love for the flaming-tailed fox.

The bug is fixed in the Firefox 4 beta, thankfully. But that begs the question, how much longer do we need to wait for Firefox 4 to release?

Forest Browser Friends: The Great Race

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
CSSquirrel #84: Forest Browser Friends - The Great Race!

Even if haters can’t admit it out loud, they probably need to admit it to themselves deep down inside: Nine is a contender.

For years, Internet Explorer has been out of the game when it comes to any discussion of what constitutes a modern browser. Version 8, as much as it was a drastic improvement over what had come before, was something I viewed more as a correction of 6 and 7′s many errors, and clearly not an effort towards embracing more modern features.

But Nine? Hardware acceleration. A blazingly fast JavaScript engine. Robust CSS3 support (missing things, but includes a decent chunk of what I wanted to see). HTML5 features like <video>, <audio> and even <canvas>. SVG support. On top of it all it’s got a slick, minimalist interface.

Internet Explorer 9 is a modern browser. Period. Dissenters and naysayers are at best nitpicking and at worse lashing out due to old habit.

There are downsides. I wish that they’d made it for XP, but as Microsoft is in the habit of selling operating systems I understand how complex of an issue that might be for their business model. It doesn’t include all the CSS3 I want to see (gradients, anyone?) but they do give a reasonable-sounding reasoning why (ostensibly, they don’t want to add a feature that has to be changed or removed later, and gradients currently have at least two exclusive syntaxes).

But the bottom line is that although IE9 isn’t perfect, it’s also not the flawed, stunted beast of ill-will and developer-consuming horror that its ancestors were. We, as designers, should be grateful that we’ve got another modern browser making our websites look better (and capable of doing more) without requiring us to craft different code for different browsers.

(But feel free to kvetch about the challenge in getting XP users to upgrade to a modern browser. My opinion on that? Tell them to use Chrome or Opera.)

The Orange, Flaming Elephant In The Room

I don’t, as a rule, use Internet Explorer as my daily browser. After all, I want the whole, real web, and historically it was not the best candidate for that. Now that Nine is out, I’ve found in the past couple days that my tolerance levels for my de facto browser, one Mr. Firefox, is suddenly waning.

Firefox is slow.

Today’s comic makes light of this sad, sad bit of information.

Additionally, when using some newer “HTML5″ JS features (such as localStorage) I’ve found Firefox even locking up on what seems like a quick, trivial task for competitors like Chrome. And the old mainstay of my reason to keep Firefox, the plugins, is no longer as unique a feature as it was. I’ve been trying to stick it out until Firefox 4 is released, but I’m losing confidence rapidly in Mozilla’s formerly delicious love child. When using a laptop or trying to quickly load a page to show a friend a neat bit of code or a cute cat video, I’ve lost my patience with Firefox. I’ll fire up Chrome… or Heaven forfend, I’ve even used IE9 in the past day.

I’m not convinced that Internet Explorer’s plunge in its percentage of browser users is going to change yet, despite IE9. I do think, however, that if current trends continue then Firefox is going to find itself facing a plunge of its own while IE’s fortune improves. Of all the modern browsers out there it currently seems to be lagging the most.

That’s right, I said it. I think Firefox is lagging behind Internet Explorer now in terms of modernity.

It’s all well and good to support gradients and other CSS3 features. But right now with the blossoming trend of web apps and the general push to a web-based computer culture, speed is becoming the king of relevance in making a browser worth using. And at the moment, I’m not convinced Firefox 4 is improving enough to close the gap.

Nine isn’t going to be my browser of choice. It’ll take some time yet before Microsoft can convince me to get back to using the big blue e on a regular basis. But its dramatic improvement has made me strongly examine my current browser of choice. I hear Chrome has Firebug.

Good show, Nine. Firefox, time to pony up.

Comic Update: The Cake Is A Lie

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

I don’t believe that Google Chrome is going to kill Firefox as today’s comic implies (with a Portal-inspired twist), but I do believe that if there’s a non-Microsoft browser that stands a chance of overtaking Firefox’s #2 position in the browser usage market, I see Chrome as the most likely candidate.

The reasons seem pretty straightforward to me, but I’ll enumerate them for those that think I’m off my rocker:

1. Safari is too Apple-centric to ever catch Firefox, with the possible exception of a far future where Mac OS is in the market position Windows is. Of course, it won’t ever be, because Mac OS is tied exclusively to Apple hardware, and I don’t foresee Apple computers reaching the price point where they’ll take such a commanding lead in sales. Then, if Apple reached that point, they’d probably be sued for monolopy-related software bundling just like the challenges IE/Window is always receiving.

2. Opera is too preachy to ever escape its small market share. They don’t want to build the software that people want. They’d rather build the software that they think is best and then try to evangelize to the masses until they convert to Opera’s way of thinking. One example of what I mean here: addons. It’s more than clear at this point that end-users want to customize their browser with any doodad they can dream up. Opera’s adamantly against that. It’s a shame, because they have a GREAT browser.

3. Google’s a verb of the 21st century. It’s gone past being a product, or a web app, or a service. It’s something you do to find something on the Internet. And with their main portal and their other big sites like YouTube quietly recommending Chrome, it’s going to get exposure to hundreds of millions of “average” web surfers who’ve never even heard of Opera or Firefox.

4. So far, Google appears to be positioned to making Chrome into the kind of browser people want. It’s fast and streamlined, but at the same time they plan to make it capable of supporting addons and other features that will let people make of it what they will. Give someone a car, and they’ll drive it. Give someone a fast car and a garage to tinker in, and they’ll obsess over it their entire life.

Take into account all that and the fact that many major hardware vendors are talking about making Chrome the default installed browser on machines they ship, and you’ve got a good reason to claim that Chrome could rapidly rise in the ranks.

To me, the question isn’t whether Chrome will overtake Safari and Opera. It will (and as it finally gets Apple and Linux versions that should accelerate adoption). The question will be whether Firefox’s head start, existing community of users and addon-makers, and equal devotion to constantly improving standard compliance and JavaScript speed increases will be enough to keep the lead.

Frankly, whichever keeps ahead in standards support, speed, and expandibility (addons, etc) will be the one that I make my browser of choice. Regardless of which wins, I hope they collectively continue to chip away at the undeserved lead of clunky, slow Internet Explorer.

Firefox 3 Is Go

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I doubt anyone needs me to tell them this, but Firefox 3 is launched. Go get it. Well, get it if you can manage to load Mozilla’s page. Talk about a heavy server load.