Posts with keyword: firefox


The Value of Browser Add Ons

Today a question about the size of the browser add-on market came up and more specifically, what kinds of things people used browser addons for. I spent a little time at AMO to try and find some answers--at least for Firefox. First the AMO statistics site shows that there are almost 200 million addons in use and that number continues to show healthy growth for the last few months. AMO lists over 5000 add ons. The most popular is Adblock Plus with almost a million weekly downloads. I classified the top 100 addons on AMO according to the following
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Sweetter in Ubiquity

If you're a Ubiquity user, Mike Grace has created a Ubiquity script to run Sweetter. Note that regardless of whether this is running as a bookmarklet or a Ubiquity script, it's still executing KRL in the cloud which delivers Javascript to the browser. All the bookmarklet or Ubiquity script is doing is planting tags to make the call to KNS.
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Javascript Debugging in IE

I've spent the last several days immersed in debugging Javascript in Internet Explorer. It's not as bad as it could be. After all, I'm using jQuery and that cuts down on the cross-browser incompatibilities. In it's normal usage, Kynetx Network Services (KNS) compiles our domain specific language, called KRL, into Javascript. Since we test that the Javascript is compatible with multiple browsers, normal rule evaluation is pretty safe. However, like any good DSL, KRL has a way of dropping out of the DSL and into the base system--in this case Javascript. That's when things get dicey.
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The Future of Browsers

The final session of the day is a panel on the future of the browser. On the panel are Joshua Allen of Microsoft, Mike Shaver of Mozilla, and Nick Baum of Google. Noticeably missing are Opera (excused due to distance) and Apple (absent without excuse). Douglas Crockford, of Javascript fame, is the moderator. Douglas asks is the add-on the best model for letting users solve their frustrations with the lack of capability in a browser. Joshua talks about Microsoft's goal to move toward extensibility through Web standards where ever possible and get away from native apps. Mike says that
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Multi-Platform Add-On Lessons Learned

Words of advice from the multi-platform add-on session at AddOnCon: Start from the beginning to support multiple browsers by not using features that are specific to one or the other. Keep things like XPath expression standard Test IE add-ons on Vista and IE8 first--especially if you're going to use an external process. Using an external process in IE can greatly increase testability Modularity and code portability The learning curve for IE add-on development is steep. Once you're on top, it flattens out and gets easier. Crashing the browser is easy in IE and the opportunity for conflicts is high
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Add-on and Mashup Development: Leveraging 3rd-Party APIs

An add-on in Firefox is Javascript, XUL, and CSS. Any part of the Firefox UI can be modified by an add-on. Version control is built-in as is an upgrade mechanism. Platform APIs allow an add-on to access anything on the machine. That's good and bad. There are security issues, but it makes add-ons very powerful because you have full access. One of the nice things about moving a mashup into an add-on is that you do away with many of the cross-site scripting restrictions that make mashups hard, or even difficult. Much of what you do
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Porting Add-ons from Firefox to IE

Joshua Allen of Microsoft is speaking about porting add-ons from Firefox to Internet Explorer. IE add-ons have been less popular for a few reasons: Building for IE is difficult Debugging tools are few and far between The best reason to target IE as well as Firefox is that the Web is about interoperability. The point of the Web is any use anywhere can get your stuff and use it. There's no competitive advantage to an add-on company to be in one browser. Being in as many browsers as possible is important. Joshua uses Oomph, microformats tool,
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Travels, Trials, and Browser Tribulations

I this week's Technometria podcast, Scott, Ben, and I are joined by Tyler Whitaker and Dion Almaer, who both discuss some of their recent technology activities. Ben and Dion have recently been hired at Mozilla, where the company is working on new open web tools for developers. They talk about some of their long-term and short-term goals, including plans on ways to make it easier to deal with browser differences. In addition, Tyler discusses some of his recent internet connectivity problems and Scott talks about his recent delayed flight and how a website helped him better
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Browser Mix on Technometria

As long as we're on the subject of Technometria stats, here's the browser breakdown for last month on Technometria: FireFox - 41.80% Internet Explorer - 33.76% Safari - 12.65% Mozilla - 9.06% Opera - 1.79% Roughly two-thirds of the visitors to Technometria were using something other than Internet Explorer. Granted, this is a pretty geeky crowd. Of the Firefox users, roughly 30% were using version 3. Of the IE users, roughly 40% were using version 6. Only four visitors the entire month were using IE 5.5. I had a few IE 8 visitors.
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SearchStatus for Alexa and PageRank

Firefox with SearchStatus installed(click to enlarge) If you've installed toolbars to let you see the Google PageRank and Alexa ranking of the sites you visit, you might like this Firefox extension called SearchStatus. SearchStatus shows the current PageRank, Alexa rank and Compete rank (I'd never heard of it) in your status bar, or almost anywhere else you like. The attached screen shot shows the SearchStatus installation on Firefox on my Mac.
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Prefetching Considered Harmful?

Yesterday I tried to access a page at Wolfram MathWorld and got this message instead of the material I was looking for: This was puzzling since as far as I know, Firefox should only prefetch pages that the site specifically gives hints for. Apparently not. What's more curious, however, is why Wolfram blocks the entire session rather than just using a rewrite rule that's triggered on the prefetch header to deny the prefetching itself. This would solve Wolfram's problem and not be so obnoxious for their users. Like so: RewriteEngine On SetEnvIf X-moz prefetch HAS_X-moz RewriteCond %{ENV:HAS_X-moz} prefetch RewriteRule
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Firebug

Brent Thompson turned me onto Firebug, a Firefox plugin for inspecting and editing HTML and CSS on pages you're viewing. This is a lot more convenient that editing the CSS and then reloading to see what the change does. You can also edit and debug Javascript on the fly and explore the DOM. Fun stuff. And the fact that it's a plugin for Firefox means that it's OS agnostic.
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Firefox, Internet or Search Engine? You Decide

Firefox T-Shirt(click to enlarge) Today I was in REI. I had on my Firefox T-Shirt. The guy helping me with flashlights said "Oh, I love that search engine!" Contrast that with this story: When I first bought the shirt my daughter, who was six at the time, climbed up on my lap and asked "Daddy, why do you have a picture of the Internet on your shirt?" Who was more right?
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Browser Statistics Redux

It's been a while since I looked at browser statistics for Technometria. There's been some big changes. Here are the browser stats for 2006 to-date. BrowserPercentage Internet Explorer50.76 Firefox36.20 Safari7.69 This is interesting because in the fourth quarter of 2005, IE garnered 56% and Firefox had 30%. This is a trend that is consistent with my earlier snapshots. That's a pretty big shift. Admittedly, my blog attracts techies and they're more prone to using Firefox, but I think it's a shift that reflects where things are headed. The reason I noticed this is I was wondering about screen resolutions.
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Firefox Upgrades Still Painful

I've been putting off upgrading to version 1.5 of Firefox on OSX for a while now because it's always a bigger pain than it ought to be. Last week I was forced to for reasons that I won't go into. Like past upgrades, l had to play games to get SpellBound (the spell checker plugin) to work and enable Emacs keybindings to work. At version 0.9, I could understand and put up with this, but I'm growing tired of it at version 1.5.
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Most Popular Posts for Fourth Quarter

Here are the most popular articles from Technometria in the fourth quarter of 2005 and the percentage of all page views they accounted for: Video iPod and Tivo - 6.41% How to Start a Blog - 5.25% Using VLC to Create iPod Ready Video - 3.77% Did You Know? DVD-R vs. DVD+R - 3.32% Ruby on Rails (OSCON 2005 Tutorial) - 2.57% Two of these, the one on starting a blog and the Ruby tutorial, were in August's most popular posts as well. As you'd expect all of these are fairly well placed on Google. Browser statistics for Technometria
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