March 2004 Entries
According to a report on ComputerWire today, Microsoft is preparing to release some code into the open source community. A member of Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative has told ComputerWire open source code is "coming". Stephen Walli, platform's business development manager, added Microsoft would likely release "non core" code - i.e. code that is not a part of the operating system. Whether this report is accurate on how Microsoft will release such code, it looks promising for developers wanting to gain better access to the inner workings of Microsoft applications. This latest moves comes nearly two months after some Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000 source code leaked to the internet. Since, February Microsoft has been continually reviewing the way it shares source code to customers and this latest news may bring some promising developments in Microsoft's future.
It's rarely that a company statement raises eyebrows. But this one will do: America Online confirmed to the INQUIRER that it is working on an updated release of the Netscape browser to replace the aging version 7.1 -which was released in mid-2003. They also promise that this Netscape update will use the latest Mozilla engine as its core. Not too long ago, I wrote an article titled "AOL may release a Netscape branded IE-launcher", where I screamed against the possibility of the company's marketing robots turning the Netscape browser product into an empty shell that would in turn launch Internet Explorer under the hood.
Read more on the stupid move of the year
Denne artikel vil omhandle de generelle forskelle mellem Mozilla Firefox og Internet Explorer, samt vise nogle funktioner i Firefox som vil gøre dig hurtigere på nettet og give dig en bedre internetsurfoplevelse
Så hvis du ikke allerede kører Mozilla Firefox så kan du læse her hvorfor du skal til at gøre det.
Ben Goodger, lead developer of Mozilla Firefox, is slowing checking in the groundwork for the Extension Manager.
This package manager will allow selective enabling and disabling plugins and mozilla add-ons. The manager will also allow for uninstall of specific plug-in and add-on packages.
Frank Hecker writes in netscape.public.mozilla.crypto:
As promised in my previous message I managed to find some spare time and do a revised draft of the CA certificate policy and related documents; in particular we have the core policy proposal the proposed details of the policy and how it would be implemented and (for good measure) an HTML version of the metapolicy I posted earlier.
Read the entire posting
Inspired by the Linux kernel swear counts I did a quick search of the words in the Mozilla source code.
Some of the occurences are ok, since they are located in the en-US dictionary.
A word is counted if it appears in any context, even if part of another word.
The usage of the Windows Registry in Mozilla is quite strange. I dont think I figured out how it works.
On the image to the right are listed the Mozilla entries that are present under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software.
It seems that there's some inconsistencies:
- Why is there a "Mozilla Thunderbird" object at the same level as "Mozilla"?
- Why is it called "Mozilla 1.7a" when it's called "Mozilla Firefox 0.8."?
- Why is it Mozilla "Mozilla Firefox 0.8." and not "Mozilla Firefox 0.8.1"?
- Why is the "Desktop" object under "Mozilla" and not under "Mozilla 1.7a"?
Having such inconsistencies might seems like small bugs but it makes it harder for external programs etc to fx detect Mozilla and to work with Mozilla.
I dont really care about poup blocking since I'm using Mozilla as my default browser. And in IE I already had installed the Google Toolbar which also featured popup blocking. But it's now integrated into IE. The dialog for popup blocking can be seen here.
Web browser add-ons are items you can add to your IE browser to make browsing a little more fun or effective. Common add-ons include extra toolbars, animated mouse pointers, stock tickers, and pop-up ad blockers. The dialog for Add-ons management can be seen here.
From the Add-ons management dialog you can also update the installed Add-ons. You click the Update button and are then informed if there's an update available. If there is you're presented with this dialog.
See all of the pictures. Click on the images to see the larger version.
The European Commission has fined Microsoft a record US $613 million (497.2 million euro) after it found the company abused its "virtual monopoly" with its Windows operating system and broke European antitrust law governing competition. EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said the EU found that Microsoft "has abused its virtual monopoly power over the PC desktop in Europe. This is not a decision we have taken easily or hastily."
One of the most common security issues today is the buffer overflow. This particular security problem is responsible for more virus infections than perhaps all other sources combined. Just about every application and operating system on the market has buffer overflow flaws that a cracker could exploit. The purpose of this article is to help you understand buffer overflows more clearly and to give you simple techniques you can use to reduce (or hopefully eliminate) this problem in your applications. Discover the techniques that professionals use to thwart this problem in this article by John Mueller.
Finally! Like some of you perhaps knows we spend 1½ month (December 2003, January 2004, February 2004) backpacking around in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.
And now we finally managed to put the pictures online!
The talk was about how Lonely Planet was started and pictures from some of his many many travels. Lonely Planet by the way should have been called Lovely Planet but because Tony heard the lyrics from a song wrong it became Lonely Planet. You can read more about it here.
There was a lot of questions afterwards and one of them was how many countries he has visited. He answered that he has visited 117 countries. Quite amazing considering that he's been traveling most of his life. But as he said: "the more you travel the larger the world gets". I've only visisted 28 so I still have some way to go.
For approximately a month now I have been completely spam-free. This amazing feat is the result of a one-time cost of many hours of careful mailbox combing, email address rediscovery, a judicious use of dual-sided addresses for posting and receiving on mailing lists, and a kind of soul-cleansing I never really thought was possible. I'm here to tell you such a cleaning of the proverbial email stables is possible: If you're interested in the details, read on, and I'll do my best to describe them. This method requires you have control over your own sendmail daemon, or the cooperation of someone who does, your own domain name, and patience and discipline.
Read the article
In this article, we'll take a closer look at the Windows Error Reporting (WER) system, answer those questions, and provide more information about it for both developers and users. Microsoft created WER to help itself and other developers find and fix the bugs that are inevitable in complex software. Many bugs are caused by simple oversights and are easily fixed. The programmer's bane is a bug that occurs on a customer's system, but not his own. If the programmer can't reproduce the bug, it's very hard to fix. The solution is to obtain a snapshot of the user's system at the time of the crash, but historically this has been difficult to do. Worse yet, customers often don't go to the trouble of reporting a crash; they just sigh and reboot. Programmers can't fix problems they don't know about.
Windows Error Reporting Under the Covers
Win XP Performance Tuneup
Optimize networking, file system, memory performance, freeing up memory, startup/shutdown.
In Mozilla Firefox 0.8 and earlier this piece of code used to work:
var reg = winhooks.getRegistryEntry(bla bla bla....)
In Mozilla Firefox 0.8.0+ it doesn't work anymore. In Mozilla 1.x it works fine.
I was told it's because that winhooks has been replaced by @mozilla.org/browser/shell-service;1 but that doesn't provide the getRegistryEntry function.
It seems that Mozilla Firefox 0.8.0+ has got it's own nsWindowsHooks.cpp file where GetRegistryEntry is a function in. The IDL file for this says that getRegistryEntry interface nsIWindowsRegistry : nsISupports what ever that means.
With the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) and a good mail client software like Mozilla (web+email) or Mozilla Thunderbird (just email), you can have really secure email conversations, using excellent and free software. Plain emails have indeed two big problems: they are neither authenticated (you can pretend you are anybody when you send a mail, which is used by spammers and viruses), nor encrypted (anybody on the path your email takes, from you to your correspondent, can read it). With GnuPG-powered email signature and encryption, you can be sure the messages are from the person they claim to be, and be sure only the ones you want will have access to your emails!
Read the Enigmail how-to
Be sure to use the latest version of Enigmail. Version 0.83.5 version works with Mozilla 1.6, 1.7a, and Thunderbird 0.5. In addition, new binaries are available for the latest nightly builds of Mozilla 1.7b and Thunderbird 0.6a.
Preliminary support for the SPNEGO protocol (Microsoft's Negotiate protocol) via the GSSAPI library has been added to Mozilla. This means that only UNIX-like operating systems (including Linux and OSX) are supported. A SSPI-based solution is needed for WIN32. Only HTTP authentication is currently supported. Mail protocols will follow.
- More information in the bug report
- Read about GSSAPI
According to OneStat, a Dutch company that monitors global browser usage, almost 95 percent of all Web surfers use Internet Explorer. The remaining 5 percent of users is spread among several other browsers. Surprisingly, Netscape isn't one of them. OneStat said that the former browser behemoth doesn't have enough market share to make the list. The better-known alternative browsers are Mozilla, Opera and Safari. All three offer features not found in Internet Explorer. For example, they have built-in pop-up blockers and search utilities. Those features are not offered by Internet Explorer but can be added with the free Google Toolbar.
Read the article
Firefox browser easy, fun, fast, safe, free
No longer compelled by competition to innovate, IE's development cycle is now linked to that of Windows. And because Microsoft updates its operating system less frequently than Bruce Springsteen releases new CDs, updated versions of IE are rare things indeed. This doesn't mean, of course, that rigor mortis has set in for the Web browsing genre. If you want fresh and exciting signs of life, take a look at a free, simple and powerful Web browser called Firefox.
MSJVM Removal Tool
The Microsoft JVM Removal Tool can be used to remove the MS Java Virtual Machine (MS JVM). Use of this tool is the only supported method for removing the MS JVM from a Microsoft operating system.
Transitioning from the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine
Microsoft is committed to helping customers through the transition off the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MS JVM). Be sure to download Suns JRE.
Registry Edits for Windows XP
Loads of tweaks and tips for Windows XP
Bayesian filters are behind Mozillas highly effective anti spam filter. Now some Mozilla developers are talking about using bayesian filters for other features than spam. Fx mail filtering. Instead of having to create a filter to sort all your work related mails into the Work folder let Mozilla decide which mails should be moved. The more mails you move manually the smarter Mozilla gets.
Check out the bug report and read more about the proposed usage.
There's even a $500 bounty to the one that implements this feature. At Mark Shuttleworth it's described as "Thunderbird Message Filing Intelligence":
As an optional extra to the Quick Filing described above, I would like to see Bayesian learning for message filing. For example, I generally have a folder for correspondence with a person or a company, or a project. When I press the filing hotkey described under Quick Access above, it would be great if Mozilla Thunderbird automatically pre-populated the dropdown listbox of folders with its best guess as to where I want that message filed. It could use the sender, the subject and the body, and learn from previous filing decisions. Bayesian filtering of junk mail has worked really well for me in Mozilla, so I would hope that after using it for a while, it would be making fairly good guesses as to where I want to file a given message.
In Denmark, the Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation strongly encourage all governmental/national/municipal authorities to use W3C standards (HTML/XHTML standards) on their Web pages. This survey has run a test on 2033 danish authorities home pages. The testing tool was the W3C Validator. Only the main entrance page (start page) was tested. We assume, that webmasters has spend most time on this page. They have been reading about webdesign guidelines etc., before the main entrance page has been publish live for the public audience. The data from the survey was collected during January 31th until February 16th 2004.
Read the article in English or Danish
I was going to order some plane ticket this afternoon so I want online and found some cheap prices. I finally decided to fly with Scandinavian Airlines. So I went to their site and started filing out the forms.
It wasn't the most smart form. I could only make one choice and then I had to press an blue arrow to enter more stuff into the form. I finally manage to fill out the entire form and move on. I now had to enter the names of the other passengers. I filled the entire form out, everything with Eurobonus numbers and all. Now I'm only one step away from ordering the tickets.
And pong! An error! Not just an error, but "Error type -140005 Please try again later". I waited a few seconds and tried again. Error. I waited a few minutes and tried again. Error. I waited an hour and tried again. Error!
First of all we all hate errors and errors do occur. But why the heck do they have to write Error type -140005? It doesn't tell me anything! What was needed was an indication of whether the error had anything to do with my input or with the systems behind. I much rather get an error saying "Unable to communicate with the reservation system. Please try again later or call this number...".
And dont show error numbers unless the user can use them for anything. If it said "Please call customer service and report this error" or even better "Click here to report this error" it's ok to show a weird looking number. But I cant use "Error type -140005" for anything. Does it mean that they have 140000 errors?
So finally we gave up ordering the tickets online and decided to call the office and order the tickets the plain old way, by telephone. So much for ebusiness.
How "free" is Mozilla?
Unlike other software that is billed as 'free', our software has no hidden costs
Read the article
Mozilla the Marketing Nightmare
Mozilla's new website is a superficial mask that fails to address the problems of the new idea of marketing towards the masses2. The presentation is simply a means to achieving the organization's purpose, not merely an end unto itself. However, from a casual glance at the page, no definitive purpose is given explicitly or implicitly. Only a vague statement about "maintaining choice and innovation" is found. While Mozilla should be focusing on web standards, only a small fraction of the Internet cares. Mozilla should promote how its browser and email client are better than Microsoft's products since that's where all the would-be converts are.
Read the article
Purge Unwanted Spam the 18th-Century Way
Use Bayesian filtering to reduce the amount of junk e-mail in your in-box, read PowerPoint files without installing massive PowerPoint software. And both Mozilla 1.4 and Netscape 7.1 mail programs come with their own integrated Bayesian antispam settings.
W3Schools Browser Statistics
Current trend is that Internet Explorer 6 is growing fast. IE 5 and 6 counts for more than 80%. Mozilla stats up from 8.5% in January 2004 to 9.0% February 2004.
Next Generation Mail Clients Reviewed
Reviewed mail clients:
- Evolution 1.5.2 (unstable)
- KMail 1.6 (part of KDE 3.2)
- Opera 7.50 (preview 2)
- Mozilla 1.6 / Thunderbird 0.5
- Microsoft Outlook 2002 SP-1 (part of Microsoft Office XP)
Discuss Next Generation Mail Clients Reviewed at SlashDot.
There has been added support for a small funky feature in Mozilla Mail. The news "spoiler" feature. The feature is explained at NewsReaders.com:
When reading groups like rec.arts.sf.written and alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer, people frequently don't want to have their enjoyment of works they haven't seen/read yet "spoiled" by finding out what is going to happen in advance. To help them avoid it, posters are encouraged to insert the "spoiler char" (aka form-feed, 0x0C, control-L) -- when newsreaders encounter this character they take various steps to prevent the reader from seeing the rest of the message.
Read more in bug 11080.
Så er vi kommet endnu et skridt på vejen til at også alle danske websites kan komme til at overholde de gældende internet standarder og ikke kun udvikle efter Internet Explorer.
Når du møder et dansk site der ikke virker i Mozilla, kan du nu tage udgangspunkt i et standard brev. Dette standard brev fungere som en skabelon for et teknisk brev som sendes til sites webmaster eller udviklere. Du kan se skabelonen her.
Brevene er også tilgængelige på andre sprog.
Du kan læse her hvad du som almindelige bruger gør når du møder et site der ikke virker i Mozilla.
The Mozilla Links newletter writes:
In the last few weeks, two Mozilla developer events have taken place. The Mozilla Developers Meeting in Europe 4.0 took place at the FOSDEM 2004 open source conference in Brussels, while the more recent Mozilla Developer Day was held at the Mozilla Foundation's offices in Mountain View, California. Several presentations were given at these events and the slides from some of them are now available online.
- Layout debugging / triaging
- Application development in Mozilla
- The Mozilla Foundation
- Nvu, a web authoring system built on Gecko
Brendan Eich's roadmap slides from Mozilla Developer Day event held February 27th, 2004, at Mozilla Foundation headquarters, Mountain View, CA.
Type n, ->, down-arrow, or space to advance a slide. Type p, <-, or up-arrow to go back one slide. Type t to go the the first (title) slide.
Really really interesting read!
Proposal: Mozilla Outreach
Mission: to identify ways of gaining new contributors. The Mozilla Project is a victim of its own success. We are gaining a lot of users, but out of these users we are not gaining new help. The Mozilla Project is a community project, and for it to sustain itself we must have fresh help from new contributors in development, QA, documentation, tech evangelism, and various other departments. We should approach the problem in manageable steps, and the first step I propose is International Outreach.
To the Chineses viewers: My Using Mozilla in testing and debugging web sites article is now available in Simplified Chineses. The link to the article is at the top of the page. The article is also available in French by the way.