April 2005 Entries
Not really Mozilla news but anyways
Safari now passes the Acid2 test. The final remaining stumbling block was implementing a few enhancements to the object element. I needed to support fallback content when invalid MIME types were specified or when bad status codes were returned for HTTP requests (like 404). After fixing these bugs and a couple of other problems with intrinsic sizing of plugins, the eyes of the face showed up.
The relevant bugs for making Mozilla (actually the Gecko rendering engine) pass the Acid2 test can be seen in this bug report.
The Firefox browser is used by more than 10 percent of business users and that number could more than double by the end of the first half of the year, a management consulting company said. Based on the types of browsers used in accessing 10 business-to-business websites, slightly more than one in 10 were the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox, Janco Associates said. About 83 percent were Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), nearly four percent were Mozilla, and less than one percent were Netscape, America Online and Microsoft's MSN. Since the fourth quarter of 2004, Firefox usage had more than doubled among business professionals, Victor Janulaitis, chief executive of Janco, said. That rate of adoption was expected to continue next quarter, when the open source browser was expected to reach up to 25 percent of the market. Businesspeople were using Firefox over IE because they liked the browser's tabbed browsing feature and saw Firefox as less of a security risk, Janulaitis said.
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I have to agree completly with Robert Accettura on this:
There's been a ton of speculation regarding "gbrowser", google's alleged browser, Netscape's Firefox based browser, now even thoughts Yahoo might be interested. Though I wonder if that really is beneficial to anyone involved? I'm going to make the bold statement that custom browsers are bad, making extensions are good.
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From Jamie Zawinski Law of Software Envelopment:
Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.
and once again it's true. This time it's Corel WordPerfect 12 that takes the award:
Corel is cozying up to small business by marketing a value-priced productivity suite catered to the needs of organizations with fewer than 50 PCs. Corel says it is targeting small businesses with the applications that they must have and nothing more. The suite, named WordPerfect Office 12 - Small Business Edition, contains the newly minted WordPerfect Mail client and security software from Symantec.
No program is perfect, but bugs in open source software are less of a problem, says technology analyst Bill Thompson. The Firefox open source browser is full of bugs, some of which are rather serious. In March Danish security firm Secunia reported that it had found eight. Some could be used to trick users into giving away confidential information. Others could let hackers get access to people's computers. Every few days there are new ones. In fact the little red button that tells you a "critical" update is available appears almost weekly, sending users off to the website to get the new version and fix yet another bug or security hole. Since one of the main reasons people give for moving to Firefox from Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) is that IE is full of bugs and vulnerable to attack, this might seem to show that it does not matter which browser you use, since you are still going to be in trouble.
Checkin of the week! A lot of people are gonna be exited about a checkin that just happend.
A patch in Bug 291033 - Enable support for profile temp directory on local filesystem has just been checked in. This means that Mozilla Firefox is now able to store it's cache on the local filesystem. This will have a big effect on installations where the profile is stored on a network drive. Fx in organizations where Mozilla Firefox is rolled out. This will limit the amount of network trafic and make Mozilla Firefox behave faster. Super cool job Darin!
The original bug 74085 - Disk cache should use local directory is one of the most commented and voted for bugs with more than 115 comments and 42 votes. The bug was opened in march 2001.
As seen by a Mozilla Suite user: Almost everyone outside of Redmond who has used one of the IE alternatives agrees that Firefox and the Mozilla Suite are much better than Microsoft's "integral-part-of-the operating-system, yes-I-swear-under-oath-it-can't-be-removed" pain of a browser (even while it can be removed). So, I'm not going to write an article praising Firefox or Mozilla, the rest of the press has done a good job. In fact, I'll do just the opposite: I'm going to write about some of the key problems I see in Firefox, in the hope that perhaps it will help counter the "we're the best of the world" feel good attitude I've encountered lately from those in the Firefox camp.
1) Language packs
3) Applications bundle
4) Firefox Mailer
5) Gecko Runtime Engine
6) No splash screen
7) No Client Customization Kit
8) FTP uploads
9) Tabbed sidebar
10) Future direction of Firefox
11) Instant Messenger
I have to at least agree with point 2 and 7. And I think we got point 8 already, dont we?
Just returned from a cool cool Simple Plan concert at Vega. This band really knows how to rock. Cool songs, high energy and good atmosphere. You can listen to some of their music here. And once again, I'd won the tickets!
Spend the last weekends reading some interesting stuff
A couple of years ago I read TakeDown which is described this way:
On Christmas Day 1995, a daring cybercriminal used a new, dangerous, and clever method to gain access to the home computer of the world's greatest computer security expert. The hero, as a matter of honor, set out to find the devious mastermind who violated his privacy and discovered that it was none other than cyberspace's Public Enemy Number One.
So now it was time to read some of the stories from the criminal himself. The first book I read, is actually the second one.
The Art of Intrusion : The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders & Deceivers
Now, in his new book, Mitnick goes one step further, offering hair-raising stories of real-life computer break-ins-and showing how the victims could have prevented them. Mitnick's reputation within the hacker community gave him unique credibility with the perpetrators of these crimes, who freely shared their stories with him-and whose exploits Mitnick now reveals in detail for the first time.
You can read a sample chapter from here. A exciting story about how Hacking the Casinos for a Million Bucks.
Then I read the first book:
The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
In his bestselling The Art of Deception, Mitnick presented fictionalized case studies that illustrated how savvy computer crackers use "social engineering" to compromise even the most technically secure computer systems.
I didn't like this as much as the other. You can read the lost chapter one here.
Modern software releases patches and updates incrementally, meaning you only have to download the code that is different. This allows for much smaller and more effective downloads. Patching systems such as this have been around since software had version numbers. Why then does Firefox require you to download the full program every time a new version is released?
Read the blog posting
Asa writes in a comment:
We do have an update system but we don't yet have binary diff patching. We don't count the downloads from the update system (if we did, there would be another 10-20 million downloads on our counter).
Whether you're moving from Windows to GNU/Linux, or just from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the free software OpenOffice.org suite, one of the challenges you'll face is learning how to use OpenOffice.org Writer effectively if you're used to Microsoft Word. In this article I'll show you around OpenOffice.org Writer, where to find familiar Word tools, and how to customize the interface and preferences to make it a little more Word-friendly. First, don't worry; you won't have much trouble adjusting to OpenOffice.org Writer. The interface isn't terribly different; the menu and toolbar layout are similar to Word's. If you prefer a custom display you'll be much happier with Writer, as it doesn't have a lot of the annoying Word features that people often disable. If the first thing you do when you install Word XP is disable personalized menus and eliminate the superfluous and space-hogging task pane, you'll find it easy and convenient to switch over to Writer. If, on the other hand, you regularly use the task pane, you're going to have to make some adjustments to work efficiently in Writer. While the task pane does not offer any unique functionality, it does make it more convenient to reach certain tools and commands.
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I was gonna install Mozilla Firefox on a colleagues machine. Started Internet Explorer (argh) and typed getfirefox.com. At least that was what I thought I typed, but I accidentally typed getfireffox.com (an extra f in fox).
Landed at a page offering dating friends and Russian brides. Since I was using Internet Explorer I quickly closed the page. Installing spyware etc on a colleagues machine isn't very popular.
I started doing a little search and found this list of domains which has firefox in the domain name.
Here's a list of the most funny and interesting ones:
- antifirefox.com - Anti FireFox?! - Keep Internet Explorer! They spelled Firefox the wrong way!
- firefoxantispyware.com - Tries to launch a popup. Ha, ha!
- foxfiregirls.com - Adult contributers? Adult content at least!
- firefoxporn.com - You will only be able to view the FREE PORN on this website if you have the Firefox browser.
- fuckfirefox.com - Even Bush is smart enough to realize how much you suck.
- freefirefox.com - I thought it already was free?
- ihatefirefox.com - Nothing to see. Move on!
- telechargermozillafirefox.com - Weirdest domain of today!
Amazingly there's not a firefoxsex.com yet!
We, the Danish people, are ahead of all of you!
Denmark remained No. 1 in taking advantage of the Internet, both connecting citizens securely over broadband and wireless networks as well as using its near ubiquitous hook-ups for Internet banking and government services such as tax returns. Denmark has also established a government Web site that pulls together ministries and other organizations, in which citizens and companies can access public services.
Open source productivity suite OpenOffice.org may be touted as a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, but there are claims its pace of development and adoption of new features is being stifled by a "monolithic" code base and a developer community still largely controlled by Sun Microsystems. Project contributors speaking at the annual OpenOffice.org miniconference in Canberra this week raised numerous issues, including a lack of independent contributors. OpenOffice.org developer Ken Foskey said the biggest problem with the project is a lack of developers and a code base that is "just too big". "It's 10 million lines of code and takes serious commitment just to compile the thing," Foskey said. "I'm interested in [having] more community developers [involved]," he said, adding they shouldn't "just say 'I want to work on OpenOffice' but focus on a particular part of the project." Sun is still the largest contributor to the project with some 50 developers in Germany, followed by Novell with about 10 contributors, and only four active community developers.
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This is not a big surprise but I'll bring it anyway:
If open source is to continue gaining ground with the corporate desktop, it must develop not just an outstanding e-mail client, but an all-out replacement for Outlook on Windows. While there are many good open-source e-mail clients, like the Mozilla Foundation's Thunderbird, Isamet's Mulberry and Hiroyuki Yamamoto's Sylpheed, these clients are really replacements for Outlook Express, not Outlook.
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From the Mozilla Lightning FAQ:
Q. Is Lightning meant as a competitor to Outlook?
A. With Lightning, Mozilla Thunderbird will have a set of user features that is much more competitive with Outlook, especially in enterprise usage. The primary goal of Lightning is to provide a pleasant and productive user experience for both email and calendaring tasks, largely independent of specific competitors product plans. If the result of the Lightning project is an acceleration of users migration from Outlook to Thunderbird, though, very few tears will be shed.
Spiegel: There have been repeated rumors about "G-browser", a browser by Google. Is Firefox going to be this G-browser? Or is Firefox going to be a competition to the G-browser?
Ross: Rumors are rumors.
This articles purpose is to introduce users of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook Express to the new world of Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. With the aim to educate and excite the countless millions of users out there who are still using the default Internet applications that come with Microsoft Windows. Most users out there don't even know there is an alternative, they complain about Spyware, Viruses, and Spam not knowing that there are simple and free ways to avoid those Internet threats.
When you're gonna spend money you might as well spend a lot of money. We did just that. Last Autumn we bought a summer cottage. We have already spend a lot of time they. Painting, relaxing, reading... And there's not telephone or PC there. Check out the pictures.
When you buy a summer cottage and you live in central Copenhagen you gotta have a car. So we also bought a car. A really nice Renault Megane. I've also got some pictures of that too. Notice the small Mozilla Firefox sticker on the rear window.
It's as simple as that!
Help stop Internet Explorer, the world's most popular and worst internet browser. This site tells you how and why to switch.
Go to the site
Mozilla Firefox is soothing nerves frayed by Microsoft Internet Explorer, thanks to superior search, security, bookmark synchronization and other capabilities, according to IT professionals responding to an informal SearchEnterpriseLinux.com survey. Most of those Firefox users, however, are frustrated that Firefox is locked out of Web sites that are locked in to Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Compatibility with Firefox browser crucial for web sites, analyst says
As the Mozilla Organization's Firefox web browser surges in popularity - with 44 million downloads since Firefox 1.0 launched last November - web site operators need to assure that their sites are compatible with it, analysts say. Firefox has been winning over users with built-in technology that blocks unsolicited pop-ups, is less susceptible to virus attacks and offers a unique way of navigating multiple sites within a single browser, says Ken Cassar, Nielsen/NetRatings analyst.
Traffic to Firefox website grows 237 percent
Web analytics firm Nielsen Netratings said the Firefox portion of the Moziall site saw a 237 percent spike in unique visitors to the Web site from nine months ago. While the site had about 795,000 visitors in June 2004, the number jumped to 2,68 million in March of this year.
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But but but why do some people spell Mozilla Firefox like this FireFox? It's spelled Firefox, not FireFox!
I'm converted some of my BrowserSpy tools from using Perl to PHP. But converting from Perl to PHP isn't always easy. Perl has the wonderful thing called CPAN. Perl Archive Network">CPAN is the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, a large collection of Perl software and documentation. So if you need a module to do something there's a big chance that there's a module on Perl Archive Network">CPAN that can do just that. This way your Perl program is more or less just syntax around calls to functions inside Perl Archive Network">CPAN module. Perl Archive Network">CPAN is huge. Perl Archive Network">CPAN currently has around 8.000 modules.
PHP has something similar. It's called PEAR. PEAR is the PHP Extension and Application Repository. PEAR is a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components. Currently PEAR isn't as large as Perl Archive Network">CPAN. There's currently 400 modules in PEAR. This means that you have to write more code yourself. Hopefully PEAR will grow to become the size of Perl Archive Network">CPAN.
I've updated my Gecko Statistics for gemal.dk to include statistics for February and March. And in March there's a all time high. 68% of all hits are made by Gecko based browser. Of those 68% 78% are Firefox hist and 13% Mozilla Suite hits. 90% of the Gecko hits are from a Windows platform.
In the newest indication that Firefox has become mainstream, IBM is trying to hire programmers to adapt the open-source Web browser to work well with Big Blue's server software. A job ad posted on IBM's Web site said an emerging technologies team in IBM's software group wants programmers for "enhancing the Mozilla Firefox Web browser with new features complimentary to IBM's On Demand middleware stack." An IBM representative on Wednesday said that the ad was for one position in the company's advanced technology group. The individual will make contributions to the Firefox project, the representative said.
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To see the job oppening go here and do a search for "firefox"
Work location: Austin, Texas
When Firefox's Mozilla came onto the scene four months ago it looked like an end to the constant struggle against Microsoft's Internet Explorer security vulnerabilities was finally in sight. The promise was almost too good to be true: a viable alternative that had been designed with a security conscious approach, no pop-ups and none of IE's vulnerabilities. The word from the early adopters was positive: smoother, faster and more secure. Their praise coupled with CERT's recommendation that customers switch browsers away from IE has pushed Mozilla into the mainstream. It has now been downloaded nearly 27 million times and for the first time in three years, IE's market share has fallen below 90%. Mozilla's now as commonplace in City offices as it is with tech-savvy home users. But how is Mozilla faring now that the honeymoon period is over?
A new version of the Firefox Web browser is coming your way, but not from the Mozilla Foundation. Round Two planned a corporate launch Monday night with the promise of bringing "a new crop of products and services that will enhance your Firefox experience. When we launch our own services, in about a month or so, we'll be looking to offer the must-have companion to Firefox," said Bart Decrem, Round Two CEO and a former staffer at the Mozilla Foundation. "We see tremendous room for innovating on top of the Mozilla and Firefox platform, and we see ourselves as the first company outside of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation that's fully dedicated to serving Firefox users.". Round Two's mission to improve the Firefox browsing experience may puzzle some Firefox fans, who consider the browser an already vast improvement over Microsoft's Internet Explorer standard-bearer. Firefox has capitalized on widespread dissatisfaction with IE's security and features to swipe considerable market share from Microsoft.
Visit Round Two
We're coming into the final stages of shipping the Firefox, Thunderbird, and XULRunner releases. Each of these releases will be following roughly the same schedule which is outlined in general terms below. For each of our products, we've got three major cycles to complete. The first cycle, scheduled to wrap in the next week to ten days, is all about getting key developer-centric features stabilized and shipped. This release is based on Gecko 1.8b2 and is targeting extension developers, app developers, and web developers. It is intended as a early heads-up to the developer world about the last year of Gecko changes that make the current trunk builds quite different from what we shipped just five months ago as Firefox 1.0. It will also serve as a preview of the latest Toolkit and our first XULRunner preview. If there are changes that need to be a part this developer-focused release, changes that will impact extension, web, or application developers, we need those landed ASAP. This applies for all three products, Firefox, Thunderbird, and XULRunner. In order to avoid a lot of end users downloading this browser release, it will be publicized as the "Deer Park Developer Preview" rather than "Firefox" (Deer Park is the project codename for Firefox 1.1) and we're not going to be shouting loudly about end user features. The Thunderbird and XULRunner releases from this cycle will also be somewhat low-key and targeting the developer and testing community rather than the end user.
Mozilla and Firefox will compile for AMD64, but Opera has no plans to ever offer a 64-bit binary of their Qt-based proprietary browser. While we had some trouble with Mozilla's long-term stability (over time, it would crash at random), and Firefox crashed left and right, our biggest challenge was in getting the plug-ins to work. The Java Runtime Environment is now available for Linux/AMD64, so we installed that from Portage and made sure that the plug-in was copied to the correct location. Both Mozilla and Firefox would detect it in the about:plugins screen, but only 64-bit Mozilla could use it. The MPlayer plug-in, unmasked manually, would work well in 64-bit Mozilla, but was not detected by 32-bit Firefox. Opera would detect our 32-bit binary Acrobat Reader plug-in, but neither Mozilla nor Firefox would. Flash worked in Opera and 32-bit Firefox, but not 64-bit Mozilla. After days of searching for answers and fiddling with 32-bit binaries and 64-bit compiles of both browsers, we determined that it was necessary to have both a 64-bit Mozilla and a 32-bit Firefox to use all of the usual browser plug-ins with 64-bit Gentoo.
We're seeking a highly motivated candidate that will be able to serve as our day-to-day Office Manager and Marketing Coordinator. This will be a full-time permanent position with a competitive salary and benefits package.
Read more at Career Opportunities with the Mozilla Foundation
Search is one of the most important applications used on the internet, but it also poses some of the most interesting challenges in computer science. Providing high-quality search requires understanding across a wide range of computer science disciplines, from lower-level systems issues like computer architecture and distributed systems to applied areas like information retrieval, machine learning, data mining, and user interface design. I'll describe some of the challenges in these areas, discuss some of the applications that Google has developed over the past few years.
Steve Jobs will also announce tighter integration of Mac OS X and Mozilla and says that Mozilla Firefox WILL be the default browser in future versions of the Mac OS X operating system. Apple is effectively dropping the development of the Safari browser which is based on the KHTML rendering engine.
Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976, and Pixar, the Academy-Award-winning animation studios which he co-founded in 1986. Steve grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley, and still lives there with his wife and three children.
Mozilla Foundation was established in July, 2003, with start-up support from America Online's Netscape division, the Mozilla Foundation exists to provide organizational, legal, and financial support for the Mozilla open-source software project.
From bug 285653
Just like dom inspector, we want to enable the reporter tool in nightly builds. We probably want to disable it for release builds, but we can figure out how to do that later. For now, I'm just going to do what bryner has outlined and see if I can get it working.
The Report A Broken Website tool is a tool that allows you to tell the Evangelism Team about web sites that do not work properly in Firefox, or shut Firefox out.