Category Archives: Firefox

What bugs will FF3 fix?

Susabelle posted earlier today about the release of Firefox 3 next week. I am wondering whether Flash will work properly now and end my extreme frustration. Since at least January I have had the intermitent problem that many other firefox users have had where flash video will play for 2 seconds then stop. The only way to get out of this is to stop and start firefox and then things start working again. Very annoying when you have a lot of tabs open, so I have taken to killing the process so that I can use the auto recover feature to get back to exactly where I was. This all takes time though, often longer than the video clip I have been unable to watch.

I have also found that sites with flash embedded apps (Slashdot in particular) will sometimes slow ff down so much it needs to be killed which I think may be related. The issue I have with Firefox is that the problem has been around for nearly 6 months, it is prevelant and hardly a secret, yet there seems to be nobody from Mozilla or Adobe taking it seriously enough to work on it. If they are doing anything they are being awfully quiet about it. The problem apparently goes away if you downgrade to an earlier version of Flash 9, which tells me that it should be relatively easy to narrow down what causes the problem to the changes made between those versions, and back out whichever is the culprit.

Although they are not being blatent about it, there is a tone on the support forums that Adobe and Mozilla each believe it is the others problem. What should be happening is the two companies working together to fix this. Flash video is a very small part of my web browsing time so for me the issue has only been a mild annoyance so far. With a major update I am expecting this to be addressed however. What happens with this issue will be a big indicator as to the maturity of the Mozilla support model, which is a big factor in the corporate sector supporting use of firefox on corporate workstations.

If you are experiencing this issue yourself here are some helpful links

Mozillazine support forum thread 1
Mozillazine support forum thread 2
Mozillazine Knowledge Base article
Firefox support forum thread
Adobe support forum thread

Firefox 3 Being Released Tuesday

Firefox 3 is ready to jump out of Beta and onto our laptops starting Tuesday. Improved features include being able to add keywords to bookmarks to more easily sort them, as well as a new feature that allows users to add “places” and easily access websites they visit regularly but haven’t bookmarked.

Firefox also has improved their download feature, allowing downloads that have been interrupted due to power or connection failure to resume where they left off. This single feature is the most relevant for me, as I often am trying to download something “heavy” and chew up my home network’s wireless connection and have to start over.

Security features have also been improved, including outright blocking of phishing sites, rather than just warning about them to the user.

FF3 is also going to be a little speedier, eat up a bit less RAM when left running for long periods of time, and offer easier and more visible navigation. I’m a keyboard person myself and will not notice the difference in navigation with buttons, but I know others will.

I’ve been using Firefox since it first came out, and have no intention of ever using Internet Explorer again.

Firefox Viewing Add-Ons

If you’re a Firefox geek, like I am, you are always looking for ways to make it work better for you. It is one of the advantages of having something open source that lots of developers can work on. I know, the majority of the world still runs on Microsoft Internet Explorer, but like a good Firefox evangelist, I’m continually trying to convert people to the lighter side of the browser world. If you’ve not been converted, what are you waiting for? Go visit Mozilla today and get your very own copy! It’s FREE! It’s easy to use! It’s reasonably safe from spyware and adware and all kinds of other nasty beasts. Really, there’s nothing to be afraid of! Go on! Do it today!

Er. Sorry. I think I got off track there for a minute.

Anyway, I have daily contact with plenty of people that use Firefox add-ons to enhance their use of the browser. I’d like to point out a few of these add-ons today that my visually impaired students are using on a regular basis.

Text Size Toolbar
This add-on creates tools on your standard toolbar that gives you three quick links: to enlarge, to reduce, or to “equalize” or bring back to its default size. The tools are unobtrusive, easy to manage, and quick to use.

Adds two buttons to the status bar that are the equivalent of the crtl+ and ctrl- commands. Right-clicking on either of the two buttons returns the view to its default size.

Adds three menu items to the context menu (right-click menu) that allows you to enlarge, decrease, or return to default size.

Adds a complete toolbar that allows changes in font size, background and font colors, and line spacing. Also includes the ReadAloud text reader.

All of these add-ons are guaranteed to work with versions 1.5-2.x, and are also being reconfigured to work with Firefox 3.0, which is currently in beat. All of these add-ons can be located by visiting the Firefox Add-Ins Site.

Don’t feel that you have to have an impairment to use these add-ons. How many times have you visited a web page where the web designer has put white text on a black background, and it hurts to look at it? The Accessibar can reverse these colors for you, easily and quickly. And what about those forum pages that you may come across that give you a tiny little window and an even tinier font to type your post into? The QuickZoom or TextSizeToolbar will increase the size in a click. And while I know that there are keyboard commands and keyboard plus mouse movements that will do some of these same things, if you’re surfing, you don’t want to take your hand off your mouse to complete a keyboard maneuver if you don’t have to. These add-ons can make it a whole lot quicker and easier to get through what you need to get through.

1 in 67 Websites contain IE security exploit

Asa Dotzer points to a pretty interesting study, now I am not one to buy into these types of studies on face value, but the sheer number of sites they found with exploits has made me begin to wonder why can’t their be a way to get these sites shut down. If there is a way to detect the sites that are intruding then we need a way to take those sites down. The number of sites going after Firefox is on the rise also. [Asa Dotzer]