April 29, 2002

Bugzilla Bookmarklets

If you use Bugzilla frequently, Tim Powell has a nice collection of Bugzilla Bookmarklets that might be useful to you.

Additionally, if you've memorized bug id's, you can use the Custom Keyword approach by adding this bookmark:

Name: Bugzilla
Location: http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=%s
Keyword: bug
Example: bug 78270

Posted by pinder at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2002

Amusing bug/typo in Mozilla Calendar

Harley sends in a screenshot of the About Calendar dialogbox from one of the newer builds. Apparently the Calendar team has been working hard on that time machine instead. If you have it installed, it's in File | About Calendar. I'm not sure why it's in the File menu instead of Help.

Posted by pinder at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

mozilla/browser screenshot

Blake Ross has posted a screenshot of mozilla/browser. I will attempt to compile m/b this weekend and hopefully post more screenshots.

Posted by pinder at 09:57 AM | Comments (5)

April 25, 2002

Send as HTML or Plain-text

Andy writes in with a very handy tip for Mozilla Mail:

If you normally send e-mail as plain-text, but would like to occasionaly send in HTML format, then hold down the Shift key while clicking on the Compose or Reply button, this e-mail will now be in HTML edit format.

It works both ways as well. If you normally send e-mail as HTML, Shift-clicking on Compose will use the plain-text edit.

In a related note, always sending e-mail as HTML is wrong. So if you use Mozilla Mail, go to Edit | Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings, select the account, and uncheck Compose messages in HTML format. Thank you.

I wish Mozilla mail had an option to strip out all html from received messages and just show the plain-text version like The Bat! allows.

Posted by pinder at 03:40 PM | Comments (7)

Annoying autocomplete bug fixed!

It's amazing sometimes how the little things about a program can really bug you. For me, this was bug 78270, "Order autocomplete by frequency, NOT alphabetically"

This one (now fixed as of yesterdays build) really bugged me because if I were to say accidentally type "mozillazine.com" instead of ".org", the next time I started typing mozillazine in the URL, the first option on the list would have been mozillazine.com! Even though I've only been there once before, and accidentially at that.

Posted by jeffp at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2002

UI Updates

There's now an icon for the sidebar in the personal toolbar, all to improve sidebar discoverability:


I think it's a waste of space.

UPDATE: The icon has been removed in the latest builds.

Also an update to a previous post about email alerts, it looks as though they've polished the css a little:


Posted by pinder at 12:28 PM | Comments (6)

April 23, 2002

Stuff my wife will never use in Mozilla

Matthew Thomas, Mozilla UI guru posted an interesting article about a new project going on in the Mozilla base code, called mozilla/browser.

The project's goal is to make a browser for the windows/linux crowd that is seperate from all of the various tech and marketing bits that have made their way onto the UI over the years and make something for the average user.

Now, my first reaction was "Noooooooooooo!", why would they change my beloved interface.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this mozilla/browser project is a smart idea.

Why? Well, I started thinking about all the stuff that's part of mozilla's interface and I realized that most of it is totally useless to most users. So to prove my point I came up with a list of features that I like to call:

"Stuff my wife will never use in Mozilla"
1. Work offline
2. Edit Page
3. Fill in Form / Save Form Info
4. Show or Hide anything
5. View the browser in full screen
6. Use style to change style sheets? c'mon
7. Character coding
8. Page source
9. Page info
10. Form manager
11. Image manager
12. Javascript console
13. Javascript debugger
14. DOM Inspector
15. The Window menu

That's just a list I made going through the menus. I'm sure there are more features that I could come up with if I dug a little deeper.

What I would like to see come out of this mozilla/browser experiment is a series of different browser UI's based on mozilla's rendering engine.

One for developer's like myself with all the cool toys and one for the general public who don't need all that crap.

Come to think of it, the UI should be seperated from the main code base, as to make creating a new interface for your own needs (more than just skinning) as easy as possible.

Posted by jeffp at 01:27 PM | Comments (12)

Links Sidebar

Although I don't really surf with the sidebar open, this Links Sidebar Panel works great for blogs with blogrolls. It scrapes the current page and lists all the links on the sidebar.

Here's a partial screenshot of the panel in action on CamWorld:

Links Panel screenshot of camworld.com

[link via Andrew Wooldridge]

Posted by pinder at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)

April 19, 2002

Bookmark Groups UI

The workarounds mentioned earlier for Bookmark Groups are no longer necessary. Now simply open a few pages in tabs, select File Bookmark, and check the File as group box.

file as group screenshot

Hat tip to Dean and Andy.

Posted by pinder at 12:18 AM | Comments (2)

April 18, 2002

Mozilla 1.0 Release Candidate 1 Released

Mozilla 1.0 RC1 has been released. Here are the release notes.

Posted by pinder at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

Mozilla SOAP/Google API Demo

I was thinking about taking up the challenge this weekend, but Scott Andrew LePera himself has beat me to it!

Check out his Mozilla SOAP/Google API Demo. It uses the built-in SOAP tools in Mozilla with the Google API. Works great! The SOAP call is invoked from Javascript, so you will have to get a Google key and enter it into the form to use the demo.

Posted by pinder at 10:18 AM | Comments (3)

April 16, 2002

Quicktime and Flash in Mozilla


If you have QuickTime installed, copy the following dll:

C:\Program Files\QuickTime\Plugins\npqtplugin.dll

into Mozilla's plugin directory, which for me is located here:

C:\Program Files\Mozilla\bin\plugins

Macromedia Flash:

Goto the Flash download site and download the "Netscape only" version of Macromedia Flash Player 6. When you run the installer, if you installed the installer version of Mozilla, it should detect your version of Mozilla and install the plugin automatically. If you installed Mozilla from a zip, then click "Other Browser" and manually enter the location of your Mozilla directory.

Now, if you look in Mozilla's plugin directory, you should see "npswf32.dll" there. That's the Flash plugin.


Apparently you can now set your plugins directory to load from your profiles directory instead, but I couldn't get this to work for me.

Posted by pinder at 02:42 PM | Comments (5)

April 12, 2002

Mozilla an Unlikely Candidate for a Comeback?

Cnet thinks so in their article "Mozilla poised for revival" The article also looks at the upcoming release of version 1.0, mozdev projects, the history of AOL/Netscape relationship, possibilities of getting into the PDA browser market, and of course the whole AOL 7.0/Gecko thing.

Posted by pinder at 02:43 PM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2002

More Mozilla Blogs

David Hyatt, who wrote XUL and general Mozilla guru, now has a blog: Confessions of a Mozillian. Today he shares his thoughts about the Netscape-Mozilla relationship and the differing agendas of each:

The only real solution I see to this problem is for Mozilla to escape the one-browser mold. After Mozilla 1.0, Mozilla.org should relinquish control of its flagship application to Netscape and strike out on its own with new browser projects that are truly innovative.

Can Mozilla.org survive without Netscape?

Also noteworthy is Mozilla user interface designer Matthew Thomas' weblog. His post about Top Ten Usability Problems in Mozilla is a must read. And regarding an earlier post here about cleaner menus, Matthew originally wrote the design spec for new context menus. But Netscape chose not to use it.

Posted by pinder at 04:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2002

Ad Blocking

I can't stand ads. Yes I know they're necessary and they're the only reason why a lot of sites even still exist. But that doesn't mean I have to like them. Here are some of the steps I've taken to block ads with Mozilla.

Disable Popups

I still laugh at people who complain about popups. Silly IE people. In Mozilla, go to Edit | Preferences | Advanced | Scripts & Windows and uncheck "Open unrequested windows".

There, no more annoying popups.

Block Images from this Server

I used to use the blocking ads with a hosts file method, but I would get a "server not found" alert box message every time I hit an ad that was blocked in the hosts file. So of course the solution was to use Mozilla's built in "Block Images from this Server" command.

Now when I see an ad, I right-click on it and select "Block Images from this Server". Hit refresh and the ad is gone. There's a satisfactory feeling when you add servers to a black list, kinda like the feeling you get when you cross off items on a to-do list.

A warning though: a good idea is to first right-click on the ad and select Properties. If the ad originates from an ad server such as ads.blahblah.com then you can go ahead and block it. I mention this because some ads aren't served from ad servers but from subdirectories of main sites. For example, the banners at Slashdot are hosted on images.slashdot.org/banners/. If you tried blocking it, it would block the entire images.slashdot.org domain and therefore all images on Slashdot would be blocked.

"Block Images from this Server" only blocks servers and not subdirectories. There's a bug entered in Bugzilla about this. Vote for this bug!

You can view the list of blocked image servers from the main menu.

In previous builds:
Tasks | Privacy & Security | Image Manager | Manage Image Permissions

In latest builds:
Tools | Image Manager | Manage Image Permissions

Unfortunately the Image Manager only allows you to view and remove ad servers. You can't manually add new ones here. If you would like to manually add or edit servers, you have to edit the file where all the blocked servers are stored. This file is called cookperm.txt and is located in your Mozilla Profile directory, which on 2000/XP is usually here:

C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\user\*.slt

As an addition, I went to this blocking ads with hosts files site, downloaded the txt file of their updated list of ad servers and converted it into the format Mozilla uses in the cookperm.txt file.

Here it is: cookperm.txt

If you shut down Mozilla and save it to your profile directory, it should then block all the banners from those servers when you restart.


The only bookmarklet I use is Zap created by John Weir of smokinggun.com. Zap removes underlines from links, images, and all iframes. I usually use this bookmarklet on pages with the really annoying Flash ads, or on "Printer Friendly" pages that aren't really printer friendly. For example NYTimes likes showing a giant Starbucks ad along the right side on their printer friendly pages. Zap kills it.

Mozilla Addon

Banner Blind is a mozdev project that can hide banners from any website. It basically works by blocking all common banner image sizes such as 468x60. So, this type of config may block images that aren't banners if the file sizes match a commonly used banner size. The config screen allows you to enable/disable BannerBlind. It also allows you to customize which sizes to block, as well. I've been using it for the last few days and it works pretty good.


If you have any other tips, let us know! And please let me know if you have any problems with the cookperm.txt file. I've only tested it on my w2k box.

Posted by pinder at 05:25 PM | Comments (38)

April 08, 2002

Netscape 6.2.2

If anybody is interested in an AOL version of the Mozilla 0.9.4 build, Netscape 6.2.2 was released a few weeks ago. The release notes have more details.

I only post this because I know some developers like testing sites in Netscape 6 rather than Mozilla. Hopefully that changes when Mozilla 1.0 is out, which should be in a few weeks.

Posted by pinder at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2002

Hidden Mozilla Prefs

A few e-mails have asked about hidden user preferences and how to set them. Pratik Solanki has all you need to know at his site called, funnily enough, Hidden Mozilla Prefs

Posted by pinder at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2002

Calendar continues to improve

My own personal "most wanted" feature continues to improve. In the last month, the calendar project has added the features of working event alerts(!) and as of yesterday the first preference (sound on/off for alert) of hopefully many.

The calendar project is still *VERY* early in development, I would not even call it alpha stage yet, but it is progressing nicely, albiet slowly.

If you're interested in this project, here's some links for you:
Calendar project page
IRC for the calendar project
Open Calendar bugs

Posted by jeffp at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2002

Cleaner Menus

The main menu and the context (right-click) menus have been significantly reorganized in today's nightly build. "Tools" in the main menu has finally got a much needed rehaul. Also the new right-click menus are much clearer, and since they are probably used more often than the main menu, much more usable. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the old and new menus when you right-click on a link:


old mozilla right-click menu


new mozilla right-click menu

Cleaner and simpler. The options actually make sense now. I never understood why "Back" and "forward" were available when right-clicking on a link, or even why greyed-out options were available for that matter.

Posted by pinder at 11:07 AM | Comments (8)

April 01, 2002

Web developers wary of AOL switch?

I forgot to post this earlier, but according to Cnet, Web developers are wary of AOL switch to a Gecko/Mozilla based browser.

"Web authors mostly write and test their sites to work with one browser: Internet Explorer. If the sites work with Netscape, Opera or other small-time browsers, that's a bonus, but not one to keep most Web authors late at the office tweaking their code."

I think they mean only the bad web developers are wary; the kind of lazy developers that develop sites for IE only. If you're testing your site only in one browser, you're a bad developer.

As mentioned by Steven in the comments of a previous post, Mozilla is a great tool for good developers. Develop a site that works in Mozilla and it will probably work in IE as well. Write clean code and you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

Posted by pinder at 11:38 AM | Comments (1)