October 24, 2003

Bookmark Backup for Mozilla Firebird

In scanning the MozillaZine Forums some while ago I happened upon a utility that automates Bookmark Backup. It's currently version 0.1.2 and available at this site. Here's a summary of what the plugin does and how it works, from it's author (Pike):

An extremely basic extension that creates a backup of the bookmarks file each time Firebird is closed. The backups can be found in the Firebird profile directory. They will be named bookmarks.html. e.g. bookmarks.html.sun, bookmarks.html.mon, bookmarks.html.tue, etc. If Firebird's bookmarks become corrupted or lost simply find the backup for the previous day and rename it to bookmarks.html (if necessary delete the corrupted version first).

Of note: In using the extension on Firebird in Linux, I found that in order for the extension to work properly, I had to manually adjust permissions on the Backups folder. Pike recently told me he'll address this issue, of proper permissions, when he has the time to do so.

Update: Now version 0.2. Pike has just released what he believes to be a working permissions fix for this extension (under Linux). The newer version will also now allow you to decide where you'd like your bookmarks to backup to.

Posted by jonathan at 11:09 AM | Comments (3)

NewsMonster 1.2.2 Released, Now Free!

NewsMonster is truly the Swiss-Army Knife of feed/news aggregators. This browser-enhancing extension doesn't only gather RSS feeds, but can also analyze and digest those sites which don't even offer feeds. Complete feature breakdown.

Kevin Burton, the software's "Project Founder and Primary Developer," revealed yesterday that the latest PRO release of NewsMonster (1.2.2 final) is now both free and available online.

From Kevin's website, peerfear.org, an explanation as to why NewsMonster PRO has gone from fee to free:

This was a long and hard decision but it seems to make sense considering that my major goal with this release was to build a distributed reputation system and very advanced RSS aggregator. Since most of these features were locked up in NewsMonster PRO this kind of defeated the whole purpose.

I'm hopeful that more people will take advantage of this and help build up the reputation system.

Hear, hear! Now get to the getting.

Posted by jonathan at 09:03 AM | Comments (6)

October 23, 2003

Branding Mozilla

Steven Garrity of Acts of Volition has written a short and elegant article called Branding Mozilla: Towards Mozilla 2.0. Steven takes a look at the current branding and visual identity of the Mozilla Foundationís product and project line and makes recommendations on how to create a unified and consistent brand and visual identity.

From his weblog post about the article, Steven gives the "10-second version" of the article:

"The Mozilla Project should adopt a simple, strong, consistent visual identity for the Mozilla products including consistent icons across applications that mesh with the host operating system."

The entire article is worth a read. Steven is great at writing these types of articles. I loved his posts about Windows XP, Winamp 3, and MSN Messenger 5.0.

I couldn't agree more with almost all the points Steven makes. But about the lizard, he writes, "The Mozilla lizard is widely recognized by developers and early-adopters on the web, but does not reach far beyond these groups.". While I do agree to his point, I don't think it should be dropped entirely. It could still have a place as a secondary branding image.

Steven is dead on about the current dispare collection of Mozilla icons. I recently started using OS X and was amazed to see an entirely new set of Mozilla icons that I hadn't seen before. There is no consistency. Thats why I like Steven's proposal of the creation of a Mozilla Branding and Visual Identity group that will be in charge of the brand and visual identity of the Mozilla products. Especially since many of the developers and volunteers are spread out across the globe, and the fact that many of the developers are volunteers.

Posted by pinder at 10:38 AM | Comments (3)

October 22, 2003

Firebird Annoyances and the Charter

Sam Rowe:

"I'm really, deeply annoyed with Firebird. To make matters worse, everywhere I turn, everyone is lauding it as the best thing since scroll-wheels. So here goes..."

Mozilla Firebird 1.0 Development Charter:

"While the goal is to provide Firebird with a comprehensive set of tools useful to web developers by the 1.0 release, the browser is not specifically tailored to web (or Mozilla) developers, geeks of any denomination, etc. The idea is that for people using IE and wanting a bit more, for users of Mozilla who never touch 85% of the content of the Preferences dialog, users of Netscape 4 and other browsers - Firebird should fit like a glove."

Sam makes a lot of good points (no import, tabs lack built-in functionality) and a lot of points that won't be addressed because "thats how IE does it" (tools|options, keyboard shortcuts). The entire Mozilla Firebird 1.0 Development Charter is also worth a read.

Posted by pinder at 02:02 PM | Comments (16)

October 20, 2003

Script Eases Transition to Open Source Software

OpenSourceAdvocate writes, "A Brazilian programmer just released a script to automatically download and install the latest version of Mozilla Firebird, Mozilla Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org and Gaim on any Windows computer.

The goal is to increase the internet security via software diversity. Open Source Software is less vulnerable to Windows virus and worms.

Developers are invited to download, modify and redistribute the source code. (The script is open source and dedicated to the public domain.)"

Posted by pinder at 04:52 PM | Comments (6)

October 15, 2003

New Everything!

New releases today:

Update: Since the mozilla.org servers are understandably a little busy today, I've added links to torrent files that I could find below. You can download BitTorrent here.

There's also a new mozilla.org redesign, available now in public-beta. The new site was designed by Dave Shea of mezzoblue.com and CSS Zen Garden. It looks like they stuck with mozilla.org instead of mozilla.com for tax purposes. Dave has written a thoughtful post about contributing to Mozilla and the state of the web. He also lets us know that he had nothing to do with that garish new Mozilla Firebird site. First thing I thought when I saw that was "yikes!". Reminds me of 1998 webdesign when everyone was thinking "wouldn't this logo look so much better if it were on fire? yes it would!". it's 2003, and no it doesn't.

Update: Looks like the new Firebird redesign was removed and replaced with the old one. In the CVS log, Ben Goodger writes:

"OK, OK. Initial feedback was mixed but now it seems the world sees the 0.7 site more suitable advertising a Mexican airline than a browser. Going back to the more tried-and-true 7/15 design. You can't hit a home run every day of the week!"

These excellent new releases, new end-user services and new website are all steps in the right direction to reclaiming market share. What's next? OEM deals. If crappy software like MusicMatch can come pre-installed on new Dells, why shouldn't excellent sofware like Mozilla be included?

Posted by pinder at 10:28 AM | Comments (21)