Category Archives: Firefox

Chrome Timeline
Date Created: September 9, 2012  Date Modified: September 10, 2012

Before Chrome came out we all loved the functionality firebug bought to firefox, and being that I have been using FF recently I had forgotten how much better Chrome’s debugging toolset is. One of the tools I missed was the timeline, being able to see a visulization of your scripts and their load is really something that does pleasth. I noticed as you can see in the pic below, what scripts were resource hungry, and also which image element I could optimise to save that bit of bandwidth.
To activate the timeline, just right click your page > inspect element > Click the Timeline tab, then hit the record button in the bottom left toolbar, 4th button along (black circle will turn red when recording).

Click this and refresh your page and watch the fun. Hit the record button again to stop recording once the page has stopped loading all its elements.
Looks like I have some site maintenance to do…

NOTE: The information used in the Chrome tool shows speeds of the Chrome browser, it is still worth checking this against other tools, as IE and Mozilla may load at different rates depending on a number of variables.

Occupy Web Technology
Date Created: November 21, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

The “Occupy” brand has exploded, Im not going to get into all the different products latching onto the Occupy theme–that would take to long. What I have found a little interesting is that two Occupy movements have popped up that I think are worth a mention here, they are Occupy Flash and Occupy HTML. Oh dear.

Lets start with Occupy Flash. Flash is propriety software that is distributed by the corporate giant Adobe, after they purchased their biggest competitor–much to my annoyance at the time. At the time I saw it as Adobe creating a web monopoly, something the OWS have been vocal about since they launched their brand. Since then the web has changed and the Macromedia stable is nolonger the dux-nutz of web development tools. Who uses Dreamweaver as much as they did in 2001?. Flash managed to survive the Web 2.0 upgrade by catering toward a different market, and it worked; testimony to that was Microsofts attempt at encroaching Adobe’s market share with Silverlight… To any webmonkey claiming flash is dead, just log into Google Analytics and right click on the map overlay!

However the folk at Occupy Flash seem to think otherwise:

Flash Player is dead. Its time has passed. It’s buggy. It crashes a lot. It requires constant security updates. It doesn’t work on most mobile devices. It’s a fossil, left over from the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash present a completely inconsistent (and often unusable) experience for fast-growing percentage of the users who don’t use a desktop browser. It introduces some scary security and privacy issues by way of Flash cookies.

Flash makes the web less accessible. At this point, it’s holding back the web.

All of the above could be true of any web technology; Sharepoint, iOS, .NET, their all guilty to some extent. Holding back the web? well back in the late 90’s it was Flash that was the fore-front of rich web, and without it we would have never seen any of the Web 2.0 technology we have today; Google Maps, Youtube… I could go on.

Then there is the counter argument from the Occupy HTML folk:

Flash is mature. It’s supported by all major desktop browsers. It’s stable when used properly. If not, it crashes a lot, just like every other technology. It requires constant security updates, just like every other web technology. It doesn’t work well on most mobile devices, and for good reasons. It’s a content plugin, developed during the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash can present a unique (and often unparalleled) experience for the massive percentage of users on a desktop browser. Flash powers some amazing experiences that work consistently across all of the major browsers in a way that cannot be replicated without Flash technology.

Championing simplistic statements regarding web technologies makes the web less educated.
At this point, it’s holding back the web.

A “content” plugin? well thats news to me–altho the XML data connector is a great little object to display your content in a visually pleasing way, Flash is for the most part asthetically driven as opposed to content driven (but maybe my definition of content differes from the writers?). The point about Flash working consistently accross browsers is a misnomer too–Konqueror anyone?.

As someone who wasted MANY years of my life with ActionScript, Im not one to quickly bash Macromedia’s Adobe’s rich-web software. That said, having years of experience dealing with an anti-Flash market, and the shortcomings of the platform, Im not one to instantly praise it. Flash is still useful in certain situations, and HTML5 does not get full cross browser support (yet). Really its like comparing Apple’s and Wintel’s.

Im not going to bash either technology, both are useful, both are required by the market. Both cater to a different market share. And most importantly: Both can co-exist on the web. If we as developers and designers dismiss one tech for another then we are only limiting ourselves to one market or the other.

Live and let live.

Browser info
Date Created: January 25, 2010  Date Modified: November 14, 2012

Here are a couple of tips you may find handy:

In Firefox you type “about:cache” in the address bar and you get info on cache usage displayed in the browser window. this also works on Google Chrome (view this more recent post for all the special pages in Google Chrome), however on chrome the files are in one long list.

using about: in the address bar has a few different functions, there is also “about:config”, which has a long list of advanced options for configuring firefox–I wont go into them here. this feature is not in Chrome.

one that works in Chrome but not in Firefox is “about:memory” that givs statistics on browser memory usage:

you can also use the address bar to email a page to someone, just type this in front of the URL of the page you want to send: “mailto:name@domain.com?body=“.

you can also whois from the address bar as well as a many other commands-too many to go into all here.

This rant was posted in Browsers, Firefox, Software, Web on by .

Browsers
Date Created: June 3, 2009  Date Modified: September 15, 2011

Browsers aint’ browsers!. Each different browser handles code slightly differently and you need to take this into account when building your website or blog template. There are a few different browsers avalible, from Microsoft Internet Explorer, to the Mozilla based explorers like Firefox and the now discontinued Netscape 6. There Is Opera, that I used for a while. On operating systems other than Windows there is Safari (safari also works on windows) and Camino on the Apple Mac. And for linux users there is Konquror, a many more. So it is important to make sure your site is compatible accross multiple browsers.

Rendering colours can vary slightly with browsers so please be sure to use web safe colours when building your site–Please refer to Web Safe Colors post

The browser I use the majority of the time at the moment is Firefox, but not everyone uses it, so I test my site in Internet Explorer and Opera to see if there are any problems with how they render the layout. Most of the time there is no problems but its still good to check.

There are also speciality browrser for people with special needs, Like text only browsers so it is important to remember to add ALT tags to all your images (this is also good for your google rank). There are also mobile browsers to take into account as more and more people are using internet functions on there phone or PDA device.

So to be effective in producing your (or someone elses) website you should run it through a few browsers to see how it looks.