Sunday, December 23, 2007

Eye on Foxie

The other day , I made a post about how wonderful Firefox 3 is looking.

That I was almost ready to switch over to it full time.

Except for a bug with the bookmarking (drag-n-drop) I was pretty please.

Suppose you were a pretty hard-core Firefox fan like me.  How does one keep on eye on the inner workings of the Firefox machine?  Do you just experiment with it until you find something that doesn't work?

Nahh.  You just have to know where to look!

Firefox Source List

The Burning Edge - Firefox nightly build changelog - This website is the first place I look to check what got fixed in the nightly builds (Minefield -  Firefox 3...).  It doesn't necessarily provide a daily update, but gives you a quick overview of the progress on bugs.

Bugzilla - MDC - This is the starting place for finding and filing bugs in Mozilla.  The Burning Edge usually hotlinks directly into Bugzilla.  If you do find a bug number that isn't hotlinked, visit this page and drop it in.  If it is listed, you will be able to able to view key information about the bug, its status, and maybe discussion threads that have more detail about it.

Mozilla Developer News - Nice Mozilla news page.  Get the latest "big" information on the inner workings at Mozilla and the releases.

MDC Webwatch - This insider page is interesting as it is Mozilla's perspective on the browser competition!  See what Mozilla is monitoring on other browsers...what they like and what they don't.

Index of /pub/ - FTP site for all the nightly branches of Mozilla.  No, many of these aren't "active" in the normal sense.

Index of /pub/ - FTP site for the very latest Minefield builds of Firefox 3.0.  Note, once you download a version, generally, you can just update to the most recent update by hitting the internal updater off the tool bar.  Most nights you still download a full package, but sometimes it is just a small download.

Mozilla Labs - Mad Scientists or Mad Geniuses?

Want to see what the Mozilla team is future-casting?

Mozilla Labs - News and previews of potential next-generation features and applications for Mozilla including:

  • Weave - a grand attempt at hosting your profile information on the Web-Cloud, making your bookmarks, customizations, etc. available to you via other "guest" machines, or even your web-enabled phone. You may even be able to "share" information with others such as family, friends, and third parties.

  • Chromatabs - Interesting concept that colors browser tabs to match the site loaded. However, instead of just applying any color, it calculates what the color should always be and applies it so that you will begin to be able to associate a tab-color with a specific web-site or category of sites. Clever!  If you have LOTS of tabs open concurrently, you might want to try it out: Chromatabs - Mozilla Add-ons download

  • The Coop - Mozilla does social-networking their own way: Introduction to The Coop

  • Operator - Combine elements from other Web sites with applications. Based on "microformats".  Introduction

  • Joey - A Firefox add-on that acts like a server with Java to shuffle data from Firefox to your mobile phone.  Joey server

  • Prism - Really clever idea.  Allows you to take (certain) web-applications and pull them out of the browser, then place them directly on your desktop.  Kinda like if you took Google Docs and turned it into a "localized" version like Word...but more complex.  Introduction to Prism

  • Personas - Like to have themes for FIrefox but find that the usual ones are just too heavy for your tastes?  Personas introduces us to the world of "dynamic lightweight theming" for Firefox. Lear more with this Introduction to Personas for Firefox or just live dangerously and  Install Personas to check out the Prototype version live on your system. It packs the ability to change themes "on-the-fly" without requiring a reboot.  Themes are generally applied to the background image of the toolbar area at the top and the statusbar at the bottom.  Icons and text don't appear to be modified.  Quite a few to choose from right now.  Most are a "bit" too cartoony or bold for my tastes, but given time and support, I expect to see nice development and a wider range of choices.

Bookmarking/Places Bugs

Here is the current list of the top 200 bugs opened on the Firefox 3 beta 2 (and above) bookmarking issue.

The one specifically frustrating me with Firefox 3.0xxx is bug 405198: "Cannot drag and drop folders in the Places Organizer, for now users must use cut and paste."

It can be scary for some Firefox users when they stumble into the Bug Reports.  "You mean all that stuff is busted? Why even bother!"

My take is this,

  1. Stay away from the Beta builds if this stuff freaks you out.
  2. Stay far, FAR away from the Minefield (nightly) builds. Just walk away now.
  3. Many of these bugs happen in very extremely rare and specific circumstances. It's the job of the bug-hunters to find them by looking under the rocks and logs that no normal person would turn-over.
  4. Almost all programs have least the Mozilla team allows transparency for you to watch, monitor, and understand exactly what it going on during development and repair.  Can you say that for Internet Explorer?

Have Fun!


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