Saturday, February 07, 2009

More Browser Bits

A bitty collection of browser related linkage this week.

  • Newsfox NEXT v1.0.5rc1 – IMHO simply the best RSS feed Add-on extension for Firefox there is hands down.  Development has slowed but the developer continues to tweak it.  I’m using it right now and it performs great and is stable on my systems. The RSS feed that describes this release doesn’t pull up the actual update post yet so I have copied it below.

      This will become version 1.0.5 after bug fixes. This will not happen for months due to time constraints/scheduling. I expect that this version can be used without any difficulties.

      The usual disclaimers apply: this is a beta release so use it with caution on a backup of your Newsfox folder.

      The new features (where to look for bugs to fix):

      • Relative references allowed for NewsFox folder
        The folder for NewsFox has been hard coded which creates an annoyance, but not lack of functionality, when using portable Firefox. The annoyance being that the new directory needs to be chosen each time, and in fact if the newsfox directory is not carefully chosen so that it doesn't exist as a non-NewsFox folder on other machines, there could be problems running NewsFox. This version allows relative filenames such as ../../newsfox (. is the current directory and .. is the parent directory) and uses a default of ./ where .=the newsfox folder contained in the profile folder. Hence if you use ./, there should be no problems with portable Firefox. Existing users may wish to change their NewsFox folder to use a relative reference, either in Options > General tab > NewsFox directory or by setting equal to './'. Equivalently, the about:config preference can be reset(removed), which will cause the default to be used.
      • Expanded search option dialog if search is not over all feeds (bug#20506)
        It is now easier to set a search over a collection of feeds that is not a regular group. See the bug for more information.
      • Blank source or XHTML in source
        Now if a source is set in a feed and it has a blank name, NewsFox uses .... Also if XHTML is in the source name, NewsFox processes it correctly.
      • Sound for new articles (bug#20218)
        For sound notification set equal to true. If the file NFsound.wav exists in the profile directory, it will be played when there are new articles. If the file NFsound.wav does not exist, the system beep will be played.

      • R Pruitt (wa84it AT

  • Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Multiple Inboxes – This seems a bit inaccurate.  As I understand it, you can still only have one “inbox” in Gmail. You can’t display other account inbox’s in your gMail account view. What you can do is set up additional “viewing panes” that display items from your primary “inbox” that meet certain custom filter/label settings you configure.  Still, it’s pretty cool for power gMail users.  For more related links and tips:

  • Official Google Blog: Dive into the new Google Earth – Not really browser related, but still cool.  New Google Earth 5.0 includes additional features such as sea-floor “imagery”, tour layers, and a 3D map of Mars.  All pretty cool.  No word if/when these will be added to Google Maps.  See also Google Earth, Google Ocean: mysteries of the seafloor are mapped for the first time | Technology -

  • Mozilla Add-ons Blog - How to develop a Firefox extension – An updated walkthrough on the basic stages needed to develop a Firefox extension.  There are other great (and more technical) how-to’s on this subject already on the Net, but this might be one of the best places to start.  Assumes you have a fair bit of coding knowledge as well as familiarity on the Firefox application structure for folders/files.  I’d like to write a mini-add-on that adds a button on the toolbar that lets you instantly “back-up” your bookmark to a JSON file with a single click instead of having to browse through the menu-bar dropdowns and bookmarks manager.

--Claus V.

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