Archive for November, 2009

Firefox Bookmarks Made Better! When you name your add-on for Firefox Incredible Bookmarks, you know you are setting the bar pretty high, right from the introduction.  Pitched to users as the greatest add-on suite for bookmark lovers, Incredible Bookmarks for Firefox does impress.

The features to love here are plentiful. You can dynamically, show bookmarks by using folder and search terms.  Highlight the bookmarks in any color you would like, sort the bookmarks by name, visit time, last visited and most visited, and a lot more.

Incredible Bookmarks also help you clean house.  It can:

  • Run a check to find out duplicate bookmarks in each Incredible Bookmarks toolbar.
  • Run a check to check the links in each Incredible Bookmarks toolbar to see which links are no longer available.

This video covers some more of the basics when it comes to using the Incredible Bookmarks add-on for Firefox:

This add-on for Firefox has incredible promise, and I could not find a feature I didn’t like.  My favorite overall feature is the ability to color code your bookmarks and bookmark folders.  I like to keep things neat, nice and organized – so this suits my needs, perfectly.

To learn more about Incredible Bookmarks, check out the official site, and you can download it from the Firefox Add-ons web site.

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© Mitch Keeler 2009 | Check out my personal blog and my hosting podcast too!

 
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This morning the Mozilla community released Firefox 3.6 Beta 4, making it available for free download and issuing an update for all Firefox 3.6 beta users. This update contains over 100 fixes from the last Firefox 3.6 beta, containing many improvements for web developers, Add-on developers, and users. Almost 70% of the thousands of Firefox Add-ons have now been upgraded by their authors to be compatible with Firefox 3.6 Beta. If your favorite Add-on isn’t yet compatible, you can also download and install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter – your favorite Add-on author will appreciate it!

The Mozilla community appreciates your feedback and assistance in testing this preview of the next version of Firefox. Your beta software will update itself periodically, and eventually will be updated to the final release itself.

The Beta of Firefox 3.6 / Gecko 1.9.2 introduces several new features for users to evaluate:

Web developers and Add-on developers should read more detail about the many new features in Firefox 3.6 for developers on the Mozilla Developer Center. For the full list of changes since the alpha release of Firefox 3.6 see this list (it’s big).

Please use the following links to download Firefox 3.6 Beta, or visit the beta download page:

As always, the Mozilla community would appreciate hearing about any feedback you have about this release, or any bugs you may find.

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Please note: the Thunderbird 3.0 Release Candidate is a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback. It includes many new features as well as improvements to performance, web compatibility, and speed. We recommend that you read the release notes and known issues before installing this release candidate.

The Thunderbird 3.0 Release Candidate is now available for download. This milestone is focused on providing a preview of the functionality provided by the new features and changes that will be included in Thunderbird 3.0.

New features in Thunderbird 3 that require feedback include:

Testers can download Thunderbird 3.0 Release Candidate builds for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux in 49 different languages. Developers should also read the Thunderbird 3.0 for Developers article on the Mozilla Developer Center.

Note: Please do not link directly to the download site. Instead we strongly encourage you to link to this Thunderbird 3.0 Release Candidate milestone announcement so that everyone will know what this milestone is, what they should expect, and who should be downloading to participate in testing at this stage of development.

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Last week I visited parts of the Middle East for the first time. I hope to get a summary and some photos up soon. For now I want to thank a few people of the amazing people who went far, far out of their way to host Mozilla and me.

First, Donatella Della Ratta of Creative Commons, who did an amazing amount of work to arrange a series of Creative Comments events in Amman, Damascus and Beirut and invited me along. I attended only a few of these at the beginning of the Creative Commons tour, but it was enough to see how much was involved and how much Dona pulled together stunningly diverse set of activities. Unfortunately, my involvement caused Dona to miss a pivotal event while she sat with me at a long (6 and 1/2 hour) wait at a border crossing, something I regret deeply.

Bassel Safadi, who showed immense hospitality, patience and flexibility. Bassel is the kind of person who makes it seems as if a large group of people are working on something, when in reality a lot of the work is just one person. And with an attitude that’s hard to match. My prolonged border crossing threw a wrench into Bassel’s day as well but he managed with grace and engineered a series of great gatherings.

Samer, who spent close to 7 hours with me at the border and remained gracious and professional and positive throughout.

Andre Salame, director-general of a publishing organization Al-Aous that gets “open.”

Eman, Issa, Rami and Ashraf of the Mozilla Club and Jordan Open Source Association, who arranged a Mozilla event in Amman, where I met a set of people interested in Mozilla, and to those — you know who you are — who stayed and spent a portion of their evening talking about software, open source, and life in general with me.

Everyone at the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship and the Young Entrepreneurs’ Association in Amman, especially Mohammed Khawaja, Mohammed Kilani, Aya, Basel, Evelyn, Ayman Azzeh, Catherine and Habib, all of whom went out of their way to make a great trip. They organized a week’s full of activities for the celebration of Entrepreneurs’ Week in Jordan, including several that I participated in. And Samer for helping me get to the airport, and offering to pick me up from the border if I got turned back. This turned out to be unnecessary but it was very reassuring to know the offer was real if I needed it.

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Thanks for all the feedback for Weave Sync beta 1. We’ve got a second beta for you to try out which incorporates a number of fixes to issues that people have been reporting. Check out the details of Weave Sync beta 2 on the Weave blog and install it if you haven’t yet!

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AniWeather Add-on for Firefox

Looking for the best way to keep an eye on the skies this Thanksgiving weekend?  Look no further than the AniWeather add-on for Firefox.  This extension animates weather information for locations all around the world.  Using the weather watching site, Aniweather.com – you get real-time condition updates, and a five-day forecast.

Some of the other great features of AniWeather include:

  • Link to more detailed views seamlessly
  • Lots of graphics and animated reports
  • Easy one click switching of locations for travel
  • Coverage for over 70,000 worldwide locations

I would easily put this add-on up against any other weather-related extension out there, as far as functionality and information goes.  It ranks up there with the best.  You can learn more about the AniWeather add-on for Firefox at AniWeather.com or download it at the Firefox Add-ons site.

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© Mitch Keeler 2009 | Check out my personal blog and my hosting podcast too!

 
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Emily and I were treated to an impressive meal yesterday — a 9-course tasting menu at La Quercia.

The full sequence:

Cocktail: La Bicicletta

Parmesan Sformato, Aged Balsamico

Frisee, Hazelnut & Apple Cider vinaigrette
Roast Quail

Vitello tonnato

Strudel ai Funghi
wild mushroom and ricotta strudel

Risotto with wild mushrooms

Agnolotti di Guido
Stuffed pasta, veal, chard, ricotta, parmigiano

Spaghetti al’amatriciana
Smoked pork cheek, chillies, san marzano tomatoes

Ruby Trout
lemon caper sauce

Collo d’Agnello Brasato
slow- braised lamb neck, beans and greens

Lemon cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Rice Pudding with Blueberry Sauce

with a Casalone 2004 Rus Monferato.

Almost everything was very good. The vitello tonatto was a revelation; the risotto was luscious; the chocolate cake was superb; the lemon cream inspiring. Only real complaints is it was just too much, and I don’t think we really appreciated the mains because we were full already. Apparently it’s an easier meal for larger groups, because there are a few people around who end up really, really, really hungry. Next time, I think we’ll go for either the 5-course tasting menu or just pasta & salad.

Definitely recommended, especially if someone else is paying. Reservations almost always needed apparently.

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Firefox Coming to the PlayStation 3?

One can only hope. According to several web sites that heard about it from a friend, who knew a friend, who was feeding the dog of a guy who might have worked at Sony, the PlayStation 3’s web browser might be getting a big upgrade, to Firefox.

Well turns out is was a possible rumor, then not so possible, but might be in the works?  Here is the first leak of information from psinsider:

We recently received a tip from a source very close to Sony who says that they have been in talks with Mozilla lately about possibly porting Firefox over to the PS3.

Later on, they issued a “correction”:

Looks like we goofed on the Mozilla rumor… I heard back from our source recently.”I don’t know how the guys from ps3center did this, but please tell me WHERE I wrote that Mozilla is going to port Firefox for PS3 ?? There was just a meeting between someone from PS division and someone from Mozilla.”The original message only mentioned that they had been talking, and I made the mistake of assuming it was related to porting Firefox onto PS3. I apologize for the lack of foresight. Sometimes when interpreting information from a rumor (which in some cases can be worded pretty vaguely), mistakes like this can be made. We apologize for the inconvenience.

So there were “talks”, I guess you could say, but nothing definite or newsworthy yet.  Personally, I’d love to see the PS3 browser get switched over to Firefox.  Even a stripped down basic version of Firefox would be better than the buggy thing they have there now.

Add me on Twitter! Come follow my daily antics, links, tips and more @mitchkeeler on Twitter!

© Mitch Keeler 2009 | Check out my personal blog and my hosting podcast too!

 
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Change Your Default Mail Handler

There are a lot of Firefox features that don’t get much press, or are quickly forgotten about.  For example, did you know that you could switch to using Gmail or Yahoo! Mail as your default mail client (to handle those mailto links)?

To chance your settings, go to Tools, Options and then click on the Applications tab.  From there, type “mail” into the text box to go to the default mail handler settings.  From the drop down box, you should get several choices, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail being two of them.  Choose the webmail application of your choice, hit the button labeled, “OK” and you are all set.

Now you are ready to use the webmail provider of your choice as your default e-mail application, as far as Firefox knows.

For more help, check these out…

Add me on Twitter! Come follow my daily antics, links, tips and more @mitchkeeler on Twitter!

© Mitch Keeler 2009 | Check out my personal blog and my hosting podcast too!

 
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Dear ISPs,

By far the largest set of support requests that we end up seeing for Thunderbird have to do with being unable to receive or send mail. By far the largest single cause of these failures is some unilateral change by the ISP which cause previously working configurations to stop working. In other words, people come to us for help solving problems we can’t solve. It makes us feel bad, it makes you look uncaring, and it certainly doesn’t help your customers (except for those cases when we go beyond the call of duty and help them as neighbors would, guiding them through the diagnostic & fix).

In our next revisions of Thunderbird, we’ll probably work on making our error dialogs better, so that we transmit whatever wisdom we can to your users to give them a fighting chance. But we can do better for your customers, if you get involved.

Let’s figure out how to work together to provide better experiences for your customers and our users. I’m quite sure that we can come up with solutions which would save you costs compared to having your customers tie up your tech support lines only to be rebuffed by your staff who often don’t understand how email systems work. It might also help you avoid commoditization…

Here are some ideas to start the conversation going:

* Let’s make sure that our configuration of ISP databases works for as many users as possible. We’ll likely need to evolve the format and protocol over time, but we can only do that with input (some ESPs have already joined the effort, which is great!).

* Consider making a useful add-on that would let you inform your customers of planned service downtime, configuration changes, etc. (no marketing messages, please, or your customers will not use it).

* If there are changes we could make in Thunderbird that would help you help your customers, let’s talk!.

Together, we can figure out how to get your customers setup with a Thunderbird that works for them, for us, and for you.

Looking forward to a productive conversation,

– David Ascher
(dascher at mozillamessaging)

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