A Week with Chrome – Prologue

Going to try an experiment and switch to Chrome as my primary browser for a week. I have been happily using Safari Technical Preview as my primary browser since 1Password integration started working (and stock Safari before that).

For work stuff, I still test in stock Safari (along with Chrome,Chrome Canary, Firefox and FirefoxNightly). But day-to-day browsing, it’s been Safari. There was a rough patch with resources in Safari tabs, but that’s a distant memory at this point.

One of the big reasons for using Safari was the tabs/history sync with iOS Safari. However, that’s been buggy/spotty for a few weeks, and I’m not exactly excited about debugging. Maybe I need to get off the public beta track in iOS.

Anyway, my first experiment is going to be Chrome. As much as I’m in a browser, I’m thinking one week should be sufficient for testing. Then a week with Firefox. What I can’t decide is if I should do a week with the stock browser and a week with nightly since I am using STP as my primary browser.

Now to just remember where in macOS to bloody change the default browser…

Edit Yeah, I knew, System Preferences -> General (but it used to be in Safari if I recall).

Firefox 4 App Tab

TFirefox 4 App Tabhe App tabs in Firefox 4 was a feature I hadn’t seen until this handy post from Freshbooks passed through Reeder. It was immediately one of those “how awesome is that moments.” I live in Basecamp, so that was my immediate thought. But then, oh, yeah, Pinboard, and Instapaper. Now I’m looking for other sites I routinely visit daily to add.

Speaking of Firefox 4, I was literally a day away from looking at switching to Chrome as my everyday browser, but I checked out the release candidate and pleasantly surprised by the difference. A few days later it was formally released, and I’m no longer looking to switch.

Have you found any hidden gem features in Firefox 4?

IE8 Compatibility Mode

A post came through Twitter from SitePoint regarding a recent decision by Microsoft and the IE team to add a new compatibility mode to IE8. The post they link to is from December, and the IE Blog has updated the blog with a recap of the compatibility view. At first read, this sounded like a stupid idea. Just another layer of crap that would keep sites from getting up to speed on standards compliance.

Upon a bit more thought, I think it’s not a bad idea. One of the biggest reasons I found people didn’t adopt IE 7 was that sites that they regularly visited didn’t render properly in IE 7, so they reverted back to IE 6. I think it’s still one of the biggest reasons people haven’t upgraded. They upgraded once, a site didn’t work, so they stuck with 6. A vicious cycle ensued. Sites saw the stats, saw a big IE 6 crowd, and kept support. The reality of business is going to say that some numbers cruncher is going to say it’s not economically feasible to update the site for IE 8, regardless of the chorus from the web team. These are the sites that compatibility mode is geared towards.

Adding this compatibility view will allow people to upgrade to 8, still visit sites that haven’t been updated, but get the standards compliance of 8 for sites that have. Sure, getting blacklisted as incompatible is possible, but a single line of code in the header will remove the compatibility view from visitors, and for those of us that want to build sites that are strictly IE 8 compatible, ignoring 7 (6 is whole different can of worms) is possible. It’s very easy to tell a client, “Just upgrade to 8, and click the compatibility view option, your old sites will still work the same”, versus having to make a site backward compatible to 7 because people won’t upgrade or are reluctant. Worse, having to have 2 or more conditional style sheets to accommodate multiple versions of IE.

I would say this compatibility mode list shouldn’t be built off of how a site renders in a beta version of a browser, and reading through the comments and glossing over the latest post I’m not sure if that’s the case, but again, I’d rather it be an opt in setting that allows people to view the rest of the web in a more standards compliant mode than having to wrestle as as a developer with yet another version of IE.

FireFox 3 beta

Testing out b2 of FF 3 (Mac OS X Leopard), and it seems snappier, though none of my normal extensions are available for the beta, so that might be part of it. Certainly can’t use it for everyday browsing because of that reason. It seems kinda odd using the native OS X theme, with Safari like buttons instead of the standard FF HTML buttons.

I kinda like the Smart bookmarks feature, though the recent bookmarks isn’t really useful to me. I’ll be curious how that might be tied into del.icio.us bookmarks (however, seeing as Yahoo! is in turmoil, I will be exploring other bookmarking services, including checking on the status of scuttle, a GPL script for hosting your own bookmark library ala del.icio.us). Any suggestions for similar services welcomed.

Another feature I’m not keen on just yet is when I click on the favicon, normally that would highlight the entire URL in the address bar, now it gives me some odd identity information. Definitely a PITA. I really use that feature for copy and pasting URLs, though there might be an easier method for that.

I’ll continue to run FF 3 on the laptop, and keep 2 on my main desktop, I understand a beta3 will be out Monday, and hopefully sooner than later a RC will be around, with most of the extensions being updated around that time. I understand extension developers not trying to keep up with alpha and beta builds for official downloads, but at some point, they should be offering some kind of indication to users whether or not the extension will be available for the new version. Nothing worse than upgrading only to find out your favorite extension isn’t being developed for the latest release.

How to Export your FireFox Bookmarks to Del.icio.us on a Mac

This is intended to be a simple tutorial for Mac OS X users. I’m not a programmer, I didn’t even play one on TV.

First, head over to SourceForge and grab this script. This is assuming your downloads go to your desktop. Second, export your FF bookmarks, for ease of explanation, to your desktop as well(make sure you select all the folders you want to export, by default, the Toolbar bookmarks are the only ones highlighted). You should have a Folder then on your desktop BookmarksToDelicious and your bookmarks.html file (and what ever else you have on your desktop). Now go to your Utilities folder, and open the Terminal application. For those who are not familiar with it, you are now officially venturing into the Unix core that you’ve heard about.
Once the terminal is open, you should see a prompt that looks something like $miklb:~ miklb$. Where miklb is the User name that you use on your machine. The first step is to move to the actual directory where the python script is, which is your BookmarksToDelicious folder on the desktop. Again, this is a bare bones explanation, for non-technical users, so feel free to comment if there’s a quicker way.
To get to the folder, first type: cd Desktop. The prompt should now be miklb$:~/Desktop miklb$. (Don’t forget, yours won’t be miklb, it will be what ever your user name is).
Next, type cd BookmarksToDelicious.
We are now in the folder the file is we want to execute. Almost there.
At this point you need to know your del.icio.us user name and password. For example purposes, I’m going to use the fictional user name of Alice, and password of Wonderland. Again, this is assuming your bookmarks are on the desktop. If not, you need to know the full path to that file. But if you’re following along, the next command to type into terminal is:
python BookmarksToDelicious.py – –username Alice – –password Wonderland –submit –debug /Users/miklb/Desktop/bookmarks.html

Where miklb is again the username you have on your machine, which is going to be the same as your prompt in the terminal.
If all goes well, you will begin to a lot of action scrolling down the page, and then the actual bookmarks going into del.icio.us, with a line saying “Getting”, then some code, then & result code =”done” /, & for each bookmark.
The script will put tags on each bookmark with the folder name for that bookmark. So if you have a folder called Apple in the folder toolbar-bookmarks, that will be the tag structure you get for the bookmark. You can then edit that in del.icio.us, or, you can redo your folder structure in FF prior to export, which ever you prefer.
Also note, it’s not neccessary to use the –debug command, I simply included it, as it may be nice to see something happen, and know when it’s done. Working in Terminal, generally speaking, it doesn’t show anything happening, so a new user may not know what’s going on. Seeing stuff scroll down the screen helps. If you run into a problem, you can leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to help, but again, this is meant as a bare-bones-I-couldn’t-find-a-better-option way of doing this, and wanted to share, as I didn’t come across many other explanations.