Firebug Add-ons

I’ve recently been using Safari 4 beta, mostly because I had been too lazy to get more RAM, and Firefox was just too damn slow with all the apps I’d have open on only 1 gig. Now that I’m at 4 gigs, I’ve been contemplating going back to Firefox, especially with the comments I’ve been reading about the speed improvements of the next version (3.5??). Another reason I’ve been contemplating going back to Firefox is that Firebug is just far superior to Safari’s built in inspector. To that end, I’ve recently come across two add-ons for Firebug.

The first, Firefinder, is a handy tool to “find HTML elements matching chosen CSS selector(s) or XPath expression”.

The second is one that Google previously used internally. Today they open sourced it and released, Page Speed. Page Speed allows developers to “evaluate the performance of their web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them.”

Excellent Design Bookmarklet Suite

Lately I’ve been contemplating switching to Safari, as Firefox still seems to be a memory hog, especially since I tend to leave my desktop on for days at a time. With the improvements to the developer tools in Safari 4, there’s less and less reason for me to hang on to Firefox. Couple that with this bookmarklet suite of design/development tools I just discovered, and the excuse of having to use Firefox for it’s superior developer tools flies right out the window.

The suite includes a configurable grid overlay, a ruler overlay, a measurement tool to determine distance between two points, and a cursor crosshair tool (I’ve not found how to use this one effectively, but it could be useful for figuring placement when using position: absolute).

I can’t speak to how Firebug and the Safari tools compare regarding javascript, as I don’t do much with javascript, save using various jquery plugins.

It’s All Text and Leopard

I recently had upgraded to Leopard, and one FireFox extension I’ve come to count on was It’s All Text!. Which allows you to chose a text editor of your choice to edit text fields. Sometimes I need to do some code changes for sites in a text box, or work with a large amount of text, and it was quite handy to simply edit with TextMate. It seemed to have broken in Leopard. I checked the settings, and changing the path to

/usr/bin/mate

from

/usr/local/bin/mate

seemed to do the trick. Might have just been me, but it’s working now, and I’m happy.

ScribeFire

I’ve been quite lazy in posting to my blog(s), and am testing out ScribeFire. I spend so much time of my day in Firefox, it only seems logical to find a solution that would allow me to manage drafts and posts from within the browser.  Particularly for asides and tidbits.  We’ll see how this works out, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually blog, and not just work on them

Powered by ScribeFire.

FireFox 2 A Web Developers Friend

firefox-logo-64x64.pngI’ve blogged about my browser issues before, but I just have to share how cool I think FireFox 2 is. Now with built in spell checker (just right click a word, and suggestions are at the top of the menu, perfect for blogging and email), it’s quick, totally extensible , and just makes working on line so much more productive. A few extensions are a must for me, so I had to wait a few weeks for them to be released before I could start testing it, but the wait was well worth it.
First was the GrApple theme. I loathe the candy-ish default theme, and was quite pleased when theme makers started adding Mac Os-esque brushed metal themes. I haven’t taken to the newer Apple look, ie, iTunes 7, so the more subtle brushed metal look of GrApple suites me fine, especially the small buttons in the nav bar.
Then are the extensions.
Some plugins were FF 2.0 ready, such as the indispensable Web Developer. I’m a big fan of using tabs, and one extension was borking my tabs. Uninstalling the Tabbed Browser Preferences solved the issues. A better tab manager, Tab Mix Plus, fixes issues with windows opening up instead of tabs (note, I downloaded a RC from the developer site, the new release should up on mozilla in the next day or so).
Another great developer tool is MeasureIt, which allows you drag across the screen a box that measures in pixels. When working out kinks in spacing, this is invaluable. Also helpful is ViewSourceWith, which lets you choose an application (like a text editor) to open a page source with. Makes finding which line number an error is a snap. Finally, Colorzilla allows you to grab hex colors from a site, nice to have if you are trying to recreate an existing site, or simply like a color scheme of a site.
A few other extensions that I recently discovered are CSSViewer, which once turned on, allows you scroll around a page, and it shows the CSS for that element, and OPML Support, which allows you to import/export your FF bookmarks in an OPML format, which for WordPress users, is nice, as you can import those files into your Blogroll/Links Manager, not to mention RSS reader.
In addition to those, Google’s Browser sync and toolbar, CoComment’s extension and AdBlock Plus, make general browsing a snap.
There are literally thousands of extensions out there, with new ones being added all the time. If you’ve discovered any other can’t-live-without extensions, I’d love to hear about them.

Firefox Updated – Didn’t Ask

So I downloaded the bleeding edge version of Firefox, code name bon echo, to poke around a bit. Seemed a little snappier, but could have been because 98% of the plugins were disabled. Turn it off, open my regular firefox, and without asking me, it upgraded to 1.5.0.3. Bullshit, I say. I don’t want the latest version, if simply for the fact that the reason I use FireFox is the extensions. And this version, the extensions I rely on, are now disabled. So I might as well use Safari. I like to wait until the extensions catch up with the release. And I’m not at all happy with the new RSS icon in the address bar. This really was a bad move, and I’m not sure how it happened. A really bad taste, that’s for sure.

Update So I’m guessing they realized that 1.5.0.3 was borked, because 1.5.0.4 is now out, and my extensions work now. In the meantime, I checked out Camino, a Mac mozilla based browser, and may just well use that for everyday browsing. I don’t like the idea of using more than one, but now that I have Scuttle set up on my site, (I used delicious, but don’t like the idea of Yahoo controlling my bookmarks), bookmarking isn’t as big an issue with the 2 browser set up. Camino is faster, FF offers extensions that make working on web sites invaluable. So I may just become a 2 broswer guy.

A New Desktop Computer For Miklb

So, I’ve been toiling away for years now with outdated G3 macs, and kept hemming and hawing, waiting for the “next wave” of new Macs. Well, I couldn’t take it any longer, and broke down and grabbed one of the new dual-core Mac Minis as I had a 17” VGA monitor for the window’s box, as well as existing USB keyboard and mouse from the old imac. So it’s up and running, albeit I need to find someone locally who can install 3rd party ram, as I’m not paying Apple $300 for a gig stick of ram so than can install it for free. Maybe Comp-USA? Anyway, one thing that I noticed right off the bat was FireFox was not liking running on Rosetta, the built in conversion for older apps to the new intel processor. So I was all but switching back to Safari, as FF was just choking. That is, until today, when I found an “unofficial” build of the soon to be released universal binary of FF. Sweet. All of my extensions work with “DeerPark”, and things load as fast as they should be, no hang ups. (so far). I’m really loving the move to Tiger as well, not to mention the shear fact of having a processor and HD meant for this century :). I haven’t really had to time to play with any of the iLife apps, or use Front Row, but all in due time.
No to start saving for when the new 17” macbook pros come out.

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.