DerekAllard.com

Internet Explorer 8 will have Firebug

Yes the web is awash with news of Internet Explorer 8.  We’re like lemmings that way, it seems like every blog I read (116 says Google Reader) has some news of IE 8. Given the mad dash to the finish line for South by Southwest, I haven’t bothered to download or play yet, but I guess I’ll have to.

For me, the big news is that Internet Explorer 8 will have Firebug.  Well, not technically firebug, but pretty much an exact clone.  If you visit Microsoft Developer Tools and download their PDF, you’ll see that IE 8 will ship with a near exact clone of Firebug - which is great news if you’re trying to really push IE.  I’m also happy that its being produced by the IE team, and not by a third party developer.  The reason I’m happy is not because a third party dev couldn’t do an outstanding job (again, hat tip to Firebug), but because so much of the internals of IE is undocumented and secret, that I think the only people who could successfully implement this is the IE team.

Internet Explorer Developer Tools

If you look carefully, they actually got some really, really nice things in IE 8.  For example, window.location.hash.  This allows you to use javascript to redirect the user, but the page gets added to the cache and history.  This allows the back button to work normally with “Ajax-ed” paged.  Nice!  There’s also a series of DOM-compliance bugs in there, and while it’ll mean little to me as jQuery shields me from the day to day trivia of that, it’ll mean a huge deal to jQuery itself (and other javascript libraries) and I bet we can expect a nice bump in speed due to native support for things that normally needed to be reconstructed (I’m looking at you CSS selectors and getAttribute/setAttribute).

The good folks over at Digital Web Magazine have more news in IE8 Beta 1 released!, including links to Jonathan Snook‘s smoketests.  I’d like to extend my gratitude to the IE development team for its frank and open communication, particularly via the IE blog.  While I’ve not dealt with them directly, all accounts are that they’re listening to the geeks.

Goodbye Netscape, we hardly knew ye

Well, it seems official that Netscape is dead.  I wish it meant more to me to read that, but Netscape lost relevance so very long ago.  We all owe a great deal of gratitude to it however, for: pushing browser boundaries; making the “internet” relevant for a large number of people; keeping Microsoft honest; giving us Firefox.

I’ll always thinking back fondly of you Netscape, but I’ll try to remember you as you were… not not who you became.

I personally believe, like, such as, and… Internet Explorer 6 is dead!

Leslie Camacho and Derek Jones deliver what might well be the funniest thing I’ve seen in months.  A funeral for Internet Explorer 6.

Les and Derek Jones from ExpressionEngine

I personally believe that internet ISP users are unable to do so… um… because some people out there in our internet don’t have browsers… and ah… I believe our education such as Firefox… for the children

Classic!

Go watch it now.

Beta software? Firefox “gets it”

Beta and bleeding-edge software has become something of a joke in “web 2.0”.  I think Paul summed it up nicely when he said he loved you.  But “beta” does serve a really important role - to allow interested users to advance test software that they love.  In a world where so few organizations “get it”, I was grateful to see that Mozilla understands.

First sign of brilliance - the “beta” or test version of Firefox 3 is called “Minefield”.  And the logo is equally great.
Mozilla Minefield icon

Nothing says “things just might go wrong, use at your own caution” like an image of the world represented like one of those exploding balls from the old Looneytunes cartoons.

Firefox line paste trick

Courtesy of lifehacker comes this brilliant Firefox tip.

Firefox multiline input example

If you’ve ever tried copying and pasting a multi-line address into Google Maps just to realize that an input box will only take one line at a time—meaning that you have to copy and paste each line individually—there’s a simple Firefox tweak that will solve this problem:

Type “about:config” in the location bar. In the “Filter” field type “singleline.”
You can set the value to 2 for editor.singleLine.pasteNewlines, which will allow pasting of multiple lines to input boxes.

Productivity Tools

Ever been working along and say to yourself “whoa, where’d the time go”?  Then you look back and can’t believe how much you’ve got done?  Sometimes it just magically happens to be sure, but I think the tools I’m using must play a big role in it (and turning off my email and cell).  These are the tools I find myself using in those spontaneous moments.
The tools of my productive environment

CodeIgniter, ExpressionEngine, Firefox and plugins, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Coda and the interweb.

Notice how the operating system is not there?  I haven’t found any noticeable difference between operating systems, as long as my macbook is plugged into a nice big monitor.  I do notice a decline as my screenspace goes down.  That said, there is something psychological going on there, since I want to use the Mac more then I ever wanted to use a pc.  I must be influenced by all those ipod and “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials.  I’m such a slave to media…

I’ve always liked Dreamweaver (yes its expensive, but feature for feature as good as any editor I’ve ever seen including Textmate), but I absolutely hate it on my Mac - and truthfully, its only 1 thing… I hate all those dopey floating panels.  I’ve been spending a bit of time with Coda.  Yeah there’s a lot of hype, but it isn’t undeserved.  I like the integrated environment, I have absolutely no need for a CSS editor (its nice that its included, but I don’t use it anyhow), and I find the terminal completely adequate.  I might just buy it since the trial runs out in a few days.

CodeIgniter and ExpressionEngine have completely revolutionized the way I build sites in the last year.  Fireworks has been my “go to” image editor for a long time now.  Its combination of vector and bitmap tools have been ideal for me, although a switch to Illustrator might happen if I find the right project. 

What tools do you find yourself using when the magic moment strikes?

Inspired by Lightbox: Anatomy of a Modal Window

Ugh... that just might be the worst title I've ever written...

For a "ultra-top secret"™ web application I've been working on, I need to take all focus away from the browser screen, and allow/force the user to interact with a window before being able to continue. Commonly, these are called modal windows, and gained some credibility for having practical uses with Lokesh Dhakar's wonderful Lightbox script (incidently, I use a variation of it on this script on DerekAllard.com).

There are many variations of modal windows running around, but I wanted a simple, unanimated "overlay" would would require a user's interaction, so I set about to build my own. The first thing I needed, was an alpha transparent div to sit on top of the whole screen. I stole was inspired by Matthew Pennel's great article on Easy Cross Browser Transparency, and began building from there. The ultimate alpha transparent solution I chose was a pure CSS base.

Quick Link: Firebug Exploit… upgrade time

One of my very favourite-est Firefox extensions, Firebug, has a security update

About an hour ago I received word of a 0-day security exploit that has been discovered and reported. I have just released a new Firebug (version 1.03) with a fix for this bug, and I recommend that everyone install it as soon as possible.

 

Browser Stats for DerekAllard.com for March 2007

Are you reading this page in Internet Explorer 6?  For shame…

I’ve never thought that my site attracted an “average” interweb visitor.  I mean, we talk about boring things like accessibility, frameworks, scripting… the kind of things that makes Joanne roll her eyes if I even think about getting started*.  In short, my readers tend to be web-savvy, standards-aware and generally pretty technically “hip”, so it doesn’t surprise me in the least that most of you would choose to surf in something besides Internet Explorer.

Sage Vulnerability Reported

As if you needed a reason to stay up to date, but its worth noting that a validation error in the processing of certain tags has been reported in the Sage RSS reader extension for Firefox.  This can be exploited to insert and execute arbitrary HTML and script code in a local context by tricking a user into adding a malicious feed and then viewing its contents.

I've recommended Sage in the past, and fortunately this was fixed some time ago in Sage 1.3.10, so run your updates.