Deanna and I are off to Hawaii. Expect posting to resume in about 10 days.
May 2004 Archives
I listen to the radio in my car on the drive to and from work most days. One of my favorite programs is called "Forum", an interview program out of San Francisco and hosted by a guy named Michael Krazny. Dr. Krazny is an excellent interviewer and gets some great guests. His program is some of the most informative and educational radio I've found, covering everything from the arts to politics to technology.
I'm a decent driver and the majority of my 30 minute drive to and from work is on a beautiful stretch of interstate highway 280 that's seldom congested. No matter how smooth the drive, I'm always focused primarily on driving -- 2,800 pounds traveling at 90 miles per hour is just a lotta force -- and so I inevitably miss or mis-hear some comment and my immediate, almost unconscious, TiVo-trained, response is to think "rewind".
I know that I can log on to the KQED website later in the day and listen to their archive of the program, but that's a lot of hassle to get at that one sentence or word that I missed. What I really want is a TiVo-like device for my car radio. It doesn't have to have all the TiVo features, just a simple 10-30 minute buffer with pause and rewind would be fine.
I used to listen to music on the radio and I think something like this would be great for that too. I remember there were many times when I got into the car and turned on the radio half way through a song and wanted to hear the whole thing, or missing the name of the artist or album which might have turned into a CD sale if I'd have had a radio with TiVo capabilities.
Do any of you know of such a product? A simple buffer doesn't seem like it'd be that difficult to add, given that most CD players already do this minimally for anti-skip. My portable mp3 CD player holds several minutes of buffer for mp3 tracks. With some compression, I'd think it wouldn't be terribly difficult to get 20 or 30 minutes of stereo buffer or even more if you were OK dropping to mono (which would be fine for most talk radio). If the recording was done at, say, 128 or 192 kbps, it'd probably be totally sufficient for most people listening in their noisy cars but not of such quality that it would lead to lots of pirating. That might not even be a concern if they used some proprietary compression or if the hardware didn't have any convenient line out.
What do you all think?
update: I just found popcatcher which appears to be something close to the technology I'm looking for but they don't seem to make an actual hardware product. I've also found this wired article but it seems to cover portables like PoGo and not car stereos. TiVo, itself, will soon offer XM radio -- but, again, that's not in my car.
update2: Jackpot! Almost. "Two models will soon be available...."
Jedbro has a nice write-up on Converting Firefox 0.8 Extensions to the new 0.9 API. I can't vouch for it's thoroughness because I'm not a developer, but it's got lots of nice screenshots and code snippets :) so I assume it's good.
This Pancam panorama, of "Fram Crater", is a really nice view of an 8 meter crater that Opportunity stopped at on her drive across the Meridiani Planum toward "Endurance Crater" where she is now. The crater looks much like a slightly smaller version of Opportunity's landing site, "Eagle Crater", but with a bit more bedrock exposed.
This afternoon I signed about 100 Mozilla and Firefox t-shirts, along with Ben, Bryner, JST, and Mitchell, for those people who ordered the one-of-a-kind, special edition, autographed shirts from the Mozilla Store.
The new run of Firefox shirts with improved colors have arrived and they're much brighter orange. I'm not sure which ones I like more. Here are a couple of photos I took in the back yard as the sun was setting.
You can see some photos of the previous run (which I think I like more) at my firefox shirts post from earlier in the month.
Susan Kitchens, of Susan's 2020 Hindsight points to a great article by Carolyn Snyder called "Seven tricks that Web users don't know. After reading this article I'm reminded that most browser users aren't like us. They don't think about the tools the way we do. They don't think about the medium the way we do. They don't trim URLs :-)
As content creators and client developers, it's critical that we understand that they are different from us. In the open source world, we don't always have the resources to conduct solid usability studies and relying on bug reports and newsgroup postings (from people who are like us) for usability feedback will, in many cases, make the web page or the application less usable for most users.
I'm not knocking feedback from users like us. I've no doubt that the Mozilla layout engine's capabilities, stability, performance, and many other areas and features are much better because of the feedback from users savvy enough to participate in Bugzilla and the newsgroups or web forums. But I think it's that same participation that gave us features like Mozilla's entire "Privacy & Security" tree of preferences (heck, our entire Preferences window) and the six or so "Managers" available from the top level Tools menu. There's nothing inherently wrong with good privacy and security controls or UI for managing various bits of stored data or application policies but it's pretty clear to me that these hunks of Mozilla's interface are so esoteric as to be not only completely impenetrable to most users but in the way and very likely to lead to real confusion for many users.
Just read the article linked above and you'll hear of the blank stares of mystified users who can't figure out a second browser window. Imagine that poor fellow when he goes looking for the "turn on the pop-up blocker" preference in Mozilla's Preferences window, or when he accidentally clicks on the View -> Page Info menu item.
Now I don't believe that a browser should be completely stripped down to the most basic features of a scrollbar, an address field and a back button, and this is why I believe that Firefox has made such a positive impression; it's not stripped down in features. It blocks pop-ups just as well as it's older sibling, Mozilla, but Firefox presents this to the user in a way that doesn't blow her mind. Firefox gives the user tabbed browsing, but doesn't bury the best configuration deep in a preferences application.
Firefox takes Mozilla's powerful feature set and streamlines it so that more users can cope with it, while users like us will still have a powerful and extensible tool. Firefox's simplified UI should not be confused with a minimal feature set and Firefox's customizability and extensibility, through the use of extensions, certainly makes it the tool of choice for plenty of power users. But I believe it's the simplicity, not the extensibility, that will make Firefox a success because while thousands, or even tens, or hundreds of thousands of users like us may want to add features to Firefox through extensions, tens to hundreds of millions of users that will eventually adopt Firefox will find everything but the scrollbar, the address field and the back button to be in the way.
Via , the Mars Picture of the Day from the Mars Orbital Camera, onboard the Mars Global Surveyor, shows an amazing dust-up. That dust storm would be just under 1 kilometer wide. Yikes!
I just noticed that the Mozilla 1.8 Alpha1 release is on slashdot. I guess it was a slow day or something. There have been at least 4 Mozilla stories on slashdot in the last 5 days and, I think, 8 this month. Not bad :-)
Redemption in a Blog is one year old yesterday. I don't have a blogroll, but I read a lot of blogs (mostly Mozilla-related) and this is one I find myself at fairly regularly. If you're looking to expand your list of Mozilla-related daily reads, do give it a look.
There's also a nice post on the Firefox Extension Manager progress up at "Redemption" today with some nice screen shots.
Happy 1 year blogoversary, Cheah Chu Yeow. Keep up the great work!
One of the sites I visit every day, Michael Lyle's Mars Exploration Rover Imagery, has some great new "psuedo-color" images of the hills in front of Spirit. If you're interested in the latest in Mars images, you really should bookmark his site.
Wow! Ben's been doing some packaging work to get Firefox download size down and he's made a major leap forward. The latest build to come off the Beast (windows) tinderbox is 4.6 MB. Nice!
It looks like my great host has upgraded to Movable Type 3.0. The management interface is much nicer. I especially appreciate that the main menu uses text rather than images so it zooms with my fonts and I can actually read it on my high-resolution screen. It also looks like mass deleting spam posts is going to be a lot easier.
Let me know if you see any weirdness with the site over the next few days. I don't know how much changed and I don't spend much time looking at the actual pages (and feeds).
The Spirit rover is two-thirds of the way to the Columbia Hills, having traveled over 1.5 miles to date. She set a record for autonomous navigation on sol 125, traveling over 200 feet without guidance from the rover team. And now, thanks to Mike Malin's great camera onboard the Mars Global Surveyor, we've got an awesome new view of what awaits Spirit as she approaches the Colombia Hills. Take a look!
It's also worth mentioning that from the updates I'm reading over at NASA/JPL, not only will Spirit make it too the edge of the hills, but if she stays healthy, she'll climb to the area labeled "Lookout Point" and hopefully down into the Columbia Hills basin -- and all of this in the next month or so. What an amazing journey.
Susan Kitchens, of the wonderful blog, Susan's 2020 Hindsight has posted a great report (now with pictures!) of the JPL Open House from earlier this month. If you're into Mars and NASA/JPL, be sure to check it out. Even if you're not, this might be the report that changes that :-) I encourage all of you to go give it a look.
Awesome report, Susan! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Thanks for all the feedback on the roadmap artwork. I'm mostly happy with the draft posted below and with some minor tweaks it'll be landing on the roadmap page this weekend.
Builds are up and you can read all about it at the release notes. There are some goodies in this alpha release (along with a few regressions -- but, hey, it's an "alpha" :-) If you're crashing, be sure to send in those talkback reports.
And for those who couldn't see the roadmap update because it contained a binary (the image) you can now see the followup quoting the original (sans diagram) at google groups or the whole thing at gmane.
And for those of you who were participating in the artwork discussion below, here's a follow-up (still draft) on the artwork I posted to the newsgroup -- which was a newer design version than the latest posted to the actual roadmap document and displayed at the bottom of the artwork post below:
I've tried to thicken up the lines just a bit to make the red zones more obvious. I've also added the Firefox/Thunderbird branch. What do you all think? Better?
I just got an email from someone looking for a list of common custom keyword bookmarks and I realized that I only have a few which are mostly specific to Mozilla development and testing so I figured I'd ask here, "What custom keyword bookmarks do you all use" and get back to him with the results. So, what custom keyword bookmarks do you use?
Yes, alpha1. We've got a modified milestone schedule (you can see the plan in the seamonkey newsgroup) and so this 1.8 alpha release will become 1.8 alpha1 with an alpha2 to follow in about 6 weeks. It's my plan to get alpha1 out the door tomorrow. If you know of anything horrible that should block the release of this alpha milestone, please nominate the bug for blocking. Thanks.
I've been working with email@example.com to put together a new milestone schedule and that means an update to the roadmap graphic that I've been maintaining for a few years. Shuffling through the directory of old images I was reminded how cool Hixie's original roadmap artwork was.
Here's the oldest one we still have on file. I think it's Hixie's art with only minor mods by me:
Here's the first of the "new style" images I did:
This was my first design rev with only minor tweaks to crisp things up some:
And this is what's posted now (soon to be replaced) with my attempts to lighten it up some:
What do you all think? Should I keep going in this direction? Move to something less geometric? Get out the dry erase markers, paint something on the whiteboard, photograph it, and publish that?
I'm intimately involved with the roadmap so I don't usually need to check the picgure for schedule information. It's for all of you so I'm certainly open to criticism and suggestions about how to make it more useful.
I just ran out of steam last night so I didn't get a post together on the release of Camino 0.8 Beta (but I did get it announced at mozilla.org which I'm sure is the preferred location for those kinds of things). Well, it's here -- and it's good. After a long lapse, I've ben using the Camino nightly builds for about a month and there are huge improvements over Camino 0.7.
The new look is the most obvious first-glance upate when compared to 0.7. Initially, I was a bit shocked at the colorful buttons but after using it for a few days I can't tell you how much easier it is to hit the right button than in Firefox (pinstripe) and Safari. Colors really do matter and this push to strip them out of so many mac applications I think is a mistake. It's hard to describe clearly, but when I'm using Camino, my mouse just finds the right button without me having to think about it.
The second change that I appreciated was the retiring of the drawer. When OS X introduced that widget, I thought it was the coolest thing and I was quite pleased to see Camino put it to use as a sidebar/sub-window manager. My crush is gone and I'm no longer so enamored of the cute widget. Drawer gone, Camino has a great new Bookmarks management interface. The Bookmarks search feature makes this bookmark slob a happy camper. Long ago, my list got too long to manage and I stopped keeping any sort of organization so I've got a big ugly flat list of thousands of bookmarks, hundreds of which I need regular access to. Camino's bookmark search is a welcome help.
A regular Firefox user, I also really appreciate the addition of the Google search bar to the primary toolbar. This was one of the Firefox (Phoenix at the time) features that I was happy to see picked up by Safari and now that Camino has it, all Mac users, regardless of browser choice, can use this obviously good feature. Doing without it is kinda like being asked to browse without a URLbar.
The other feature that really won me over was the addition of type ahead find. I've grown so accustomed to it in Firefox and Mozilla that I instinctively hit the slash and start typing my search term in even my non-browser applications so having it there for Camino is huge for me.
On top of all of that goodness, this beta is Camino's first release from contemporary Mozilla sources. The 0.7 release was from the ancient Mozilla 1.0 branch so in moving forward to the Mozilla 1.7 branch, Camino picks up all kinds of great Gecko fixes, stability improvements, and performance. Mozilla branched for 1.0 over two years ago and the trunk has seen about 1.5 million lines of code changed since the. Gecko has not only made major gains in support of standards and the existing Web, but it's done that while getting smaller and considerably faster.
If you've been stuck on Camino 0.7 or you've ventured off onto some other browser and haven't used Camino in a while, download this release and give it a try. It's good stuff.
Thanks Mike, for making such a great Mac browser.
I've spent nearly a full day on what I presume is Fedora Core 2, final. So far so good. The install went off without a hitch, the first boot was pleasant, and after getting a contemporary Firefox and Thunderbird set installed, I really don't have any complaints other than Linux still not having support for my Broadcom wireless chip and Fedora (and Red Hat) shipping completely broken music apps that are incapable of handling the most popular music format in the world.
Have you tried FC2 or other contemporary Linux distros? What's to like? What's not to like?
Get it while it's hot. We finally have Talkback on Mac and so now all of the official release binaries contain Talkback. We're making a big stability push in these final days of 1.7 so please submit any crash reports that you trigger. Thanks.
As Spirit gets closer to the hills, the Pancam resolution is delivering more and more detail. The latest images suggest to me that there are some fairly prominent bedrock outcroppings straight ahead.
Over at Meridiani, the Opportunity rover's got me a bit confused. How did this happen? Could it be that the rover's wheel lifted up a chunk of clotted or crusty surface dirt, rolled under it, and then deposited it right back in place? How else to explain the abrupt disappearance of the rover track? Was this a trenching maneuver?
Just for fun, I put together a quick panorama of some Opportunity Pancam pictures from sol 110. Click the image below for a higher resolution, uncropped version (still only 50% the resolution of the originals which can be found at the MER mission pages.)
My bandwidth is limited, so if you're not terribly interested in Mars (or my photoshop efforts) then save some of my quota for those who are and don't click through to the larger image. Thanks. If you're interested in the full resolution image, let me know.
update: So it's a rock. That makes sense. Thanks to Dan and Ben, I think I see what's going on here a bit better. Here's a section (slightly lightened) of the image Ben mentioned:
It pretty clearly shows that the wheel did cut across the corner of the dirt-covered slabby, flat rock. I wonder if it did lift the rock significantly or if it just disturbed it enough to define its edges. I still think it's an odd picture.
I just ran across this nice Firefox article by Gareth Russell. Here's a quick excerpt:
Firefox is a real joy to use, and an example of how Open Source programs should be. The developers have really focused on issues which have plagued Open Source software for a while, namely the user interface of the program and feature bloat.
One thing that I think is worth noting for a lot of folks (including Gareth) who keep referring to Firefox as a stripped down browser is that almost all of Mozilla's features have been preserved in Firefox and quite a few new ones added. What hasn't been preserved is all of the UI for configuration options. Firefox developers have attempted to choose a good set of defaults, have bubbled the most important settings up to a more convenient and simplified Options window, and pushed all of the less common settings down into about:config. What's left is a very powerful, featureful, and capable web browser that "just works" for the largest possible audience.
Well, we didn't quite get it out the door today like I'd planned. We did, however, pretty much wrap up the second testing candidate and all that's left is to make Talkback not crash for Fedora Core 1 users :-) That's a Talkback problem and not a Mozilla problem but getting the updated Talkback binaries integrated with the branch builds put us too late in the day to get the release out so it looks like first thing Monday morning if all gooes well on the build front.
The good news is that for this release we should have a working Talkback client for Windows, Linux, and Mac. If we can spend the next couple of weeks tackling any crashers that are showing up as high-profile in talkback, I think we'll have a great release near the end of the month.
I made a couple of fairly long posts below that were intended to solicit some feedback from Opera users but unfortunately it degraded into an entirely different discussion than what I was hoping for. No worries, though.
David Baron, probably not an Opera user, but someone who was recently sitting next to an Opera user at some meeting (maybe a CSS working group meeting or something) offered exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for in my earlier posts. He pointed out to me a very, very cool feature which may, all by itself, be enough to keep me using Opera for at least a few more days. The Safai-like snapback feaure is even better in "snap-forward" mode and I'm just smitten with it. I'm sure other Opera users can explain this better, but you can navigate through image galleries by clicking the ->> button and not have to keep returning to the index. You could also use it to navigate through multiple pages of Google search results or something like that. It's almost like implementing link rel equals navigation for sites that didn't include it in their html.
I still have to play with it more to get a good handle on where it makes sense to use it but _that's_ the kind of feedback I was looking for, not "Yeah, well Firefox sucks too!" comments.
It seems that a few people missed the main point I was trying to make. I know that Opera is highly customizable. I know that I can turn off various toolbars. I know that Opera has some nice advantages like small download size and high-quality and performant content rendering. The main complaint I had was that the UI is painful. It starts off way too cluttered. But even it's default cluttered configuration was not my main point. Go back and read the first and second paragraphs of my post below. The main point was that un-cluttering the UI was itself made extremely difficult by further bad UI. I was able to make it look pretty darned good but not without a lot of guessing (wrong guesses, much of the time) about how to do that.
I'm not an Opera basher. I'm pointing out what I consider to be a big failure in usability and I'm looking for input from Opera fans that will help me stick with the app long enough to find additional gems buried in the mountain.
I'm also not a complete computer newbie. Posting my bona fides here would be silly; just take my word for it. I am the kind of computer user that Opera is probably targeting. I use the computer and the internet to perform 95% of my job responsibilities and I spend at least 10 hours a day in my browser and e-mail client. I'm not incapable of using complex software but I do recognize obvious usability failures when I encounter them, and Opera 7.5 has no shortage in this department.
Yes, it can be made better with some preferences customization. But what does that tell me? It tells me that there's a better product that Opera could be shipping with very little effort. Without a single change to the basic application code, Opera could be shipping something that was much more appealing, out of the box, to most people. I'm not saying that solves all of their UI problems. It doesn't -- not even close. It would, however, put the burden of cluttering the app on the (probable minority of) people who want 20 or 30 buttons on 4 or 5 different toolbars.
The menubar is still crazy. Keep in mind that menus are the most difficult GUI widgets for users (maybe mpt or andyed can back me up with the data on this one.) Most usability critics complained about Mozilla's 130+ menu items (and 8 toplevel menus with 12 sub-menus!!) not counting character encodings. Opera has 10 toplevel menus, 28 sub-menus, and over 250 menu items (not including character encodings). Like I said below, Opera makes SeaMonkey look lean. (For comparison, IE has about 75 menu items and Firefox has about 50 -- both excluding the encodings).
But back to my original and central point. Opera has an overloaded UI and I contend that most Opera users don't use most of the front-facing UI. That would be sad, in and of itself, but Opera users are further aggravated with confusing and difficult to discover customization UI which makes improving the situation that much more painful.
Again, I'm not bashing Opera, and just to demonstrate my good will, I'm going to try really hard to make it 50% of my browser usage for the rest of this week. I've got the main window toolbars looking much better and I've got my bookmarks all imported. I suspect that by next week, my complaints will be roughly the same, but I'm willing to give it a go.
And to further distance myself from what might look like bashing, I'm transforming my complaints into suggestions. Here are three simple steps I believe Opera should take to make this browser more palatable to users out of the box
- Make the default config look a lot closer to this than this.
- Get the menu thing under control. At a minimum, move Mail and Chat under Tools and follow this simple rule: if you have to go to a third level menu, it's probably not something you want on the main menubar anyway (with the exception of character encoding).
- Cut some better deals with advertisers (whore out more of the start page or default bookmarks or something) and give users a free browser without the in-chrome banner.
I'm in no position to determine if #3 is even possible, given existing financial agreements and Opera's overall financial situation but I include it because it really is a usability negative for users. If you're an Opera user and you disagree with #1 and #2, I'd like to hear your reasons -- especially if you can support them with usability data.
In the mean time, I'm giving Opera a run and thanks to the few of you who offered good tips or pointed out useful Opera features.
It's been a while since I spent any time in Opera so today I downloaded the latest release, version 7.5. It's pretty much the same as I remember -- small download, fast rendering, and awful UI. I know I'm partisan so feel free to chock up my complaining to just the lunatic ramblings of a Mozilla party hack -- but man, this UI is just horrible. What I consider most horrible about it is that the very UI which should help me adjust the app's primary interface to make it better (things like the "view" menu and the preferences window) are completely unusable to someone who isn't familiar with them.
For example, when I first launched Opera, it had this funky vertical toolbar on the left side and I, naturaly, wanted to get rid of it, so I go to the view menu figuring I'd be able to easily turn it off. There's a sub-menu labeled "toolbars" and after unchecking and rechecking every item on that submenu, the vertical toolbar is still there. I guess it's not really a toolbar. Then I see above the toolbar menuitem is an item called "panels" which I guess is the name they've given this vertical toolbar. Great! I'll just uncheck the Panel item and that'll turn it off. Not so fast! It's not a menuitem, it's a sub-menu. Well, maybe the sub-menu will have a simple checkbox for showing or hiding the panel. Ha! Did I forget that this is Opera? The submenu has checkboxes representing each and every one of the buttons on this vertical panel toolbar thing but no apparent item to disable it completely. After unchecking all of them, I'm still stuck with an empty, somewhat collapsed, toolbar. I go back to the panels menu and therer are a couple of other sub-menus that look like they control panel placement so I decide that if I can't get rid of the thing then maybe I can at least put it at the top or the bottom of the window where it can blend in with all that other wasted space. Expanding the panel placement sub-menu, I finally stumble across the "Off" menu item. View -> Panels -> Panel Placement -> Off!?
I'm not even going to get into my fun with the horizontal toolbars except to ask who thought it was a great idea to have two navigation toolbars?
I'm no internet newbie. I'd even go so far as to call myself an "advanced" user but this is clearly just overboard. My reaction to the Opera UI can be summed up like this: Opera makes SeaMonkey look lean.
I'm sure there are some Opera fans reading this and I want to like Opera, or at least some of it's features, so maybe you can enlighten me. What's to like about this application's interface. Where does it really excell at helping me accomplish my web tasks better, faster, more convenient? Also, is there an easy way to hack that banner ad out of the chrome -- something like a userChrome.css file?
Also, are there other browsers with more elegant interfaces that use the Opera rendering engine. It's actually quite zippy and displays pretty much all the sites I visit regularly without problems. If there was a Firefox equivalent for Opera, a cleaned up interface with sane defaults, and something significantly less than Opera's 10 toplevel menus with 300+ menuitems, I think I'd use it -- maybe even as much as I use my other secondary browsers, Safari and IE.
Oh, and kudos to the Opera marketing folks for putting together that great startpage deal with Lycos that gives me three pop-ups every time I start. Good work.
Does anyone know if there exists a really nice migration doc for Firefox? The reason I ask is that I just ran acrosss this success story but it might not have turned out so well. If there exists a "moving from other browsers to Firefox" doc, we should be advertising it better.
Well, it's that time again. After a couple of months of relaxing with my old faithful extensions, Linky and CuteMenus, and my slightly newer URIid joy-bringing enhancement, I think it's time for me to shake things up and evaluate a few more. I've installed Flowing Tabs and Toolbar Enhancements. Now I just need one more to try to make it three.
What extensions do you all use? Which one should I try next. Do you know of good extensions not listed at texturizer or mozdev?
If you're using Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, or Camino, and you're interested in getting more involved with the projects, join us on for BugDay on IRC where there are knowledgeable Mozilla testers and bug traige experts on hand to help you help make Mozilla better.
This week, the MER-A rover, Spirit, hit a milestone in Martian traversing. On her 121st Martian sol, Spirit's odometer rolled past the 1 mile mark and she is now only about 1 mile from the "Colombia Hills". From this vantage point, Spirit's latest photographs are really starting to highlight some details of the hills which were completely unresolvable from the landing site.
Opportunity had her first "deep sleep" yestersol. As you may recall from some of my earlier MER coverage, Opportunity has a broken switch which is causing a heater on the robotic arm (IDD) to stay on all of the time causing power to be wasted. As the Martian winter creeps up on the rovers, and the dust accumulates on the solar collectors, there is less power available for traversal and science work. This "deep sleep" is designed to cut pretty much all of the rover's power overnight and hopefully improve the power situation for Opportunity during the day. As winter approaches and the nights get colder, this deep and cold sleep could mean the end for some of the instruments on the rover. The most fragile, and probably first to fail from cold, is the mini-TES up on the Pancam mast.
I just read in the comments (to this post) that adot's notblog* was the Google "I'm feeling lucky" hit for "baby doll tee" -- at least briefly. When I searched, it was down to number 2 with the quotes and number 3 without. I guess that's not a very common phrase and this site has just enough google mojo to get up the list pretty quickly for uncommon phrases.
Are any of you all using Blogger? It looks like they've just pushed a rather large update to the Blogger tools. I'm hoping some of you all can download the latest 1.7 branch builds and let me know if everything works and looks OK.
I know that at least a few of you reading this are designers and since we happen to be looking for a designer (more specifically, a web designer and a web design) it seemed like a good place to plug the mozillion donation site opportunity.
If you're a web designer and you're interested in contributing to the Mozilla project, this would be an awesome time to pitch in. We're working hard to put together the infrastructure to support a killer Mozilla donations (and more) site that we hope will help us bring in a million dollars over the coming year. If you're interested, take a look at the wireframes and send your logo, homepage mockup, and a design for one internal page to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've got several nice mockups so far and we're extending the deadline for entries for another week or so. If you're interested in being a part of this important effort, do take a minute to read more at the two links above and if you send something in, let me know in the comments.
When I was first getting set up with Linux, I had all kinds of great people around to help (endico, dmose, leaf, myk, and others) and that made a world of difference. Even just knowing that I could send an email to Dawn or Myk made me that much more likely to experiment with Linux and many of the tools that are available to that OS.
Well, I just ran across a great blog post that reminded me how much easier it is to make a big software transition when you know there's a friend there to help if you need it. I don't have the time to do this kind of support, but it sure is nice to read that others do. PJM, at Flashes of Panic is offering to help people migrating away from IE. What a great gesture. Maybe this can be the start of something larger. I'm sure there are lots of happy Firefox users out there who would be willing to do the same for friends and family, possibly even strangers.
I know that the mozillaZine forums already perform some of this service but it seems like something that would be good to spread around. Like those monthly Linux install events or something. Friendly people on hand to help ease the transition. Given the above-average computer skill levels among bloggers and all rave Firefox reviews I'm seeing around the blogs, there should be no shortage of friendly neighbors. Maybe we could have a blogosphere-wide, monthly "Upgrade Your Browser" day -- do it on the first Tuesday of the month or something.
What do you all think?
10 years of "Friends" comes to an end -- and I can proudly say that I have never watched a single episode :-)
As Jon Stewart said, "You know, I've never watched that show and I am sick of it."
Chris Hofmann, the Engineering Director at the Mozilla Foundation (and my boss) was interviewed by PcTechTalk recently and you can read the results at the PcTechTalk site. Chris gives a nice plug for all of the hard-working Mozilla QA and testing contributors so of course I think it's a great interview :-)
The roadmap blog, Brendan Eich's blog thoughts on the future of Mozilla, now has some content. Check it out!
It's BugDay! If you're a veteran of Bugzilla, or if you'd like to learn more about the tool that lies at the center of all Mozilla (and Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, etc.) activity then join us on server irc.mozilla.org channel #mozillazine for a day of bug hunting, reporting, testing, and triage.
Mark Pilgrim says "I find there are now a wide variety of things I am no longer willing to discuss doing differently." There are other tasks for which he has "no strong allegiance to one tool over another." In his Essentials list are Firefox and Thunderbird. I agree. I move around between a few IRC clients, between a differnt image editing applications, and even different text editors, but I really can't do without Firefox and Thunderbird and don't think I'd be at all happy using other apps for web browsing and email.
Get it while it's hot! with a Windows installer, the new Pinstripe theme for Mac OS X, improved artwork, updates to the junk mail controls, dock notification for Mac OS X, server-wide news filters and lots more, Thunderbird 0.6 is gonna make you smile. I've been using the branch nightly builds, the release candidates, and now the final bits for about a day, and it's been great sailing. Go Scott!
It's pretty obvious to anyone that's been following Mozilla for the last half a decade or so that mozillaZine is the community hub when it comes to Mozilla news and advocacy (and more). It's also been obvious to those of us who have been around as long as mozillaZine has that the introductions of the forums about a year and a half ago was dramatic. Today comes the news that mozillaZine's forums have passed half a million posts and 40,000 users. Wow! Congratulations Jason, Alex, and all of the mozillaZine support crew. You all are amazing and Mozilla owes much of it's success to your efforts.
I've been keeping up, somewhat less consistently than a couple of months ago, with the MER missions and plan on posting an update soon (I know I said that a couple of weeks ago -- best of intentions and all that.) The nominal mission for Opportunity finished up last week which puts the combined MER mission fully into extended phase, now. The rovers are both in "making tracks" mode lately, heading toward the Southern Hills and Endurance Crater, and I expect things to get more exciting soon. Maybe that'll inspire more Mars mission-related posting :-)
Jesse pinged me on IRC and asked if I'd post some photos of the Firefox T-shirt. Well, as luck would have had it, I'd just got my shirt in the mail a couple of days before. The shirt's a bit wrinkled because I'd worn it to work but here are some quick photos.
As you can see, it's a great looking shirt and I encourage all of you Firefox fans to head over to the Mozilla Store and purchase one for yourself (heck, get a second one for a friend -- these shirts are that cool!)