Happy new year!
2005 has been a good year for Deanna and me. It's been a good year for Mozilla and Firefox. I'm looking forward to saying the same about 2006 :)
December 2005 Archives
Happy new year!
Via Paul Thurrott's Intenet Nexus, I read that Jerry Pournelle has moved to Firefox and is very happy to be there:
Last night, on Dan Spisak's advice, we switched my main machines from Internet Explorer to Firefox, installed some extensions, and the experience was so good that I am rapidly installing Firefox on all the machines in Chaos Manor. Firefox is faster than Internet Explorer, and by a lot. IE, with all the security updates, runs as if someone had poured cold molasses into your machine. There are long delays before text appears on screen even on text-based web sites. It doesn't feel crisp. And while Internet Explorer will resize text on some web sites--my own included--on others setting it to maximum text size still won't get text large enough for me to read without getting close and squinting.
Among other things, Pournelle was one of my favorite sci-fi writers when I was in middle school and high school. His and Larry Niven's The Mote in God's Eye and the Gripping Hand were great fun. Actually, all of the Niven and Pournelle books were great (Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer are the other two that pop immediately to mind.)
To know that someone I respect as much as Pournelle has moved over to a product I helped conceive and deliver is extremely gratifying.
It's always nice to see more encouraging statistics, like these.
In December 2004, 76% of Email Battles visitors used Internet Explorer. By December 2005, just 51.7% were viewing with IE. Over 37% browsed with Firefox (see chart above), a product that we simply trapped as a Netscape compatible in 2004.
As Email Battles readers tend toward stability-centric network management, as opposed to wild-eyed optimistic early adopters, these figures are telling. They like security, especially when it comes with enhanced functionality. And once they've vetted new software on their personal systems, they blow it out to their users. Hence, the momentum at the center of SMB networking is moving away from IE.
This looks pretty exciting. AllPeers, over at their weblog Peer Pressure, have posted screenshots and a brief description of the AllPeers 2.0, a powerful peer to peer tool, which will be fully integrated into Firefox.
I'm pleased to see that the AllPeers team have decided to build this as a sophisticated and slickly integrated extension rather than building an entirely new browser. The advantages to going the extension rout, and disadvantages to the forked codebase rout, are covered in several Peer Pressure blog posts.
I don't have any sort of undue influence (compromising pictures of the AllPeers team, for example,) but I'd sure like to be one of the early beta testers for this awesome sounding tool.
Blake Ross has Ten predictions for the new year. If you've been following the last year of the web, I think you'll find it a very entertaining list. Give it a read!
Want to easily sync your Mozilla Thunderbird Addressbook with your iPod? Well, Robert Accettura has just released mozPod 0.1. I've been testing mozPod for a couple of months and this version is working flawlessly for me. Give it a try.
Not sure whether I'll be posting over the next few days so today I'll wish those who are celebrating a very Merry Christmas.
If you're looking for an icon to represent your blog feed, why not use Firefox's feed icon. You can find high-quality artwork at Feed Icons.
Over at Boing Boing, which has been a great proxy for webstats at blogs in general, the latest report shows Firefox in the lead over IE with 43% to 32%. If you add up all of the Gecko based browsers at Boing Boing, it's nearly 50%.
Following Firefox and IE are Safari with about 11%, Mozilla with nearly 5% and "Unknown" with 4%. Behind "Unknown" is Opera.
There are just two weeks left in the Extend Firefox contest. The entry deadline is midnight, Jan 6th, so time is running out.
We've got some great prizes, including an Alienware Aurora 7500 Firefox Edition PC.
If you're going to enter the contest, now's the time. Head over to the contest site for more details and to submit your entry today!
Hey everyone. W
We're taking the next leap in community marketing around Firefox.
Last year, we rallied nearly 10,000 people to donate enough money to get Firefox (along with the contributors' names) featured in a two full-page advocacy ad in the New York Times.
This year, we've moved on from print to video with a new campaign called Firefox Flicks. http://firefoxflicks.com
Firefox Flicks is broken into two parts, the first part calls on Firefox fans to record personal testimonials using webcams and a very cool tool we've designed to make it a breeze to record, view, and share your testimonials.
All of the contributions so far are available for viewing at http://video2.spreadfirefox.com If you're a Firefox user and you've got a webcam, please stop in and add your own testimonial. In the coming weeks, we'll be providing new ways to take these testimonials and do creative mashups and other exciting things.
The second half of Firefox Flicks will launch tomorrow morning but because you read my blog, you all can see it tonight :-) .
We're looking for creative types who can produce a 30 second Firefox commercial and we'll be putting these commercials up in front of a panel of expert judges from advertising, hollywood, and television (including Scott Goodson - Founder and Chief Creative Officer, StrawberryFrog advertising agency, Warren Zide - Producer of the American Pie trilogy, McG - Producer of the O.C., and Supernatural, as well as Director for both Charlie's Angels movies, and several other great judges, too.)
In addition to getting in front of these awesome judges, we'll be offering some great prizes too, including a $5,000 gift certificate to B&H Photo, Video, and Pro-Audio superstore, an awesome multi-LCD display from 9X Media, and a slick Alienware media center PC.
If you're interested, or you know people that might be interested, you can find more information over at our Firefox Flicks Ad Contest page at http://video.spreadfirefox.com/adcontest
Oh, and if you've got a blog or other ways of connecting with potential contributors, please help us get the word out. Thanks!
The folks over at Performancing have just released a kickass blogging extension for Firefox. If you blog, and you thought you needed some 3rd party browser just to get nice blogging tools in your browser, think again. This extension, even though it's an early version, is all you need :-)
update: Oh, I almost forgot. Need spellchecking? The latest development build of SpellBound integrates seamlessly with this blogging tool.
It's been a long while since my last developer interview but the good news is that I'm not the only one conducting interviews with Mozilla developers. David Tenser has just posted his interview with Mike Beltzner (yes, we're awash in Mikes). Some good information over there so go give it a read.
I do intend to continue doing developer interviews. If you've got any suggestions for who you'd like to hear from (and you didn't already let me know here) please let me know in the comments of this post and I'll see what I can do.
I just ran across a very nice <CANVAS> demo over at cow.neondragon.net. This is one of the first really practical, and beautiful demos I've seen. I might find a place for something like that here at my blog.
It's been a little less than a week since we've had the Testimonial viewer online and we've got lots of great user testimonials coming in.
This week, the Spread Firefox team looked through all of the entries and have selected five to feature as "weekly winners." The first place entry will receive a coupon from our sponsor Amazon.com for $50 as well as his choice of Firefox t-shirts from the Mozilla Store. The second, third, and fourth place weekly winners will receive their choice of Firefox t-shirts. The 5th place winner, selected by Marcia Knous of Spread Firefox and the Mozilla Store, will get a limited edition, one of a kind, Firefox baseball cap.
Without further adieu, here are the five weekly winners:
First Place goes to Dr. Nikitah Imani of Virginia, USA with a very enthusiastic Firefox recommendation. Dr. Nikitah, thanks for putting out the word about our F.R.E.E. web browser!
Second Place goes to Matthew Evans in Washington, USA. Matthew makes the case for using Firefox at work. We think that's a great idea!
Third Place was Ruthie, from New Zealand. Kia ora! Ruthie, from New Zealand thinks Firefox is cool because it's got themes! (Ruthie, if you're reading this, please have your parents send us an email so we can send you your prize.)
Fourth Place comes from Sean in Utah, USA. Sean loves Firefox's features enough to rap about them.
Fifth Place goes to Mark, in Northern California. Mark carries his Firefox around on a U3 Smartdrive which we think is very cool.
Don't miss your chance at some great prizes, head over to the Firefox Flicks Testimonials page and join in the fun!
Google has just released a couple of new Firefox extensions. The first one is called Coogle Safe Browsing and provides a very slick interface to protect against phishing. The second extension is called Blogger Web Comments and it shows you what bloggers are saying about the page you're currently visiting.
Both of these look pretty good to me. What do you all think?
Today, the Firefox feed icon got promiscuous ;-)
A while back, a Microsoft team was discussing at their blog what kind of visual indicator makes the most sense for representing feeds in the browser. Apparently, some of the RSS folks criticized them for not using that horrible little "RSS" orange rectangle icon.
I think this is a fine solution and helps further a major Firefox goal: to reduce the confusion and complexity of today's web so that Regular People can get more out it without having to become geeks like us :-)
For several days, I've been unable to locate my camera and that's why I've been slow to post some of my Korea photographs. Well, Deanna rocks. She found it in my jacket pocket so I hope to get some photos published soon.
Schrep's got a great blog post covering some of the accomplishments of the last year. Definitely worth a read.
I've been playing around with this for a couple of weeks now and it's great. If you haven't seen the VMware Player, you should give it a look. It's free and it's pretty nifty. The Browser Appliance, a virtual machine running Ubuntu and Firefox, is pretty neat too.
If you blog or otherwise compose a lot of content on the web, there's a nifty Firefox extension called Xinha Here that you might want to check out.
Xinha Here! is a wrapper for the Xinha HTML editor that enables WYSIWYG editing in any HTML textarea and text input elements. Xinha Here! opens Xinha editor on the client side. This allows you to edit the field data in a WYSIWYG editor on any website without coping and pasting to a secondary editor. To use Xinha Here! simply select Xinha Here! from the context menu of the desired textarea or text input element. Up will pop a Xinha WYSIWYG HTML editor. Press OK and the raw HTML is pushed back to the original text box. Simple as that.You can also get Xinha Here from Firefox add-ons.
Living in Europe (or closer to Europe than you are to the US?) Well, today the Mozilla International Store opens for business. It's brand new, and still in beta, so please let us know if you find any problems (I don't think you will.)
If you've been waiting to purchase Mozilla or Firefox (or Thunderbird) merchandise because the shipping costs from the US store were just too steep, now's the time to get that gear!
update: well, I guess I was a bit quick and jumped the gun here. The International Store is currently offline and won't be back until Monday. Give it a try then.
update2: and it's back up!
I've seen a number of articles comparing the currently available Firefox 1.5 with the still not available and probably not released for some time Internet Explorer 7. What's wrong with this picture? Firefox 1.5 should be compared against the competition, not against something that may or may not be released sometime in the future.
Where are all the Firefox 1.5 versus IE 6 articles? It does no service to users to tell them how Firefox stacks up against some future offering from Microsoft. How about telling users how Firefox 1.5 stacks up against the outdated, insecure, and difficult browser they're using today? (or if they just have to report about IE 7, then how about comparing it to the equally unreleased Firefox 2 or Firefox 3?)
I guess the browser reviewing press really don't care about actual users who are suffering an increasingly painful and dangerous web. Microsoft announced IE 7 in February of 2005, very nearly a year ago. They claimed at the time that it would be available in the Summer of 2005 and here we are about to enter 2006 with nothing close to a finished browser from Microsoft.
Why isn't this being reported properly? Why the preferential treatment for Microsoft and such an unwillingness to point out the obvious -- that while Firefox continues to ship high-quality, secure, and usable browsers on a regular basis, Microsoft has left its user base of hundreds of millions of people helpless against a deteriorating web for nearly 5 years.
Was that almost year old announcement of IE 7 just a media strategy by Microsoft to freeze the market, and to goad the press into reporting that Microsoft's current IE 6 browser was a thing of the past?
Well it's not a thing of the past. There are hundreds of millions of users out there suffering with IE 6, and IE 7 is still who knows how far away from being available (and then only to a fraction of Windows users.)
In the mean time, Firefox 1.5 is available as a free, safe, and secure alternative for all Windows users today.
Who will step up and write about the real state of browsers today and what users can do to improve their web experience now.
Deanna and I have had a wonderful week in Seoul, Korea. We're just about to board the plane to head home. I hope to get back to more regular blogging soon after we return.
Marketing Sherpa has a nice article on redesigning your site for Firefox. Why You Should Consider Budgeting a Site Redesign for Firefox 1.5 Now (Yes Firefox). If you want to avoid losing a significant share of your audience, or even worse, alienating them; If you want a faster and more discoverable site, If you want to save serious cash on development; If you want to minimize hosting costs; This article is for you.
I just read over at Behind the Curtain at TCG that NASA is moving away from IE to Firefox. Wonderful!
This morning, Deanna and I woke to a beautiful snow-covered city. Today, we're headed out for some tourist-related activities with Channey and JShin. I'll post some photos later on.
If you haven't seen it already, you must check out this great video.
I'm really surprised at the awareness and I'm overall very impressed with the video. Do check it out!
This is the kind of project that I'd love to see a lot more of. We should have one of these from every college or university in the world. If you've done a video like this or plan to, please let me know.