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Tag Archives: Mozilla

MDN redesigned, looking slick

The Mozilla Developer Network is an incredibly useful resource for all kinds of web development, and it recently got a refreshed design. For most anything related to JS, CSS, or HTML, I’ll generally tack on “MDN” in my query, which will help putting those resources towards the top of the list. Definitely check it out, especially if you’ve never been.

Lightbeam for Firefox

Recently announced, Lightbeam is a super interesting project. It’s a plugin for Firefox that allows you to track how sites track you. It’s primary function is to visualize how sites are connected, and to show connections to the sites that you are not visiting directly but which are likely collecting your information.

There is the chance, too, for you to upload your data back to Mozilla, so they can build a better graph of how the web in general is connected. That part is entirely opt-in, and there are warnings before you go through with that option.

Another gem seems to be the option to block sites which the plugin has seen. You can, for instance, block google.com, which then disallows the browser from visiting any site within that domain. There is, of course, a large warning that going too far with this option can have unintended consequences. I love the NoScript and Adblock plugins, yet this goes one step further in preventing any traffic from these domains, not just scripts or objects, respectively. Well done.

Speeding up Firefox in Ubuntu 13.10

I recently upgraded my primary work machine from Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10. In all, it’s not been a smooth experience, and it also has had the side effect that Firefox gets rather slow at certain points.

Thankfully, this seems to be an easy fix: in about:config, you can toggle the ui.use_unity_menubar preference to be false, rather than true. This means that you lose the integration with the searchable alt menu, though the speed boost is certainly worth it.

My guess is that 13.10 has increased the rate at which the searchable unity bar is indexed, such that visiting a new site or opening a new tab, which resets the Firefox menus, triggers a re-indexing of all this content. I’ve never needed that, myself, especially when there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts to use instead.

Fira Sans

Designers take note – the new Firefox OS Typeface, the Fira font family, is available for free

on Twitter from mozilla. Very nice. I’ve been using Open Sans for most everything lately, since Firefox moved to it on Android. Both are beautiful, clean fonts.

Gmail/Persona Bridge

With our new Gmail / Persona bridge, 700 million users are now Persona-ready. What are you waiting for?

on Twitter from MozillaPersona. This is huge. Logins from Yahoo! and Google accounts are now handled by one system.

Thunderbird for Twitter

In the past week I’ve been using Thunderbird as my primary Twitter client, and in short, it rocks.

Twitter comes up as part of the relatively new Chat function, which also works with Google Talk, Facebook Chat, IRC, and XMPP.

Disabling logs

By default, all chats are logged, though you can disable this by going to Options -> Advanced -> General -> Config Editor…, searching for purple.logging.log_, then toggling them all to false.

Default fonts

The default UI font is a bit big, but you can change this under Options -> Display -> Formatting -> Fonts. I set the size to 14pt.

Starting where you left off

So, the killer feature for Twitter in Thunderbird is that it always starts where you last left off. I wish more clients would do this, because it can take a while for me to find where in the feed I last read. Once I have the client started up, too, I often will close the twitter conversation window once I’ve read everything there, so that when there’s anything new it will start with a clean slate. At first I did think that closing the conversation meant no new tweets would show up, but that’s not the case and it will open again when anything new arrives.

Final thoughts

For fancier features such as inline content or showing replies to tweets, Thunderbird doesn’t quite cut it. For what I do, however, that’s not all that necessary. It is possible to right click a tweet to copy the tweet link, which you can then post into your browser. It’d be a bit nicer if it was just to open the URL directly, but the extra steps aren’t that painful.

RT @TechCrunch: Mozilla Launching Cross-Platform App Store Later This Year, Submissions Open Next Week techcrunch.com by @chrisvelazco