Safari for Windows

Today Steve Jobs has announced a version of Safari for Windows (Safari is the built-in Mac web browser). That version is currently a beta, but I just installed it and seems to work quite well.
However, in my opinion, it’s no Firefox killer… at least not for my needs. In his speech, Steve claimed it to be a lot faster, but I don’t have any performance issue with Firefox. Indeed, Firefox seemed to download web pages faster.
Things I don’t like (from more important to less important):

  • No site icons in tabs!
  • Window resize… can only be resized by using the bottom right corner.
  • No middle click scrolling.
  • It looks (and behaves) so different to the rest of applications I’ve installed.
  • No extensions. Not that I use a lot of them in Firefox, but it’s good to have the possibility to use them.
  • No search engine icons… Again, not really necessary, but I like them.
  • Non-customizable toolbar.
  • No status bar by default (no way to see the link where you’re hovering on).

Things I like:

  • Progress bar integrated in location bar. Yes, you may get that also in Firefox using an extension, but I think that Safari was the first browser to include this feature.
  • Find bar. It’s similar to Firefox (probably they took their inspiration from there?), but I think it’s useful to darken the page in order to highlight the result. Would be handy to have a small slider to decide the ammount.
  • File chooser, which looks less 90’s than the competition.
  • Text aliasing. I guess it’s a matter of taste… it looks “bolder” than IE or Firefox, but I think that this makes it easier and faster to read.
  • Improved JavaScript performance? Well, if Steve says that, we’ll have to take his word!

In conclusion: I’ll keep Firefox as my main browser. However, if I would decide to implement an application for the iPhone, it’s good to keep it. I really hope they’ll release it in Europe soon… :)

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Back to The Netherlands

Tomorrow morning I’m going back to Delft! I’m feeling quite tired; couldn’t sleep too well or too long, and I was pretty busy. Still, I’m glad to say that I did everything I planned. Today I released a new version of Andariel Ant Tasks, a set of tasks for Apache Ant, uploaded a new version of Showcase, and improved it’s website. So, what’s next is to work on Speed Dial. I really want to finish version 0.3.5 as soon as possible :) My intention is that it will reach feature parity with Opera’s version by then, so I’m guessing that the people that use it will be happy :P

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Speed Dial 0.3 released

Last night I uploaded a new version of Speed Dial to Showcase’s download page. For now, I decided not to publish it in AMO. The reason is that I feel that this version “feels” a bit half baked to me, mainly because of the lack of dynamic site icon loading. I’ll be adding this, plus some other important features, in version 0.3.5 (hopefully it will take just a few days).

One reason why I wanted to publish it now is to have some feedback: does it work well? Do you feel slowdowns? Extension incompatibility? It seems to work well for me, but if you try it, and see anything weird, please contact me and help me help you ;)
I’m quite proud of the new architecture of the application; I’m quite sure that my “background loading” feature is a first for Firefox!
After that, well, I got quite a lot of feature suggestions, and I’m glad to say that they’ll be quite easy to implement. I’ve quite a lot of ideas that can make this extension really good and useful, and as Showcase users will know, I’m quite persistent when it comes to add new things :)

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Back in Spain

So, as I said in the previous post, I’m back at my old place. I wanted to make a new release in June 1st, but it will take a little bit more; in any case, I want to release the new version before returning to the Netherlands (on June 5th).

I’m quite satisfied with the new version. Although it doesn’t sound difficult, adding a background loading system has been a bit of a challenge, but it seems to work quite well. There are still some things that must be done before the release (mostly minor), and some things that should be there but aren’t, like dynamically loaded page icons. In any case, more things come for sure.

I’ll also be releasing a minor update to Firefox Showcase. I really couldn’t work on it too much this time… There’ll be “progressive” releases until Firefox 3 is released (which should happen October-November this year, I guess), and then start working on Showcase 1.0 . I just want to make sure that Firefox 3 users don’t have to wait a couple of months to be able to run Showcase properly.

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So, what’s going on?

Oh well… I won’t have internet at home until June 9th. However, I’m still working in the new release for Speed Dial. I think I’ll be able to make the new release around June 1st, since I’ll go back to my old place. It should include thumbnail refreshing and editing. Quite a lot of people have been suggesting new features, and those will be added… However, I made my top priority to work out the most difficult one, and from there I’ll add more things.

This weekend I’ve been visiting Amsterdam… quite interesting city! :) I’m staying at “Holiday Inn Amsterdam”, and it’s really good hotel with a good price. There’s network port in the room, but unfortunately I didn’t bring my laptop with me. Oh well, I don’t even know if they offer internet for free… in the main hall there are a couple of computers, but the price is 0.35 euros… per minute!! Other than that, the food is good, the room is clean, and the people are nice.

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So, Speed Dial got popular…

Yesterday, my Speed Dial extension got an article in Download Squad, and later that was digged. Well… it certainly generated a lot of comments, with quite a lot of people complaining about Firefox copying Opera for the last years, about this extension being worse than the original Opera feature, etc, etc…

First of all, I’m not Firefox, or Mozilla. I’m just a programmer that spends some of his free time developing Firefox extensions, without any reward or interest, so, if you don’t like this extension, please, just ignore it. Constructive feedback is always welcome, but browser flame wars make me sad.

This extension will be improved little by little, like Firefox Showcase, and may become even more useful than the original feature it was inspired from. For me, that’s one of the best things about extensions: it’s development is parallel to Firefox.

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Current developments

Well, I haven’t updated this blog for some days… I’m moving to The Netherlands in a week, so I’ve been quite busy.

The new Firefox Showcase version is almost ready, but I got a bug report from a Windows Vista user, so I would like to solve it ASAP… I also want to prepare a “splash” page showing the most important feature of the 0.9.3: navigation buttons on thumbnail. This is not really new, since it was already implemented in Tab Sidebar, but it’s the first “previewing tool” to add it.

The “Speed Dial” extension for Firefox is still awaiting review in AMO… it takes quite a lot of time! It’s quite normal, since new extensions require an extensive review to verify that it doesn’t contain any spyware/malware/virus/etc. I’ve some quite good ideas for this extension, so I’ll keep working on it!

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Speed Dial for Firefox

I had some free time, so I decided to develop a new extension for Firefox. Opera released this feature recently, and I thought it would be interesting to have it in Firefox… so here it is!

This is what I used as the Extension description:

“With Speed Dial, you can easily access your most used websites. To show the Speed Dial tab, use the Speed Dial button (which can be added to the toolbar), or enter ‘chrome://speeddial/content’ in your location bar.

To assign one website to Speed Dial, use the new ‘Set as Speed Dial’ option in the bookmarks menu, or right click on the tab you want to add, and choose ‘Set as Speed Dial’. That option is also available in the contextual area menu.

Speed Dial will be automatically loaded in blank new windows. It can also load in blank new tabs. To configure this, and other options, use the extension settings panel.”

Get it from the download page of Showcase’s website. It should also be available from AMO soon.

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Extension updates

I’ve been working a bit on both Showcase and Speed Dial extensions. I’m prioritizing Speed Dial over Showcase, since it needs quite a lot of work. I could manage to work in a “background browser”, so now thumbnails can be refreshed. However, it will need some quality time, since I’ve to implement a non-trivial scheduling system, plus some other stuff, like a dialog to assign URLs to Speed Dial. Also, this weekend I published a new, really small, update to Speed Dial that solves conflicts with Tab Mix Plus and Mouse Gestures.

I don’t have much time lately, since I’ve just moved to another country and started a new job. So, be patient! :)

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K810i reviewed

After doing some SD cards research, I think this is the memory card I’ll buy for the external memory card slot of my N800. Not only is a well performing card, but also doubles as a USB adapter and a microSD adapter! Not everyone has a mini USB cable at home or at work, so this can be very useful to transfer information to a desktop PC if necessary. Also, this card type is being used in many mobile phone models, so carrying the adapter inside the N800 sounds convenient for me.

The manufacturer website is here, and a review for this particular SD card-adapter can be found here.

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