2009

I like Ubiquity. It puts a lot of the sites I used on a regular basis close to hand without making me dig through my bookmarks (or del.icio.us account). In a small burst of productivity, and to avoid real work, I decided to put a command together for the Puppet Type docs at Reductive Labs. If you have the Ubiquity plugin installed you should be able to install a copy of the command from the Ubiquity Puppet Types Command page (which I no longer provide as of 20141224). Read on →

2008

While Google Chrome has been getting all the press coverage recently Ubiquity, from Mozilla Labs, is where all the interesting action seems to be happening. Ubiquity ticks all the boxes for me, it’s a simple, easy to use idea, that’ll save me time. It’s easily extensible and already has a huge community of people working, enhancing and just trying new things with it. All the things I’ve come to expect from Firefox and the Mozilla using community. Read on →

I spent a couple of hours running the YSlow FireFox extension against the main website for one of my little side projects and I couldn’t stop fiddling with the sites config until I got the score up. Improving a category until you get an ‘A’ gives you that same moment of satisfaction as all your tests passing or a file restore working perfectly. Due to not being amazingly wealthy I cheated with the content delivery network stage and just overrode it with the sites own name. Read on →

2006

Microsummaries are regularly-updated succinct summaries of web pages. They are compact enough to fit in the space available to a bookmark label, provide more useful information about pages than static page titles, and are regularly updated as new information becomes available. – Microsummaries - Mozilla Wiki I’ve spent a little while playing with them now and while I like them, smarter page titles are nice, they have their limits. Firstly, they are not the easiest things to install. Read on →

If you’ve tried to use any of my Greasemonkey scripts over at Dean Wilsons Userscripts.org Profile then you’ve been out of luck until recently. During a linky session I managed to hit the “delete script link” on each and every script I’d uploaded. The delete link (which I didn’t notice) didn’t require any confirmation so it managed to get everything. I spent a little time last night re-adding the scripts (I have copies on my own site) so they’re now available again. Read on →

I’ve added a couple of new scripts to my Greasemonkey Script collection. Remove Background Image does exactly what you’d expect. Add an @include like for your site of choice and refresh the page to make it go away. The second one’s based on a Streetmap trick Wookie Bob showed me. StreetMap 5x5 grid changes the map you’re looking at to a 5x5 grid view you can only usually get by hacking the URL. Read on →

Adding FireFox extensions through the GUI one-by-one is, if you ignore memory leaks, one of the browsers most annoying quirks. Fortunately, modern versions of the browser allow you to drop a number of xpi files in to your “extensions” directory and install them as a batch when you start FireFox. Of course you need local copies to do this but that’s where a little bit of perl web spidering comes in… The hardest part of the process is actually finding where to drop them. Read on →

I’ve got a couple of new Greasemonkey scripts I’ve been using. First up is Expand Undeadly/OpenBSD Journal Comments. Which does just that. I’ve also started using the Mozilla.org Add-on Pages - 100 results per page script after I started to go insane from constantly clicking for more results. The last plugin from the batch was never finished as someone else had already gotten around to it! Google Images in IMDb was just waiting to be written. Read on →

Since being bitten by the Greasemonkey bug I’ve found dozens of ways to write broken and invalid JavaScript. While the JavaScript console that comes bundled with FireFox has helped track them down it’s come up short on a number of occasions. Fortunately we’ve now got FireBug, a per page JavaScript console with a bundle of extras. Including an integrated element inspector and XMLHttpRequest sniffer that shows you any AJAX traffic. And now for an related, annoying quirk. Read on →

What do multiple Nagios status pages, network traffic graphs and RT incident queues have in common? They’re all tabs I have open throughout the day. Because any of them can change at anytime, watching them has been always been a PITA. I used to get around this with a custom kludge that drove IE through a set series of pages. On the upside it worked. On the downside the periodic flicker of page changes drove me nuts. Read on →

I’ve recently been looking for some decent images I can display on a projector. I’m not a very artistic person so I’ve done the imaginative thing and gone on an Internet scavenger hunt. While Google images is actually a decent image search engine it’s got a couple of annoying quirks that I’ve been able to work around with a little application of Greasemonkey. Firstly, when you click an image, you get sent to the containing page. Read on →

2005

I’ve got the first version of the IIS-Resources Printer Friendly Articles GreaseMonkey script written and uploaded. It takes you to the correct print page, minus the adverts, but it’s currently got a problem in that the onload handler kicks up a print dialogue (on Windows at least). If anyone has any ideas how to stop it doing this please let me know.

I noticed a bug in my TheRegister Printer Friendly Articles Greasemonkey plugin a couple of days ago. The odd thing was the bug was a major one that I never saw based upon my browsing habits. I no longer read TheReg, I’m subscribed to its RSS feed instead. I only bother opening the stories I’m interested in. While this saves me time it also means I never go to its front page. Read on →

When it comes to presenting information on the ‘Net PDF files do little but annoy me, fortunately I’m not alone in thinking PDFs in websites suck. I understand that you might need to have a very controlled form that people can print off. Fine, but take me to a HTML page with a link explaining what the PDF is for. And don’t even think about giving me important information in PDF format by default; HTML with a link to a higher quality version maybe. Read on →

I’m a big fan of The Register but I can’t stand multi-page articles. I’ve put a little Greasemonkey script together to make sure I don’t have to deal with them. The The Register Printer Friendly Articles script is now online and ready for use. I hope someone else finds it useful.

I’ve been doing some fiddling with Greasemonkey recently (I need to buy a modern book on JavaScript, mine are all four/five years old and the landscape has some what changed!) and I’ve found some quite useful user scripts. My favourite one so far is a mostly innocuous script called theO’Reilly Network Printer Friendly Redirect. It does pretty much what you’d expect, instead of getting an article cut across four or five pages it shows the complete version in a single page. Read on →

Despite its odd name the Aardvark FireFox Extension is actually damn useful. Once installed, turn it on using Tools->Start Aardvark and move the mouse over the page. As you hover over different parts of the page a red box will outline the current section, show you what HTML tag created it and show the elements “class” or “id” values. What’s less useful but still interesting is that once you’ve selected the element you’re interested in you can do a couple of occasionally useful things to it, remove it, colour the background, remove the element but leave a blank spot etc.

I’ve been doing some work with RSS feeds recently and I wanted quicker access to the FeedValidator from within FireFox, I already have it in IE thanks to a nifty sidebar written by humble ole me, after a little look around I noticed it’s possible to add a custom validator to FireFox’s Webdeveloper Toolbar The process itself is simple, click Options on the toolbar and then click Options on the menu. Read on →

2004

I’m not a big fan of unmarked links pointing to resources that require an external viewer. The worst of these formats, such as PDFs or the Microsoft Office formats, cause the browser to pretty much halt for a couple of seconds while the viewer is loaded and then change the behaviour of the UI (if you are viewing a PDF in FireFox for example, Ctrl-W will not close that tab) in a way that seems designed to annoy people who know how to use the keyboard. Read on →

One of FireFox’s best features is it’s community of developers and the third party extensions they create. While it’s always been pretty easy to install these, over time, this mechanism has grown to be more secure and less user friendly; a common trade-off. The checks it made (for example you could only install new extensions from certain sites by default) were rational they forced people to either download and install or dig around in the Options screens until they found the correct settings. Read on →

I’ve just upgraded my main machines web browser to FireFox 1.0 and I was pleasantly surprised by its ability to upgrade some of the third party extensions I use. While I’ve historically bitched about the changes in the extension mechanisms and packages it seems that all the pain was for a good reason. On the first run of the new version I was shown the extensions that wouldn’t work and then prompted to search for upgraded versions. Read on →

If you’ve not yet seen Googles FireFox home page then it’s worth a look. I’m not sure why they’ve decided to do it but as a big FireFox fan I’m just happy to see it get more coverage. It’s a shame that they’ve not replaced the front page for a couple of days to really spread the word. It’s also worth noting that a number of plugins don’t work correctly with the newly released FireFox 1, if you have any that you constantly use it’s well worth installing the new version side-by-side with your current version for testing. Read on →

I’m a big fan of the del.icio.us social bookmarking site but it’s lack of browser integration has always been slightly annoying. Luckily someone else must have thought along similar lines as we now have the excellent Foxylicious This FireFox extension adds a folder to the bookmarks menu that contains your del.icio.us bookmarks making them available without going to a separate website. The only downside is that it seems to be a one way trip, adding a local bookmark to the menu and choosing “update bookmarks” (you can reach this via tools->Foxylicious) doesn’t seem to update the bookmarks on the server.

I’ve been doing some research on the available FireFox extensions for a very small side project that may or may not appear. During my travels I spent some time investigating the quite excellent Adblock. I bet you can all guess what it does. What was slightly more amusing was the Adbar extension, this adds text ads that no one gets paid for, to FireFox; it is very similar to the unregistered Opera browser. Read on →

Over the last couple of days I’ve become quite taken with a FireFox extension called WebmailCompose ( WebmailCompose XPI) This addin for FireFox (although it has an issue installing on 0.9.3) and Mozilla overrides the default behaviour of mailto: links and instead calls your webmail application of choice. By default support is provided for, among others, Gmail (WOO!), Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and you can even add your own service of choice with a little knowledge of URL formats.

Do you have a couple of spare Gmail invites laying around (guvner)? If so you probably already use FireFox as your web-browser of choice, and a good choice at that!, but just think of the poor untold hordes of IE users just waiting to be saved. “What can I do to help?” you may ask, well for a start you can donate a couple of GMail invites to the Spread FireFox GMail Project. Read on →

While testing a small FireFox plugin in both 0.9.3 and PR-1 I noticed a small oddity. Open 0.9.3, leaving this window open try and open an instance of PR-1. When both windows are open click on the Help menu, now select ‘About Mozilla FireFox’. Both windows are version 0.9.3. I’m note sure if this is a bug with FireFox opening new windows with a ‘getobject’ call rather than a ‘create object’ call (that is a serious over simplification! Read on →