Another neat Canvas demo

Web Development, Work No Comments

Check out Rafael Robayna’s Canvas Painter page. Requires Firefox 1.5, of course. For more information about Canvas and how to use it, hit the Canvas category over at the Mozilla Developer Center.

Firefox 1.5

Firefox, Work No Comments

Big, big exciting day. Firefox 1.5 has launched, a little over a year since Firefox 1.0. That said, go download it, then hit to check out some of the awesome extensions that are available.

If you’re an extension developer, don’t forget about the Extend Firefox contest. Tons of great prizes, and lots of time left to enter!

Extend Firefox Contest

Firefox, Mozilla, Work No Comments

Just a reminder that the Extend Firefox contest is well under way, but there’s still lots of time left to create and submit your new or updated extension. Contest rules can be found here.

If you need help getting started, there’s a fair bit of documentation available a the Mozilla Developer Center, and an active IRC channel called “#extdev” on the server.

Lots of great prizes are up for grabs, so now’s a great time to get started!

Top 10 things to do for mom’s PC over Thanksgiving

Firefox No Comments

This is a cute, and useful, article. Install Firefox comes in at #5.

You love your mom, right? Remember all those times she took you to soccer practice? And that time when she was the only one clapping in the audience during your ‘recital’? She’s always been there for you, and this Thanksgiving weekend it is time to give a little love back. Since we are not the sentimental type here at Download Squad (flowers and puppies just don’t do it for us), we thought we’d offer up 10 tips to make mom’s computing experience more enjoyable. So, take a break from the annual long weekend of awkward conversations, bad football games, and watching TV reruns in anticipation of the big feast. It’s time to fix mom’s PC!

XBox SchmexBox

Games 2 Comments

Boolean got a brand new XBox360 yesterday. From what I’ve heard, this is nothing short of a minor miracle since they managed to sell out of the damned things seemingly before stores even opened. Remarkable.

Anyhow, while Boolean was out and about on his ongoing shopping extravaganza (xbox, games, some sort of special cable, memory card, beer), he bought me a present: a brand new (blue!) Nintendo DS! Knowing that new game systems are basically useless without games, he also picked up a copy of Nintendogs which, essentially, boils down to being a puppy simulator. It’s unspeakably cute.

Since Boolean was all caught up driving some seriously shiny virtual cars around, I ran off to the bookstore, stopping at the game shop long enough to pick up three more DS titles: MarioKart, Sims2, and Trace Memory. Quick reviews: MarioKart is fun, Sims2 is fun (but not even remotely Simmish), and Trace Memory (so far) is a lot of really boring dialogue interspersed by me getting annoyed because I’m already stuck. Chances are good that I’ll pick up a few more games today. Currently my “to buy” list is: Kirby, Space Invaders Revolution, Zoo Keeper, Lost in Blue, and Advance Wars.

If you know of any DS games you might think I’d like, feel free to leave a comment. I’m actively looking for recommendations, particularly for RPGs, Puzzle games, and Adventure titles (or interesting FPSs such as Tomb Raider or No One Lives Forever).

More Web Developer extensions for Firefox 1.5

Firefox, Web Development, Work 2 Comments

Building on yesterday’s list, I’ve found (through reader recommendations) six more web developer extensions that have been updated for Firefox 1.5. The caveat, however, is that I’ve only personally tested one of them (ColorZilla). Descriptions below are taken more-or-less directly from the extensions’ pages.

Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies. With ColorZilla you can get a color reading from any point in your browser, quickly adjust this color and paste it into another program. You can Zoom the page you are viewing and measure distances between any two points on the page. The built-in palette browser allows choosing colors from pre-defined color sets and saving the most used colors in custom palettes. DOM spying features allow getting various information about DOM elements quickly and easily. And there’s more…

Console2 lets you display errors filtered by type (Errors, Warnings, Messages), language (JavaScript, CSS, XML) and context (Chrome, Content). Furthermore it provides a simple search box (as seen in the History and Bookmarks sidebars) and some accessibility improvements.

This extension embeds Internet Explorer in tabs of Mozilla/Firefox, letting you see how a page is displayed in IE with a single click.

This extension makes information about HTTP headers available in three ways: by adding a “Headers” tab in the “View Page Info” dialog; by adding an item to the “Tools > Web Development” menu that displays HTTP headers in real time; and by allowing you to request headers and “replay” a URL (beta functionality).

User Agent Switcher
Adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser.

Quick Locale Switcher
Quickly change and apply a different general.useragent.locale preference from the tools menu.

Venkman for Firefox 1.5

Firefox, Web Development, Work 6 Comments

Someone asked about this in the comments on my previous post, so I thought I’d drop the link here. There is a version of Venkman that (apparently) works with Firefox 1.5. You can find it here. Caveat: I haven’t tested this myself, but other folks have said it works.

Update: mispaste on that URL. Should work now.

Some great Web Developer extensions (that are updated for Firefox 1.5rc3)

Firefox, Web Development, Work 23 Comments

I recently tested all of the following extensions on Firefox 1.5rc3 and OS X. Your mileage may vary.

Web Developer extension
This extension has long been a mainstay for web developers, and I’m extremely happy that it’s being actively updated to work with the latest Firefox releases. When installed, the Web Developer extension adds a toolbar that gives you quick and easy access to a huge number of useful utilities, ranging from viewing and editing CSS through one-click CSS, HTML, and Section 508 validation. It is absolutely indespensible for serious web development work.

Web Developer

View Source With
The ViewSourceWith extension allows you to specify any external application with which to view the source of a web page. If you’re not a fan of the standard View Source system in Firefox, this extension gives you the freedom to use the application of your choice.


Measure It
If you’ve ever needed to know exactly how many pixels it is from point A to point B on a web page, Measure It is here to save the day. This little extension allows you to “pull” a ruler from any point to any other point within the browser window to get precise pixel measurements for height and width. It’s turned on and off with a simple click in the bottom left-hand corner of the browser. Very handy for those pixel-perfect layouts.


View Rendered Source Chart
This is easily one of my favourite new-to-me extension discoveries. View Rendered Source Chart creates a beautifully formatted and shaded rendering of your page source (including dynamically-generated source, static source, and JavaScript output) that clearly and cleanly displays the nested elements. I’d say this is a must-have extension for developing today’s complex page structures.

View Rendered Source Chart

Link Checker
Fast, simple, visual link checker. This is an absolute godsend of an extension for maintaining web pages and fending off the nefarious demons of link-rot.

Link Checker

Essential for testing and debugging form submissions or other URLs that contain a number of name-value pairs, this extension stays continually updated while you surf. In a nicely designed and compact sidebar, the extension displays the bare URL (without parameters), the referring URL, GET and POST values, the ability to add more name/value pairs to a set, and the option to submit or resubmit (in current window or new tab) the URL values.


Screen Grab
Requiring Java (JVM), you can take full “screen shots” of entire web pages with this extension. Unlike normal screen shots that only capture what’s displayed within the confines of the browser window, Screen Grab will capture an image of the whole page from top to bottom.

Screen Grab

While still imperfect, EditCSS is a quick and easy way to view and play with the CSS files for many pages. The CSS file is loaded into an editable area in the sidebar, and the main window is dynamically updated to instantly show the results of your changes and additions. This is a handy extension for CSS debugging and experimentation.


View Cookies
Adding a new tab in the “Page Info” dialog (accessible on any page via the right-click context menu), View Cookies displays all of the cookies and cookie values associated with a page. This is an obvious boon for tracking and debugging cookies during development.

View Cookies

There are many other incredibly useful web developer extensions out there, but not all are updated to work with the latest releases of Firefox at this point. I’ll update my list and do another post like this after Firefox 1.5 is released. If you know of other web developer extensions that are updated for Firefox 1.5, leave a comment here.

Paul Graham on Web 2.0

Essays, Internet, Web - the Industry No Comments

Paul Graham, prolific and excellent essayist, has written an essay about Web 2.0.

Does “Web 2.0″ mean anything? Till recently I thought it didn’t, but the truth turns out to be more complicated. Originally, yes, it was meaningless. Now it seems to have acquired a meaning. And yet those who dislike the term are probably right, because if it means what I think it does, we don’t need it.

Cool source for Web Designs (or just inspiration)

Design & Usability, Web Development No Comments

I’ve stumbled across the site a few times in the past, but I just checked it again and was floored by some of the designs people are making freely available. Check it out:

Open Web Design

There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be using a design from OWD to create a new WordPress theme here.

Icons by N.Design Studio. Designed By Ben Swift. Powered by WordPress and Free WordPress Themes
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