October 8, 2008

Trying out Firefox Geode

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 10:58 pm

Or, not really. Since my Firefox is built from source code on a 64-bit platform, all I could get while trying to install the pre-compiled extension was the following error:

“Geode” could not be installed because it is not compatible with your Minefield build type (Linux_x86_64-gcc3). Please contact the author of this item about the problem.

I have posted a comment on the Mozilla Labs’ blog post about the binary incompatibility and hope to get my hands on Geode’s source code soon for a tryout. The service sounds fun, even though it would take at least a few years for websites’ awareness of the W3C Geolocation Specification to mature enough to a point where everyday usage would be the same.

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April 8, 2007

Firefox, Internet Explorer and the Acid2 test

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 5:12 pm

Firefox and other popular open-source projects are well-renown for their rapid development pace. That’s exactly the reason why you would be seeing the 3rd major version release of Firefox in almost the same amount of time which Internet Explorer took to roll one (Firefox 1.0 was released in November 2004 and Firefox 3.0 is expected to be released around Fall 2007, whereas Internet Explorer versions 6.0 and 7.0 were released in August 2001 and October 2006 respectively).

If we shift our concern from development pace for a while, development focus immediately grabs our attention. Firefox became better and more confirming to W3C standards while IE focused on changing the interfaces and getting rid of old problems by introducing new ones. To back this view, I decided to compare the respective browsers’ progress in the Acid2 test. For those who’re not familiar with Acid2 yet, here’s a quick intro: It’s a cleverly constructed web-page which determines an internet browser’s support for web standards. If your browser displays a correctly rendered smiley on the page and changes the nose color to blue upon hovering with the mouse pointer, it passes the test. If it displays a jumble of non-recognizable patterns, you’re most probably using Internet Explorer.

Here’s the comparison:

Acid2 on Firefox 2 Acid2 on Internet Explorer 6
Firefox 2 Internet Explorer 6
Acid2 on Firefox 3 Alpha 3 Acid2 on Internet Explorer 7
Firefox 3 Internet Explorer 7
(Progress in 1 year) (Progress in 5 years)

I think the pictures speak for themselves. It should be noted that Firefox 3 isn’t even released yet. I was testing an Alpha build just to get an idea of where the development is being headed. The answer is certainly pleasing, specially for web-developers who spend nights trying to fix annoying rendering bugs across various browsers.

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January 29, 2007

Tragedy of the masses

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:55 am

As much as I hate Internet Explorer, it’s just not possible for me (or any other web-designer) to completely ignore it. Inspirated used to render perfectly in Firefox and passed W3C’s XHTML & CSS validators without any errors or warnings. However, one of my MSN contacts pointed out that the layout was badly broken in Internet Explorer. After Googling for the cause of a problem, I discovered that IE 6 couldn’t properly handle floated divs without some CSS hacks. Consequentially, peculiar display errors were present on my site e.g. a page showing everything nicely until it was scrolled, making all the boxes disappear.

After editing the style sheet and making few other changes in the page layout, the site is now rendered in IE as expected. Though I still can’t get over the fact that I wasted two whole hours on fixing something that wasn’t broken in the first place. Even worse, I had to do it only because something that I dearly despise is quite popular among the masses.

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