Geek, Software

Trying Firefox 4 beta again

Recently I gave Firefox 4 beta 4 a try but ended up removing it. As a beta it was not bad but I had some minor problems with Adobe Flash and the benefits were not enough to get me to keep it.

Firefox 4 beta 7 is another story. On a whim I installed it on my Windows 7 PC and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. It’s fast and I don’t seem to get any web page rendering issues. I use my browser for news reading, WordPress, Facebook (okay, almost ashamed to admit that one), etc. and some of the content is mixed and dynamic. With this new beta, the only thing that is different is the menu is hidden. Other than that, the experience is very smooth.

It’s definitely not for the casual user (I am not installing it on the shared iMac) but if you want to see what’s next then give it a try.

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Geek, Software

And the winner is Xmarks

Earlier I had dropped Xmarks and installed Mozilla Weave. After a few weeks I’m back to Xmarks.  Syncing the browser history is a very useful feature, but some really weird things have been going on with my Weave sync data lately.

My problems began when I installed Weave on my Ubuntu 9.10 work station. I could not get the bookmarks to install on that browser for anything. No errors in the log, just no sync either. I have just plugged in another old PC in the basement and installed Weave. The same thing happened and I was not getting any data synced.

Also being able to roll back to an earlier set of data on Xmarks is a huge benefit. I screw up sometimes and Xmarks has a great safety net.

I know that I can install Weave and Xmarks at the same time. That way I can use Xmarks for password and bookmarks and Weave for browser history.  But I’m not going to do that because I want to limit the amount of add-ons that I’m using.

Now if only Xmarks would just sync web browsing history then I would not keep looking at Weave…

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Software

Mozilla Weave

Image from Mozilla's Weave websiteI’m giving Mozilla Weave a try. I’ve been a big fan of the extension formally known as Foxmarks (Xmarks) so when Mozilla released Weave, I was not sure if there was anything for me to look at.

I use a work PC, my HP, and a laptop. Xmarks has been good at keeping my bookmarks and passwords secure and supports a revision history of your changes. Somehow I messed up my bookmarks and this got moved to the Xmarks server. Not a problem, I just rolled back to an earlier revision and got all of my bookmarks back.

It’s like applying SVN onto my browser.  Mozilla Weave is not quite like that. It does do bookmark and password synchronization but it doesn’t provide a means to rollback to an earlier version of your bookmarks (or maybe I just couldn’t find it). What appeals to me is that it also syncs up your browsing history.  I have often been at work trying to remember a web site I had seen the night before at home. I’m hoping that this will sync my browsing history.

Xmarks has been very responsive to their users so I expect this feature to make it into their extension soon.

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Geek

Firefox 3.1 beta 3 looks good

firefox-31-b3

Firefox 3.0.x has a bug in it’s javascript handling that makes Flickr go insane for some people who use Nvidia drivers. I had tried an earlier beta and was disappointed to see that the bug was not addressed.

I’ve been using beta 3 and I have not been able to reproduce the bug. The javascript is fast. It might not be Chrome or Safari 4 beta fast, but it is noticeably more responsive than Firefox 3.0 and all the extensions that I actually use are compatible.

Google Gears is not compatible yet but the faster javascript makes my user experience fast enough that I can’t see the difference. And I only use gears with WordPress, so it’s not like I am really missing out at this point.

I’ll keep kicking it around but this beta looks solid.

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