Posted on June 30, 2003 Posted by John Scalzi 18 Comments
I’m trying out the Firebird browser from Mozilla, and let me just say: Wheee! I particularly like the tab option that lets you open up all the bookmarks in a folder simultaneously. It makes for much more efficient blog and online journal reading.
I hear good things about the Safari browser too, but I don’t have a Mac, so I can’t say for sure. No offense to Mac people, but I’m not going to get a Mac just to try the browser. The iTunes store is tempting, though.
I’ve been using Mozilla for quite a while.
The Tabs feature is very nice – especially when surfing for pron, [evil grin] because you can set it to load tabs in the background, then peruse the … ahem … articles later.
Butt, seriously – if you do a search (e.g. google), then go to each link and hit Right-Click | Open in New Tab, you go load up a bunch of links without losing your place in the search results. Then when all of those links turn out to be useless, you can go back to the first tab, Right-Click on *that* and select “Close other Tabs”. Then all of those other pages go away in a couple of clicks.
Not to mention the feature of automatically blocking all pop-ups. A *major* selling point if you surf like I do. ahem.
All those MozillaFirebird features are also present in regular Mozilla (except the Wheee! part).
Apple wanted to test iTunes on a small group of users and limiting it to the Mac OS was a good way to do it. They’re opening it to Windows OSes later this year.
_Jon: If you’re blocking *all* popups, how did you post that comment?
If you click on today’s date in the calendar, you get a single entry listed with all of it’s comments on a single page.
Oh, and I like the fact that you can skin it. (The browser, that is).
Umm, I click on the “Comments (x)” link. Mozilla blocks “unrequested popups”. My bad. It works well though.
iTunes is my favorite thing from Apple lately. To me, the best thing about Safari is that it’s not a Microsoft product. Beyond that, I don’t do enough online to see much difference between browsers.
I’ve downloaded about 25 songs from iTunes so far. I love that I can get stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise have because I don’t want to buy the whole CD for just one song, but still know that the artist is getting something for it.
Why the underscore with the name? Why not “Jon” or “!!Jon” or “_ _”?
Unfortunately, the artist is not necessarily getting any money. But you can still sleep soundly at night knowing that the record company got some money. Many popular artists never see a dime of their album sales. Aimee Mann from Til Tuesday (“Voices Carry”) says she never made a nickel from royalties while she was on a major label. You can read more about that here:
But I bet John could tell us much more about the indie vs major label thing.
The royalties from sales frequently never add up to the amount paid as an advance plus the various marketing fees that get charged to the artist. So yeah, it may well be that out of the 65 cents per track that goes to the label, none of that goes to the artist.
On the other hand, if you don’t pay for the track, you know for certain that the artist isn’t getting anything.
Still, the iTunes store will be a whole lot more attractive when the indies sign up.
“I thought the option was still there, but I don’t see it in v. 1.3 (Advanced, Scripts & Plugins).”
— In 1.4 they moved it to:
Privacy and Security | Pop-up Windows.
“Why the underscore with the name? Why not “Jon” or “!!Jon” or “_ _”?”
— I originally used “Jon”, but someone else posted under that, and his sense of humor didn’t match mine. I use the “_” for two reasons:
– Back in the BBS days (before Internet), I used to post with a sig of _-=HySpeed=-_, with ASCII characters to animate the “_-=” part to move up and down like the name was “moving”. This is a throw-back to that time. I still post under Hy Speed, but not here (out of respect for John’s no-BS feedback area).
– In the programming language of C++, variables that are “pre-processors” have a leading underscore “_”. So a variable of “_Jon” would have precedence and greater scope than one of just “Jon”. Hence, in this regard, I am attempting supercede all other “Jon”‘s that post in any blog feedback that I post in. No. Not really.
I just wanted something unique while using my real first name.
Hey – you asked.
I’m in a goof-ball mood today.
Interesting seeing someone like you adopt Firebird. Among the tech communities, it has been taken for granted that everyone uses Mozilla or a Mozilla derivative. I don’t know a single tech-oriented friend of mine who uses anything else. It is hands down better than every other browser out there. I’m thrilled to see people outside our cloistered community using our best toys.
With respect to Safari, it is fabulous. I’m stuck on a PC laptop because I’m an engineering student, but I still make sure to always have a mac around. Safari is very like Firebird – it’s minimalist in its demands on your screenspace and resources, but maximizes features. It has a solid rendering engine that follow standards (it uses a revamped version of Konqueror’s KHTML engine), and is blazing fast. In an informal test at home between Safari (G3 500 MHz), Mozilla (P4 1.6GHz), IE (G4 500Mhz), Safari was ALWAYS the fastest, sometimes twice as fast as the other options, and that was still a beta copy. Safari is a very solid product.
I also strongly strongly recommend radial menus, a plugin available at http://optimoz.mozdev.org/piemenus/ . Just click on install for Phoenix (Firebird’s previous name) and you’ll be all set. The theory is that contextual menus (when you right click) are horribly ineffecient. If you want something at the bottom of the menu, you have to move a long way to get there. Radial menus places all of the most common operations within a few pixels of your pointer. Not only that, operations are attached to directions – stop is down, reload is down, back is left, forward is right, open link in new tab is right, close tab is up/right; down. There are clear connections between operation and behavior. It’s easier for your brain to make those connections than remembering distance in a single direction (as in a standard menu.)
Enjoy! Mozilla is the wave of the browsing future. Welcome aboard.
Well, I’ve been using the Mozilla 1.3 browser as my primary browser for some time now, so I’m not entirely a Mozilla newbie. But I do have to say I like Firebird even better — much faster and less cluttered. So thanks for the welcome!
I’ve used Firebird for a couple of months now, and I love it. If you like the tabbed browsing, check out the Tabbbrowser Extensions (available at http://texturizer.net/firebird/extensions.html). Among other things, it can force pages which would load in a new window to open in a new tab instead, to keep your window clutter down.
Drew Harry wrote “Among the tech communities, it has been taken for granted that everyone uses Mozilla or a Mozilla derivative.” Gee, I just thought I used Mozilla because it’s cool and because it blogs those damned popups, I hadn’t realized I was being swept along with the latest meme. (I am employed by that big computer company with initials that are just one character shift from the name of the computer in 2001.)
Hmmmm… “because it blogs those damned popups” — either a Freudian slip or I’m just very tired.
Mozilla is *very* good, but Op7/Win is also excellent. On *nix I used Moz because it was good; on Win I (usually — I’m on IE6 now, but not by choice, this isn’t my machine) run Opera 7 because it’s just as good, has all the features I’m fond of in Moz, plus it’s much, much smaller and faster (a definite plus running bloated crap like Windows ’98).
Oh yeah, I haven’t tried Moz 1.4 so I don’t know if it’s still the case, but back when I used Moz regularly it had four options: let everything through, block unrequested popups, or block all popups. The fourth was separate, and simply “do not allow target=_blank”.
“Let everything through” did as expected (i.e. the dreader, erm, IE disease). “Unrequested” meant new windows like this comments box would be opened, but irritating onLoad popup ads would not. And “block all” blocked every new window, whether it appeared because you clicked on a link or not.
“Do not allow target=_blank” theoretically prevented people from doing that extremely annoying “suggest a target window that can’t exist, thereby opening a new one” thing. Unfortunately it only worked when it felt like it, but meh.
eWeek has a short piece about Mozilla 1.4
And if you’re really feeling geeky and wondering about Mozilla 1.5 and 1.6, etc., you might want to look at the future Mozilla roadmap at Mozilla.org