Firefox New Tab Shortcut

I discovered a new shortcut in Firefox 1.5 today. In the previous version of Firefox, I used the SuperDragAndGo extension to open links in new tabs. It turns out that in Firefox 1.5, you can drag a link onto the tab toolbar and a new link will open automatically. I love it when Firefox integrates functionality from my favourite extensions (like miniT).

On a related note, dragging selected text into the search box in the Google toolbar will automatically bring up a Google search page for the selected text.

IE7 Beta 1

Dean, the guy responsible for IE7, announced yesterday that Windows Vista (and concurrently IE7) Beta 1 has been released.

After reading the IE7 Technology Overview, I am please to see some of the new features that will be available in the new version of IE.

  • tabbed browsing
  • better user interface
  • proactive security notifications (for phishing, non-secure sites, etc)
  • alpha channel PNG support
  • better CSS support
  • RSS feed detection, subscription and viewing
  • built-in, customisable search tool
  • and so on

I won’t be switching from Firefox when it comes out, but it is good to know that IE is being brought to the same level as other browsers now. Hopefully, I’ll finally be able to design a website and not have to worry about testing it in different browsers.

The Beta 1 has been released to only MSDN subscribers and a small group of pre-selected testers. Beta 2, according to the documentation Dean provided in his post, will be available publicly.

A lot of commentators on Dean’s post are whining about the decision for Microsoft to go with a private testing for the first beta, but they’re all blowing smoke. They didn’t even read the information Dean posted, and got up in arms about something which is really irrelevant. They’re just a bunch of selfish children.

UPDATE: If you don’t want to take me seriously, at least listen to what Molly has to say.

IE Tabbed Browser

IE now has tabbed browsing!

Well, sort of. You have to install the MSN toolbar. The 1.2 version of the MSN toolbar now allows IE users to have tabbed browsing functionality. It appears the functionality is available to users of IE 5 and 6.

So what takes IE so long?

IBM Backs Firefox

Looks like Firefox is getting some much needed support in their fight against Internet Explorer.

IBM is encouraging its employees to use Firefox, aiding the open-source Web browser’s quest to chip away at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Firefox is already used by about 10 percent of IBM’s staff, or about 30,000 people. Starting Friday, IBM workers can download the browser from internal servers and get support from the company’s help desk staff.

And that doesn’t count all the employees who will install it on their laptops and home computers or those who will install it on the computers of friends and family.

IE 7 to Be More Standard Compliant

Chris Wilson, the lead program manager for the web platform in IE, announced on the IE Blog that IE 7 will be rid of many of the CSS inconsistencies that plague IE currently. To boot, it will also support PNG transparency. Oh how I’ve wanted this for a while.

Support the alpha channel in PNG images. We’ve actually had this on our radar for a long time, and have had it supported in the code for a while now. We have certainly heard the clear feedback from the web design community that per-pixel alpha is a really important feature.

Address CSS consistency problems. Our first and most important goal with our Cascading Style Sheet support is to remove the major inconsistencies so that web developers have a consistent set of functionality on which they can rely. For example, we have already checked in the fixes to the peekaboo and guillotine bugs documented at positioniseverything.net so use of floated elements become more consistent.

Good work. I can’t wait for it to come out.

Firefox Keyboard Navigation

Firefox is playing around with keyboard navigation.

Although that idea is far from new, the spin here is that the keystroke combinations take users to the next link by visual position, not its place in the HTML source code. To move to a link immediately to the right of the current link, users would press Shift-Alt-right arrow.

Firefox Popup Improvements

Mozilla is revamping the pop-up feature for Firefox to disable Flash and JavaScript popups by default.

Firefox can disable such popups, but the current version has that feature turned off due to concerns that it would interfere with legitimate popup windows that some sites use. A manual method of changing the default to block plug-in popups was offered up by the foundation several weeks ago, but now it’s testing an add-on patch that automates the chore.

Deleting Firefox Auto Complete Values

I am working on a project where I have to add several new job postings each day into a data base through a simple web form. Often, the job duration, application due date, city, or company are the same as previous ones. As a shortcut, I simply type in the first two or three characters and scroll through the auto complete list in Firefox.

Occasionally, I press tab too soon to get to the next field and end up submitting a partial value (like ‘4 ‘ instead of ‘4 months’).

Well, I just realised how to delete unwanted items from the auto complete list in Firefox. Just scroll through the list with the down arrow key on your keyboard until the the unwanted one is highlighted. then press Shift+Delete. Voilá! (is that better Cedric)

For IE users, I believe the key combo is simply the Delete key.

Google Preloads Firefox Searches

ZDNet has an article that states Google now pre-loads websites for the top results of searches made using Mozilla browsers.

Reza Behforooz, a software engineer at Google, announced on Wednesday that the search engine now pre-loads the top search result into the cache of Mozilla browsers.

“Now Google’s faster than ever on Firefox and Mozilla browsers,” said Behforooz in a posting on the company’s blog. “When you do a search on these browsers, we instruct them to download your top search result in advance, so if you click on it, you’ll get to that page even more quickly.”

Netscape 8.0

Netscape has released a public beta version of Navigator 8.0.

It’s built on the Gecko engine, but users apparently have the option to switch to Trident (IE’s rendering engine).

I haven’t tested the features since I will be using it for testing purposes only, but this has to be the ugliest browser I have seen since the 1990s.

Judge for yourself
though.