January 2007, started with lots of tips and tweaks for Firefox:
- Security Component Error – A corrupted file in your Fx profile is the likely culprit of this fatal sounding Firefox error:
“Could not initialize the browser’s security component. The most likely cause is problems with files in your browser’s profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the browser and fix the problem. If you continue to use this browser session, you might see incorrect browser behavior when accessing security features.”
- Bookmarks: Backing up and Recovering – While the occurrences have become less now with the newer builds, there have been times users start Firefox only to discover their bookmarks, like socks in the wash disappeared without a trace. I recall one user kept losing the first half (A-L) of their bookmarks, never did figure out what caused that.
- Fx Tweak: List All Tabs Button – Another annoying/useless tab related feature that came with Fx 2 was the drop-down listing all open tabs. I suppose this is useful if you have lots of tabs open or the tab overflow still set to default. Nonetheless, it is a feature most of us could do without.
- Fx Tweak: Quick Find Bar – The Quick Find Bar seems to be very problematic for many users judging by the heavy commenting on this post. I don’t have any problems with my Quick Find Bar, but I have heard from many users who continue to have issues even after applying this tweak. May be this is something that will be fixed when Firefox 3 comes out next year.
- Fx Tweak: Moving Sidebar – Some people like to be different and have their sidebar on the right side of the screen instead of the left.
- Fx Tweak: Changing Progress Bar Color – Great for those users who don’t like the lime green (at least that is what it is in Vista) or whatever color it is progress bar.
- Tweaking the About Screen – For those users who truly want to customize their Firefox with a custom ‘About Firefox’ screen.
- Add-Ons & Download Managers in Sidebar – Another on my favorite tweaks and one of those ‘Why can’t this just be a standard feature?”
One of the reasons I really like and have stayed with WordPress is they are constantly adding new features. In January they added Snap (preview) feature to their blogs. This is one of those features that bloggers and readers either love or hate, which is why WordPress gives us the ability to disable this feature on our blogs.
Worst Bug of 2007 –This is what industry experts were saying about a flaw in Adobe Acrobat Reader in a Yahoo! News story on January 6th. As the year progresses we would learn there would be far worse bugs involving Vista, QuickTime and yes, even Firefox.
In their ever continuing quest to “Spread Firefox”, Mozilla added some new products to their online store.
The Firefox Mouse Pad was (and still is) only $5 + shipping. (Click on image to be take the to the Mozilla Store).
‘Aliens Prefer Firefox’. The Firefox Crop Circle Hoodie has been discontinued and I am kicking myself for not getting one when they were available. I did drop a note at the Mozilla Store asking if they are going to bring these back, so we shall see.
I did review a couple extensions during the month of January:
- Splash – Allows you to add your own Splash/Start-up Screen for Firefox, Thunderbird and Sunbird. FWIW, the novelty had pretty much worn off for me by the time I went to my new Vista system, so this extension was one I opted not to install.
- SearchLoad – Still one of my favorite and most used extensions. This added so much needed functionality to the search box such as clearing the search entry and reseting back to your ‘default’ search engine after so many seconds. This would have been a good contender for a new Firefox 3 feature.
- GetMail – Amazing how removing one button from the Firefox 2 toolbar could upset so many people. Funny thing is I never used the ‘Get Mail’ button so I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I simply switch over to Thunderbird when I had new messages.
Speaking of Thunderbird, Thunderbird 2, Beta 2 came out in the second half of January. During that time I was still doing the nightly builds of Thunderbird 2. I also did a brief review of the features that had been planned for Thunderbird 2. Seems there were a lot of people who wanted to try out Thunderbird 2 before it came out. A week after its release, over 100,000 people were using Thunderbird 2 Beta 2.
Windows XP Support after Firefox 3? In late January when Microsoft released Windows Vista, many people wondered how much longer Mozilla would support XP after Firefox 3. After all, Mozilla has discontinued support for Windows 95/98/Me with the (still) upcoming Firefox 3.
Finally, there were a couple Microsoft vs Mozilla debates:
- Who patches better: Microsoft or Mozilla? – SearchSecurity.com and Window Snyder. The topic: Security practices of Microsoft and Mozilla, mainly when it comes to patches and security updates
- Thunderbird 2 or Outlook 2007? – Normally a newer release of product is suppose to be an improvement over old versions. Sadly, this isn’t always the case, especially if it is a Microsoft product. Outlook 2007 is being called a FIVE YEAR step backwards for e-mail design.