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Preview: Jacob's Mozilla Tips

Jacob's Mozilla Tips

Jacob's Mozilla Tips -

Last Build Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:13:11 GMT


How RSS could be improved in Firefox

Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:13:11 GMT

I am a big user of RSS feeds. When I first read that RSS should be part of Firefox I was hoping for something more. I have been a very happy user of the RSS Reader Panel by Flyson from Japan. The project is now under development by a new team and is now called Sage. They have improved the already great extension in many ways and I expect some nice changes in the future.

I think the Firefox team could learn something about how RSS should be integrated in the browser. Using the Sidebar for RSS is a pretty good idea if you ask me. I read the headlines in the left side of the screen and see the content of on the right side. One of the big thing the current RSS solution in Firefox misses is an unobtrusive way to tell the user that there is new content in some of the feeds they have subscribed to.

The idea of clicking at something in the status bar to get a Live Bookmarkis works ok ( still not perfect). But there are also many sites with a RSS feed that don't give an icon in the status bar. One of the sites I use is The Inquirer They have a orange RSS button on their site. If you click on it you get some scrambled text. How on earth do you expect that normal visitors should know what to do next? It more looks like Firefox has made an error with the feed.

Update The Inquirer has now added a Live Bookmark for their site. Read more here

Erik Arvidsson, a new developer on the Sage team has some thoughts how RSS could be improved in Firefox. You can take a look at it here: Erik's weblog (image)

Can somebody fix this bookmarks bug?

Sun, 01 Aug 2004 09:56:36 GMT

I have organized the bookmarks I use often in a subfolder of my personal toolbar. This is a very nice way to have fast acces to them. There is one problem though: When I hover the mouse over any of the bookmarks in a subfolder of my personal toolbar I can't see the URL of the bookmark in the statusbar.

Mozilla Firefox is currently using tooltips to show the URL of bookmarks in the personal toolbar. ( there is not shown anything in the statusbar)
If you hover your mouse over your bookmarks in the sidebar, nothing happens. ( bug 239429 )
If you go to your regular bookmarks the URL of the bookmark appears in the statusbar.

I suggest that the bookmarks sidebar, the personal toolbar and any subfolders of the personal toolbar use the same concept of showing the URL in the statusbar. They should treat bookmarks the same way as regular bookmarks are treated.

The bug for the personal toolbar is bug 213163 and it's currently blocking the Firefox 1.0 release. Somebody should take a look at it. (image)

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 Release Plan

Tue, 06 Jul 2004 15:43:47 GMT

Ben Goodger has been updating the release plan for the Firefox 1.0 release.

He says that Mozilla Firefox 1.0 is targeted for a release on the 14th September. But those who have been following the Firefox milestone releases know what target means. It usually means + few more weeks... But I guess it's ok as long as 1.0 will be the best Firefox ever produced. You can read more about the release plan here

But I wonder what happened with the Firefox 0.9 milestone. Here they released a milestone with a buggy Extension and Theme manager. There where testers out there who pointed to problems and there were also filed bug reports to bugzilla. But ignored this chose to release a somewhat buggy 0.9 release and then fix the problems a few weeks later with 0.9.1

I have heard some say it was to move faster to the 1.0 release. But I don't get it: They have to fix the bugs for the extension and theme manager anyway so why not use some more time on the 0.9 milestone. Then they wouldn't have to spend time for the 0.9.1 release...

Perhaps the developers have a big master plan that my little mind doesn't understand. (image)

Solving problem with "critical updates available" in Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1 [tip 34]

Sun, 04 Jul 2004 23:30:03 GMT

If you have upgraded to Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1 you might have noticed a little icon in the status bar alarming you about some critical updates that are available. The only problem is that it is reporting that there is a upgrade called Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1 which you already have installed...

I have found a solution to the problem for those users who still have that irritating thing sitting in the status bar.

1. Type about:config in the address bar [enter].
2. Make a filter for
3. Right click and reset each of the entries that are bold back to the defaults (,,, and
4. Restart Mozilla Firefox (image)

OSnews reviews Mozilla Firefox

Thu, 01 Jul 2004 19:46:38 GMT

Martín Marconcini who uses Opera as his primary browser has been testing Firefox for one week. You can read his impressions of the Firefox browser here (image)

Mozilla Firefox 0.9 is out [tip 33]

Tue, 15 Jun 2004 12:23:59 GMT

Another milestone on the road to Phoenix ( Mozilla Firefox 1.0 ) is out.

Here is my summary what you can expect from the 0.9 release.

1. Extension / Theme manager that allows easy updating and removal of themes / extensions

2. New default theme. ( look in my entry from the 6th June for a screenshot)

3. Wizard to import preferences from other browsers (IE, Netscape Opera) This way you can easily copy bookmarks, cookies, passwords and other preferences in Firefox 0.9.

4. A somewhat faster browser and the download size has been lowered to 4,7 MB

5. Several other small fixes and enchantments

You can find download links on the front page of I advise to read the release notes before you install Firefox 0.9

You must first uninstall Firefox 0.8 before you install Firefox 0.9. Don't worry all your settings and bookmarks will be transferred to your new Firefox. The extensions and themes from Firefox 0.8 will be "dead" in Firefox 0.9, so you will have to find new updated extensions for 0.9. EDIT: Try look at this new website: for downloadding themes and extensions.

If you are very dependant on a certain extension it might be best to keep Firefox 0.8 and wait for the extension author to update his extension.

If there are any problems you can seek help in the Mozillazine forums

Good luck with Mozilla Firefox 0.9

Mozilla Firefox 0.9 will be out today

Mon, 14 Jun 2004 22:08:23 GMT

Mozilla Firefox 0.9 will also be out today. Looks like is trying to stress their servers as much as possible :-)

In the waiting time for the release I recommend the following sites:

Release Notes for Mozilla Firefox 0.9
Jesse Ruderman's Bigger Picture (what's new in Firefox 0.9)
Neil Turner's Tour for Firefox 0.9

Mozilla Suite 1.7 out tomorrow

Mon, 14 Jun 2004 14:53:08 GMT

Mozilla Suite 1.7 should be out tomorrow at mid-day (pacific time). That is about 9 o'clock in the evening for Western Europe. I have not seen the final release notes but you can take a look at the notes for the third release candidate ( there should not be any differences between the RC3 and the final 1.7)

Here is a source for the release tomorrow. You can also see the Release Status page for Mozilla Suite 1.7

I'm not that big fan of the suite, I'm more a firefox guy :-) But the suite is nice for people who want browser, mail client, tools for creating websites and an IRC client all in one suite. So if you only have tried the Firefox you could take a look at the suite.

About tip 31 and tip 32

Mon, 07 Jun 2004 23:37:17 GMT

I have now in a few days worked with the extension I mentioned in tip 32. At first it seemed like a really good extension but there is a problem. If you click on a link in your mail program it will open up a new tab. But it will not focus on the new tab (it's opened in the background) so you have to move your mouse to the tab and click on it. It would be better it the tab opened up in the foreground.

I asked Aaron if it would be possible to open up the external link in foreground but he did not know how to do it. The only fix to the problem was to go Tools -> Options -> Advanced and then remove the checkmark from "Open links in the background" under the browsing category. But in my everyday browsing I need to open them in the background so that is really not an option for me.

I am now using the preference I mentioned in tip 31 where I let external links open in a new window. Actually this is pretty good way to handle external links in Mozilla Firefox. But I think I still would prefer to let external links open up as a tab in the foreground ( without removing the "open links in the background" ). If any of you know the solution how to do this, you can write the solution to this thread on Mozillazine or directly to Aaron Spuler

Teaser for new default theme

Sun, 06 Jun 2004 16:48:41 GMT

(image) (taken from )

It will already be introduced in Mozilla Firefox 0.9 but the theme is not yet finished so it will get some more polish before Firefox 1.0 .

Personally I like the Qute theme but the new Winstripe theme also looks nice :-)

Open links from other apps in a new tab [tip 32]

Tue, 01 Jun 2004 19:15:46 GMT

In tip 31 I mentioned that it was possible to let Firefox open links from other applications in a new window. This is all very good but how do you get Firefox to open a link in a new tab?

I have just found a brand new extension that solves the problem. It's a very small extension named: Single Window Mode Extension. If you look at the extension you have an option to let Firefox open all links in a new tab ( instead of opening new Windows). You can also choose to let Firefox open external links in a new tab.

This is really good extension if you ask me. With this extension my tip in tip 31 comes obsolete I would say. You can get the extension at Aaron Spuler's home page (look under extensions) He also has a few other gems at his site :-)

Open links in your mail programme in a new Window [tip 31]

Mon, 31 May 2004 17:34:03 GMT

If you use other programmes (e.g. mail client or messenger) you can click on a link and it will open in Mozilla Firefox (if you have set it up to be the default browser). But there is one problem:

The default setting is that Firefox will open the link in the same window (i.e. it is not opening up a new window) I think this is quite annoying and you even risk data loss. Imagine you are writing something in a forum and then you click on a link in a mail. The forum page disappears and the new link is opened. Of course you can click the back button but on certain sites (like the Mozillazine forum) you lose everything you have written.

But you can change a preference so that links in other programs will be opened in a new window.

Write about:config in the address bar and click enter
make a filter for ddee
right click the advanced.system.supportDDEExec that appears
Change the value from true to false

Close the browser and notice the new behaviour of your browser. If you click on a link in another programme in will open a new window.

Ben Goodger interview at

Thu, 27 May 2004 17:45:22 GMT

Check out the interview with Ben Goodger, chief developer of Mozilla Firefox who has given an interview to He has a bit of news about the upcoming Mozilla Firefox 0.9.

You can find the interview here

Great new search extension [tip 30]

Sun, 09 May 2004 01:50:06 GMT

I just found a great new extension I want to share with you. It's been something I have been looking for in a long time.

Most people probably know the feature when you right click some text on a web site you can do a google search on it ( Search Web for...) . This feature has been enhanced by Cusser, a user on Mozillazine who already has created a few extensions you can see on his web site

The search extension will allow you to not only do searches in google, but also other web sites. Imagine you are a movie buff ( like me) Then you could right click the name of a movie in your tv listing and then search for it on IMDb in a new tab.

You simply go to the google search box, click on the google icon and add the search engines you want to have acces to. If you have installed the extension from Cusser you can right click on some text and make search for it in a dictionary, IMDb or another site you like. You are no longer restricted to google.

You can get the extension here You might also want to check the thread on MozillaZine where he announces his new extension.

Great work, Cusser. This is a very good extension.

Screenshots currently not working

Mon, 03 May 2004 15:43:45 GMT

The server I use to host my pictures and some other files is currently down.

April Update

Sat, 01 May 2004 20:30:25 GMT

I have given up the idea of posting new content on my blog every single day. But remember to check my blog now and then I will still write some tips and tricks on my blog.

Here you can see my blog entries from April month if you want a nice overview.

Tips for the RSS Reader Panel [tip 29]

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 22:53:04 GMT

The last entry about the RSS Reader Panel extension was rather long so I decided to cut it in 2 parts and give some small tips for this extension.

You can add an icon to the RSS Panel in the toolbar. Go to View -> Toolbars -> Customize to do this. It makes life a little simpler because you then quickly can turn the RSS Reader Panel on and off.

Use Tools -> Check Update to check if there is some new content in your feeds. A red splash means there is something new, a blank page means that there is no news, a question mark means that the site does not support the feature. ( I must notice that some sites report it wrong, so you can't be sure a red splash means there is something new... )

You can middle click the headlines like any other link and open them in a new tab.

Some people (not me) prefer to open up the feeds in a browser window to see the headlines . You can go to View -> Open In Contents Area to set it up this way.
You can also change the look of the contents area with a css file. Check and look at the various samples. You need to download the css you are interested in. If you then in the RSS Reader go to to Tools -> Setting... you can point to the css file you want to use.

Using the RSS Reader Panel [tip 28]

Wed, 28 Apr 2004 22:15:08 GMT

RSS is a standard in family with XML mostly used by news sites and weblogs. It allows to collect data from the site and then present it by some software to the user . I'm a happy user of the RSS Reader Panel. It allows me quickly to check if there is any news on the sites I am following. There are also some other software options instead of the RSS Panel Reader. Some are used together with a mail client and there are also stand alone RSS Reader Programs. You can even subscribe to some feeds on a website without any software installed. But I like it the way the RSS extension is integrated to the browser. Here's a screenshot how it looks on my system. You can download the RSS Reader Panel here: After the install remember to close your Firefox and then open it again.Create a folder in your bookmarks to store your RSS feeds. You can go to Tools -> Manage Bookmarks to do this. Give the folder a name like RSS feeds or RSS folder. Click on View -> Sidebar -> RSS-Reader ( or Alt +R) to get your RSS Reader up. Now you should see your RSS Reader Panel. Go to to Tools -> Settings in the RSS Reader and tell the extension where your new RSS folder is.Now it's time to add some feeds. Notice the RSS feed l have on my blog (look at my links section). You can drag and drop it to your RSS extension in the sidebar. You can also click on the RSS feed and then bookmark the site to your new RSS Folder that you have created.Here are some other Mozilla related RSS feedsMozillazine Mozilla newsThe Burning Edge Jesse Ruderman about Nightly Firefox buildsOfficial Firefox nightly build thread edit: New URLThere are a lot of other Mozilla blogs. I will show another smart way to access them later on my blogHere are some other sites in English I visitComputerThe InquirerThe RegisterX-Bit LabsNeowin.netBink.nuAnandtech newsBetanewsArs TechnicaNewsChristian Science Monitor | WorldThe Economist ComicsCalvin and HobbesDilbertOne thing I need to mention is that the RSS Reader Panel is somewhat broken when using the nightly test builds. The Extension can't remember which sites you have visited in the headlines. This is not a problem in the Firefox 0.8 milestone. I reported about the problem in the 20th March build where I applied this Photo to explain the problem. Let's hope the problem is solved when Mozilla Firefox 0.9 is released. I will in 2 days write some small tips to this extension.[...]

Open Address in New Tab [tip 27]

Sun, 25 Apr 2004 15:54:43 GMT

Imagine you want go to a new website and you don't have a link to that site so you can't middleclick it. If you still want to keep the current website open you will need to open a new tab or window and then open a bookmark or type the URL.

But you can use a shortcut to stay at the current site and then let the URL you type in the address bar open in a new tab.

Write the address in the address bar as you normally do and then use Alt + Enter (instead of Enter)

Result: The website will open in a new tab.

Teaser for new extension manager

Wed, 21 Apr 2004 17:20:06 GMT


As I have mentioned earlier there will be an extension manager in Mozilla Firefox 0.9. The picture is taken from the latest nightly build. But the Extension Manager is not yet in the nightly builds, only the menu item to the preferences is checked in for testing purposes.

Tuesday is bug day [tip 26]

Tue, 20 Apr 2004 10:04:39 GMT

Every Tuesday you can meet other people in the chatroom #mozillazine on the mozilla server and help to find and resolve bugs. If you have set up the Chatzilla extension I mentioned in tip 14 you can use this link You can also use another IRC client like mIRC or use the Mozilla Suite 1.6 which has an integrated IRC (internet relay chat) client .

In today's chat the topic is to confirm or resolve unconfirmed bug in the top 100 English used websites. There is more about the topic here

The chat starts 19.00 Central European Time. That is 10 o'clock in the morning Pacific Time in United States. You don't have to be afraid to join the chat. Just join the chat and see what the other are writing. Perhaps you can also try to to see if you can see the same bugs other people have reported. If there are any questions just ask in the chatroom :-)

Using the Paste and Go extension [tip 25]

Mon, 19 Apr 2004 00:30:10 GMT

If you have tried the Opera browser you will probably know Paste and Go. Sometimes you will need to right click an URL, paste it to the address bar and then go the site by pressing Enter or clicking Go. But when you have the Paste and Go extension installed you can go to the site without pressing Enter or Go.

Imagine you are working on Internet Explorer but you need to go to the site in Mozilla Firefox. Right click the URL of the site, go to the address bar of your Firefox, right click and select "Paste and Go" from the context menu. Yes your Firefox is now going to the site and you saved one step.

If you paste something to the integrated Google search box you will also be able to "Search and Go"

You can find the extension here:

No updates on my blog the next few days

Thu, 08 Apr 2004 00:24:32 GMT

I will not update my blog until Tuesday. I am going to spend the Eastern holiday together with my family where there aren't any computers. Well even if there was a computer I would not spend time in front of it. Have a nice holiday everyone :-)

How about a Firefox desktop? [tip 24]

Tue, 06 Apr 2004 23:47:52 GMT

Take a look at this wallpaper (image)
It's created by Jon Hicks who made the artwork (the firefox) for the Mozilla Firefox browser. It's available in different screeen sizes right here

I also recommend to take a look at his webjournal. EDIT: Take a new look at his blog, there is a teaser for some artwork for the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client.

New rule for comments

Sun, 04 Apr 2004 22:34:50 GMT

I would like that everyone who writes on my blog sign their comments with their name or nickname. I like who know who is making the comments. So if you are kind then sign your comments. You can also write the country you come from if you want.

I read all the comments I get, so if you think you can contribute something to my tips or have a question then don't be afraid to make a comment.