Download Day 2008 For A World Record

For those who haven’t heard, when Firefox 3 is released, the first 24 hours will be known as “Download Day 2008“. The goal is to set a world record for downloads over a 24 hour period in Guinness World Records. There’s no current record, so that means the one set needs to be high enough to entice Apple to use Software Updater and try to beat Firefox (joking).

More details can also be found on The Mozilla Blog post.

Now is great time to pledge, and encourage others to do so. 24 hours is a pretty small window, so being ready to go is a big advantage in setting a high download count. Spread the word now so this goes smoothly with as many participants as possible. Don’t wait until download day.

SSL Bug In Firefox 3b5

I’ve encountered this bug I just can’t quite figure out, so I figured I’d put it here. Hopefully with a broader audience someone else had encountered it and perhaps this will lead to the root cause being identified.

For some reason Firefox 3 can’t access Webmin on port 10000, which is how it’s setup on a box I have. It worked in Firefox 2.0, but not 3.0. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with Perl’s Net::SSLeay, which Webmin uses for SSL support, or the port number being 10000. I’ve tinkered a little bit with SSL settings, but so far haven’t been able to figure out exactly what’s going on. It seems to be a regression in NSS.

Anyone notice a regression like this using nightly builds somewhere else? This is the only case I’ve personally experienced it. If you have, then visit bug 423499 and let us know.

Edit [5/4/08 @ 11:30 PM EST]: No idea what’s going on here, but apparently nobody else can reproduce, so calling it quits for now.

Cross Site XMLHttpRequest (XHR) Removed From Firefox 3

As a heads up to developers, Cross Site XMLHttpRequest (XHR) has been removed from Firefox 3, despite being in earlier betas. To quote a draft relnote from Mike Beltzner:

Due to late changes in the Cross Site XMLHttpRequest specification which made our implementation incomplete, it was decided to remove support for this technology rather than include only partial support.

Hopefully things will be more stable by the next release and it can be re-included.

New Java Plugin

There are a few goodies in the new java plugin that will be available for Firefox 3.0 and later that I’m really glad to see:

  • Improved reliability. The JVM running the applet is isolated from the web browser at the operating system level. If something should go wrong while running the applet, or if an uncooperative applet refuses to shut down, the new Java Plug-In detects and handles the error condition gracefully; the web browser is unaffected.
  • Improved user experience. The new Java Plug-In starts applets in the background, so the web browser always remains responsive. Applets appear on the web page as they become ready to run.

A major criticism of java applets has always been their impact on browser performance. This should do a lot to remedy the problem. Another great addition is that you can now use an animated loading gif by using a new image param such as:

<applet archive="large_archive.jar"
          width="300" height="300">
    <!– Use an animated GIF as an indeterminate progress bar
          while the applet is loading –>
    <param name="image" value="animated_gif.gif" />
    <!– Turn off the box border for better blending with the
          surrounding web page –>
    <param name="boxborder" value="false" />
    <!– Center the image in the applet’s area –>
    <param name="centerimage" value="true" />

There’s other great stuff, but these are my personal favorites as they resolve long time gripes. You can find the above plus more in the release notes.

[Hat Tip: Henrik Gemal]