25,000,000 Downloads Later


Well 25 million downloads later. That’s one hell of an impressive number. And it’s a growing number.

Blake just posted information on a silver collectors coin (limited edition) for those who made it possible (well the top few, there’s so many now).

There’s also a sale over at the Mozilla Store. Perhaps it’s time I pick up a polo shirt or something to celebrate. I’m still (surprisingly) Mozilla gear free. Only bits.


It’s time to put up, or shut up

Ben hit it right on the head:

Game on.

Microsoft at this point is trying to provide security, something Mozilla already has the upper edge on. Now it’s a matter of providing a better browsing experience. I see several things coming up:

  • Firefox is more extendable. With much less effort you can create toolbars, menu’s, etc. and add features to the browser. A ton already exist. Great for companies who need their own customization, but don’t want to spend a lot developing them.
  • Firefox is cross platform. Thanks to Gecko working on many platforms, it makes testing interal websites quicker. IE on the Mac and PC are two completely separate beasts, sharing no more than the name. Minimize your testing my using Firefox. It supports just about any platform you may find.
  • Inovation. When was the last time you’ve seen that? Has IE inovated in the past half decade? Does it support CSS well? Does it have a proof of concept when it comes to XForms implementation? It’s vaporware until you see it.

Firefox is gearing up for a great fight. It won’t be an easy one, but many strides have been made. Firefox has a solid base and is fixing it’s weaknesses. IE doesn’t have anywhere near that.

Bottom Line
Firefox has a cult following of people that adore it. Microsoft, with it’s millions of users, doesn’t have that many fans. Firefox with only a few million (in comparison) has tons of people volunteering to spread the word. I personally think that says a lot. IE doesn’t have fans. Only obligated users, or users who don’t know much about their browser. Firefox was chosen by almost 25 Million users. That says something very loud.

Oh boy are times getting interesting. Game On!


IE 7 coming soon

Thanks to Asa for the heads up.

Apparantly IE 7 is in the works, with beta’s due this summer.

Should be interesting.

In other news, Firefox 1.1 due early summer. Browser Wars 2.0 round 2!


Ask Jeeves to Open Source with Mozilla?

CNet has a very interesting article here

Open sourcing our desktop search is a very real project,” Lanzone said in an interview. “We’re strongly considering opening up our APIs (application programming interfaces). While we would still develop the core roadmap for it, at the same time we realize we’re not going to be able to build every bell and whistle.

Ask Jeeves has some good comments on their blog as well.


New Design 3.0beta1

The first round of changes to this blog have landed. Obviously the most prominent is the first design change in about 18 months.

The design isn’t final, there are a dozen or so things that will be changing (some big, some small). There are also some more backend changes to be made, as well as port over some of my old hacks. Also some new toys coming. So keep an eye out and see if you can spot some of the changes as they happen.

Oh… the “blue” thing going on is just temporary. The top part will be changing somewhat often (as often as I feel). It’s just cold out, so I felt wintery. I’m going to get that in gear at some point in the near future.

So many changes going on here as we get a bit more professional. If my old blog was “freeware”, this is the “pro” version

This is 3.0 now! and surprisingly, we’ll be approaching a 2 year anniversary sometime soon (about a month). It’s great to see how popular this thing has gotten.

Again, this is “beta 1”. Were going to have at least 1 more beta, and a few release candidates until the blog is stable like the old design. So report problems, suggestions. I’ll be making tweaks over the next few days.

Apple Blog Mozilla

It’s all Coming Soon

I’ve got a bunch of things in the works:

  • mozPod (iPod sync for Thunderbird), version 0.1
  • reporter tool (extension and webtool)
  • new blog design, and new toys!
  • a secret something? (more a long term thing)

So things may be a little quiet as I wrap some stuff up, and keep up with school work. All are looking pretty good at this point. So I’m rather excited. So much work being done, and so little to actually show right now. But hopefully at some point in the future things will start seeing the light of day.

So keep your eyes on this general space for a new amazing design, big announcements (some bigger than others), and a secret something to be unveiled (the secret may be under wraps for quite some time) to be unveiled on a day of the week that ends in ‘y’. And yes, that’s the only hint I’m giving.

Don’t you love it when I post stuff like this?

Update [12-26-2005]: It’s out, and available here.


iSkin evo2 Reviewed

Got my iSkin for my iPod today. Boy is this a cool product. Some quick observations:

Things that rock

  • Very nice tight fit. Not loose at all. Fits like a perfect glove.
  • Belt clip is extremely strange (in the way it’s attached to the case). Very clever, but unusual.
  • Screen cover is really clear. I don’t even notice it’s there.
  • The White color still keeps that iPod look, but gives some protection.
  • With the belt clip removed, you can see the Apple logo in a clear part of the case on the back, in a big circle. Pretty cool looking.

Things that can be improved

  • Belt clip is a bit weak, but I never intended to use it. Hence I liked the fact it came off. Would be better if it were metal, and spring loaded. Not to mention rotated smoother.
  • screen cover lifts the small part between the screen and the clickwheel. Not bad, just could be a bit tighter.
  • iSkin around the clickwheel should have been beveled. Same for where it meets the standby switch, and headphone jack.

It’s not perfect for those who use an iPod dock (though you can pull the iPod partially out through the clickwheel hole, and sync that way). I’d recommend a cable for ease.

Overall it’s a well made product. It’s a very simple design that compliments the iPod very well. It’s sleek, comfortable, and protective. It does provide a little padding for your iPod, not to mention a screen cover. It’s also made of water resistant material (though don’t test that out).

Products Mentioned
iSkin eVo2 4G iPod 20GB – Arctic
iSkin eVo2 4G iPod 40GB – Arctic

[Crossposted from]


Don’t make browsers, make extensions

There’s been a ton of speculation regarding “gbrowser”, google’s alleged browser, Netscape’s Firefox based browser, now even thoughts Yahoo might be interested. Though I wonder if that really is beneficial to anyone involved?

I’m going to make the bold statement that custom browsers are bad, making extensions are good.

There are several reasons why custom browsers are bad:

  • Casual web surfers don’t always realize “Browser X, and Browser Y are custom versions of Browser A”. They see them all as different products. It’s confusing, especially when websites block them because of their UserAgent. “I’m not using ‘Netscape’, I use ‘Mozilla'”.
  • Anyone who distributes a browser is obligated to maintenance, statistically the vast majority in a project life cycle. Especially in regard to security updates. Get them out quick. It can sometimes involve some extra work, and has minimal benefit for the distributor.
  • Self-competition becomes a factor. One thing that confuses many people about switching to linux is the simple question of “what distro?” This question, and the inability to quickly make a decision turns many people away. Windows and Mac OS have the advantage of making it very easy.
  • Over branding. Yes there is such a thing. You put a brand in someone’s face for too long, and it loses it’s significance and impact. They overlook it. How many people actually notice a McDonalds when driving around? Most don’t even see them, simply because they are more common than traffic lights. Now how many notice less popular dining establishments? Quite a few.
  • Ineffective marketing. When you share 90%+ of the code, you share features with tons of others and really have very little to market. What you do have to advertise, is somewhat insignificant. Why download a new browser for a logo? Is that even a feature? Why can’t I just bookmark your page if I like it?

The Correct Approach
I personally believe the correct approach in this arena is extensions. A great example is the brand new Yahoo Toolbar, or SpeakEasy. Why are these the right way?

  • Both leave security to the Mozilla Foundation, users can get updates as soon as they are released, they don’t have to wait for the distro’s cobranded builds to become available.
  • Users get new features as the product is updated. Don’t need to wait for the distro to update the cobranded builds.
  • Users choose branding, can uninstall it if they wish.
  • Less downloading. I change from speakeasy to yahoo, I don’t need to download a new browser, just install the extension.
  • Cross platform. It’s much less work to support Mac and Linux users when you provide an extension rather than a custom build. Get the whole audience.
  • Lower cost. It’s much less development to release an extension rather than a browser.

What do they lose?
Really nothing. You can do pretty much everything via extensions. You can create a skin, add features, overlay menus, add toolbars etc. etc. There’s quite a few possibilities.

Releasing your own browser, unless you really make radical changes (Camino, Galeon, K-Melon) is somewhat of an ineffective use of resources. You can accomplish the same thing, while providing better service to customers by trying to use an extension framework. Extensions by nature have less development requirements, easier to update, allow the user to have the latest browser, and give the user choice.

I personally think Yahoo and Speakeasy have done an excellent job. They accomplished their goal and really addressed the point I’m trying to make in this post. I just hope some other companies will seriously consider what they are doing, before they try and get their users to install hacked up copies of Firefox.

Extensions and Themes are the best way to customize a browser. If at all possible, try to keep within those frameworks. You’ll thank yourself later when you realize that you need little/no changes to work perfectly with Firefox 1.5 or later.


Yahoo! and Firefox!

Yahoo released their Firefox Toolbar!

As Blake also noted, I found this interesting:

The support and community that continues to grow around Firefox is amazing and we’re proud to be part of it. In fact, the Yahoo! Toolbar Beta is just one of many Firefox goodies you can expect to see from us this year, so stay tuned.

Yahoo Browser anyone? Yahoofox? Firehoo? Let the conspiracy theories begin!


Extension Idea: Fun With Acronyms

Take a list of common acronyms like this, and create an extension similar to the acronym tag so that a user can put their mouse over an acronym and get the actual meaning of it.

Should work for HTML, and plain text emails.

Would be quite useful.