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"
          code="MyApplet"
          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" />
</applet>

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]

WPF/E in Firefox

Mike Harsh discusses a bit about WPF/E as a cross platform solution, and includes a Firefox extension, leaving me to believe another Firefox extension from Microsoft is in the works (first being Microsoft Genuine Advantage). Mac support too.

For those wondering what WPF/E is, I’d recommend reading this and of course a wikipedia entry.

I do wonder if yet another framework to fragment the computing world is needed. Especially with things like SVG, Canvas and the Web Applications 1.0 Specification aka (X)HTML5, among existing technologies already in motion. But that’s another discussion.

Microsoft Genuine Advantage for Firefox

As reported by Neowin.net, Microsoft now supports Windows Genuine Advantage for Firefox. You can check this by visiting this page and getting the plugin. This will make it easier to download from Microsoft’s site. Microsoft earlier in the year fixed another issue blocking some Firefox users. It’s great to see them taking steps to fix the web. The majority of reports on their domains are now aesthetic, and of course windows update.

The plugin installed is:

Windows Genuine Advantage validation plug-in
    File name: npLegitCheckPlugin.dll
    Version: 1.4.0389.0
    MIME Type : application/WGA-plugin

Update: More info can be found on the IEBlog.

Static Building

I’ve started building static pages with WordPress, to see if I can speed things up (even more). I started experimenting with it a week or so ago, and have been toying around. At this point I think it’s pretty good, minus a few small glitches (all I can live with for the moment).

One apparently is that in WordPress 1.3, it doesn’t correctly show how long it took to process. For example I see:

Dynamic Page Served (once) in 0.182 seconds
Static Page Served in 1,105,325,889.680 seconds

No, it didn’t take that long. It actually loaded quicker than the dynamic page.

But yes, I’m feeling even better about WordPress, it’s a solid platform to run a Blog on. Easy to setup, configure, install, tweak, skin. I love 1.5, but I won’t be moving over until it hits final.

I’ve been somewhat quiet these past few days, since I’ve been spending a ton of time coding away on various projects. It’s starting to get close to some of it being put into production. Though some larger projects are far from completion. Other than that, not much else to say.

Good idea for Thunderbird Plugin

Props to whomever can implement this:

I miss being able to open links in emails in tabs. Props to whomever can restore the “Open in New Tab” menu item to Thunderbird, and have it open in a new tab in Firebird.

That right now is my biggest Thunderbird regression. I miss my tabs.

Other than that, so far I’m rather satisfied. More details on my feelings on Thunderbird as my default email client later. I’ll also give a brutally honest review of Firebird as my daily browser. Illustrating what I like, what I love, and what I hate.

Overall, I’m doing pretty good in the new SW. I got my profile transfered (despite no import utility present). And I’m giving it a go. I know already I’m not going back. But that doesn’t mean SeaMonkey wasn’t good.

More info later.