Category: Browsers

Crashing Safari?

I have had isolated reports that since upgrading this blog to WordPress 2.3 and the theme to K2 RC2, this blog crashes the Safari browser.

I’m running Safari version 3.03 on my Mac and it doesn’t crash but I’m told version 2.04 does crash.

I have tried turning off some of the sidebar widgets but that didn’t fix it (maybe I didn’t turn off the right ones?) and I tried tweaking the theme but to no avail.

If there are any code junkies out there who have any suggestions on why the blog may be suddenly crashing some versions of Safari, I’d love to hear them so I can resolve this.


Google Facebook offline?

Facebook apps are the hot thing at the minute. Everyone who has any kind of a Web 2.0 site has either created one or is in the process of.

When I saw this morning that Google were after creating a Facebook app, I was quite curious. According to the article:

Google made a lovely app for Facebook that lets you search the web and share the results with your friends. Your queries are automatically included in Facebook’s mini-feed, so your web history can be shared with your friends. There’s also a page that showcases popular results found by other Facebook users.

Interesting (and potentially dangerous!) – unfortunately when I clicked on the link I was presented with the following screen:
Google Facebook app offline

Anyone know what’s going on there?

Adblock – love it or hate it?

I wrote a post the other day talking about a blogger who stopped all Firefox users from visiting his site because they may have the Adblock plugin installed!

Adblock is a plug-in for Firefox which allows you to view sites on the Internet but avoid seeing the ads they display.

I am a big fan of Adblock (as I have mentioned several times on this blog) and so was surprised that in the comments of my previous post, several people I respect came our strongly against Adblock saying things like:

I can understand how he feels if his business revenue depends on ads

I do get irritated when I see people using AdBlock. As a web-developer I see it as part of the contract of using a website. We give you free content and you get to see some adverts


I’m very much against Adblock myself. I installed it once and it provided one of the worst web expierences ever. Adblock was presenting white areas where there would be ads, a lot of webpages looked very naked as Adblocked skwed the natural appearance of the site.

I would love to see Adblock and other ad blocking extensions illegalised but it’s never going to happen.

My attitude is quite different.

I read hundreds of websites per day. The majority of these sites I read through my RSS reader so even if they are displaying ads, I don’t see them. To the commenters, if you truly believe that people should only view your content if they also read your ads, you need to either stop publishing RSS feeds or start publishing ads in your feed.

As to the point that his business revenue may depend on Ads – if so, then stopping all viewers who use Firefox is only going to hurt his revenue, not help it. Firefox users are, in general, more tech literate and therefore are more likely to link to your site. Banning them from your site will only reduce inward linkage, drop you in search engine results and decimate your ad revenue.

As for the point of making Adblock illegal because it affects how sites are rendered, I think I can safely ignore that one 😛

Ads (especially Flash based ads or graphical ones) slow down the loading of sites and therefore waste my time without adding any benefit to me (I haven’t blocked Google Ads as they are non-intrusive, text based ads).

I have never clicked on an ad on a website and I have seen plenty of them (non-blocked Google Ads and when I use browsers other than Firefox).

According to Google Analytics, Search Engines account for 73% of traffic to this site. The majority of people who do click on ads are, I suspect, one off visitors to a site who land there from a search. This demographic doesn’t use Firefox, doesn’t use RSS and has never heard of Adblock.

For people who use the web all day, every day Adblock is a boon. It vastly speeds up your browsing experience, eliminates distractions (think flashing blinking ads) and cleans up the content on the page.

For ad publishers, Adblock makes you site far more palatable to the small demographic of users who know how to deploy it. This demographic wouldn’t click on the ads on your site in any case. And this user, is far more likely to promote your site for you, thereby driving traffic to it.

What do you think?

Marcio Galli's talk in Cork

Mozilla's Marcio Galli speaking at it@cork

Fair dues to Damien Mulley and it@cork for putting on a great Firefox event last night.

Marcio Galli is a Consulting Software Developer at Mozilla Foundation based in Brazil. He gave a fascinating talk entitled “Talk: Read, Write, and Recycle the Web with FireFox 3“.

Watch the it@cork blog for a detailed review of the talk later today.

UPDATE – Mark Crowley’s detailed review of the talk is now up on the it@cork blog.

Firefox's marketshare now 27.8% in Europe?

Tom’s on holidays, I’ll be your host for today. My name’s Frank P, you might remember me from such blogs as “”,”” and “”.

Damien asks us what our site stats for Firefox are after reading the results of a survey by XiTi monitor which shows Firefox having 38.6% marketshare in Ireland.

You can read more about the survey and it’s findings on

A study of nearly 96,000 websites carried out during the week of July 2 to July 8 found that FF had 27.8% market share across Eastern and Western Europe

With regard to Damien’s question: For Google Analytics puts Firefox at 39.54% for the month of June – that’s for all traffic not just European traffic (Northern Europe accounts for 50.48% of that traffic with Ireland accounting for 18.59%).

Flock 0.9 beta released

Flock 0.9 beta released

Flock‘s latest version of their browser, Flock 0.9 was released this morning and I must say I love the new look.

The integration with sites like Flickr,, and YouTube is great but there are still a couple of wrinkles to iron out.

For instance, there is a Feeds sidebar. You would imagine that if you are on a site which has a feed, you should be able to drag the site from the address bar to the sidebar and have it added. Not possible.

Also, there was a button on the button bar which, if you dragged an image over it, it opened the uploader for uploading the image to Flickr. That has been moved to the small Flock Toolbar and is easy to miss. It should be possible to add it back to the main toolbar.

I’d like to see some kind of FaceBook and Twitter integration there as well – they are the sites du jour at the minute.

The memory footprint certainly seems to have improved with this release which is good because previous releases were total resource hogs.

The idea of the Web Clipboard is an interesting one. I’ll have to see if I can get into using it.

The built-in blog editor is too bare bones to be of use though. It can’t see your blog categories, for instance. And i can’t get the Media Bar to open on my Mac (it opens fine on my Vaio) – no idea what is going on there.

Overall though, despite the criticisms above, this release is a big improvement and I’ll continue to use Flock (it is my default browser on Mac). Keep up the good work guys.

Security Patched Safari for Windows released

Apple have released a Security Patched version of Safari for Windows (v 3.0.1). The patch fixes security vulnerabilities in Safari I wrote about earlier this week.

There is still no fix for the bug I highlighted earlier this week (clicking on the x to close a window with multiple tabs doesn’t alert you and goes ahead and closes all tabs).

It is still beta software and should be used with extreme care for the moment.

The download links are on the Safari Download page.

via infoworld

Firefox 3 alpha quick review

Mozilla recently released Gran Paradiso 1.9 Alpha 5 (aka Firefox 3).  This is the up and coming version of Firefox and although still in Alpha, I have been running it for several days now and it  is quite stable.

According to the release notes:

Gran Paradiso 1.9 Alpha 5 introduces several new features:

  • Bookmarks portion of Places has been enabled
  • New crash reporting system, Breakpad. It’s enabled by default on Mac OS X, on about 50% of Windows installations, and not yet available on Linux.
  • You can also view crash reports at this site.
  • New Javascript-based Password Manager. More details available here.
  • Support for Growl notification under Mac OS X
  • Support for native controls on Mac OS X
  • Miscellaneous Gecko 1.9 bug fixes

Most of these fixes are under-the-hood, so the new Firefox is remarkably similar to the old one!

The major obvious differences are it appears slightly faster (though this could be due to the lack of plugins!) and the pages render better. The major downside is that Gran Paradiso is a memory hog, using 1.15gb of virtual memory on my MacBook Pro! But that is with four windows and fifty tabs open.

Upgrading, as always, disables most of the plugins. I have mixed feelings about that. Some plugins I love and hate having to go without (Adblock, for example) but the majority of the plugins I had in Firefox 2 were downloaded to try out and never used again!

Overall, if you are happy running Alpha software, try Gran Paradiso. You will like the improvements and there are very few downsides.

Don't install Safari on Windows!

Wow that was fast!

Apple released a beta of their Safari browser last night to run on Windows and a few short hours later, vulnerabilities which allow remote code execution have been published already!

It looks like Safari for Windows was released a little early. Whatever about the small functionality bug I found, the ability to run code remotely on your Windows machine is a critical vulnerability. Don’t use Safari on a Windows machine until these exploits have been fixed.

Hard to know where the blame lies for this – Thor Larholm blames Apple’s ignorance of Windows:

On the OS X platform Apple has enjoyed the same luxury and the same curse as Internet Explorer has had on the Windows platform, namely intimate operating system knowledge. The integration with the originally intended operating system is tightly defined, but the breadth of knowledge is crippled when the software is released on other systems and mistakes and mishaps occur.

While some commenters on his site blame Microsoft:
I don’t know, the way you described it seems more like a hole in the way Windows handles things than a Safari hole. Does a Windows API call launch a shell process, or does Safari manually go and run a command line program? If it’s the Windows API for URL handling, then it’s clearly broken. Every program that needs to grab a URL should not be responsible for patching holes in Windows.

Safari 3 for Windows. New OS, same missing features!

I saw from Engadget that Apple have released a new beta version of their browser, Safari, which will run on Windows. There are versions for Windows XP and Windows Vista.

I downloaded it and installed on an XP machine and it does appear to run quite quickly.

However, Apple still haven’t addressed Safari’s biggest bug – it is far too easy to close a window in accidentally Safari closing all its tabs. Both Firefox and Internet Explorer give you a warning if you try to close a window with multiple tabs open. How hard would it be for Safari to implement this feature?

Safari 3 running on Windows

Having said that, if you load the Acid2 test on IE7, Firefox and Safari for Windows, only Safari displays it correctly.

Opera also passes the Acid2 test (not displayed). However, Opera also allows you to close multi-tab windows without warning!

So as well as being fast, Safari for Windows is, along with Opera, the most standards compliant browser available. Just don’t close any multi-tab windows accidentally!

Safari passes Acid2 test

You can download the beta from the Safari download page.

Update 1: Apple’s official announcement is now up

Update 2:  As Conall notes in the comments of this post, the multi-tab warning is working in the new Mac version of Safari.