While Exch still continues to function properly, during Mozilla’s review process for the latest update, it was stalled (for good reason). For any future versions to be approved, code changes will be required.
The first issue has to do with respecting the global JavasSript namespace (which I didn’t when it was created, as was common practice at the time), and the other with features being deprecated (in favor of better approaches). From the email:
This version didn’t pass full review because of the following issues:
- The codebase_principal_support preference and enablePrivilege function are considered unsafe to use and support for them will be removed from Firefox very soon: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=546866.
Exch was and still is a pretty cool extension, but its task is better served via sites like Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance, or Bing Finance. Plus, with all of the cool things you can do with Google Search (as I have posted about before), or Yahoo having a slick currency conversion tool on their site, I feel I have run out of reasons to maintain it.
With all of that said, here’s the latest update: exch-1.5.0-fx. While it -should- work with Firefox 4 and 5, let’s call it “beta”. A beta perpetually stuck at version 1.5.0. ;-)
Awhile back (years) I tried out Songbird (a media player based on the same technology as Firefox and Exch), but was disappointed that it did not have an equalizer built in. More recently however, after downloading the 1.3.x nightly build I was pleasantly surprised by its progress. Much lighter weight than the likes of iTunes, and supporting awesome features like Amarok, it is turning out to be quite the app.
I suppose after a few more revisions and hopeful changes, it will be all that I had hoped it would. Things I would like to see added in the near term are, easier streaming media and playlist manipulation, as well as being able to save equalizer settings.
Check out some of the screenshots I took:
Exch 1.4.3 was submitted to Mozilla Addons a few weeks ago that had the following changes:
- Fixed issue with OS X preferences dialog.
- Changed keyboard shortcut to “ctrl-shift-e” on Windows and Linux and “command-shift-e” on OS X.
- Added German (de-DE) localization.
Unfortunately, something between the preferences dialog change and the new German localization needed a few more tweaks to be considered stable, and I didn’t test it out as good as I could have (downloading the German version of Firefox, etc.). So, anyone who has a German build of Firefox found their Exch broken. Fortunately, that has been fixed, and version 1.4.4 has been submitted to Mozilla Addons. It is still pending review in the sandbox, but I expect it to be released within a week or two.
With that said, you can download it directly from here, and then install it to Firefox for the fix… This really only affects German users of the extension.
Download / Install: Exch 1.4.4
The last submission I made to the Firefox Add-ons site for Exch was for Firefox 3.0 beta 4 compatibility… and it was still waiting on getting approved. So I deleted the files for the stale versions, updated Exch for Firefox 3.0 compatibility, and submitted this new version.
Hopefully it can get approved soon. I tested functionality on Ubuntu 8.04/Firefox 3 and on Windows XP Home/Firefox 3. It works as expected.
Minor update for 3.0 compatibility.
My interest was perked while I was checking out Prism the other day at Mozilla Labs.
Prism (formerly known as Webrunner), a site specific browser from Mozilla, allows publishers to distribute “webapp” archives that specify a website to load in a stripped down browser. It also lets publishers add some extra features on the client side to do some tricks to make the website behave more desktop-like.
From labs.mozilla.com regarding Prism: “Unlike Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight, weâ€™re not building a proprietary platform to replace the web. We think the web is a powerful and open platform for this sort of innovation, so our goal is to identify and facilitate the development of enhancements that bring the advantages of desktop apps to the web platform.“
Here’s a sample website (read that as web application) loaded inside of Prism on KDE:
When seeing this I thought to myself… this was attainable years ago using Xulrunner… For example (and just for fun), I grabbed a “widget like” build of Exch from the middle of 2006, removed most of the UI elements and dropped in a xul “browser” tag that pointed to the same website as the one referenced in the Prism .webapp screenshot above:
The majority of the chrome is removed and a couple “html:canvas” tags are included in the main xul file to draw the rounded borders and the “x” in the top right (clickable for closing). The results are very similar to Prism webapps whether you keep the chrome or ditch it and change the borders to make it widget like inside the xul for Xulrunner. The major difference in my opinion is the ease of deployment for Prism. A small extension like .webapp archive of a website and a few client side scripts (if desired) to add to the desktop-likeness.
I am glad that Prism is being developed… It will allow publishers to push out site specific browser apps -far- easier than what it took to put together what I had done for the example above in Xulrunner. It also adds to the huge pool of exciting technologies developing on the Internet these days.
The update to make Exch compatible with Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 has been accepted by the people at Mozilla. You can find it at the Firefox addons site.
I posted Exch 1.3.0 for Firefox 3 Beta 1 to addons.mozilla.org. It has to be approved by the people that do the approving over these matters. ;-) Then people can get it updated via the normal channels within Firefox 3 Beta 1.
- Within install.rdf: Changed the contents from 2.0.0.* to 3.0b1 in the following tag:
- Within install.rdf: Changed the contents from 1.2.1 to 1.3.0 in the following tag:
Planned work for the future:
- Update the currencies in the Exch form to match those that are at finance.yahoo.com
- Review code and update where necessary
Planned work for the long term future unless otherwise necessary:
- Look into some sort of alternative data source for currency information, what if Yahoo stops .csv downloads?
Todo for Exch:
- Update latest currency info from Yahoo!
- Test on Firefox 3 Beta 1
I just installed Firefox 3 Beta 1 on Linux. Looks nice… I wonder if many things will need updated for the extension to work… probably not. :-)
I was looking around the net for ramblings of the currency addon I put together for Firefox. It is neat to see what other people say about it.
13 Firefox Extensions Every Investor Needs
I wrote a little program called Exch that simplfies currency exchange and the retrieval of up to date exchange rates.
If you are already using Firefox 1.5 extensively it integrates well as a sidebar.
Other extensions I have been involved with.
Exch project on Mozdev.