With the faster release cycle and updating of Firefox, it’s been interesting to see features show up in the application like they do in web sites. They’re there the next time you load it, and are discovered almost by accident if you do not go searching for them on purpose.
The other day, while testing various display sizes on this very site, I noticed a new developer tool that was released called Responsive Design View. This special viewing mode was released in Firefox 15, and allows for various device sizes to be represented using the Gecko layout engine without too much hassle.
How nice. :-) The last feature I found out by accident that made me think, “wow cool,” was the 3D view that was released in Firefox 11. It would have been wonderful to have while developing some animated tabs I had running on here back in the day. Particularly because they would pop up from behind the main container of content on the site… so I had to visualize them behind there waiting for an event to happen to send them shooting up via some jQuery effects.
Never has it been easier to create an add-on for Firefox than right now. Check out the Add-on Builder @ https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/developers/tools/builder.
Docs and more are available at the Developer Hub.
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. ;-)
I have gathered some of the better work that I have done over the years, took some screenshots, and posted them to a running instance of MooFlow.
See it at the following url: http://karlherrick.com/demo/pub/mooflow/
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.
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. :-)