Wrong version of IE

So there I was, answering support calls in our helpdesk call management system when I copied a URL into the address bar of Mozilla Firefox 3.0, hit return and …

Well, I was a little surprised to read the following title bar text:

And this error message on the page.

Sorry, this application is not supported on this version of your browser. Your version of Internet Explorer needs to be upgraded to 5.5 or above.  Please contact your System Administrator.

Darn! I knew I should still be using Internet Explorer 5.5.

Portable Firefox wishlist

I’m really appreciating Portable Firefox for testing code in older versions of the browser.

But one thing that I really wish is that the process name (or whatever it is) in Portable Firefox was different to the installed version so that I could run both Firefox 2 and 3 simultaneously, like you can with the standalone installations of Internet Explorer.

Firebug fixed

Great to see that the latest update to Firebug has fixed the issue that I reported about it breaking when you opened Firebug in a new window (see Firebug bug at the other place).

Next up, I hope that the alignment of menu items gets fixed in the next update to the Web Developer add-in … it’s just annoying!

Screenshot of Web Developer menu bar

Here’s an example (above).  You can clearly see that the icons aren’t equally aligned on the left.

Firefox 2 theme for Firefox 3

Fantastic!  Borr has ported the Firefox 2 theme for Firefox 3.

Full power of new gecko engine with a good old Firefox 2 face.

His blog is written in both Russian and English, if you want to practice your Cyrillic character recognition skills.

Why I prefer the Fx2 theme

I’m a happy Firefox user again — I just find that theme really easy to use and clearer than the Fx3 offering.

  • The BACK and FORWARD arrows are clearly left and right arrows, and not primarily circles with arrows inside.  To my eye with the Fx3 theme I see a circle first, then the arrow inside.  With the Fx2 theme I see the arrow first.
  • The RELOAD icon is chunkier and I find easier to see — I really am quite myopic!
  • The STOP icon is solid, red, reliable.
  • The PRINT icon in Fx2 is, I find, easier to read.  In Fx3 to my mind it looks more like a hard drive icon.

Tab Mix Plus issue (and workaround)

It appears that the Tab Mix Plus (TMP) add-on has an issue with this theme.  For some reason TMP interferes (their developer used the word ‘handles’) with the icon, and so it depends on the size of the images that the theme author uses.

What happens, with this and other themes, is a mismatch in which icon is being shown on background tabs, so you get half red icon / half grey icon:

Tab icons are wrong

However, there is a work-around that requires the Stylish add-on to be installed.  Use this Stylish code to overrule the TMP meddling: Custom Firefox tabs close button (Firefox 3).

A bit of a faff, but at least there is a workaround that still allows me to use my favourite Firefox 2 buttons.

Firebug bug

Firebug

Today I spotted a bug with Firebug 1.2.0b3 in Firefox 3.0. Here’s what I posted to the Firebug Google Group:

I’ve just upgraded to Firefox 3.0 (on Windows XP Pro) and have installed Firebug 1.2.0b3 but I’m having an issue with Firebug not responding once it has been opened in its own window. My colleague is experiencing the same issue, which we can repeat again and again, (which is reassuring that it’s not just me).

The issue seems to (sort of) resolve itself once the page has been refreshed (either in Firefox or Firebug), but this is certainly different behaviour from Firebug in Firefox 2.0.x.

Here’s what we do:

  1. Right-click on a page element and select “Inspect Element” from the context menu.
  2. Firebug opens in a panel at the bottom of the Firefox window.
  3. As expected the HTML tab is selected and if I hover over the tag elements in the left-hand pane it highlights those elements on the web page within Firefox. I can also open or close the various nodes by clicking on the [+] and [-] buttons.
  4. Now if I click the red icon at the right of the Firebug panel to “Open Firebug in New Window” the Firebug panel ‘leaps’ out of Firefox and appears in its own window, however, the functionality described above is now disabled: hovering over the HTML elements in the Firebug HTML pane no longer highlights anything within Firefox, and the [+] and [-] node buttons are now unresponsive. What does still work, however, is the bar beneath the menu bar in Firebug, the bar that begins: “Inspect Edit |”.
  5. If I then refresh the page in Firefox the functionality in Firebug is restored. Similarly, if I select View > Reload in Firebug.
  6. Now if I close the Firebug window, and then begin again by right-clicking something on the page and select “Inspect Element” Firebug opens in a panel at the bottom of the Firefox window but now everything is ‘frozen’ in the HTML panel again until I refresh the Firefox page. Clicking on the [+] and [-] node buttons do nothing. The issue is not resolved if I open Firebug in its own window by clicking on the Firebug button on the toolbar, either.

This appears to me to be a bug.

Within 30 minutes I got a response:

Probably a bug, we don’t usually use the open-in-own-window ourselves so we break it sometimes without knowing.

So I’ve logged it on the Google Code fbug bug list: Issue 823: Firebug 1.2.0b3 unresponsive in Firefox 3 when opened in own window.

I do hope that it gets fixed soon, as I use that feature all the time. Such are the benefits of having three monitors at work, and two at home.