Microsoft Shutting out Mozilla

A few month ago Microsoft came under fire for shutting out users from their popular MSN site, now they’re telling users of the latest Mozilla browser that they should upgrade to a newer browser, Netscape 4.08 or later.

I came across this while my girlfriend was using my computer to sign up to a new hotmail account. I have the newly released Mozilla 1.0 installed as my default browser so she was using that, next thing you know she saw an interesting message
Link to Screen shot showing Hotmail signup rejecting Latest Mozilla browser and suggesting the user should 'upgrade' to Internet Explorer 4 or Netscape 4.08!

Back to their old tricks? Looks like Microsoft have turned back to their lockout strategy, they may let browsers like Opera through, only after serving them a different “you should upgrade” page, but it seems like they are overly reliant on dodgy browser sniffing technology (or particularly targeted sniffing?) Whatever there doing I found it hilarious that they suggested I should upgrade to Netscape 4.08, yeah right.

Pure CSS Popup Menus

CSS guru Eric Meyer has come up with some good CSS trickery in the past, now he’s just released a pure CSS popup menu, and not a bit of Javascript in sight. This demo only works in the latest versions of Mozilla (RC2 and up) and Netscape 7 (not sure if this is past the developers release yet), if yo visit the site using another CSS aware browser then you get to see just the top level of menu items, if you visit in a non CSS aware browser then you get the menu displayed in a nested list. No browser sniffing neccesary here.

Not the only one This technique have also been developed independantly by at least two others, check out Inigo’s version and Porter’s version. Yep CSS trickery is on it’s way up. Relaunched Today

The long awaited relaunch of the WebStandards web site has taken place today. Theold site concentrated it’s evangelistic efforts towards the people programming the new wave of web browsers, the second phase of the web standards project is directed more towards those creating the websites.

A New Buzz? The relauch is intended to change both the scope and the attitude of the project. Introduced is a new blog populated by many of the new members of the WaSP team. The next few days look as though they are going to be quite interesting, with regards to webstandards.

A New Style! The newly designed style sheeet for the WaSP has been designed by Eric Costello and Todd Fahrner, they have managed to resist the pixel defined text sizing temptation. Having a look at the source code for the page reveals something interesting though, a commented out javascript text resizing utility, it looks like we’ve narrowly avoided the javascript widget mania. Javascript workarounds just don’t cut it in my opinion, if I want to choose a different size for my typeface I’ll use my browsers inbuilt method rather than messing with a Dynamic HTML widget. I spend far more time on the rest of the web than I do on any of these particular designers websites, so I am not going to spend the effort to customise a site I only visit for a couple of minutes a day at most. A web page should be focused on delivering information to the web user, the user interface is the responsibility of the web browser, not the web page.

Splash Screens Revisited

While I was browsing today I came across a link on Craig Saila’s site that pointed to a site containing some alternate splash screens for the Mozilla browser. This prompted me to add another of my own splash screen designs. The first two splash screens I designed were quite subdued, my latest effort is similar but it is a little darker. The thumbnail images below link to bitmap image files, this is the file type which is needed for the splash screen customisation to work.

The latest version:
The latest alternate Mozilla startup splash screen[jpeg version]

The orignal efforts:
The first alternate Mozilla startup splash screen[jpeg version]The second alternate Mozilla startup splash screen[jpeg version]

Mozilla Splash Screen

If you’ve been using the Mozilla browser you should be familiar with the splash screen that appears while the browser is loading (at least on some platforms). Personally I’m not a big fan of the screen, luckily there is a way to change it.

Instructions for the Windows Distribution: Put a bitmap image called mozilla.bmp in the folder where you’re mozilla executable is located. That’s it. Here are a couple of sample bitmap files I’ve quickly knocked up Splash screen one [based on a graphic from the Mozilla ODP] & Splash screen two.

It’s even got partial CSS 3 Support, but still a bit buggy As well as claiming support for CSS1 and 2, Mozilla is also claiming to partially support CSS3. Full support is of course impossible as CSS3 is still a work in progress. I discovered what I think is a bug today, reported it as bug number 149602.

Mozilla 1.0 Released

Yes it’s finally happened Mozilla 1.0 has been released. I moved up to Mozilla RC3 a few days ago and now its all happening again! This release of a fully mature browser is an important step in the Mozilla story. It has been a long time coming but now it is here a real challenge to Internet Explorer can occur, not to foster fragmentation of the web (such as during the “Browser Wars”) but to promote standards based design among web designers.

Messing about

My brother was reformatting the hard disk of his computer the other day, why he felt the need to take the casing off the computer while he was doing it I’ve no idea, here are some photos.

Inside of the computer, showing motherboard, ram and cablesThe computer undergoing a low level format