Removing entered data

[for Firefox users]
Here’s another frequently asked question about Firefox:
When I start entering text in to a search field (or any other text field, like name, address, etc.), I get a drop-down list of items I previously entered in the same field. How do I remove one of those entries?

Use the arrow keys (one your keyboard) to highlight the item in the list, you want to remove. Hold down the Shift button, and press Delete.

Cookie Warnings in Mozilla Firefox

[for Firefox users]
Some people prefer to be warned when a website wants to set a cookie. Even though the option does not appear in Firefox, this is another feature from the Mozilla Application Suite that is in the back-end code for Firefox.
To enable cookie warnings in Firefox:
Enter about:config in the location bar.
Right-click anywhere within the list of preferences and select New -> Boolean.

When you get asked to enter the preference name, enter:

Set the value to true.

Here’s a screenshot:

Live Bookmarks Refresh Rate

[For Firefox users]
Sometimes people ask how often Firefox refreshes live bookmarks.
The default is set to 30 minutes, but you can change that.
Enter about:config in the location bar.
Right-click anywhere within the list of preferences and select New -> Integer.

When you get asked to enter the preference name, enter:

You will then be asked to enter a value. Set the value to whatever refresh rate you’d like. The unit for the value is seconds, so if you wanted the refresh rate to be 5 minutes, the value would be 300 (as in 300 seconds).

Getting Spellbound to work with Deer Park (Firefox trunk).

Any Deer Park (Firefox trunk) users, who like to use the SpellBound extension, will probably have noticed that SpellBound does not work on Deer Park Alpha 2, and the latest nightlies.

To fix it, you need to download and install (or unzip) the latest Thunderbird trunk build.
– in Deer Park, disable the SpellBound extension
– close Deer Park
– in the Thunderbird program folder, go into the \components\ folder, and copy the files: myspell.dll and spellchk.dll
– paste them into the \components\ folder of your Deer Park program folder
– start Deer Park, and enable the SpellBound extension

You should have to restart Deer Park, and you’re done! -)

Deer Park logo is better

The Mozilla Foundation has released the first alpha release of what will become Firefox 1.1. To prevent confusion of Firefox 1.0.x users, they have gone to great lengths to make sure only developers and testers download it. Among them are calling the release by its codename (Deer Park), changing the product name for the developer release, and even changing the icon. Instead of the Firefox “humping a globe“, it’s just a globe. Kind of apropos, seeing as it isn’t a finished product.

Very soon after installing Deer Park builds, I found that I prefer the Deer Park logo.
Here are some comparison shots:

Firefox 1.0.x Deer Park

I prefer the Deer Park logo because:

– it is more simple. That image is easier to remember, and easier to redraw.

– I can’t think of a better symbol for a web browser than a globe. A always loved how the old Netscape throbber inspired my imagination about what could be done with the product and the technology. The Firefox icon contains more fox than globe.

The Mozilla Foundation has an animal theme going, which is good for identity and association of all Mozilla products, but the Firefox icon doesn’t really communicate what the product does.
I prefer the globe.

Your browser is NOT outdated

Today Netscape 8 was released; so I went to to download it. I was automatically redirected to a detour page, with this message [click on image for the full page]:

I’m using Firefox 1.0.4. Netscape 8 is based on Firefox 1.0.3.
Folks, if you get this message, don’t believe it. It’s a lie. The only browser detection script being used is one that checks to see if you are already using Netscape 8.

As a matter of fact, if you’re using Netscape 8, your browser is outdated.

Homepage versus Startpage

You know that great feature in the Mozilla Application Suite and Netscape7, that lets you choose whether you want your browser to open with your homepage, a blank page, or the last page you visited? Well, this is one of those features that is still in Mozilla Firefox, but there’s no menu for it. Here’s how to set it:
Open Firefox, type about:config in the location bar, and press <Enter>. Search for the preference Double-click on it (or right-click and select Modify), and set the value.

The values:
0 = blank page
1 = home page
2 = last page visited

Personally, I like my browser to open in a blank page, but that doesn’t mean my homepage has to be blank.

Choosing my new RSS reader

As I stated in a previous post, duplicate RSS items is my #1 Thunderbird bug. I recently decided to look for alternatives.

Stand-alone RSS readers are out of the question. I prefer to view the actual webpage of the RSS item, instead of the summary. I get to read the comments, and it makes placing a comment much quicker (thanks, for only offering atom feeds. -( ). As a result, I think I would be much better off with a Firefox or Thunderbird extension. This way, I make sure the Gecko rendering engine is used.

I should first explain why I don’t use Firefox’s live bookmarks feature. It’s a nice feature, but it does not indicate which RSS items I have read, and which ones are new. I don’t want to have to reread through the list of items on every RSS feed to see if I recognize the titles. Live bookmarks is a nice technology demo, but I have trouble finding a practical use for it.

So I looked at the RSS extensions available. I tried Forumzilla a few months ago on the Mozilla Application Suite and Netscape 7, having been told to add it to It would not remember any RSS feeds I entered, let alone fetch items. It seems to work for others, so I assume the problem was local.

Next, I had look at Aggreg8. According to the Aggreg8 weblog, development on Aggreg8 has ceased, and Habarixenu is recommended. So I tried Habarixenu. I quickly uninstalled it, after finding no way to set it to display the actual webpage of an RSS item.

So I went to, and saw Wizz RSS. It has the layout I’m looking for. It also has the stupidest caveat I’ve seen in an RSS reader: You have to store your feed list on the Wizz Computers server. Buh-bye.

Next, I tried Sage. It has a good user interface. It keeps track of which items are read and unread. It has a nice “check feeds” button, which checks for new items on all my feeds, and puts an indicator beside those feeds, which have new items. My only problem with it is that the list of items kept on the list is not controlled, like it is in Thunderbird. I like to hold on to certain blog posts, that I find helpful. I suppose simply bookmarking them would do the trick.

And so, I chose Sage as my new RSS reader.

Locking Mozilla Firefox Settings

Note: If you need assistance on implementing these instructions, ask in the newsgroup. Not in a comment to this blog post.

Let’s say you are the administrator of one or more installations of Mozilla Firefox and you want to lock certain settings/options, so users cannot edit them. For instance you may want to prevent people from changing the proxy setting, the homepage, the ability to save passwords, etc.

It is possible, but it’s a little complicated.

First you need to find out what the names are of the preferences you wish to lock. The best way to do this is by entering about:config in the Firefox location bar. Every preference that has been used will appear in the resulting list. You can use the filter field to search for preferences that contain certain words. For instance, if you’re looking for the homepage URL setting, just type homepage in the filter field. For more info on preference names, and about:config see:

Next, create a file anywhere on your hard drive, called mozilla.txt. Open mozilla.txt in a text editor (Notepad), and begin the first line with two forward slashes. The following lines will contain the preferences you want to lock, and their values. They should be in the same form as you see them in your profile’s prefs.js file, with one exception: instead of using user_pref, use lockPref. For instance, if you want to lock the proxy at “direct connection“, and lock the homepage at (forgive the ego), the contents of your mozilla.txt file would look like this:
lockPref("network.proxy.type", 0);
lockPref("browser.startup.homepage", "");

Here’s where it gets tricky. The file must be encoded, and renamed. The encoding is a simple “byte-shifting” with an offset of 13. You can download a program that will do this here, or use an online encoder here.

The resulting file should be named mozilla.cfg. Save that in the same directory as firefox.exe.

Last step: In C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\greprefs\ there’s a file called all.js. Open all.js in a text editor, and add the following line at the end of it:
pref("general.config.filename", "mozilla.cfg");

Save, close, and start Firefox to test it.

Mozilla Firefox vs Netscape 8

This blog post is not a comparison of Firefox and Netscape 8.

I’ve been doing some prototype and pre-beta testing of Netscape 8, which is built off the Mozilla Firefox code. Netscape has recently released the Beta version, and made it available to the general public. When such a variation of the Mozilla code is made available, people want to know the differences between the variation, and the Mozilla code. In this case, we’re talking about the differences between Netscape 8 and Mozilla Firefox. Other than the obvious user-interface differences, the are many major differences. There should be a document that outlines all the differences.

The most popular page on my site, aside from the top-level page, is the Mozilla Application Suite vs Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird page. Second is The Relationship And History Between Mozilla And Netscape. Therefore it would be natural for me to be the one to write up something on the differences between Firefox and Netscape 8. . . . I’m not.

Netscape 8 is a product I have little interest in supporting. The plugin used to access Internet Explorer’s rendering engine opens Netscape 8 to the same security vulnerabilities Internet Explorer has, regardless of what rendering engine is being used.

Still, I feel a comparison page would be a good thing. I encourage anyone who is up to the task, to write one up.

UPDATE: Netscape 8 is now secure…at least when using gecko