Mozilla newsgroups are now allowing posting through Google Groups

When the mozilla.* newsgroups were originally set up, they were fed to Google Groups for archival purposes. Google allowed read-only access, not allowing posting via Google.

Things have changed (purposely). You can now use Google Groups to post to the mozilla.* newsgroups, and those posts will be fed to

Anyone wishing to use Google Groups to post to the mozilla.* newsgroups, PLEASE read these:

Firefox has NOT been released

The authors of the following webpages are incorrect:

When Firefox is released, it will say so on

If you see any websites jumping the gun on a Firefox release, please contact the authors of those websites.

Newsgroups automatically updating in Thunderbird

People using Mozilla Thunderbird to read newsgroups may like this one.
Notice how when you expand the list of subscribed newsgroups in the folder pane, Thunderbird automatically connects to the server, to update the unread/total messages count on each subscribed newsgroup? Then, when you click on a newsgroup, Thunderbird automatically downloads new messages. Both actions can be disabled.

In Thunderbird, go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> General.
Click on Config Editor.
There are two preference settings to look for, in the Config Editor:
news.update_unread_on_expand and news.get_messages_on_select.

To prevent Thunderbird from updating the unread/total messages count, when you expand the list of subscribed newsgroups, search for the preference setting news.update_unread_on_expand, and double-click on it (setting the value to false).
To prevent Thunderbird from automatically downloading new messages when you click on a newsgroup, search for the preference setting news.get_messages_on_select, and double-click on it (setting the value to false).

I’ve discovered SSI

Back in November, I posted about a problem I’ve had with my Mozilla and Netscape help sites. They had become too big to have all FAQs on one page, and were laborious to update. It was obvious that I needed to give each FAQ item its own page, but that presented a different problem. If I ever want to update the schema of the site, I’d have to manually edit hundreds of pages.

Frames, as any good webmaster will tell you, is out of the question. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time learning/experimenting with content management systems, but every one I’ve tried is overkill (Not to mention the ugly URLs, they create).

Finally, unlike Bono, I’ve found what I’m looking for. It’s Server Side Includes (SSI). “As its name implies, its primary use is including the contents of one file in another.” In other words, I can create a file containing the HTML of my site header, and have all pages use that file, for the header. If I make any changes to that file, it is reflected on all pages.

I can’t wait to start using it. I feel like I’ve been walking to work everyday, and have just learnt how to drive a car. My life is about to get much easier. 🙂

Outlook and OE address book support in Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey (and even the Mozilla Suite and Netscape 7) can actually be set up to use your Outlook Express address book, and/or your Outlook Contacts list. It’s just another one of those features that are not in the user interface.

To make Thunderbird use your Outlook Express address book, close Thunderbird, and add the following lines to your prefs.js file:
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.OE.description", "Outlook Express");
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.OE.dirType", 3);
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.OE.uri", "moz-aboutlookdirectory://oe/");

For Outlook Contacts, use these lines:
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Outlook.description", "Outlook");
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Outlook.dirType", 3);
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Outlook.uri", "moz-aboutlookdirectory://op/");

One important note: in order for it to work with Outlook, Outlook must be set as the system default mail client.

Interestingly enough, it appears this feature goes back to Mozilla 1.0.