Category Archives: browsers

Blogposts on about browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and good ole Internet Explorer).

Firefox OS dead or just resting?

So Peter-Paul Koch (Quirksmode) declares Firefox OS dead. I’m afraid he’s right. A pity really, as I loved the idea of an entirely open web-based mobile OS. Mozillians don’t agree, saying they’re just not going offer Firefox OS phones through carriers any more.

Or maybe It’s just resting?

Customer: I wish to complain about this here fox what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Shopkeeper: Oh yes, uh, Firefox OS …What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?
Customer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!
Shopkeeper: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…it’s resting.
Customer: Look, matey, I know a dead fox when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
Shopkeeper: No no it’s not dead, it’s restin’! Remarkable software, Firefox OS, idn’it, ay? Beautiful openness!


No Google fonts with NoScript

I’m not only into optimizing the speed of sites with for the benefit of their visitors, but also into speeding up all sites in my browser, to satisfy my own impatience. I already blocked Facebook, Twitter and Google+ widgets using NoScript’s ABE and now added this little snippet in ABE’s user ruleset to stop Google Fonts from being loaded;

# no google fonts

Result: less requests, less to download and faster rendering without that ugly FOUT. Because let’s face it, your fancy fonts slow down the web and they are of no interest to me.

Mobile web vs. Native apps; Forrester’s take

So web is going away, being replaced by apps? Forrester researched and does not agree;

Based on this data and other findings in the new report, Forrester advises businesses to design their apps only for their best and most loyal or frequent customers – because those are the only one who will bother to download, configure and use the application regularly. For instance, most retailers say their mobile web sales outweigh their app sales, the report says. Meanwhile, outside of these larger players, many customers will use mobile websites instead of a business’ native app.

My biased interpretation; unless you think can compete with Facebook for mobile users’ attention, mobile apps should maybe not be your most important investment. Maybe PPK conceeded victory too soon after all?

Firefox: how to enable the built-in tracking protection

Just read an article on BBC News that starts of with the AdBlock Plus team winning another case in a German court (yeay) and ended with a report on how Firefox also has built-in tracking protection which -for now- is off by default and is somewhat hidden. To enable it, just open about:config and set privacy.trackingprotection.enabled to true. I disabled Ghostery for now, let’s see how how things go from here.

User Agent Madness

Just found this one in my http logfile;

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36 OPR/27.0.1689.69

So one User Agent string mentioning 4 browsers (Mozilla, Safari, Chrome and finally Opera 27, which is the actual browser) and 3 rendering engines (Applewebkit, KHTML and Gecko)? There is a lot of web-history in those 127 characters.

What does a webtech addict do when in a Tesla?

Tesla Model S infotainment panelWell, checking out the browser, off course!

I had the opportunity to ride along with a friend in his brand new Tesla yesterday. Great ride, but you know that already, so I checked out the browser and data connectivity obviously. I visited my own little “ip check” page and saw this in the logfile: – – [05/Feb/2015:12:17:24 +0100] “GET /check_ip.php HTTP/1.1” 200 132 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux) AppleWebKit/534.34 (KHTML, like Gecko) QtCarBrowser Safari/534.34”

Breaking it down:

  • The free mobile data connectivity is provided by KPN (Base) in Belgium (and Holland, probably).
  • As per the useragent the car display runs on Linux (that little OS that could is really everywhere these days)
  • The browser is QtCarBrowser, which would obviously be built with QT and WebKit. Based on the WebKit version, one can deduct that the version of QT uses is 4.8. As such, QTCarBrowser seems very similar to QTWeb and might indeed be based on it. rates QTWeb with 204/555, but Tesla’s QTCarBrowser result might still be different off couse.
  • The WebKit-version, 534.34, is pretty old and as such dates from mid 2011 (QT 4.8 was released in December 2011). This is close to the version that was used in Safari 5.1 (534.48.3).

I sure hope there are not too many vulnerabilities in those old version of of QT and WebKit, but one does not drive a Tesla to browse the internet, does one? ;-)

Fixing Firefox’ LessChromeHD to reclaim lost screen real estate

I had been happily auto-hiding the Firefox navigation bar on my small-screen netbook for a couple of years already, until that add-on (LessChromeHD from the Prospector series) stopped working after having upgraded to Firefox 35. So I started Firefox from the command-line and spotted this error:

addons.xpi WARN Error loading bootstrap.js for lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla: TypeError: redeclaration of variable event (resource://gre/modules/addons/XPIProvider.jsm -> jar:file:///home/frank/.mozilla/firefox/jy6bws91.default/extensions/lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla.xpi!/bootstrap.js:226:8)

A quick look at the source code confirmed “event” was declared twice, once on line 210 and a second time on line 226. The fix, obviously, is simple; on lines 226-228 replace all references to “event” with e.g. “shownEvent”;

let shownEvent = document.createEvent("Event");
shownEvent.initEvent("LessChromeShown", true, false);

You can do this yourself by unzipping “lessChrome.HD@prospector.labs.mozilla.xpi” in your extenstions-folder, editing boostrap.js and updating the xpi. Or you could wait for the Mozillians to update LessChromeHD.