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Multiple Firefox Profiles OSX

Also relates to OSX

Firefox used to be a popular blogging topic for me, but since migrating to OSX I have rarely used it. However, recently working on design scamps I have found a need to call upon the Web Developer toolbar once again. So I am once again using Firefox regularly.

First thing I wanted to do after installing 1.5RC3 was setup multiple profiles since I was also keen to return to some experimental XForms development I had started on Windows. Also I like to have a profile for extension testing - especially as RC3 is a new release.

To set up multiple profiles it is necessary to burrow into the APP file. I decided to let a couple of aliases in my .bashrc save me the trouble of navigating through the finder.

# run the profile manager to create a new profile
alias foxpm='$HOME/Applications/Browsers/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -ProfileManager'

# start firefox using a specific profile eg. fox xforms
alias fox='$HOME/Applications/Browsers/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -p'

Note my HD is partitioned in a way such that I can keep all my applications distinct from OSX.

Then just a case of a few AppleScript shortcuts that I can call from Quicksilver rather than having to keep entering the terminal.

Posted on Nov 20, 2005 at 14:58:34.

Google Search History

Also relates to SEO

A little behind the competition, Google has just rolled out My Search History Beta which saves your search beahviour and provides quick access to previous searches using a clustered interface. Chris Sherman discusses My Search History in detail over at Search Engine Watch. If like me your requests from the Firefox searchbar are redirected to your locality (eg google.co.uk), the magic variable seems to be lr. So the following src file (in the searchplugins directory of your Firefox installation directory) will ensure all searches go through the MSH application:

  name="Google History"
  description="Google Search with History Enabled"

<input name="q" user>
<input name="hl" value="en">
<input name="lr" value="">
<input name="btnG" value="Search">


I look forward to seeing how well the clustering engine works as my search results grow…

Posted on Apr 21, 2005 at 12:29:22. [Comments for Google Search History- 1]

Back but only briefly

Also relates to DOM Scripting and XForms

Just a quick whistle stop fly by. I found February fairly uninspiring in the blogging realm, with the usual regurgitation of old ideas in new guises escalating exponentially - but this may just be my lack of stimulation at the moment with considerable mundane workload in the inbox.

Nice to see XForms make an appearance in the Firefox nightlies at a time when the duel between the web forms camps heats up with the forthcoming release of Web Forms 2.0. I look forward to seeing XForms developed further in Firefox - start experimenting with XForms beyond the realm of XSmiles and FormPlayer.

Meanwhile Javascript has yet again been shunned with Joel Webber's damming article. While this appears to have raised a certain level of concern, it is a problem that was elucidated back in spring 2k4 in Richard Cornford's excellent javascript closures article. And the RAM munching truth demonstrated in Mihai Bazon's IE benchmarking tests. In script-powered applications I generally garbage clean event handlers and loose DOM references manually, but as the application gets more complex, keeping track of references becomes harder to manage. While I have only perused this briefly, Mark Wubben has come up with an interesting solution - the Event Cache script.

Beyond these, I have been enjoying a few visual memories of New Zealand these last few days via Bitflux. And just today I stumbled across another nomenclature proposed for XMLHTTPRequest and co - now we are expected to name it after a soap!!! Yes I do know my Greek mythology - just feeling a little cynical this morning. I really need to get away?

Posted on Mar 02, 2005 at 05:35:27.

Extending Firefox Search Plugins

Also relates to Accessibility

What makes Firefox so great is the unlimited scope for customisation. Take the Firefox search plugin - a great utility for stockpiling search engines from MyCroft. But it doesn't have to just be a search tool, for plugin files can easily be composed to extend the functionality to your requirements. As an example, placing the following snippet in a src file in the searchplugins directory below Firefox's installation route will give quick access to Jens Meiert's User Interface Test Resources.

    name="UI Tests"
    description="UI Accessibility and Validity Site Tests"
<input name="url" user>

Now a domain can be entered in the search box to generate UITR's comprehensive set of links to the major validation sites. If the site to be tested is already being viewed a Conquery could be used instead to avoid entering the URL string:

  name="UI Tests"
  description="UI Accessibility and Validity Site Tests"
<input name="url" value="[:url]" label="Enter URL">

This should be placed in a cqr file in the searchplugins directory.

Posted on Nov 13, 2004 at 14:54:54. [Comments for Extending Firefox Search Plugins- 0]

Firefox 1.0 Is Here

Also relates to Browsers

I have woken up on a typically bitter November morning to the news everyone has been in anticipation of… Yes, finally the official release of Firefox 1.0 has arrived. This I hope will make November 9th 2004 a historical turning point in the future development of the web.

Firefox has been making gradual indents into Exploder's dominance of the web over the last few months. Closer to home, my logs saw Firefox creep into the lead over Exploder 6 for the very first time in October: Browse stats showing IE 6 with 39% and Firefox with 39.3% of share of visits to this website in October.

More than likely the Firefox website may still be down at the moment, so if you are keen to grab a copy jump over to the FTP folder instead - no apparant bottlenecks there. Pheonix Oceano really does feel like a distant memory now…

Posted on Nov 09, 2004 at 12:40:34. [Comments for Firefox 1.0 Is Here- 0]

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