4/21/2011

Oracle washes hands of OpenOffice

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle is turning OpenOffice into a purely community project, and no longer plans to offer a commercial version of the collaboration suite loved by many.

The database giant said on Friday that it believed OpenOffice would be best managed by an organization focused on serving the broad constituency on a non-commercial basis.

Oracle chief corporate architect Edward Screven said in a brief statement: “We intend to begin working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office,” adding that “Oracle will continue to strongly support the adoption of open standards-based document formats, such as the Open Document Format (ODF).”

The Document Foundation was created in September 2010 by community members of the OpenOffice project when Oracle refused to release OpenOffice as an independent project. The Document Foundation is building the OpenOffice fork Libre Office.

Not only did the community members building OpenOffice leave, but Oracle also took a drubbing from some of its peers in tech and members of the open-source community.

Google, Novel, Red Hat, Ubuntu-maintainer Canonical, and the Open Source Initiative all issued forthright statements of support for the formation of the Document Foundation.

4/3/2011

Bring Back The Stop Button !!!

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It started with Chrome browser. Google decided that the stop button is not important enough to have its own space on the browser toolbar. I guess the 16 pixel button takes too much space that Google merged it with the refresh button as a toggle button.

Now Firefox 4 also copied this poor design and eliminated the stop button.

As part of my job I sometimes need to do some web development or debug an html page. Today I has such case where I had to look at an HTML page that has an automatic refresh/redirect code in the page after few seconds. I use Firefox browser for years now and all I had to do for this kind of pages to stop the refresh is to press the stop button. However since I recently upgraded to Firefox 4 I found this task impossible because the refresh button toggle to the stop button for a split second before the page actually refreshed itself.

Chrome browser was not different, I could not stop the page from refreshing. All angry and upset I was thinking to myself, well probably IE9 (which I also recently installed) that looks like Chrome too, was no different, however I tried that too, and kudos to Microsoft, the product designer did leave the stop button on the tool bar and I was able to finally stop the page from reloading itself.

While I don’t use IE9 as my default browser I finally found a good use for it. It is no doubt that Microsoft products have best user interface designers and this is no exception.

I call to Mozilla and Google to please BRING BACK THE STOP BUTTON, I’m sure that many users will be happy to scarify a whole 10-16 pixels from the toolbar to have this button back.

3/24/2011

Firefox 4 trumps IE9 in first day download contest

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla’s newly launched Firefox 4 Web browser was downloaded nearly 7 million times worldwide in the first 24 hours, according to media reports.

The number was almost triple the 2.4 million downloads that Microsoft reported in the first 24 hours after the Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) was released.

Nevertheless, the number lagged behind the record-breaking performance of Firefox 3, which was downloaded more than 8 million times in the first day after launch in mid-2008.

Statistics show that Firefox 4 has attracted interest from around the world, with 44 percent downloads in Europe, 26 percent in North America. and 20 percent in Asia.

Mozilla launched Firefox 4 on Tuesday at around 10:00 a.m. EDT to compete with Microsoft’s IE9 and Google Chrome.

3/21/2011

Make Add-ons Work In Firefox 4

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla is soon to release a new version of the popular browser, Firefox 4, many add-ons will stop working. A big hurdle for people is switching to the new browser is that some plugins are not compatible with the new browser version. Luckily there are few workarounds to make old plugins work with Firefox 4

The first one is an extension called Add-on Compatibility Reporter After installing the Add-on Compatibility Reporter, your incompatible extensions will become enabled for you to test whether they still work with the version of Firefox or Thunderbird that you’re using. If you notice that one of your add-ons doesn’t seem to be working the same way it did in previous versions of the application, just open the Add-ons Manager and click Compatibility next to that add-on to send a report to Mozilla.

Another method is to simply add a new configuration to Firefox. Here is how its done:

In the address bar type: about:config
Right click on the setting page and select: New->Boolean
Type: extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0 and set the value to false

4/15/2010

Google to open source $124.6m video codec

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google will take a swashbuckling step towards license-free web video playback next month when it open sources the leading video codec from a company it just acquired for $124.6 million, according to a report citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

NewTeeVee reports that Mountain View will open source On2’s VP8 codec at its Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco in mid-May. The publication also says that Google will roll the codec into its Chrome browser, and that Mozilla will do the same with Firefox.

4/5/2010

Songbird Drops Support For Linux

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In a surprise announcement, the Songbird developers have announced that they will no longer support Songbird in Linux. This is really a socking announcement as Songbird has its root in open source. Songbird will however continue to be available for Windows and Mac.

For those who do not know what Songbird is – it is a cross-platform Music Player cum Manager.

3/24/2010

Mozilla Labs builds add-on to bring address book to Firefox

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla has announced the availability of an experimental new add-on for Firefox that is designed to import information about the user’s contacts from a variety of Web services and other sources. The add-on makes contact details easily accessible to the user and can also selectively supply it to remote Web applications. The initial implementation can import data from Gmail, Twitter, and the local system address book on OS X. It can optionally use the Gravatar service to find contact avatars.

After the add-on has imported and indexed the user’s contact data, it becomes available to the user through an integrated contact management tool that functions like an address book. There are a number of ways that the contact information could potentially be useful in the browser itself. One of Mozilla’s first experiments is an autocompletion feature that allows users to select a contact when they are typing an e-mail address into a Web form.

3/8/2010

Firefox alpha dons Flash flak jacket

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla has pushed out a Firefox developer preview that runs Adobe Flash and other plug-ins as a separate process, hoping to prevent crashing plug-ins from crashing the browser proper.

Mozilla’s new developer preview is the second “pre-release” version of the open source outfit’s Gecko 1.9.3 rendering engine. Today’s official Firefox offering - version 3.6 - uses Gecko 1.9.2.

3/2/2010

Mozilla Is Working On A New Javascript Engine

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla is brewing a new extension to the Firefox JavaScript engine, hoping to fix a flaw in its setup that occasionally sends the open source browser back to 2007.

Dubbed JaegerMonkey, the new extension will operate alongside the much-ballyhooed TraceMonkey - an extension that debuted with Firefox 3.5 in June of last year - interpreting JavaScript code unsuited to “tracing.” With Mozilla’s current setup, code that can’t be optimized with TraceMonkey is kicked back to an aging interpreter that runs JavaScript at speeds reminiscent of the dark ages before Firefox 3.5 or Google Chrome.

The JaegerMonkey project is only about two months old - and it’s a ways from testing in a Firefox beta build - but a blog post from Mozilla programmer David Anderson says it’s already providing a 30 per cent performance boost over that old interpreter on x86 machines.

2/22/2010

OpenSolaris devs ‘ignored’ by Oracle

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Alarm bells have started ringing inside the former Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris community over the project’s potential future with database giant Oracle.

OpenSolaris developers have complained they’ve been “completely ignored” by Oracle despite reaching out, with their questions over the project’s future going unanswered.

Project member Peter Tribble blogged here following an open letter to Oracle by OpenSolaris developer and evangelist Ben Rockwood pleading for information about what’s in store for Solaris on February 2.

Rockwood’s appeal came days after Oracle’s high-profile strategy announcement in January that outlined the company’s product plans with Sun, that failed to mention OpenSolaris bar one reference on a slide.

Oracle and former Sun executives instead focused their Solaris talk on the paid version of the Unix operating system that spawned the free and open OpenSolaris project, and its future in joint server, storage, and relational database Exadata appliance.

2/13/2010

OpenOffice 3.2 Released

Filed under: — Aviran

OpenOffice 3.2 is available for download.

Improvements in the latest release of the open source office suite include faster start-ups, improved compatibility with other office programs, and several new features (with special attention to the Calc spreadsheet program.)

At the same time, the OpenOffice.org team is celebrating its tenth anniversary and a claimed total 300 million downloads of the office software since its initial launch. They say that just over a year since its launch, OpenOffice 3 has logged over one third of those downloads from the central server alone.

According to the OpenOffice team, 3.2’s Calc and Writer components have reduced their start-up time by 46 per cent from version 3.0.

Version 3.2 also boasts improved compliance with Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2 standards as well as the ability to open password-protected Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

2/7/2010

Mozilla Discovered Malware In Add-ons

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Two experimental add-ons, Version 4.0 of Sothink Web Video Downloader and all versions of Master Filer were found to contain Trojan code aimed at Windows users. Version 4.0 of Sothink Web Video Downloader contained Win32.LdPinch.gen, and Master Filer contained Win32.Bifrose.32.Bifrose Trojan. Both add-ons have been disabled on AMO.

Impact to users

If a user installs one of these infected add-ons, the trojan would be executed when Firefox starts and the host computer would be infected by the trojan. Uninstalling these add-ons does not remove the trojan from a user’s system. Users with either of these add-ons should uninstall them immediately. Since uninstalling these extensions does not remove the trojan from a user’s system, an antivirus program should be used to scan and remove any infections.

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