internet technology

Broken Images In Firefox – Fixed!

Broken Images In Firefox

Last few months I was hunted by some weird problem on my laptop‘s Firefox – random broken images. What was even more strange is that on the same page after each reload a new image (or group of images) could be broken. The issue was solidly recurring, but affecting random images and random web sites.

Uninstalled both Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 from my laptop, wiped caches and other leftovers and installed Firefox afresh. Same issue. Again!

On the verge of dumping Firefox in favor of something else (Chrome/Opera/IE?) I realized that there’s a number of Firefox plug-ins that might have a say in this issue. Once I remembered a list of plugins I have been restoring from the backup every time – I got the rogue plug-in almost instantly.

LiveHTTPheaders, when POST is set to “Fast” dumps some of the slow-loading images. It doesn’t mean that only large images affected – I had spacers lost and design all messed up with hours spent hunting down bugs in old web site designs.

Live HTTP headers config screen - That's where the problem is!
Live HTTP headers config screen – That’s where the problem is!

So, if you have a similar problem of Firefox not displaying all the images on a web page and you are using LiveHTTPheaders plug in – set the LiveHTTPheaders POST setting to “Full” (or uninstall the extension if you don’t really need it) – and your Firefox automagically will be healed!


Flock Built-In Blog Editor

Flock – the social web browser built on top of the Firefox – has a built-in blog editor. When I first launched it I was hoping to have some sort of Notepad for quick and easy blogging. Something that would look like Performancing plug-in for Firefox.

Unfortunately blog editor from Flock falls short of any other editor, even the one in WordPress itself. Editor window is very basic. Although Flock’s Accounts and Services tab allows you to have more then one blog configured, you have no idea what blog your post is coming to. XML-RPC API that WordPress uses is called MovableType. Maybe they are the same, but for non-technical people this is more then confusing.

Ability to choose from half a dozen fonts and regular named sizes doesn’t quite cut it to be a quickie notepad for any blogger. I can hardly imagine anyone using this crippled tool. Unfortunately, as with the whole concept of Flock, a thing that tries to be too many things for too many people ends up being nothing for all people. Here’s my prediction for next year – Flock will flop.

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Everybody Else Is Doing It…

… so why can’t we do?

Firefox LogoWhile porting Firefox settings and bookmarks over to replacement laptop I realized that I am using a whole bunch of quite useful plug-ins. So here’s short run-down, in case someone missed any of these very useful things.

  • FEBE – simply must-have. Transfers all your extensions, themes, bookmarks, settings and God knows what else. Unavoidable if you don’t want to spend couple of hours figuring how to do this on your own.
  • AdBlock Plus – blocks everything and their cousins – all known advertising (banners, text ads, even Google ads). Another must-have extension. Personally, I was VERY surprised to see how messy, overstuffed with ads and unreadable some pages appear in IE/Opera/Safari. Ads are being blocked by the list to which you subscribe when you install the plug-in, so you may not even know something was blocked unless you see the page in different browser.
  • AI Roboform Toolbar – actually, I don’t have the toolbar running, but I use “Fill Form” feature almost all the time. The software itself quite useful, especially with so many passwords to remember.
  • ColorZilla – useful, especially during conversations with clients, when the phrase “I like the color I’ve seen on such-and-such web site” gets tossed around. You can actually go and pick that color (unless it’s a part of Flash movie).
  • Download StatuBar – saves you the annoyance of watching that Download Window. Personally, I believe this is the plug-in that deserves to be included in the next release of Firefox. Version would be just perfect for it.
  • IE Tab – for lazy people who don’t like to fire up Internet Explorer to see how it looks. As far as I know it uses Internet Explorer’s engine, so the only two real benefits of this extension is that a) you get to see pages rendered in IE when you miss that “Open in New Tab” in right-click menu (I do sometimes) and b) you can get rid of IE icon on your desktop/quick launch panel.
  • lori – Life of Request Info. Shows times from click to first received byte (can be treated as a server response time), from click to complete page display, loaded page size and number of requests. Very useful web developer tool, we at Zealus use it quite often to see how responsive client’s web site is.
  • MeasureIt – allows you to draw and measure any rectangular area on the screen. Useful when you need to fit content (usually it’s Flash movie) in a already defined environment.
  • NoScript – kills all the scripts (JavaScript, Java and so on) on a page if you want to. Very useful when some script-anxious webmaster puts that no-right-click JavaScript on the page you just happen to visit.
  • S3 Firefox Organizer – if you are using Amazon’s Simple Storage Service you may find this one quite useful, although it does have a very big drawback – if you have a transfer in progress in inactive tab and are trying to close the Firefox it will not warn you.
  • Save As Image – saves the area on the page as image. Very useful when we need to show a client certain area of the web site he may want to pay more attention to.
  • SearchStatus – displays Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Compete Rank and a bunch of very useful SEO data, like keyword density analyser, keyword/nofollow highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info and other.

Obviously there are many more useful plug-in, we had (at some point) had them installed and tested but turns out that these above are the ones that get really used around.