March 2007, saw big changes for The Blog as well as Addons.Mozilla.Org (AMO) plus some new (and delayed) releases.
After dealing with a broken theme only in Firefox (Oh ,the humanity!) for a couple days I ended up doing a major overhaul on the blog. I reverted back to a 2-column theme and created a new custom designed header. I also took the same design and used it to re-skin the blog’s FeedBurner headline animator. Also did some housekeeping with the categories. Nearly nine months later, there hasn’t been any problems with the theme thus far. Well one minor problem is the tag line: Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird Tips, Tricks, News and more… no longer appears (see comments in this article for explanation).
Back in the February review, I touched on the new design and overhaul of the AMO site and the add-ons/extension submission/review process. Part of the new review process was the Sandbox where non-approved add-ons/extension would reside. I suppose it was those ‘well, it looked good on paper’ concepts. Unfortunately, there was a bit of backlash when Firefox users were trying to get to existing extensions but were being instead getting an ‘Add-on not found’ error. While the AMO folks worked out some kinks they ended up All Pre-Existing Add-ons Public Again. Of course this was after the deployment was delayed to March 19th, no wait make that March 22nd or was it later than that?
Those who have followed Firefox’s development quickly learn that planned releases, updates, etc just never goes as planed. Case in point the Major Update, the marvelous update feature which would allow Fx 1.5 users to go to Fx 2.0 without having to download/install Fx 2. In the mozillaZine forums was this sad but true comment made by Pedestrian in reference to the new release date for the major updated had been pushed back to mid-march:
“The date has been mid-something since mid-December”
While on the subject of missed release/milestone dates, the Firefox 3.0a3 milestone was suppose to be March 20th. Turns out, Fx 18.104.22.168 & 22.214.171.124 were released (after being delayed nearly two weeks) on this date instead. Turns out it did finally get released on March 23rd. Finally all the planned releases were done, but wait there’s more! Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 was also released during the month of March.
In other Mozilla news:
- The Scoble Show interviewed Chief Lizard Wrangler/CEO Mitchel Baker. The 40-minute interview is available in it’s entirety on the blog via PodTech.
- The crash reporting tool/utility, Airbag (formerly Talk Back) has been rename to Breakpad. Expect to see this fully function in the final releases of Firefox 3 (due out sometime). Then again we were told last year Airbag would be in place while Firefox 2 was in development (didn’t get added until after Alpha 3). May be we will see this in Firefox 4 and under yet another name. Rumor has it though, it is being used in the development of TBird 3.
- It was announced Firefox 3 would be capable of supporting animated PNG images.
There were only a couple extension reviews during March:
- Resizeable Textarea – allows user to resize any textarea regardless if was designed to be resizeable.
- URL Fixer – automatically fixed common address bar boo-boos on the fly.
To wrap up this review, we have a photo which proves there is water on Mars.