Since Firefox 30 using unsafeWindow is really not recommended anymore

I had written a little Greasemonkey script allowing to generate some html code from a flickr photo page to use in a blog posting.

Gut gelaunter Baum
"Gut gelaunter Baum" by Axel Magard.

See picture on the right as an example.

That script went to but unfortunately is not available anymore, so you now can get that script from here (OpenUserJS).

That script used code like described here to dynamically load jQuery so that jQuery can be used in that Greasemonkey script. Because of this change in Firefox this code stopped working and I always ran into a Javascript error saying: “Permission denied to access property …”

Luckily this problem has been discussed here on stackoverflow.

The solution: a different way to use jQuery in a Greasemonkey script, bascially thru the @require directive, nicely explained in Taw’s blog here. ( You can check out the source code of my script right away here on OpenUserJS.


Browser Wars 2012

Google Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer as the Number One Browser:

More interesting: Chrome overtook Firefox end of 2011. I just think: Firefox became too fat, sometimes it takes so long to load that I forgot why I launched it. And: the tactics of many version jumps per year has made a lot of users angry. The permanent fear that some essential add-on might not work after the next Firefox upgrade has made this browser more unreliable. Chrome is much smarter in doing these updates under the cover and I believe Firefox is now going the same way for future releases.

Firefox is still my preferred browser though, mainly because of some of its great add-ons, even many meanwhile have a Chrome counterpart, but I started using Chrome more often.

Strange behavior of Firefox 5

Since yesterday I observe some strange behavior of my Firefox 5 browser. Two of my extensions stopped working:

Both add-ons worked before and used to display some dialog box for bookmarking / sharing. Now nothing happens when trying to invoke these add-ons.

Besides Firebug 1.8.0 does not seem to work as well; I can’t find any means to enable / start it, there is for instance no icon showing up in the Add-On Toolbar, even after trying this recommendation.

The weird thing is: after I tried to use any of the two extensions mentioned above the Tools –> Add-ons feature in Firefox stops working as well: no add-ons page is displayed anymore.

And: after exiting Firefox it stays in memory ( I can see the process in Windows Task Manager ) and thus I can not re-start it without first killing that process.

Time of switch to Google Chrome as my default browser like many others are doing it these days ? Or does anyone have any idea how I can debug, investigate, mitigate or solve these problems ?

My favorites for week 10, 2011

Big GrinSomething to laugh: my favorite comic strip of the weekabout technology trade shows

CeBIT, the German IT Trade Show is over. Why do those trade shows make us feel so small, as shown in this Dilbert comic strip  ?  Let’s get back to reality. Nevertheless, it makes me feel small as well quiet often, working as an underling in a large company where everything is managed centrally, even a small travel budget worth 150 € may be.

Weekend is in sight already. Let me feel a bit bigger then …

NerdSomething to watch: my favorite video clip of the weekabout an impressive music instrument

Here is a  video coming along with some nice relaxing music and an impressive animation of a huge music instrument playing that music, a “12 Pipe Dream”. If you check out the site Dailymotion, you find there many more similar videos.
12 Pipe Dream 2 von Scorpiotistic

ApplauseSomething to learn: my favorite tip of the weekabout CTRL+TAB in Firefox and other browsers

Like cycling through applications in Windows and other operating systems CTRL+TAB allows you to cycle through your tabs in Firefox. Of course this works as well in Goolge Chrome. And Internet Explorer !

And here are two more magic keys: PF8 and PF7 in Windows Command Window: Type in a view letters and then hit PF8 to insert a similar command you typed previously. Or use PF7 to popup a list of commands to select from.

  Something to enjoy: my favorite photo  on flickr under a Common Creative licenseabout a dusky lamur

IMG_6617 dusky langur (adult)
"IMG_6617 dusky langur (adult)" by Troup1.

Dusky Leaf Monkeys can be found in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Thailand seems to be the country where Troup Dresser took this photo.

Something to talk about: my favorite quote of the weekabout inspiration

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.

Inspiration might be a rare thing, thus waiting for it might mean waiting forever. Instead: start doing. And learning. The more you learn and experience, the more food you have for some inspiration to come – sooner or later.

My favorites for week 5, 2011

Big GrinSomething to laugh: my favorite comic strip of the weekabout ROI calculations

ROI calculations easily can become weird, like the one shown here in thís Dilbert comic. But perhaps there is more truth in this way to calculate the ROI of software and IT service business than we like to admit … ?

ApplauseSomething to learn: my favorite tip of the weekabout hints and tips for Google Chrome

Gizmodo came up with a great compilation of hints and tips for Goolge Chrome today: “Google Chrome Cheat Sheet: 10 Tips and Tricks”. Did you know that you can type in any math query into the address bar and get an answer instantly ? Goodbye, Windows Calculator ! And did you know that you can inspect any element on a web page through right-click and selecting the function “Inspect element” ? And even better: you can manipulate instantly to create your own version of that web page in your browser. A cheap way to zoom into images for instance: just type in a new width for the img html tag and voilà – the image appears in a different size in your browser window, without any need for extensions like Firebug or Image Zoom like I use them for my Firefox browser.

NerdSomething to watch: my favorite video clip of the weekabout basketball

Mission over-accomplished, I would say. OK, the ball should go into the basket, but that’s it, right ? Watch “Boy Gets Dunked Through Basketball Hoop ”.

  Something to enjoy: my favorite photo  on flickr under a Common Creative licenseabout the U.S. Pacific Fleet

The U.S. Pacific Fleet, the world’s largest fleet command, encompasses 100 million square miles, more than half the Earth’s surface, from the West Coast of the United States to the eastern shore of Africa. The Pacific Fleet consists of approximately 180 ships, 1,500 aircraft and 125,000 Sailors, Marines and Civilians.
And they have 10.000+ photos on flickr, the latest under a CC license. Lets look at a few of the newer ones:

"" by U.S. Pacific Fleet.
SAN DIEGO (Jan. 31, 2011) Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) steams into San Diego Bay returning to Naval Base San Diego from local operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joe Kane/Released)
"" by U.S. Pacific Fleet.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 3, 2011) – Seaman Matthew Honan, a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer, gives the thumbs up to be taken out of the water after rescuing "Oscar," during man overboard training drill aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62). Fitzgerald is the 12th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka as part of the Destroyer Squadron 15 and U.S. 7th Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos)
"" by U.S. Pacific Fleet.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 3, 2011) Guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) fires its MK-45 5-inch/54-caliber gun during a pre-aim calibration fire (PACFIRE) training exercise. Fitzgerald is the 12th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan as part of Destroyer Squadron 15 and U.S. 7th Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos)
"" by U.S. Pacific Fleet.
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 2, 2011) – Fire Controlman 3rd Class Justin Faris, left, Fire Controlman 3rd Class Sarah Wells, center, and Fire Controlman 3rd Class Aleksey Yatskovskiy take in mooring lines as the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) gets underway from Yokosuka. Fitzgerald is the 12th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka as part of the Destroyer Squadron 15 and U.S. 7th Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos)

Something to talk about: my favorite quote of the weekabout Lotussphere 2011

A new business context is emerging. The social model (…) has the ability to solve the problems that keep the people who run companies up at night.

Interesting quote – among many others – made during the opening session of Lotussphere 2011. Here are more of my notes I took while watching the replay of this session:

Watching The Lotusphere 2011 Opening General Session on Facebook.
Here is the link.

Allistair talks about openness, standards, APIs, empowering people to bring more and more social media into the business world … from outside and inside ! And he talks about simplicity and elegance. The latter still is a big challenge for us in my humble opinion !
Simplicity and elegance are essential attributes to drive adoption ! Well said !
We won’t celebrate our 100th anniversary. 😦 Apparently we are too busy to make the world smarter.
Wanna run LC on a Blackberry Playbook ? Seems to be no big deal …
Social software is about people, not technology. The stories from BASF, KBC, CSC and AT&T show: in most examples it is about finding the right people for a given problem.
Learned a new acronym from Sandy Carter, Vice President Collaboration Solutions Development & Support: ROE – Return On Everything. She talks about how w3 unities all of us every day, about using online role games to recruite new employees, about the power of jams.
A 5-year-plan is too slow to deal with the fast changing world of social media.
LotusLive Symphony is coming … !

Rich Media Library coming to Lotus Connections 3.0 … ! 

How to repair Java Web Start for Internet Explorer

Somehow I ended up with an Internet Explorer not allowing me anymore to launch a java web application. Launching it did work with Firefox, but stopped working with Internet Explorer. Instead the browser showed me a prompt like this one:

Clicking on Browse… and navigating to the proper javaws.exe file ( the Java Web Start Launcher ) did not solve the problem, and this entire mechanism does not seem to work properly; after selecting the javaws.exe file it did not show up properly in the list of Recommended or Other programs and I could not fix my problem.

This article was very helpful to explain an alternate way: changing the assigned programs for JNLP files in Windows Explorer Folder Options –> File Types. Nevertheless, the behavior of the dialog to assign a program was as weird as when invoked from the IE browser.

Here is how I fixed it. It started with a brave step: clicking on the Restore button for JNLP files, then deleting this entry entirely. After this I clicked on New and specified “JNLP” as a extension to create a new file type entry. Now the Advanced button became available letting me assign an action (“Open”) and a program to files of type JNLP. This dialog doesn’t work very user friendly as well: after having specified an action this one does not show up in the list of actions. Nevertheless, at the end it worked. I picked a javaws.exe file I found on my computer, and key here is to put a “%1” behind the program name, something apparently not possible when trying to do the same thing from Internet Explorer ( Version 8 ).


After doing this Java Web Start worked again from Internet Explorer, but I bumped into another problem:

Another hurdle is to make sure that the Java Runtime of the version of javaws.exe you picked is enabled on the Windows System. This can be checked through Control Panel, clicking on the appropriate Java icon, then on the “Java” tab and “View” button.

If entries shown look like you see it in this screen shot then this version of Java is disabled on your computer ( and by the way you can use these Control Panel functions to decide which version of Java you like to enable / disable on your computer ). Anyway, two options available now: either enabling that version of Java or choosing a working javaws.exe file as the program for opening a JNLP file.

After I used the 2nd option my Internet Explorer happily launched my Java Web applications properly.

Running Firefox 2 & 3 in parallel …

Yes, it actually seems to be possible to have Firefox 2 and 3 installed separated from each other on your computer and either run the older or newer version as you desire, especially useful when you are not sure whether the one or the other vital add-on will work with the new Firefox.

The procedure how to achieve that is available here in the “redemption in a blog” blog. This procedure worked for me a well under Windows but lacks a few important hints I like to mention here now:

  1. When it comes to install Firefox3 it is important to select “Custom Install” and specify a different path for Firefox 3, like for example "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox3".
  2. The installation will create an icon on your desktop to launch the new Firefox. First of all you should change it as described in the procedure mentioned above to use the right profile. In my case this is Target = “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox3\firefox.exe" -P firefox3 -no-remote” ( firefox3 is the name I had chosen for the new profile ).
  3. Now you might want to create a second icon to launch good old Firefox 2. Rename the shortcut icon I mentioned above to e.g. “Mozilla Firefox 3”, then create a copy on your desktop and rename it to “Mozilla Firefox” or “Mozilla Firefox 2”. Change the path everywhere ( in “Target” and “Start in” ) to the directory where your old Firefox is installed, in my case: "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox". Now change Target = “"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P default -no-remote”.
  4. When you launch Firefox from another application, e.g. your feed reader, you might notice that through the installation of Firefox 3 your default browser has been changed to Firefox 3. In case you want to change this, launch old Firefox, go to Tools – Options – Main and click on “Check Now” besides “Always check to see whether Firefox is your default browser during startup” ( it is not necessary to enable that option ! ). Your Firefox 2 will detect that it is not the default browser anymore and will allow you to change that.
  5. When launching Firefox 2 through another application it may happen that it picks up the wrong profile ( if you played around with Firefox 3 before ). You realize this by the fact that all or most of your old Add-ons are gone. If this happens often you might want to decide to launch profile manager again as described in procedure above and disable option “Don’t ask at startup”. This will allow you to always manually pick the right profile when launching Firefox 2. Less convenient, but you will be on the safe side.

That’s it. Have fun with trying out Firefox 3. Many Add-ons meanwhile have been changed to support the new Firefox and pretty soon you should be able to kiss Firefox 2 good-bye !