Firefox Losing Its Grip

Several weeks ago, I declared switching to Chrome on my PC and Linux desktops due to one thing, the speed of the Chrome browser was unmatched. Yesterday, I read an article stating that Chrome outgrew Firefox, IE and any other browser in the market, jumping 9% from usage in just last month.

If that’s not an indication that Firefox is losing its grip, wait until you read today’s article about Chrome, now being the number one browser used by Digg users who visit the site. When techies no longer use Firefox, it’s all the more reason to believe that Chrome has won the hearts of techies.

But wait, don’t abandon Firefox just yet. Mozilla will soon release Firefox 4 sometime in 2011. Will Firefox regain its luster?

Moving To Google Chrome

I’m a big fan of Mozilla Firefox, but I finally have made the decision to use Google Chrome as my default browser. I did it for just one reason. Speed. Everything just seems faster in Chrome. It’s just not my perception either.  Benchmarks after benchmarks have indicated that Chrome is the just fastest browser in the planet.

So, when Mozilla came out today with Firefox 4 Beta 7, I was a bit hopeful, but my hope was quickly dashed when it reported that Firefox 4 is still slower than Chrome. Don’t get me wrong, Firefox 4 is still considerably faster than it’s current offering, but just not fast enough compared to the current Chome release.

To help me with my decision, I was able to download my favorite plugin called Web Developer Tools to work in Google Chrome. I love this plugin. If you’re a web developer, it’s a must have. Unless something dramatic changes in the browser world, I’ll be on Google Chrome for a while.

Use Caution When Acessing A Public Network

There is an ad-on for Mozilla Firefox called FireSheep, which allow others to snoop on other people’s account in a public network. Users in networks such as hotels, airports and Starbucks are vulnerable when accessing their email, social networks and online banking.

This is all the more reason to be wary when accessing public networks. Online banking is definitely a no-no. Perhaps now, accessing your email or any of the social networks is also off the table.

If you must use a public network, use VPN to protect yourself from Firesheep. You can use your office VPN if you happen to have one. The other option is to use your home router, if you happen to have a router that supports VPN.

CSS Text Shadow

If you are a frequent visitor to the site, you may have noticed a couple of subtle changes to my blog the last couple of days. I’ve added text shadows on the titles and I also removed the text underline from the links. Today, this article will focus on how to add text shadows to your blog using CSS.

CSS Text Shadows give coders and web developers a tool to create text effects such as 3 dimensional effects, glowing effects and stencils. Text Shadows was originally proposed in CSS2, but really took off with CSS3.

Text Shadows is supported in most major browsers: Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera. The one major browser that’s missing in the list is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Text shadows is possible in Internet Explorer using JQuery. See link below.

Adding Text Shadows to your website, blog or page is quite easy. All it takes is adding a line of code to your existing CSS file. Consider the title above called “CSS Text Shadow” styled using <h2>. To make a text shadow, just add the following to your CSS file.

h2 { text-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #aaa; }

Text Shadows

The text shadow element contains 4 attributes. The first attribute is the x-coordinate. The second is y-coordinate. The third is the blur. The fourth is the color of the shadow. Negative values can be placed to simulate a light source that’s coming from the bottom.

h2 { text-shadow: 2px 3px 3px #aaa; }

Text Shadows

Here’s a couple of excellent articles about CSS text shadows:

CSS text shadows is a great tool for creating cool effects on your site. Just one advice. Don’t overdue it. Use it sparingly.

XMarks May Attract More Customers

When news broke out that XMarks was closing its doors, users like myself, and countless others who haven’t tried, nor heard of XMarks have suddenly become curious. What is XMarks?

When better news followed stating that XMarks users were willing to pay if XMarks was offered as a paid service, that got everyone’s attention. It’s great news for XMarks and good publicity, I might add.

If you’re not aware of XMarks, XMarks is a free (soon to be paid service) bookmarking service that allows users to synch bookmarks across multiple browsers. XMarks works in Firefox, Chrome, Explorer and Safari.

If you are cross-browser user (that sounded funny), XMarks is a great utility that you can add to your browser to access your bookmarks stored at XMarks servers.

Firefox 4 Promises To Be Fast

Mozilla promises to have a “super-duper fast” browser when Firefox 4 surfaces sometime in October 2010. Mozilla Firefox faces tough competition from the lightning-speed Google Chrome, who have been outpacing all competition in terms of browser market share.

To reverse the market slide, Mozilla Firefox 4 will need to match Chrome’s speed and offer a few more enhancements. Support for HTML5, 64-bit computing, a sleeker and a simpler interface will certainly help. Mozilla will also add dedicated application tabs and the ability to install add-ons without restarting the browser.

Beta releases of Firefox 4 will be available sometime next month. An October release is still five months away and Mozilla does not guarantee it will meet the release date. Firefox 4 release date can possibly slip by a month or two.

In the meantime, Google Chrome will continue eat away the browser market share. Experts are saying Firefox 4 is market-neutral meaning it will probably not have any lasting impact to the market share when released.

Internet Explorer at 60%

Here’s the latest browser market share according to Net Applications:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer: 60%
  • Mozilla Firefox: 25%
  • Google Chrome: 6.7%
  • Apple Safari: 4.7%
  • Opera: 2.3%

IE still has sizeable command of market, but it’s shrinking rapidly. It could be worse. Microsoft relishes on the fact that IE is included in every Windows OS product. To get Firefox and Chrome, you really have to get out of your way to download and install it. Safari is also standard in every Mac, but it’s also available in Windows.

Ubuntu Reverts to Google Search

It was announced in January that Ubuntu will be switching to Yahoo Search as the default search engine in its Mozilla Firefox browser. It didn’t take long for Ubuntu to reconsider. Just a little over two months later, Google is back as the default Search engine. So, why the switch back? According to the H:

That deal appears to be off with Rick Spencer, Engineering Manager for the Ubuntu Desktop Team announcing last night that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS would switch back to Google as default search after considering factors such as “user experience, user preferences, and costs and benefits for Ubuntu and the browsers and other projects that make up Ubuntu”.

Specific reasons for the change back were not given, but Spencer added “It was not our intention to ‘flap’ between providers, but the underlying circumstances can change unpredictably”. The change in development versions of Ubuntu 10.04 will be reverted “as soon as reasonably possible”; the final freeze of the code for 10.04 happens on April 15th.

It’s hard to play second fiddle. Most people prefer Google Search over Yahoo Search anyway.

Firefox Nears 25 Percent of the Market

From Linux Journal:

Firefox, which has been growing steadily over the past several years, gained more than a quarter of a percentage point in March — a figure that may seem small, but considering the billion-plus users of the internet, represents millions of additional users. That increase brings Firefox’s share to 24.52%, within a mere half a percent of controlling one-fourth of the global browser market.

Since April 2008 (the earliest statistics available from Net Applications), Internet Explorer has lost nearly 20% of the market, dropping from over three-quarters in 2008 to well under two-thirds today.

Firefox 3.6 is 20 Percent Faster

I just upgraded to Firefox 3.6. I usually wait until the Firefox browser tells me to update to the latest version. I can’t wait any longer, so I decided to force a new update. After a few minutes I was running Firefox 3.6. It’s supposed to be 20% faster than its predecessor, Firefox 3.5. Check out the features and a post from the Mozilla blog, which by the way is running on WordPress.

I’m really curious about Personas. 35,000 designs? Let me try one. I just did. Whoa! Nice. No restart required! This alone was worth the upgrade, plus the 20% speed enhancement. Update now, folks.