Christian Heilmann

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Archive for February, 2006

The Super Browser

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

I always thought I am a bit crazy about my Firefox extensions, but over at they just tried out “what happens when you install all the available extensions (avoiding duplication of functionality) at once”: They call it the superbrowser and it sure looks colourful.

As always, the comments are quite interesting, too. I skipped the one mooing about bovine porn, but got quite interested in the one pointing to 50 Best Firefox extensions for power surfing. Power surfing? Binford!

The idea of the experiment was not to get rid of screen estate, but to see how stable Firefox is even with that ridiculous amount of extensions. Of course the comment asking how stable the browser stays when you surf a lot with all of these enabled and how many security holes they open has a point, too.

My favourite comment however was one that is both biting sarcasm and rings a bit of giving in to what happens anyways:

Not impressive. IE runs with a 100 spyware extensions everywhere.

Webmonkey brings you zooming images – again

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Skimming through my referrers and their blogs I just found the Live Thumbnails: Watch ‘em Grow article that explains how to make a non-boring image gallery.

I thought at first it’ll be something like my Image previews with DOM JavaScript but it turns out to be a script that automatically resizes images with a timeout when you click them. Apart from the HTML resizing still looking ugly as hell and slow on a busy machine, something in the back of my head rang: I had seen webmonkey publish something like that before, and I used all my google-fu skills to find it: It was an article published in 1997, called something like making stuff zoom .

Good to see that we have come a long way with JavaScript. Now we don’t use code forking and exclusively catering to MSIE, but instead we use invalid attributes. While PPK’s JavaScript triggers article rightfully explains that you should use an own DTD if you come up with own attributes, the Webmonkey one sadly forgets about this and instead relies on you also reading and understanding the JavaScript triggers one.

How about we just make sure we publish interesting photos?

By the way: I would have loved to comment at webmonkey, but I cannot be bothered to send an email.

Google Pages – Google enters the WYSIWYG page editing market

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

I just stumbled upon Google Pages, which seems to be a cleaner geocities/myspace/homestead. You can create web pages in a live editing WYSIWYG environment and choose a style and a layout. The resulting code is not as grim as I expected it:

Googlepages creates CSS layouts with embedded styles, which is not really perfect, but a step in the right direction. You can edit, publish and unpublish pages quite easily. It seems even adult content is all right to publish, but I will not test that now! I created the demo page in FireFox 1.5 on PC, as Googlepages so far does neither support Safari, Camino nor Firefox on my Mac.

I’d like to see a chance to submit templates…

Using position:fixed and transparency in a creative way

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Some time ago, design for CSSZenGarden using a knife that slashes through the document was all the rage.

Now I stumbled upon a referrer in my stats that got me sniggering: has a much more subtle gimmick like that, and I am sure that if you open this site on public terminals you’ll encounter a lot of people scratching the screen.

Mapsurface – another very slick site statistics thingamajing

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Andy Budd reported yesterday about mapsurface , a new site statistics tool that does all the others do, but with the difference that it shows the data live on the site without the admin or statistics-interested visitors having to log into a backend editor.

I really like what I can see on Andy’s site and signed up for a test drive. However, I really hope that there is a chance to password-protect the stats, as for now it is a good blogger or web admin “pat our own back” tool, but will be hard to sell on the market.

Nearly every client I ever had wanted statistics tools, hardly any did anything useful with the collected information, but what all agreed on was that they didn’t want their competitors to see their stats.

Therefore it’d be a clever move (unless that is already anticipated in the full version) to allow for different levels of access – with a preliminary log-in on the site.

You can test mapsurface on the developers blog: Glenn Jones on his very own mapsurface or sign up for a test run on