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A shell script to auto-update Chimera Web Browsers
Chimera's Navigator is having nightly builds released lately, so I wrote a shell script to grab it, mount the image, backup the old, copy the new one over, and rename the disk image file to the current date.

Read the rest of the article for the script...
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Surfing privacy in OmniWeb Web Browsers
Hi, I recently noticed that Omniweb logs my web page accesses under the Tools menu in the Error Log. I found that by default the check box for Show HTTP requests (at the top right of the Error Log window) was checked, and there was a nice list of the sites I've recently visited.

For those people for whom privacy is important, i thought this should be pointed out. Disabling this checkbox causes the Error Log function to only actual errors as opposed to all HTTP requests.
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Make Mozilla as pretty as Chimera Web Browsers
For fans of anti-aliased fonts - ever notice how Mozilla just doesn't render fonts as nicely as other browsers? The fix is on Tinker Tool's "Font Smoothing" tab.

Select "Manipulate font smoothing for applications using QuickDraw" and then choose to "Smooth fonts equal for greater than a size of..."

I chose 6pt. and that make pages looks nicer and cleans up the text in the URL, Bookmark and Status bars.

Don't forget to log off and back on to activate the change.
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Install an alternative Aqua theme for Mozilla Web Browsers
If you don't like Mozilla's implementation of the Aqua interface in Mozilla, try the Pinstripe theme instead. It installs directly from the web page and presents (I think) a nicer Aqua interface than the stock version. I've actually switched from the Modern theme to the Pinstripe theme; my only modest complaint is that the shortcut bar and the tab bar are basically the same color. Other than that, I prefer Pinstripe to any of the other included choices.

Note that the Pinstripe theme works up through Mozilla 1.0rc2; on newer nightly builds, the names of the pages may not show in the tabs. This problem could, of course, change on a nearly daily basis as Mozilla is updated.

I found the Pinstripe theme through this thread on the Macworld forums.
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Use an external mail app with Mozilla mailto links Web Browsers
I found this hint on Mozilla's bug tracker (bugzilla), listed as bug #11459. Within this bug, you'll find comment #72:
I'm not sure if this applies to all builds of Mozilla or just the Mac OS X build, but adding a file called user.js to your profile folder (the same folder which contains prefs.js) and placing the following text in that file will fix this bug:
user_pref("network.protocol-handler.external.mailto", true);
From what I understand, this also works for ftp and nntp. This was pointed out to me by someone in the netscape.public.mozilla.macosx newsgroup.
Save the file as a plain text file, and place it in your Mozilla profile folder (buried in your Library -> Mozilla -> Profiles -> username -> some_mess.slt directory). Now quit and relaunch Mozilla, and voila, mailto links open with you default mail client.

[Editor's note: Try as I might, I could not make this work on my Mozilla installation (20020417 nightly). I tried just about everything I could think of - made sure that the Internet pref pane had my preferred client and account info, changed the user.js "Open With" to match the existing prefs.js (which points to Classic Communicator?), cut and pasted the source from the bugzilla page to eliminate typos, etc. All that I've succeeded in doing is disabling mailto: links all together ... is anyone else able to get this working?]
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Make Mozilla appear to load faster Web Browsers
Mozilla and Netscape for Windows have a nice feature that keeps Mozilla running in the background processes so you don't have to wait for the browser to start up every time you close a window.

In Mac OS X, you can do something similar. Just create a Login item linked to and select the "Hide" box. This will make Mozilla start up at login and you won't have to see the splash screen or a window until you're ready to click the Mozilla application icon in the Dock.

This won't help if you purposely quit Mozilla, of course, but you shouldn't have to, this is Mac OS X :).

[Editor's note: This hint can, of course, be extended to pretty much any application that you use regularly. If you want an app to be available as soon as you start up, but not necessarily open a window and dominate the screen, set it to hide in the Login Items panel.]
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Control Mozilla tabs with a programmable mouse Web Browsers
Like a lot of other people, Mozilla's tabbed browsing feature is what made me switch. Now that Mircrosoft finally came out with a driver for the Intellimouse series, I was able to program it so that I can control the tabs with the mouse. This is how I set it up (I left the left and right button alone):
  • Wheel Button: Command + Click
  • Left Side Button: Control-page up
  • Right Side Button: Control-page down
This way, when I press the wheel button, it opens up the link in a new tab. That's a lot easier than right clicking and waiting for the contextual menu to pop up. The control-page up/down is something I picked up from an earlier hint on this site -- it will switch to the previous or next tab.

Other alternatives could include setting one of the side buttons to close a tab (command-w). I don't know if Mozilla offers a command to cycle windows (although it is built into OS X under Full Keyboard Access in system prefs -- it just isn't activated yet). Of course, if I could figure out a way to get Mozilla to always open new tabs instead of windows (for example from SlashDock) then I wouldn't have to cycle windows anymore...

If anyone else has figured out a good way to program the mouse for Mozilla or other Apps, let me know.
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Open new window upon Mozilla activation Web Browsers
If Mozilla is open and you activate it through the dock, it doesn't open a new window. Metaclarity's freeware Mozilla AppleScripts remedy this problem.

Both scripts are identical (and quite easy to understand; take a look at them with ScriptEditor if you're new to AppleScript and want to see how they work), but the first is saved as an application so it can be put in the dock. Clicking the dock icon activates Mozilla and opens a new window. The second is saved as a Script for the AppleScript menu. Drop it in the ~/Library/Scripts folder on you drive and you can activate Mozilla and open a new window from wirthin any application.

[Editor's note: The script worked as expected when I tested it. In browsing MetaClarity's site, they also have free scripts for various tasks in BBEdit, the Finder, and iTunes.]
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Add keywords to Mozilla bookmarks Web Browsers
There's an easy but convoluted way to add keyword shortcuts to Mozilla's URL address bar. A convenient one to add enables searches with a search engine of your choice (Google, for example). Note that you can also set the search preference through the Prefs fields, but this method saves a keystroke or two.

First, you need to open Mozilla's preferences. Go to the Navigator -> Smart Browsing section and check the "Enable Internet Keywords" checkbox and hit OK.

Create a new bookmark (any page; it doesn't matter which one), and open the Bookmark Manager (command-B). Right- or control-click on the new bookmark and choose the "Properties" option in the popup contextual menu.

In the new window, with the "Info" tab in front, rename the bookmark as Google Search or something, and for the location, delete what's there and paste:
For the Keyword, put something that you want to use to preceed your searches; I use "?". Description doesn't matter. Now hit OK, and you should be groovin'. Go ahead and search Google using the new shortcut -- type "? search_term" and hit enter, and you should hop right to the results page for "search_term".

The more generic application of this example is the use of the keyword field. Want to quickly access macosxhints, for example? Just type an "x" in the "Keyword" field of the macosxhints bookmark property panel. Now you can get here by simply typing "x" in the address field. This trick is especially useful for sites that you'd like to get to quickly but not necessarily keep in the location bar at the top of the screen.

I hope you learned something today about Mozilla's Internet Keywords; now you can apply this in bettering your browsing experience in countless ways.

[Editor's note: The use of keywords was completely new to me ... but now that I've tried it, I've added a bunch in the last 24 hours! My personal toolbar was quite full, so now I've added one- or two-key access to a number of other sites.]
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Run a faster Mozilla with anti-aliased text Web Browsers
Over on the Macworld OS X Forums, 'd00d' published a pointer to a Mach-O build of Mozilla with a patch to enable ATSUI (Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging). What does that mean in plain English, more or less? Mach-O can be faster than normal CFM coding, and ATSUI allows Carbon apps to have nicely anti-aliased text. [edited - see comments for a link about a Mach-O vs CFM speed discussion]

I downloaded the build and tried it out. It's notably faster and pages now render just as nicely as they do in OmniWeb. Not everything works (plug-ins and some CSS stuff gave me some trouble), but it is a peek at what Mozilla could be. Unfortunately, there's no indication that Mozilla 1.0 will follow this direction; it will still be a CFM-based non-ATSUI application.

If you'd like to check it out for yourself, you can download the Mach-O Mozilla build from the page of 'stevekstevek.' Make sure you download all three files and then read the README.rtf file for instructions on how to make it work.

It's a shame this won't make it into the 1.0 production tree for Mozilla; I guess that leaves Chimera as possibly the best bet for an anti-aliased, speedy, Mozilla-based browser at the moment. [edited]
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