This may be one of the harder-to-describe hints I've ever posted, but it's quite cool. If you use Mozilla, you should try using it with mouse gestures. What's a mouse gesture? Imagine moving between tabbed Mozilla windows with a quick drag down-up-left (or -right). Or jumping to your home page by sketching a tiny 'h' with the mouse. Or creating a new tab with a down-up-left-right motion. Sound interesting? It is!
Visit the Mouse Gestures home page for complete information on the shortcuts, and if it sounds like something you'd like to try, follow the simple one-click procedure on their installation page.
It took me a while to get used to using mouse gestures (kind of like learning to use a Palm Pilot), but once I did, they became second nature. They may not be for everyone, but they are an interesting study in interface design.
There was a tip mentioned earlier about holding option while clicking scroll arrows to move an entire page at a time. Well, with OmniWeb, if you have a scroll-wheel mouse with scroll button, there is no need to use the option key - just press the scroll wheel button while moving the wheel up or down. It does not seem to work in Mail or TextEdit, so it may be OW specific, rather than a Cocoa feature.
BTW, I'm using 4.1sp10 of OmniWeb, so it may be a new feature.
[Editor's note: Works as expected in OW 4.05 as well]
Although I use Mozilla as my current browser of choice, one of the gripes has been the lack of Java support in the OS X version. Last night, while browsing the Bugzilla bug tracking system, I found a very interesting link ... Patrick Beard of Netscape posted the URL to a Carbonized MRJ plug-in for use with Mozilla!
To use it, simply download the file, expand it and put the MRJPluginCarbon folder somewhere safe. Open this folder and command-option-drag the MRJPluginCarbon icon into the "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins" folder (to create an alias). I first tried my user's local Library folder, but it did not work there. After installing it in the root Library folder, Mozilla now happily displays Java applets! I tested it with trip.com's graphical flight tracker, and it worked perfectly! Prior to installing the plug-in, of course, all I'd see was the broken Java logo.
Please note that this is a development version, and may not work perfectly in all situations! It may even cause Bad Things to happen to your machine. It hasn't been officially released, but the URL was published on a public web site, so I'm reasonably comfortable that it's somewhat stable. As always, though, use at your own risk.
If you like searching with Google quickly and your prefered browser is OmniWeb, you will like this hint.
Go to 'Shortcuts' in the OmniWeb preferences and edit the first one (Shortcut = *, Destination URL = http://www.%@.com). Change the Destination URL to:
Now you can type a search term directly in your OmniWeb location bar. OmniWeb will autocomplete it to a valid Google search. If you like to enter more than one serach term at once, use plus (+) to separate them.
You can use OmniWeb's "Favorites" toolbar while the application is in the background, meaning you do not have to bring the application to the front in order to load a site. Strangely, it only works with links that are nested within folders placed in the Favorites bar - not direct links.
I do not know if this is a Cocoa only feature or not, but it doesn't work in IE.
I've been using NS6.1 Beta almost since it first came out and really like it. It's fast, stable and works on all the Web sites I use, including my online banking. However, lately it started to become very sluggish, both starting up and rendering pages. So slow, in fact, that I thought it had locked up and did a Force Quit.
Not wanting to lose the use of this browser, I decided that the cause might be some preferences or the cache becoming corrupted. I deleted my user profile folder (saving off my bookmarks file, of course) and re-ran NS6.1, causing it to rebuild the profile. It came up quite snappily and was its old self again. I was vindicated!
However, that was not to be. I copied in my bookmarks file and restarted Netscape. Suddenly it was back to its old, sluggish self. It then dawned on me that the likely cause was that my bookmark file had too many entries or was too large for the browser to easily manipulate. To test this, I removed the file, restarted Netscape and let it build a default bookmark file. Lo and behold, it was running quite nicely again. I'm going to edit my old bookmarks and clear out some unused entries, but this still sounds like a bug to me. The exact same file in IE works fine.
Yesterday's hint about using tabs in the newest Mozilla references a package known as MultiZilla. In the original hint, I mentioned that I had not tried to install it yet. Last night, I did so (successfully) on the nightly Mozilla build from 9/26.
Although the latest nightly build includes basic tab support, it's nothing like the full feature set in MultiZilla. Once installed, you get new contextual menu options for "Open Link in New Tab" and "Load Link in Background Tab", both of which make browsing a much more productive experience. You can also choose the top or bottom of the window for your tabs, and tweak a number of other settings.
If you'd like a quick how-to on installing MultiZilla for Mozilla on OS X, read the rest of this article.
The latest builds of Mozilla have enabled a very cool feature - tabbed web site browsing. The concept is quite similar to Excel, wherein multiple worksheets are displayed in one workspace, and are chosen for display by clicking on a tab at the bottom of the window. Mozilla now offers that very same feature for browsing the web. It's an excellent idea, especially for those on smaller screens where windows can quickly proliferate and get lost. Now you can do all your browsing in one main window.
To create a tab, simply hit control-T (not command-T!). Once created, click on a tab to activate it. Switching among the tabbed pages is nearly instantaneous. You can even switch tabs while loading a page in one tab; Mozilla treats each tab as an independent window, so that multiple tabs can all be loading simultaneously. To delete a tab, simply close the window it's displaying (using the "X" at the right edge of the row of tabs).
This functionality in Mozilla is a small subset of a third-party product called MultiZilla, which has many additional features. It should be possible to get this running on Mozilla on OS X, but I haven't tried as of yet. To try out tabbed browsing, you'll need to get the latest nightly build for OS X, as tabs are not in the latest milestone (0.94) release.
Although this is somewhat old news, I finally got around to downloading and installing the latest Mozilla build (0.9.4) for OS X. Overall, it's a very nice browser. They took care of my biggest complaint about prior releases -- the ability to shrink or grow the text on the page. There are some nice touches, too, like a contextual menu item for "Block images from this host" and the downloadable themes (I'm partial to modern right now, but there's also an "Aqua" available).
There's still a bug that makes Mozilla basically unusable for those on dual processor machines, but the good news is that the bugzilla bug tracking site shows that there is a patch ready for final test and incorporation into the build cycle -- so it shouldn't be too long before Mozilla works just fine on dual processor machines.
It's not perfect, but it renders pages quiclkly and accurately, and seems quite stable in my usage so far. Visit mozilla.org and download the 0.9.4 build if you want to check it out.
If you're wondering why OmniWeb 4.0.X displays Arial instead of Verdana when Verdana is selected as the proportional font (very annoying and ugly IMO), I've been told by tech support at OmniGroup that there is a problem with the font metrics for Verdana under Cocoa and they are waiting for Apple to fix it before they re-enable Verdana in OmniWeb.
(Can anyone suggest a good non-serif replacement for Verdana until this is sorted out. I can't live with Arial or Helvetica so I've gone back to Geneva for the moment.)