Archive for the ‘chrome’ Category

HTML Web Toolkits – Twitter Bootstrap

Well it seems like I have been doing a rip and replace of most of the “homegrown” components that we are using in our environments as we gear up for the new year. The latest to fall to the axe is our HTML + CSS + widget collection that has been growing over the years which was a collection of code from different places:

  1. reset.css by Tantek Celik (http://www.cssreset.com/scripts/undohtml-css-tantek-celik/) – to provide a base for initial browser compatibility
  2. Multiple column layouts from the Dynamic Drive (http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/layouts/category/C9/
  3. JQuery and JQuery UI widgets – here and there 
  4. Input Button and Link styles inspired by Particle Tree (http://particletree.com/features/rediscovering-the-button-element/)

Well like all web development shops, you pick your poison and stick with it, but with the troubles we have been having with different IE versions, I set out to find out whether we had to go through all the pain of tweaking each project, or whether we could re-use existing solutions. Well my search led me to Twitter Bootrap (http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/index.html) which was at version 1.4 at the time, and 2.x was in beta and HTML5 Boilerplate (http://html5boilerplate.com/) both of which seemed to be great starting points.

However Bootstrap won out, in the end, because it provided a responsive UI for different screen sizes, pre-built basic elements which we use a lot, buttons, forms, tables, dialogs, message alerts which were easily setup. Okay JQuery UI has great widgets but they are a pain to setup configure and use, the code for a dialog is ~20 lines with CSS, etc, very powerful but no everybody needs a V-8 engine.

First on the agenda was to understand the grid layouts, okay I have heard about 960 and Blueprint grids, but I never understood how they worked, but wow!!! This is amazing, all I need to do is add a few pre-defined grid classes and you can get 2 column, 3 column layouts, our home grown frameworks would never do this … I liked it, coming from an engineering background and lots of database work I think rows, columns and relationships, and the grid well, had me at Hello World 🙂 

The built with bootstrap site (http://builtwithbootstrap.com/) provides a great starting point to see what is possible and available. We decided to use a free theme for a project we are starting and its working for us. 

As we walk this journey, the next challenge is how to handle the tables vs table-less designs for forms. Please drop me a line and let me know what your take either here or on my Stack Overflow question at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10072991/responsive-html-page-design-pc-tablet-smartphone-with-table-or-table-less-fo 

Mozilla Firefox Updates – Now a Failed Experiment?

Okay now this is a ranting post … Mozilla decides that their development process for Firefox is too slow since Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer are eating their lunch …

So they made what I consider the dumbest experiment any software organization can do, copy a model and use it. I do not have a problem with the process just that:

  1. Increasing version numbers every 6 weeks – come on we had Firefox 3.6 at the beginning of the year and now we are at 9, at this rate we shall have FF 25 by the end of 2012. Remember with Chrome, the version numbers are not important at all
  2. Breaking extensions at each update. Firefox’s strength is with extensions, if they are unusable at each update WTF?
  3. Large update – 8MB for an upgrade from 8 to 9, what is in the update?

My advice for Mozilla is to use the approach followed by all other software development organizations, open source or not.

  1. Have a major release, maybe every year – this is where you introduce major features and can even break backwards compatibility
  2. Have minor releases every 6 weeks, this is okay, but make the update process seamless
  3. Simplify the update process – make it seamless so that we users are not expose to the vagaries of the browser versions …
  4. Ensure all our extensions work all the time, break them once a year but not once a week

I am still fighting to love Firefox, but Mozilla is making it hard and Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are improving fast ….

My Take – Top 10 Reasons Why Firefox is still Better than Chrome for Web Development

This my take on the topic started at http://tinyurl.com/3fhw7hb from personal experience.

My reasons are below:

1. Firebug – the defacto standard for web development troubleshooting, along with plugins like Google Page Speed, FirePHP, etc

2. Web Developer- another great extension, allows use of lines, clearing cache, disabling Javascript and cookies etc.

3. Other plugins –

4. Firefox 4 is almost at par with Chrome on speed and memory usage, so there is not much difference

5. Easier installation – I can control where I install Firefox not chrome, and I can also have different versions of Firefox, older versions as well as betas and bleeding edge nightlies

6. Profiles – one for development, a clean one for testing, a loaded one for day to day work, almost like virtualization

7. Brief – RSS feed reading extension, the best that there is

8. Configuration – almost the same as Chrome so no advantage here

9. Better memory usage in Firefox 4 which is almost at par with Chrome

10. Its been around longer so I have more experience with it

Browser Wars – 2011 Q1 Edition

Yeap, I have just upgraded to the new Firefox 4.0 b12 and it seems to bring Firefox back in the browser race which was being dominated by Google Chrome (www.google.com/chrome) and Internet Explorer 8 with 9 coming back

I have always been against Firefox for being  a memory hog, blame me for running many plugins in my install, but I am not patient enough to have multiple profiles. The beta is fast, and it seems a marriage between Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome.

I hope that the release cycle speeds up since Chrome seems to have the advantage in that area. My browser usage now stands as follows:

  • Firefox 4.0 b12 – RSS feed reader, web development (Firebug, Web Developer, YSlow, Google Page Speed)
  • Internet Explorer 8 – browsing since this is the default browser on my computer
  • Chrome – still used for a lot  of my browsing, though its now competing with Firefox for browsing time

That’s all for Q1, I will be back in Q2 with another update

Browser Wars 2010 – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome

Almost 85% of the Internet population uses the top 3 browsers which are as different as they are similar. I do love and hate each of them in their own ways.

Internet Explorer

  1. Has improved since IE 6 which as a web designer is the worst thing that happened to the Internet
  2. IE 8 I like, its fast, however it provides no debugging features, error messages are cryptic. It seems standards compliant yet breaks without warning at each HTML or Javascript issue.
  3. The Inprivate browsing mode is great and is the default mode that I use on shared computers since “nothing” is kept when I close my session
  4. The development cycles are too long, we are waiting for IE 9 beta, not sure what changes are coming in just waiting to see

Chrome

  1. Nice, fast, speedy, uncluttered, can handle many tabs without crashing or consuming all the memory
  2. We are already at version 8, I think this development is too fast for me and a bit creepy

Firefox

  1. The swiss army knife which consumes so much memory that it always brings my computer to its knees
  2. The addons are to die for Brief, Firebug, Google Page Speed, Yslow, Web Developer
  3. Fix the memory and speed issue and you will be come my #1 browser, till then I will just use you for RSS Feeds and Development

Safari, and Opera I do not use you enough to have an opinion …

Till later

  1. Hey we are at version
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