Category Archives: Firefox

Some welcome updates of Sxipper

Sxip has constantly updated its Firefox plugin Sxipper since I first reviewed it in February.

Besides some bug fixes and usability improvements new features have been added as well.
Sxipper is supporting the OpenID Simple Registration Extension now which allows the exchange of more requested profile data between Sxipper as an OpenID Provider and an OpenID Consumer. Also users can easily edit their various personas. That’s a feature I missed after writing the review of Sxipper and using it more often. Well done.

I criticised that users couldn’t map forms anonymously, so it was possible that other users could see who visited a website and mapped the registration form. Well, as promised by Brent Lymer this problem is solved now. Users can opt for anonymous mapping. Thanks a lot! It makes Sxipper even more useful.

Firefox 3 Features

Percy Cabello of Mozilla Links has a comprehensive list of features for Firefox 3. The new browser generation should be released in Q3 of this year.

Some outstanding (to me) features include:

  • Handling of files by web services. Hopefully Percy is assuming the correct consequences.
  • Support for Microsoft CardSpace and OpenID
  • Saving websites as PDF
  • Support for microformats (see Microformats and Firefox 3)
  • Installing add-ons without rebooting Firefox

There are some great and innovative features planned, however not all of them are top priority, of course.
OpenID and microformats will get some major promotion if Firefox supports them natively. I think this will be crucial for their success because there won’t be any add-ons needed anymore and therefore they are more appealing to users who are not interested to install an add-on or even some third-party application.

Maybe even Sam Sethi’s vision of Yahoo becoming a third-party OpenID provider will become true and they also add support for microformats to recently acquired MyBlogLog. Just a vision but would be great nonetheless.

Microformats and Firefox 3

Today Read/Write Web referred to a series of four excellent articles on microformats and how structured information can be managed by a browser like Firefox by Mozilla designer Alex Faaborg.

Alex starts off explaining microformats and linking to wikis and tutorials on Microformats.org, then describes various other types of structured data that can be found on the net (eg. RSS and iCal).
In part three of the article series he draws a very appealing picture of the browser becoming an Information Broker that is more than just a HTML rendering tool but rather actively manages various microformats and directs them to the appropriate applications, either online or offline. Finally he introduces readers to the Operator add-on for Firefox which I have covered here.

I highly recommend Alex’s articles as they impressively illustrate how web browsers are becoming core applications for managing data in the future. Just imagine which data people already store on the web. From contacts to schedules to locations. I am looking forward to the new browser generation.