Edit the code of your web pages with Firebug

Firebug is a surprisingly powerful add-on for the Firefox web browser. Aimed at web developers, Firebug lets you examine and edit the code of your web pages in your browser window. It also allows you to examine

Firebug lets you view HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components of your web page, so if something isn’t displaying properly — an element is in the wrong place, text doesn’t appear the way you expect, or a piece of JavaScript doesn’t do what it’s supposed to — it’s much easier to work out what’s gone wrong and fix it.

The add-on comes into its own with CSS in particular. Firebug lets you see at a glance which rules of CSS apply to a particular element. Testing different rules no longer involves laboriously changing code in an editor, uploading it to your web space and refreshing the page every time you want to try something out. You can input the new code in Firebug and immediately see how it will affect the page you’re working on.

Despite being an add-on itself, Firebug is meaty enough to support its own add-ons, expanding its functionality — providing information specific to a package such as Drupal, for example, or adding reference materials.

As well as being a development tool, Firebug can also enhance your understanding of web programming by allowing you to view the code of any exiting website in detail. Unlike the “View Source” command, which only gives you a limited glimpse into the underlying workings of a web page, Firebug supplies considerable detail about each element so you can quickly gain an understanding of how a particular look or function was achieved.

read full review | download Firebug

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Mozilla Firefox 8 cannot surpass Google’s Chrome

Lean, mean Mozilla update brings welcome improvements and enhancements.

Mozilla Firefox 8 is the latest major update to the popular web browser and includes a wealth of new improvements and features. Add-ons have long been a hallmark of the Firefox experience, allowing users to customise their browsing experience to their own preferences. The update has made a few improvements to the add-on system, including default disabling of add-ons installed by third-party programs, and a new system for managing installed add-ons. Twitter has been incorporated into the search bar in a particularly handy fashion. Tab organization has also been updated with a new preference allowing the loading of tabs on demand. This feature also helps to speed up start-up time.

Beneath the hood, the update has added in better support for HTML5, although Firefox still lags behind Chrome in this regard. Overall the update offers better performance and memory use than previously with increased graphics acceleration as well. On the downside Mozilla Firefox 8 features no built in PDF reader, flash or instant page view as can be found in Chrome, and the HTML5 support is behind Chrome. It is said that the startup speed has improved but it still lags behind that of IE9 and Chrome.

download Mozilla Firefox 8

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Internet Explorer drops below 50% of Web usage

Even by the most generous estimates, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is used by barely 50% of Internet users worldwide, meaning that we are approaching or even past the point where most people aren’t using the browser. It’s been a shocking decline from the mid-1990s when as many as 95% of people were on IE. But the big story now isn’t Microsoft’s losses, but rather that it’s Google picking up much of the slack.

It’s important to note that the methods used to create browser market share figures vary from source to source. Most involve using website traffic logs which record the browser used by each visitor to a site. Some of the leading market share figure reports come from web analysis companies who get data from hundreds of thousands of clients, making a reasonably representative sample of the entire web, but this can vary. Still, even while the figures vary (and most sources already have Microsoft below 50%), the pattern is consistent.

For the second half of last decade, it looked as if the company’s main challenge would come from Mozilla’s Firefox browser, but Firefox’s market share has largely flatlined for the past couple of years. Instead it’s Google’s Chrome that is on the ascendance, with its market share almost trebling in three years and the browser taking the number two spot in some measures.

Why the trend? Well, in Microsoft’s case the fact that it’s the default option has finally come back to bite it. Simply put, while more and more people are experimenting with alternative browsers, few people switch to Internet Explorer. Meanwhile Microsoft’s in-built advantage of being the default option on most computers (which was the subject of a European Commission investigation that’s led to users being actively offered a choice of browser while installing Windows) is becoming less significant as more and more people use smartphones and tablet devices.

As for Chrome picking up the slack, that’s largely because of two main advantages from a “sandbox” system that means each open tab is treated as if it were a separate application. That means that if there’s a problem with one tab, the others continue to work without slowdowns or crashes; meanwhile any infected webpages are ring-fenced so that they can’t damage the rest of the computer.

Perhaps even more amazingly, there are even predictions Chrome will take the number one slot by June 2012. That’s based on the simple logic of taking the growth or decline of each browser across the first half of 2011 and working on the basis that market shares will continue to grow at the same rate.

Whether that’s really going to happen on such a timescale is a little more debatable. Many of the people who’ve switched to Chrome are “early adopters” who are more prepared to try out new things, while those remaining on Internet Explorer may be much more wary of changing. That’s likely to mean Chrome’s growth rate inevitable slows down.

That said, the pattern is clearly there and not only does it seem conceivable Internet Explorer will one day lose its crowd, but Chrome seems by far the most likely successor to the top spot.

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Safari for Mac and PC: fast and elegant

While Internet Explorer may hold the top browsing seat in the Windows environment, it’s not the only browser choice available.  The browser wars may or may not be over, and choices now abound. If you’re looking for an alternative for your Windows platform, or have made a switch to OS X, then you’re going to want to take a look at Apple’s Safari browser. It’s one of the best browsers around, and like most, it’s free.

While many web browsers may seem similar, Safari sets itself apart. OS X has multi-touch gesturing built in, and Safari fully supports it.  With Safari and OS X you can tap, scroll, and swipe your way around the web. With two fingers on the trackpad, you can swipe to go back and forth between web pages. They slide in and out of the Safari window as you swipe. Safari supports an easy way to zoom in and out of a particular part of a web page.  Double-tap any area with two fingers to magnify it, then tap again to return to the original size. You can also pinch with your thumb and index finger to zoom in and out more precisely. You can also scroll up or down with two fingers, making use of your scrolling’s momentum makes Safari browsing experience even more natural.

Safari’s security features also make surfing more secure, protecting your privacy.  To keep your surfing habits to yourself, Safari offers Private Browsing. Simply turn it on, and Safari stops keeping track of your web history, and storing your searches, cookies, and the data in any online forms you fill out. Greater control can be found in Safari’s preferences.

Safari is a great browsing alternative, and offers a great deal of features and functionality. The only down side that I’ve seen is that not all features are available to Windows users, though it is the default browser on all Apple Mac systems. On the Windows side, its security features and speed make it a worthy choice in replacement, or in addition to, any other browser you may currently use.

Download Safari for Windows | Download Safari for Mac

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Make web-like presentations with CD FrontEnd

CD FrontEnd PRO creates professional autorun CD DVD presentations. With it you can make self-running catalogs, brochures, simple CD menus, and much more.  When completed, the end user simply inserts the autoplay CD, then a Web-like presentation is shown. You can include video, music, hyperlinked texts, hot spots, slides, frames, popup windows, and buttons.  You can launch documents, PDF’s, or self-extracting exe files. You can show licenses, additional info, etc.

No browsers or specific programs are needed to view the presentations. The self-running CD/DVD plays on all PCs. You can create a simple custom front end menu as well as a complex CD-ROM with thousands of pages.

CD Front End Pro is a professional tool; and it’s got a professional price tag to boot. While consumers can master and use this program, I didn’t find it as intuitive as I was hoping it would be when I initially installed it.

download CD Front End Pro

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Download faster and more effective from the Internet

When we download files from the Internet, most of us don’t feel like using something more advanced over the browsers basic download management facility,  but if you’re downloading huge files frequently or multiple files simultaneously, you might want to consider an alternate to traditional downloading via a browser.

A good alternative that is not just fully-featured but also very lightweight with the system is Light Downloader. This tiny download manager can resume broken downloads from where they were interrupted and accelerate your downloads (up to 6 times) by splitting the files into several parts and downloading them simultaneously.

What I like is that the the application once installed adds a watermark on the desktop (which you can move wherever you want), providing drag-and-drop of URLs for easy quick downloading. Last but not least, Light Downloader offers browser integration for Firefox and Internet Explorer and in case you need to, you can also add URLs manually.

Light Downloader Key Features:

  • Download acceleration
  • Light Downloader can accelerate downloads by up to 6 times due to its intelligent dynamic file segmentation technology.
  • Download Resume
  • Light Downloader can resume unfinished download from the place where they left off.
  • Built-in Scheduler
  • Light Downloader can connect to the Internet at a set time, download the files you want, disconnect, or shut down your computer when it’s done.
  • Drag and Drop
  • You may simply drag and drop links to Light Downloader to start downloading.
  • Easy downloading with one click
  • When you click on a download link in a browser, Light Downloader will take over the download and accelerate it.
  • Supports FTP, HTTP and HTTPS
  • You can easily download files with a browser click from any remote server via FTP/ HTTP/ HTTPS.

Download Light Downloader

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Browse secure with Comodo Dragon

Comodo Dragon is a free browser based on the Chromium technology that offers all the basic Google’s Chrome features plus an additional level of security and privacy. For instance if you visit a site that has a domain certificate, Comodo browser can make the difference between a superior and an inferior SSL certificate and notifies the user about this. From the privacy point of view, the Comodo browser will not connect to remote servers to report errors from your computer. Instead it returns error messages found on your computer so that it prevents the download tracking.

Besides its additional security and privacy modules, Comodo Dragon looks good using some fresh new browsing icons that improves not only the look of it but also increases simplicity. Without any extensions support or live bookmark sync, Comodo has a reduced memory footprint compared to the standard version of Chrome. But if you decide to choose simplicity and usability against complexity, the lack of these Chromium features is excusable.

If you are not sure if this browser is worth enough to try it out you should take in consideration two other important things. When installing the application you have the option to choose for a portable version of the program. You can also import your history, password, cookies and other settings from your current browser into Comodo. So there is nothing to make you not want it.

download Comodo Dragon 14.0

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How to get rid of Google Translation Bar in Chrome

I have to admit that I’m quite late when it comes at using Google Chrome as a main browser. Well, I’ve tried it it in the past, but now I’m using it full-time and I’m satisfied, except one thing: the Translation Bar. It shows up offering translated version of every webpage that I visit. Now, considering that I generally browse web-pages only written in English, I had to get rid of it. Let me show you how, it’s really simple… First thing first, click on the Chrome Settings icon and when the drop-down menu appears, select Options. Go to the “Under the hood” tab, look at “Translate” and un-check “Offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language I read”. That’s it, you just got rid of Chrome’s Auto Translation Bar.

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