It Done Broke.

Smokescreen Javascript Flash Player

I’m intrigued by this.  On my system, the Flash player plugin is 31MB of top-quality Adobe-compiled code.  How can it be that Smokescreen, a Javascript implementation of a Flash player that weighs in at 175.1kB (minified) can fully replicate the functionality of the Adobe player?  Either (a) it doesn’t (perhaps a work-in-progress, but still…), or (b) Adobe’s plugin is a steaming pile?

Firefox 3.5 JavaScript Security Bug

Just as I was starting to feel settled in and enjoying the speed of Firefox 3.5 (with Gears – yay!), a security vulnerability has been found in the JIT JavaScript engine that makes FF3.5 so snappy.  The temporary solution is to go into about:config and disable it.

I’m very, very crankie right now.  I swear to god, I hope they’re quick about fixing it.  Safari is feeling mighty close…

jQuery Lightbox (Balupton Ed.) in WordPress

jQuery Lightbox (Balupton Edition) 1.3.5

jQuery Lightbox (Balupton Edition) WP plugin 0.5

There are a million lightbox implementations out there and almost as many corresponding WordPress plugins.  My favourite is the jQuery Lightbox (Balupton Edition) which, in my opinion, is one of the best looking ones out there.  A lot of them go for flashiness but end up looking tawdry or, in their attempt to be pretty end up suffering usability issues.   The jLB is simple and attractive.  I use it in conjunction with the Add Lightbox plugin.

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Google Gears for Firefox 3.1

Firefox 3.1b2
Google Gears

You know what would be really faboo? If the devs for Google Gears figured out it was worthwhile looking at the non-compatibility issue with Firefox 3.1 and Google Gears. I know, I know, it’s free software and there are a million other things to get to. And they’ve said (unofficially) that by the time Firefox 3.1 gets out of beta they’ll be ready. The only reason I’m asking is this:

There are now a preponderance of sites out there now that are JavaScript heavy. All Google products, Facebook, MySpace, and yeah, WordPress – especially the admin backend which is now AJAX supercharged. So when you’re dealing with these sites a lot it really makes a big difference having a browser that can crank through the JS routines and render the damn page already. This is why I’m working with the beta version of Firefox 3.1 (actually, now the OSX optimized version, Shiretoko – there are Windows versions out there too) which has the Tracemonkey JavaScript engine enabled. It’s quite fast; incidentally I’m also testing WebKit, the Safari engine development version which is right up there too.

Anyway, FF 3.1 makes a big difference in shaving off my waiting time, especially here in WordPress-land. And incidentally, the kind folks at WordPress have incorporated Google Gears functionality to offload the download…load. Works great on WebKit/Safari, but since the Gears guys haven’t worked out the FF 3.1 compatibility yet, we’re still waiting.

Not a big rush, really…but it’s Valentine’s Day. Blow me a kiss, boys.