Archives For firefox

Browser Market Share Updates

October 11, 2011

As I’m in the midst of writing a book on JavaScript, I’m hyperaware of browser market share at the moment. Although my “Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design” book takes a progressive enhancement approach, which means the end result will work reliably across all browsers and devices, it’s still good to pay attention to what people are commonly using. At the very least, watching the browser market share helps you to know what devices and browsers to test on first. Anyway, InfoWorld had an article last week discussing how IE’s market share is dropping towards 50% (really? still that high?), based on statistics from NetMarketShare. As the article points out, in the mobile realm, Safari remains the clear leader, even increasing its share to over 50%. This despite the fact that Android phones far and away outsell iPhones. But Safari is also running on the iPad and the iPod Touch.

An interesting note to me is that the two most commonly used browsers–IE on the desktop; Safari on mobile devices–are not the browsers that most developers and designers are using, at least not as their primary tool. This is another example of the developer’s primary hurdle with any Web site or application: bridging the gap between what the developer thinks is right and what people will actually do!

I’ve been meaning to mention this useful post—10 Firefox Add-ons for Web Designers—for some time now but never seem to get around to it. Anyway, it’s a short, efficient read, well worth your time. The features added by installing some of these plug-ins more than makes up for the bloated Firefox you’ll end up with (Firefox is almost always my biggest memory hog these days). Of the add-ons mentioned, the following are in my must have list:

Not mentioned in that post are these add-ons, which I rely upon as well:

  • Console, an improved JavaScript error console.
  • YSlow, for analyzing a Web page’s speed (also see [intlink id=”128″ type=”post”]my posts on this[/intlink], if you want).

Plus, unrelated to Web development, but add-ons I use daily:

  • Read It Later, which is a manager for more temporary bookmarks.
  • StumbleUpon, which brings up random Web pages, based upon your preferences.
  • NoScript, for improved security while browsing the Web.

Let me know if there’s something you especially like!

Ubiquity Plug-in for Firefox

February 10, 2009

I came across the Ubiquity plug-in for Firefox the other day. If you use your browser a lot, and really like cool, cryptic ways of saving you steps, I could see this being revolutionary (on a personal level). I came across this after reading some stuff about my favorite utility, QuickSilver; the premise and usage of Ubiquity is comparable. Ubiquity allows you to tie other services into the current Web browser. For example, in this video, by one of Ubiquity’s creators at Mozilla, they show how to use Ubiquity to add a Google map to an email, then add a note to their calendar, without ever leaving the current browser window. Later in that same demonstration, part of a Web site is translated from Japanese to English, again, without leaving the current browser window. For more information, also see the other videos by Aza Raskin,, and

To be clear, Ubiquity is still in a beta format, and it’s pretty geeky stuff. But if you’re the kind of person that likes cutting edge (but still useful) ideas, and/or, if you have some time to kill, check it out.