Firefox and its Plug-ins

Oh yes, I like Firefox 2! I like it more than IE7, Konquerer, Opera or any other browser (even if I have some weakness for Opera every time again). It is a handsome, fast and good designed browser that comes with everything I need. Everything, I said? No, not everything!

Most of all I like Firefox’ great Plug-in structure and its massive Plug-in community support. And of course it is Multi-Platform. So as it is my favorite browser at the moment, I give you my Top 5 of what makes Firefox my very own perfect Internet Browsing eXperience (IBX, I think I am going to patent this ^^’).

All-in-One Gestures
Mouse Gestures may be standard in most browsers today but I still prefer one of the first extensions for the Firefox, the All-in-One-Gestures. There may be newer ones, there may be better ones but I am totally fine with this one. It has everything I need. Customizing gestures, add gestures, mousetrace, gestures on links and much much more.
I don’t know what to state but this is one of the finest extensions ever.

BugMeNot
Everyone knows the situation: You’re at a site, just need to read a topic because it is your ultimate problem solution, or you just want to download a file, maybe the newest driver, but err… LOGIN REQUIRED! And that’s where BugMeNot comes to play…
BugMeNot is a site where people can post their logins (most likely with temporary or fake emails of course) for different websites and other can grab them for their own needs. It is a very large community and additionally rates the success rate of login attempts (users can rate them). Just enter the website you like to log in and BugMeNot gives you all stored logins with there success rates.
This fabulous website has an even more terrific plug-in. With the BugMeNot Extension you just easily right click on the username or password field of the current site you need to get into and from the context menu you pick “Login with BugMeNot”. The extension will now fetch logins and automatically fills them in. It submits and if a login has not worked it will try the next… fully automatically (with most websites)!!! Need I say more…

AdBlock+

Bender: Behold… The Internet!
Fry: My god! It’s full of ads!

– Futurama – A Bicyclops built for two

Yep, the net is for porn… uh, I mean for ads. Many many ads, popups, flash-ads, textads, Google and more. Yeah, I know, it’s for financing and stuff but damn it, must it be just directly over the whole text I want to read? Does it have to be flashing so that people get an epileptic seizure? The answer is no!
I show you who’s your daddy, it’s AdBlock+. But do not be mistaken, this is not the AdBlock+ you will find of you Google for it. There are several AdBlock+ versions out there, but no one can keep up to this one. It’s straight, it has everything you need and it will clear your sight.
Uh, “AdBlock+” you say? Well, golly gee, you mighty blogger of the future have shown me whats the fuzz about. Right you are, so now go ahead, install the extension and get an ad-free IBX (patent pending).

Web Developer Extension
Another great extension, especially for webdevelopers is the Web Developer Extension. A must have if you are writing websites.
Basically its another toolbar that gives you extensive extra features while surfing with Firefox. To name some functions, it’s able to let you alter the CSS while rendering, outline table cells, disable images, show id information and the very important private cache clearing ^^’. As you can see a very very helpful toolbar.
Nice to have is that you can customize the toolbar and add an extension button to it to hide the toolbar. For those who cannot stand more and more toolbars.

ReminderFox
My last most favorite extension is the ReminderFox. It is my personal small ToDo list application that helps to keep track of some issues.
In addition to its simple Reminder features it allows you to store the information on an external ftp or WebDav enabled location. I have a Firefox running on the several systems that I use so it is very helpful.
You can set a time reminder, have it floating every now and then to remind you etc. Actually it is nothing special but based on Firefox it gives you access to a small timetable from different machines with different Operating Systems. Most ToDo or Reminder software on the market is either with costs or does not work on different systems. So this is a good choice. And if you are like me, you have Firefox open the whole damn day ^^.

Ubuntu Edgy, Eclipse and Subversion

I know, I know… I haven’t posted for a long time. But be honest, would you have read it? See!? That’s the reason why ^^’

OK, so why do I break the silence? I am currently setting up a linux system as base for my diploma thesis. As I like Debian but wanted to have some more comfort I installed Ubuntu in its newest version 6.10, called Edgy. Dapper Drake (6.06) still is the LTS release and Edgy is known to have some problems but overall everything worked fine for me.
I downloaded the DVD, started the Live Ubuntu version and installed Ubuntu to my harddrive just by simple clicking. Some 30 minutes later everything was ready to run. And it runs fine!

Debian’s APT/DPKG system is just superb. Combined with the nice given user interface its just plain great. You can select from a large amount of good software to install without the need to compile or configure anything. Ubuntu is currently probably the best approach for a Desktop Linux overall. And in my opinion with all its comfort and the typical Linux software features it can stand up to Windows, MacOS X etc and outperform them.
I do not know how to describe it, but I am some kind of addicted to Ubuntu now. It just gives me everything I need and more. Features I haven’t even thought about that are just there without slowing down the machine while eating up my performance. I am happy…

…until now! For development I am using Eclipse. A great and free IDE especially for Java development and more. Fast and supportive with a large amount of plug-ins to use (a post about those is coming, too ^^). Again, Eclipse 3.2.1 made absolutely no problems during its installation with Ubuntu’s own program installer/deinstaller.
As I am developing in Java I needed a JDK. JDK 1.4.2 was already configured and ready to use but is out-dated. As JDK6 is the newest installment I wanted this package. Apparently, even if final for some time now, Debian still counts it as unstable. So your only chance is to get the binary from Sun’s official homepage with an own installer given (so no problem here) or to add the unstable packages sources to your source.list and install the “unstable” package (runs fine!!!).

Everything worked, you might say. What is he complaining about, you might ask. Those were no real problems, you might state. And you are right. BUT development is nothing without code. And code is often stored in a repository, in this case a Subversion repository.
Tigris, the Subversion developer, brings an own Eclipse Plug-In called Subclipse. It offers easy access for checkout, commit, update, delete etc. By using the Eclipse Update Manager it is an ease to install it. Strictly speaking Eclipse is doing the work while you are getting another java (damn… I couldn’t withstand this joke!).
Subclipse uses the JavaHL adapter by standard, which is part of the Subversion project and used as native API (per JNI) to access Subversion. Again, it’s just package that can be installed with the synaptic package manager. I did so, installed it, installed the libapr0 as needed too and thought everything will run fine now. WRONG! Eclipse did not start anymore.

What has happened? System is clean. 5 seconds ago it was still running. Now it crashes while loading the Subclipse perspective. Why, oh why?
First of all I cleaned Eclipse from the Subclipse installation. Eclipse started again but after installing Subclipse again I had the same problems again. So I reinstalled the complete Eclipse SDK after cleaning every configuration. After updating to Subclipse Eclipse was still running and could be started. But after changing to the Subclipse perspective it crashes. Damn, I thought. What is the problem?
Google BartI asked my magical crystal ball (also known as Google) what the problem could be. And it gave me an answer straight away. It was neither Eclipse nor Subclipse but libsvn-javahl in addition to libapr0 that caused the error. Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06) had no problems with its JavaHL compiled package. Eclipse, Subclipse and JavaHL work fine. But since Edgy the package seems to have problems with apr. Those problems are well known but still the package was officially opened to Edgy (at least so it seems).
So long story short: After trying to figure out what the problem was, I could locate JavaHL as the root of all evil. I deinstalled it and am using the Subclipse Java SVN API. That may not be the best solution but it works. There are some “howto’s” that explain ways to compile your own JavaHL with another apr that will work with Subclipse but I am just too lazy.

So, what do we learn from this? Never trust a running system: If it’s running, it can still crash! And of course, always ask Google before complaining on a Mailing List.