Tag: firefox

Let’s admit, the SSL warnings in Firefox 3.0 are a bit cumbersome. Normal “Joe Schmoe” users just don’t get it. As an example, my girlfriend came to me saying her webmail was broken, while it was just the SSL warning that was between her and her mail. Without my help, she would have just been grumpy, thinking i broke her mail again πŸ˜‰

I was wondering what the guys over at Mozilla were doing to make the situation a bit more clear. Now that Firefox 3.1 beta2 has been out for a while, i thought i would give it a spin and check out if anything changed since 3.0 in the SSL warning dept.

When you visit an SSL enabled site for the first time, this is presented to you.

In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction, explaining what has happened in semi-bitesize chuncks of text instead of cramming everything in 1 big, daunting blob of text as in FF 3.0.

Firefox 3.1 - Initial SSL warning page

Clicking on “Technical Details” or “I understand the Risks” show more information about both topics.

I really hope this will be fully translated in the users’ language to lower the barrier even more.

Firefox 3.1 - Extended SSL view

This is pretty much the same dialog as was the case in Firefox 3.0.

Although now it seems to get the certificate automatically, making you click only on “Confirm Security Exception” to proceed to the page you intended to visit.

Firefox 3.1 - SSL Accept Exception

All in all this seems like a step in the right direction to make this more userfriendly for the big public!

As this is only the second beta, the screenshots above are subject to change by the time 3.1 final is released.

One of the sore spots in Ubuntu 8.04 ( Hardy Heron ) is the incredibly unstable Flash plugin. Crashes on one side, inability to play sound from Flash and a media player at the same time on the other side. I have seen a lot of suggested “fixes” on other forums and blogs, but most don’t really help. So let me tell you what did the trick for me.

First of all, open source alternatives such as Gnash and swfdec are not yet ready for the big masses. It’s nice to see them growing bit by bit, but for now, we are bound to the official plugins for ‘decent’ Flash support.

First of all, let’s get rid of libflashsupport if it’s still installed. This little piece of **** is a big cause of instability in our quest to a stable Flash experience. So let’s remove it right away!

# apt-get remove libflashsupport

Ok, now that’s gone, lets make Alsa output to Pulseaudio by default. We do this by installing libasound2-plugins, and creating the file /etc/asound.conf.

# apt-get install libasound2-plugins

Contents of /etc/asound.conf are as follows:

pcm.pulse {
type pulse
}
ctl.pulse {

type pulse
}
pcm.!default {
type pulse
}
ctl.!default {
type pulse
}

Just copy-paste it in the configuration file.

Next up, nspluginwrapper. This package will “jail” Flash inside its own little environment, so that if Flash crashes, it will only take down the wrapper, and not your whole Firefox. A Flash crash will result in a gray area where your Flash should be, instead of a suddenly disappearing Firefox. Quite an improvement already πŸ™‚

Let’s install it:

# wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/16234689/nspluginwrapper_0.9.91.5-2ubuntu2.8.04.1~mt1_i386.deb

# dpkg -i “nspluginwrapper_0.9.91.5-2ubuntu2.8.04.1~mt1_i386.deb”

Now you can (re-)install flashplugin-nonfree 9 to make it nspluginwrapper aware. Although it will not take down your Firefox anymore, it will still be incredibly unstable, and lots of sites will have gray areas on their pages.

So we will take one additional step, and install flashplugin-nonfree 10. The latest release candidate to be exact, which appears A LOT more stable than 9 ever was on my several systems.

We will have to download and install the deb manually from https://launchpad.net/~psyke83/+archive .

Click on the Hardy entry for flashplugin-nonfree, and download the correct deb for your system. Currently, for i386 ( 32bit ) desktops, this is the file you need .

Install it either by double clicking it on your desktop, or doing this on the commandline:

# dpkg -i flashplugin-nonfree-*.deb

Restart Firefox just to be sure, and then browse to “about:plugins”.

You should see something similar to the image below:

Which means it worked! Try watching a movie in youtube while listening to some music on your audio player. Both should play without problems, and most of the crashes should be gone!

Enjoy your smooth desktop experience πŸ˜‰

As the final phase of the Firefox 3.0 development cycle approaches, people all over the world seem to get more and more anxious and excited about the upcoming release. ZDNet has some preliminary Javascript benchmarks with most current browsers, and FF 3 seems to easily outpace every one of them, being 3 times as fast as Firefox 2, and 5 times faster than IE 7! Read more about it here!

Firefox 3 has new “invalid SSL certificate” warning screens. All fine and dandy, but pretty confusing, and way too much work to allow the certificate.

When you browse to a site with an invalid/unknown ssl certificate ( such as self-signed certificates ), you see this screen:

FF3 SSL Cert Step 1

At first glance, it seemed the site was down, and i checked whether i typed the URL correctly. Yep, it was. Then i reread the message more clearly, and noticed it was in fact the SSL stuffs. This is where your Joe Schmoe and Jane Doe sits in front of the screen, wondering why their beloved site is down, and go on surfing to another place.

To actually allow you to view the site, it gets even more cumbersome. You need to go to 3 obscure steps to allow the page to be viewed, as seen below:

FF3 SSL Cert Step 2

Clicking “Add Exception” brings you to this page:

FF3 SSL Cert Step 3

Next, “Get Certificate” :

FF3 SSL Cert Step 4

And, finally, the last button, “Confirm Security Exception”. And then we are able to see the page we intended to view πŸ™‚

Ofcourse, this is just a beta ( 3 to be exact ), so I’m pretty sure some GUI master will improve the situation πŸ™‚

For the rest, I’m absolutely LOVING Firefox 3, sure is heading to be a big winner πŸ™‚ Now if only the plugins/addons follow soon.. πŸ™‚

500 million downloads!

As seen here,Β  Firefox has been downloaded – at least – 500 million times!

Image stolen from a Mozilla blog πŸ˜‰