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HTMLfixIT Archive for March, 2006

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 by Don

In a repeat of prior news … Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has a security hole and a third party has released a patch to fix it prior to Microsoft doing so. What takes a company with the resources at their disposal longer than a third party? The current active scripting hole allows a site that you visit to install spyware. Now there is a pleasant thought.

Do yourself a favor, get Firefox and support Mozilla.

No Comments »

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 by Don

I like Google! There is rumor that Google may be moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan … oh boy I sure hope so. One of its latest Google Lab Projects has been something called Google Page Creator. It is really a cross between static web pages I suppose and blogging. It allows someone to create pages in a what you see is what you get format. The pages are then hosted on Google (

What is the advantage over a blog type of format? Nothing I can think of other than look. It seems to be the new geocities of the net to me. They allow you 100 megabytes of space. Certainly enough for most people.

This will be great I suppose for non-profits and others, especially as you can buy a domain name for under $10 and then point it to your Google Pages site.

One other interesting thing is the section on how to make your pages work well with Google Search. Well worth the read!

Need help setting one of these up? Contact me … and for a modest fee, I’ll talk you through the process.

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Sunday, March 19th, 2006 by Don

We have been long-time fans of WordPress a great cms/blogging software that has been available for free for a long time. While donations are certainly helpful, they have never required a dime. Our support/enthusiasm is waning … with the quiet release of a security update 2.0.2.

We have several dozen WordPress installs for clients. When they upgrade, they do not — in our experience and despite signing up for their release list — ever get any notice. There have been major security issues as far back as version 1.2 and into the 1.5 version. Yet they never gave out a public notice.

With the recent release of 2.0.2 being a security update, would it not make sense that it be somehow featured on the front page of their site? It isn’t.

Updating is a time consuming process because it requires a complete replacement of the existing install. Especially given that many of our installs involve some customization, that can be time consuming.

So our advice to WordPress:
1. always email all users and if the issue is security, consider seeking out all users — the bad guys do.
2. put the latest release clearly on the front page of your site … I always have to look further to see if a new release is out.
3. start making security patches or upgrade patches to simplify the update process.

I am considering using Expression Engine for more and more installs to be honest because updates are much easier. I like many features of WordPress better (page feature, fold menu plug-in, semi-static home page etc.), but I also have to value my time.

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Saturday, March 18th, 2006 by Gary

I did something dumb the other day. I was so excited at the prospect of using WindizUpdate within Firefox as an alternative to Windows Update within Internet Explorer, that I showed my complete ignorance of K-Meleon as a browser. The comments feature of HTMLfixIT is temporarily disabled, but if it were functional I’m guessing that I would be getting a hiding from a heap of loyal K-Meleon users.

To make amends, I have pulled my head in and checked out K-Meleon. For those folks who don’t know, K-Meleon is a web browser based on Gecko, the layout engine written by the Mozilla Foundation and also used in Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, and SeaMonkey. According to Wikipedia, the aim of K-Meleon is to provide a light-weight browser running under Microsoft Windows using the operating system’s native interface for the application’s toolbars and menus – similar to Galeon or Epiphany on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, and Camino on Mac OS X.

Wikipedia further reports that because of the lower resource requirement, K-Meleon is more responsive than most other Gecko based web browsers. It is beneficial for systems where the hardware is aged and system resources are limited. It is also stated that it starts up much faster than one of its competitors, Firefox.

I have now tried K-Meleon out for myself, and found it to be an easy browser to use. Like Firefox it uses “layered” (tabbed) browsing, and like Opera is uses mouse gestures for navigation. The default skin is boring, but what default skin isn’t? There are a range of macros available, providing functionality not unlike Firefox Extensions.

The claims of fast load times seem to be valid, and this is something that really appeals to me. Allow me to explain why. The most popular PC in my house is a Dell notebook with a modest 1.5GHz processor and 512MB RAM, and between my 3 children the PC can be logged on / switched between any number of users at a time. With limited resources it often slows to a painful crawl when switching between users, sometimes proving too poor for Firefox, killing it off and stopping it from responding. If K-Meleon can make life easier in this regard, I’ll be converted to a fan!

Go on, give K-Meleon a try for yourself!

No Comments »

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 by Gary

I use Internet Explorer for two purposes only: testing new web pages I’ve written, and running Windows Update to patch all of the security vulnerabilities detected in Microsoft products each month. Beyond that I use Firefox for everything. Frankly if I could ditch Internet Explorer altogether I would.

Today I stumbled upon something I didn’t know about, a browser plug-in called WindizUpdate. According to the site this plug-in allows users of Mozilla Firefox 0.9.3+, Netscape 4.0+, Mozilla Firebird 0.7+, Opera 5+, and K-Meleon 0.9+ (whatever that is) to enjoy the benefits of Windows Update without needing to use Internet Explorer.

Forgive me if the rest of the world already knew about WindizUpdate, but I’m really excited about the prospect of trying it out. The only downside is that my PCs are currently up-to-date, so I’ll have to wait another month or so to try it…….

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Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 by Don

This is neat! This site offers 40 “template” layouts for a site using valid CSS and HTML. They have been tested in all reasonable versions of Internet Explorer (5.5 to 7), Opera, Firefox and Safari. You can download and use the templates if you wish. Very good work!

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Friday, March 10th, 2006 by Don

I just got a new update that I had not seen before. It was a tool to look for Microsoft Products on my computer that have “GDI +” and according the the advanced install, that would allow them to suggest updates to those other products as well. While I understand that many users will blindly click on updated and not look at what they are doing, I am bothered by this update. It may, of course, lead to a more stable and secure system — however, that update actually does not update my operating system in the truest of senses. When I did check what it was, the information given was cursory at best. It did not answer the questions I would have wanted answered, and I did not see a link for more information. I am not so certain I like these automatic updates.

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Browser Statistics
Internet Explorer 85.88%
IE 717.63%
IE 62.3%
IE 50.00%
IE other8.6%
Moz Firefox 3.x3.03%
Moz Firefox 2.x0.18%
Moz Firefox 0.x/1.x26.65%
Netscape 8.x0.00%
NS 6+/Mozilla2.73%
Moz Seamonkey0.00%
Netscape 4.x0.00%
Opera 9.x0.00%
Opera 8.x0.00%
Opera 7.x0.42%
Opera 6.x0.00%
Opera other0.42%
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Safari Windows25.2%
Google Chrome1.51%

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640 x 4800.25%
800 x 60026.14%
1024 x 76836.55%
1152 x 8640.25%
1280 x 80011.68%
1280 x 8540.00%
1280 x 102417.01%
1400 x 10500.00%
1600 x 12001.02%
1920 x 12007.11%
2560 x 10240.00%

OS Statistics
Windows 741.55%
Windows Vista2.4%
Windows 20033.91%
Windows XP20.86%
Windows 20000.36%
Windows NT40.05%
Windows 98/ME0.05%
Windows 950.00%
Mac OSX8.03%
Mac Classic0.00%

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