On saturday Tantek Çelik published his current thoughts on the topic that first brought him to my attention many moons ago: CSS hacks, especially his world-famous Box Model Hack and High Pass Filter. In his blog entry “Pandora’s Box (Model) of CSS Hacks And Other Good Intentions” which has been cross posted on webstandards.org, Tantek writes about the history of CSS hacks and emphasizes the current state of the art. A definite must-read of the “CSS Hackmeister”.
Four days after RC2, the people at Mozilla released RC3 of Mozilla Firefox. As many of you might already know this is supposed to be the last release candidate before the official release of Mozilla Firefox and includes two bugfixes. Let’s hope that 1.5 will be out soon.
Earlier this week (Nov. 10th) the second release candidate of Firefox 1.5 was released. Almost perfect timing, since the one year anniversary of Firefox was celebrated just the day before. Further information can be found over at mozillaZine. Unfortunately it still doesn’t pass the Web Standards Project‘s Acid 2 browser test, so I guess it’s still based on the same Gecko version.
The arms race between the three giants, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! continues and we, the users, are the real winners.
Wednesday saw the launch of Yahoo! Maps Beta, competing with Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth. Surprisingly Yahoo! didn’t jump on the AJAX train with their new service but rather use Flash, although AJAX may of course be used by developers using Yahoo! Maps API. I just found one fault with that new service. Their “world” is pretty limited and it doesn’t contain Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe or South America and blurs on the edges, so that you can’t zoom in north of Denali National Park in Alaska. Being beta doesn’t justify this North-America-centric worldview in my opinion. Their competitors have at least some data for the rest of the world available. For further descriptions, check out Yahoo! Maps: drag ’em, search ’em, hack ’em on Yahoo! Search blog.
Yesterday Google announced the release of Google Desktop 2 and Google Desktop 2 for Enterprise, the latest release of their tool marrying their desktop search with third party plug-ins like up-to-date news, weather and the like. A tool I won’t be able to use on my primary computer, for it’s a Mac.
In German there is the saying “Konkurrenz belebt das Geschäft”, which would translate into something like “competition animates business”. This is true of the developments we are currently seeing in the Web 2.0 game. I think that Google’s Gmail and Maps was kind of the “wake up call” for all the other companies to get moving again. So we, the users, really profit from this arms race since those big players started and will keep developing new services and improving old services for our good, eg. an improved user experience of the web.
- faster Back and Forward navigation
- clearing private browsing data
- drag-and-drop reordering of browser tabs
- redesigned Options/Preferences window
- better popup blocking
- improved web standards support
- greater support for Mac OS X