31 March 2009

What do you use?

Every now and then I like to play with some new tools. Try a few Firefox plugins, maybe a new dev environment. This week is one of those times.

So make your recommendations, what do you use that is cool and why?

Just to get things started and to pre-emptively give something back, I have recently been playing with Spotify which I can recommend as a great way to listen to some new and old music.

I have also been playing with XUL Profiler which is a pretty cool Firefox plugin (a nightly of Minefield works best with it I believe) for profiling your JavaScript and analysing how much work the browser is doing to render your page.

Now its your turn...

25 March 2009


Twitter is something I never looked at until very recently and for some reason I have suddenly decided to use!

So rather excitingly, I am now on Twitter and you can follow my antics (or whatever I bother to say on there) at http://twitter.com/nortools.

I hope you have as much as fun reading as I do writing.

17 March 2009

IE8 - right, wrong or something else...?

For those that don't know I was recently struck down by a rather severe bout of bronchitis which has laid me low for 3 full weeks. I am delighted to say that I am almost fully recovered. Though just to be sure, I am still "taking the pills" - a form of prevention as much as cure.

Its amazing how similar that situation is when compared to Internet Explorer.

For many years, IE was suffering from an infection - non-standards compliance. There was a lack of anti-bodies to kill it off. But Microsoft finally took its sick child to the doctor who prescribed a welcome initial course of anti-biotics and so IE7 was born. But all was not fully well, so a second course was required.

As Microsoft now force-feeds its child the last dose of that medicine, we see IE8 emerge. Standards compliant, much improved performance and an all round more open approach to development.

But the virus remains, dormant for some but nonetheless very real and there. It has mutated into compatibility mode. Luckily there is a vaccination, a form of prevention, and that is a valid doctype and standards compliance.

Of course, you could stop reading the drivel I am writing and read about what Jon von Tetzchner from Opera thinks of IE8.

Whatever you think of Microsoft and IE, you have to acknowledge that they are trying. They cannot please everyone and certainly the remaining prevalence of IE6 does not please me, but I do believe they are trying. Now if only they could speed up their release schedules, I could finally breathe easy.

16 March 2009

Standards - again

As if to reinforce what I was saying 4 months, the unique and unparalleled Douglas Crockford has articulated in part my own thoughts about HTML 5 in this blog post.

As I said back in November:
I want to see greater interoperability between the various browsers and as such I believe simplification would be better.