Downloading Firefox 3

Today is Download Day and there has been a lot of griping about the servers going down.  Well, it looks like the servers are back up again.  I hadn’t tried earlier, (well, I tried at 10 AM EDT, since I’d read that FF3 was going to be available at 10 AM, but apparently the article I read forgot to mention the timezone.  10 AM = 1 PM).

I have now downloaded Firefox 3 with no problems at all and am writing this post using it.  I had played around with some of the release candidates but hadn’t been using them full-time because of plugin compatibility, (I’m looking at you Firebug).

Speaking of Firebug, it didn’t upgrade automatically when I installed FF3 as it should have, and when I went to I got no response.  After a quick Google search I discovered that has been down for a bit, (ownership is being transferred to Mozilla so this never happens again).  However, you can download Firebug 1.2 from Mozilla, (this is the FF3-compatible version).

So I am now running FF3, (and keeping a copy of FF2 around for testing). If you want FF3, get it here.

Looking for Good Web Developers

The time has come for me to expand the shop a bit, and I am looking for some help, so, I am looking for a few coders who want to work with me making ideas into websites.

I need people who are good at some or all of:

  • LAMP development
  • Standards-Based (X)HTML/CSS
  • Javacripting/DOM Scripting (Including AJAX)

I am also looking for someone to help out with a tricky custom theme for a Drupal site. If you’re experienced with Drupal, please mention it in your E-mail.

Abilities in other technologies or languages may be an asset. If you are a younger developer looking to to learn or an experienced developer please apply!

You will work on both old-school websites for businesses and new-skool social networks.

You can be anywhere in the world. I don’t have an office, so you will be expected to work remotely. Working hours are flexible, so long as you get the job done and it works how it should I’ll be happy.

What I pay you will depend on what you do, (of course), and your skills and experience. Hours will fluctuate depending on the current workload, I can’t guarantee full-time hours, but there may be times when you have as much work as you want, (and maybe more, although I’ll try to get another person when that time comes).

To apply for a position send me an E-mail at john at johnbeales dot com with whatever info you think I will need to make a decision about you. I’m looking forward to lots of responses!

If you thought opening a link in a new window was bad…

We hear it all of the time, “Don’t open links in a new window.” However, sometimes it makes sense, whether it’s because a client insists on it, or because way the site is meant to be used, (and is used by its users), works better if some, links are opened in new windows. The fact of the matter is that sometimes you’ve just got to open a new window.

But, what happens when someone else decides to close that window? Confused users, that’s what.

I recently came across a site that does just that. It checks to see if there’s an opener object, (we’re talking javascript now), and if there is one, it redirects the opener to its address and closes itself.

Here’s the code:

function checkForPopup()
                    if (typeof(window.opener) != 'undefined')
                        var queryString =;
                        if (queryString.indexOf('cliententry=true') == -1)
                           = window.location;
                                //We Ignore this error becuase the user
                                //may have closed the opener

Seriously! I was disgusted. There is no better way to mess with a user than that!

AOL Doesn’t Let Foreigners Change their Webmail Passwords

I’ve been working recently on a project that involves E-mail integration with various service providers, including Yahoo! and AOL. Since I’m no longer an AOL subscriber, (I was for years when I travelled a lot), I set up a free webmail account, and was quite impressed with the interface.

However, when I went to change the password on my account to something generic that I could share with another developer, this is what I was presented with:
A screenshot of AOL telling me I\'m not allowed to change my password

Awesome. Could someone tell them that it’s not only Americans that like to change their passwords once in a while for security? I tried by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of their Help section, but got a pop-up informing me that support is for paying customers only.

A Quick Lesson in Bad Linking Practices

Yesterday when I signed out of my Hotmail account I was thrilled to see an article about grammar called Bad grammar backlash: Facebook groups, CBC show focus on state of the language, and even more pleased to see that it talks a bit about misuse of apostrophes.

However, when I clicked on some of the links in the article to find out more information I was not taken to a relevant site. I was taken to a Windows Live search for the linked text! Sometimes this is appropriate, but if I’m reading an article that mentions the CBC, and it’s linked, I expect to be taken to the CBC‘s web site. The same goes for Facebook groups. If the name of a group is linked it should be linked to that group’s home page. If that is not possible then it either shouldn’t be linked or it should be linked to a page describing the Facebook group, not to a page of search results.

I know that they’re trying to promote the new Live Search, but there’s a right way and there’s a wrong way. Disappointing users when they click links in articles is the wrong way.