News Ajax and XUL in 2009

A patent for Ajax!

EOLAS, the company specialized in patenting obvious ideas decides it is time after 15 years to raise funds on a patent it filed in the U.S. and which corresponds more or less to... Ajax!
The patent is entitled:

Distributed hypermedia method and system for automatically Invoking external application Providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document.

Accordingly, Eolas has decided to sue 23 companies including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Apple. It has unfortunately won a similar case against Microsoft which provided it funds to look more broadly.
She claims shamelessly: "Enjoying the innovation of someone else without payment is fundamentally unfair."
Now it remains just to file a copyright on the Pope. But in fact this has just been done!
December 18, 2009.

Firefox takes the lead!

Firefox 3.5 is now the most used browser in the world among all versions from all producers. Internet Explorer remains, with all its versions, the major one.
December 21, 2009.

A specification for WebGL

The Khronos Group which brings together major players of the Web posted today a WebGL standard specification. It is an open and free API for 3D on the Web and an interface to OpenGL, the graphics and multi-platforms library.
Once implemented by all browsers, we will have 3D websites or 3D applications and games in the browser.
December 10, 2009.

Thunderbird 3

New version available for the mail client from Mozilla. The tabs allow to see several emails alternately.
December 9, 2009.

Asynchronous JavaScript

The online statistics service of Google, Analytics, goes to asynchronous mode, the scripts are executed after the full display of the page that so the page are not slown down even if the Google server is not accessible. This without the use of Ajax. But how does Asynchronous JavaScript work?
Asynchronous JavaScript Tutorial. With a simple demonstration.
December 3, 2009.

A specification for access to the file system in JavaScript

The W3C has released a draft specification to allow JavaScript to access the file system of the user in a simpler way.
This specification includes a FileList object that represents the contents of a directory, and FileReader with methods for reading a file.
The goal is to enable Web applications to access files directly on the computer of the user without going through the server. The application can not write on the client side, except with cookies.
November 26, 2009.

Closure, a set of JavaScript tools from Google

A set of tools has been added to the open source repository of Google:
- Closure compiler improves performance of JavaScript code by optimizing and compressing it.
- Closure Library is a JavaScript framework with widgets for web applications.
- Closure Templates helps to generate HTML pages.
These tools are used by Google for its web applications such as Gmail, Docs, etc.
Closure code.
November 6, 2009.

Firefox 3.6 beta

The version 3.6 of Firefox is more responsive and is easily customizable. The user is warned of obsolete plugins. HTML 5 and CSS 3.0 are more widely implemented. It also integrates with the taskbar in Windows 7.
November 3, 2009.

ExtJS Designer

It is a free user interface editor in JavaScript to build applications based on the ExtJS framework. A video shows the editor in action.
The framework has two licenses, one open source for open source applications and another commercial for other apps.
October 14, 2009.

Google made a proposal for crawlable Ajax content

An Ajax dynamically generated content can be accessible to search engine crawlers. This implies that servers interpret the JavaScript and provide dynamic content with a special URL.
When a URL has the "!" code, example:!dynamiccontent

the chain following the exclamation point corresponds to a dynamic state of the page.
More information by Google.
October 9, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials final released

The free antivirus tool from Microsoft is available to download.
Septembre 30, 2009.

WebGL in Firefox

The 3D library has been implemented in the development version of Firefox 3.7. We must therefore skip one version before to see thefirst 3D applications in the browser. They will be probably already available in Chrome or Safari because WebGL is also integrated into WebKit.
WebGL connects to OpenGL, but Mozilla developers plan to interface it also with DirectX.
September 21, 2009.

Microsoft supports the <video> and <audio> tags

On the W3C public mailing list devoted to HTML 5, the Microsoft representative said the firm adheres to multimedia tags in the standard currently being in development.
More specifically, even if he is reluctant about other tags such as <header>, <section> <footer>, Microsoft agrees with the addition of the <video> and <audio> tags in the HTML 5 spec.
Adrian Bateman is manager for the Internet Explorer project, doing so announces a probable inclusion of these tags in the next version of the browser.

Firefox 3.6 alpha

The alpha version of Firefox 3.6 is available for download. It offers a faster loading and better responsiveness. It is aimed at developers for now.
July 10, 2009.

New interface to Open Office

A prototype interface is proposed for the next version of the free office suite Open Office, whose code name is: Renaissance. Copies of interfaces to be tested will be provided later which will operate on the current software.
August 6, 2009.

Firefox: The billion downloads

To celebrate the imminent arrival of one billion downloads of Firefox, Mozilla has created a site: (closed in 2012).
At the same time, statistics show that IE has lost 11% market share between March and July, which places it at 54% against 30% for Firefox, in the USA. A year ago, IE accounted for 90% of browsers.
The lack of support for HTML 5 and Canvas let Internet Explorer a browser inferior to all others.
July 30, 2009.

Firefox installed by Windows 7

Under pressure from the European Community, Microsoft that wanted in the first Seven distributed without a browser, has decided to accept that the user has to start choosing from a list that include belong Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. Only browsers with 0.5% market share will be in the list.
At Opera, whose complaint was behind the decision of the EC, is preening and they think that this will force Microsoft to better meet the Web standards and in particular to implement the SVG graphics format.
July 27, 2009.

Glow, a new JavaScript framework

The BBC has opened the code of its own JavaScript framework, Glow. A library of functions with a wide compatibility and oriented toward "news".
July 9, 2009.

XHTML 2 abandoned

W3C announced the end of work on standardization of XHTML 2 to focus all resources on HTML 5.

"We expect the next generation XML serialization of HTML to be defined in the HTML 5 specification." (in the FAQ).

Thus the recommendation of the standard HTML 5 could be available before 2020 as it was intended! But it will be implemented long before ...
June 3, 2009.

Firefox 3.5 final

To know the new features of the free browser and the link to download the final version: Firefox 3.5.
Among the main innovations, the TraceMonkey JavaScript compiler, the audio and video tags in HTML 5. Most extensions still work with this version. It is the case for Speed Dial, but not for Gears. The browser seems to speed up the display of most sites.
June 30, 2009.

Contestation about HTML 5

A specialist in accessibility is worried that the definition of the future format of billions of Web pages is decided by one person.
Yet the most important players of the Web are involved in the development of the standard. But are they advised at the final choices?
HTML 5 protest.
June 23, 2009.

Ogg format sponsored by Mozilla

The video sharing platform Dailmotion goes to the free OGG video format and offers a demonstration of what can be done with this format, which relies on HTML 5 and works only with Firefox 3.5 for now.
May 28, 2009


Mozilla Labs launches Jetpack, an API to make easier extensions for the Firefox browser using Web technologies that you are used: JavaScript, DOM, etc.
Jetpack may be programmed with Bespin, the online editor from Mozilla.
May 21, 2009

Mozilla Design Challenge

Mozilla believes that the tabbed interface is an outdated concept and launches a competition for developers: the aim is to find a better interface for the Firefox browser! To participate you must make a prototype of your idea and make a video that will be published on a site like YouTube or Flickr. Some ideas were already visited: a tree of tabs on the side, a work space, self-suppression.
May 19, 2009

Open XML in Firefox

Microsoft provides for download a plugin for Firefox - running under Windows and Linux - and other browsers that displays documents in the Open XML format.
Open XML is the default format of the Office suite.
18 May 2009

Prism beta

Prism is available in beta version 1.0 both as extension for Firefox and as a local program.
This tool allows you to put web applications on the desktop. Unlike Gears, you must be online so that they work.
May 11, 2009

Oracle to buy Sun

It is officially announced at Sun's site. The firm which is the source of the Java language, which also owns MySQL after the takeover of the company, has signed an agreement to be acquired by Oracle, a provider of professional databases for $ 7.4 billion, more than proposed by IBM (see below).
April 20, 2009.

Taskfox and Ubiquity

Ubiquity is an extension made by the developers of Firefox to use navigation commands in the URL bar. For example, calculation commands, search on a site.
Taskfox is inspired by Ubiquity and is a HTML and JavaScript tool that allows you to interact with the Web with commandes. It will go further than Ubiquity by allowing to navigate through the results.
10 April 2009.

Firefox 3.0 surpasses Internet Explorer 7

According to, a site that presents the statistics of percentages of use of browsers, Firefox is the most popular browsers in Europe and surpasses Internet Explorer 7 with 35% of users.
IE6 still has 11% of users and IE8 a very small percentage (2,3%).
31 March 2009.

3D on browsers

The Khronos Group is an industrial group specializing in the definition of open standards and APIs, including graphics. At the initiative of Mozilla, it starts the definition of a royalty-free 3D graphics standard for browsers and creates the Accelerated 3D for the Web working group. An approach under consideration is an interface between OpenGL and JavaScript.
March 25, 2009.

A site from Google to compare browsers

Since the launch of Chrome and its fast V8 compiler, other browsers have followed, including Firefox 3.1, and Safari 4 whose authors claim that it is thirty times faster than IE7. Microsoft replied by saying that IE8 was the fastest browser to display pages (JavaScript excluded).
To clarify things, Google has launched the Experiments site on which it is possible to submit an application to compare its speed of execution with different browsers...
Google Experiments.
23 March 2009.

Canvas for Internet Explorer

The plugin to run Canvas on Internet Explorer has been updated, said the author, to be compatible with the version 8.
It also improves compatibility with the standard defined in HTML 5.
23 March 2009.

IBM could acquire Sun and so Java

March 18, 2009 - According to the Wall Street Journal, for some time, Sun, the company that is the source of Java, Open Office and that own MySQL, was attempting to approach a partner to be acquired, and IBM is interested, talks are under way. The cost of the operation is estimated at 6.5 billion dollars.
Update: April 6, 2009 - IBM decides not to acquire Sun, failing agreement on the terms of purchase, according to the New York Times.
Update: April 20, 2009. An agreement has been signed for the purchase by Oracle (and not IBM) of Sun for 7,4 billions dollars.

Firefox 3 eclipses Internet Explorer 6

And it threatens Internet Explorer 7. The site StatCounter reveals its results for the percentage of use of browsers in the world.
Internet Explorer 7: 40%
Firefox 3: 25%
Internet Explorer 6: 24%
And all others below 5%.
March 5, 2009.


Mozilla has released the first version of Bespin, a code editor based on HTML 5 and Canvas.
The software is open source under the Mozilla license, and Mozilla expects to generate a collaborative project automatically from a URL hosting the code.
Bespin name is that of a planet in the movie series Star Wars.
February 14, 2009.

Google Docs offline

The free online word processor from Google, Google Docs goes to offline mode in most languages.
The offline mode is enabled by the "offline" command in the top right. The inclusion of Gears is not quite complete yet, we can only read the document without an Internet connection, but not create a new one.
February 4, 2009.

Firefox design challenge

The Mozilla Foundation invites students to define the interface of the future of Firefox and to propose innovations for the Web. You are prompted to ask what Firefox would be if there is only the Web. Without Windows.
Students will take part in a forum to compare and develop their ideas. To participate, you must produce drawings or videos. From the comparison of their projects should emerge a prototype of interface.
January 28, 2009.

Ajax programming with NetBeans

NetBeans is not just an IDE for Java development. Sun wants to provides a free editor that takes into account all the main technologies used for Web applications: Java, PHP and Ajax. This tutorial shows with a simple example how to create an Ajax Web page with NetBeans.
Ajax with NetBeans.
January 26, 2009.

Contextual videos as contextual ads!

Google allows webmaster to use the YouTube API to create their own video player, customized to their website. The search option can also select from the broad base of Youtube videos by keywords. Starting from there and using the videobar gadget, shows you how to insert videos into your articles, chosen by Youtube and related to the content of the page!
January 7, 2009.