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...intermittent thoughts

HTML Validator Plugin for Firefox on Ubuntu

As for many, I am also addicted to the HTML Validator Plugin for Firefox. Unfortunately this is not available for Linux:

Unfortunately this statement is wrong, very wrong! It is only Mozillas update site statingit wrongly - the XPI for so many other platforms is in fact available. You can to go to the Plugin homepage and find it there. While you even can chose between a 32 and 64 Bit version for Linux, you have to firstly install some more packages. This can easily achieved by issuing the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5 libxul-dev

If you then install the Plugin (or restart Firefox if you already did so), the Plugin is available - wohoo!

Thanks to Gabriel Bretschner for collecting the necessary information in German.

Launchy also a Linux Tool

I am a big fan of Launchy on Windows from the first day on I have seen it. It makes me start programs so much easier - especially because the start menu in Windows is completely crowded with useless subfolders and very important readme.txt files and sometimes even with the Uninstaller application to get rid of a very bad application directly. It pretty handy to just push the shortcut Alt+Space and the start typing the first letters of the application you want to run and let Launch find that program for you.

On Windows it is coded in .NET, so I did not even think it was available on Linux. To my surprise the search for an pendant coded in Linux pointed me actually to Launchy again for - and it is so easy to use here too! You can download Launchy for Linux at Sourceforge. Well it works somewhat different - the hotkey for activation has moved to Strg+Space, because the Windows one is already in use. But this makes not much of a difference, it is easy to use too.

The only thing one should do, is make it autorun on log on:

1. Go to the System\Preferences\Sessions Menu
2. under the Startup Programs tab click Add
3. No enter the following values:
Launchy Launcher
at the next logon, Launchy will be started automatically and will help to find your programs more easily.
Launchy Window under Ubuntu

Amazing Ubuntu surface

Yesterday I installed Ubuntu LTS on my machine. Today I started to play around with it and installed Notes. After all I even installed Mikkels ingenious TwitNotes inside it (while it is not supported on Linux, it seems to work - you simply have to edit the file /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/framework/rcp/plugin_customization.ini to be able to install it).
Simply amazing how easy it is to work with Ubuntu - and how fast it works!
Notes on Ubuntu Linux
(the original looks even better due to more colors as in this resized pic...)

Tab Effect

I had seen it several times before, but now I had finally time to find it in the huge set of extensions for Firefox. Tab Effect is one of those rather useless Add-ons, adding a very cool effect to your browser and this makes it even more fun to use:

Image:Tab Effect


I am using a very cool and tiny tool for quite a while now. It's name is TrayIt and as a lot of the cool gadgets I know it just does what it is promising: in this case "traying" applications. You can define every application to be in the system tray permanently or just temporarily send your application to the tray. Quite helpful if you want to keep your desktop clean. In my configuration eg. Domino Server and the Notes Clients are running permanently. However, sometimes I have to work in other applications - even on two screens. Now imagine to have started a Domino Server, a Notes, Designer and Admin client two Browser windows an Acrobat window and maybe three or four Explorer windows... It's going to look quite crowded on the Desktop,even if you minimize some or all applications, the taskbar is full of tasks. We'll thats the time, TrayIt comes into play. You just do not only minimize an application you Ctrl-Minimize it and it disappears to the system tray:

Some of my all day applications are sent to the tray whenever I minimize them:

But the best ist installation of this tool. Simply put a .exe and a .dll file into its own directory and start it. No installation nor reboot required. TrayIt even starts automatically after you decided so in the preferences dialog. And it is smally - really small!

Just go and get it here.

IE diversity

Benni had quite a cool tip for me: Multiple IE Setup. Basically it installs five different versions of Internet Explorer on your machine - very useful if you are developing HTML layouts that should run not only on the good browsers...

Image:IE diversity

Cool Trilian Plugin

It annoyed me for a long time, when using Trillian. If some of your MSN contacts changes his screen name, Trilian does not recognize this. This is due to a wrong implementation of the protocoll, Trillian simply does not apply the change to the UI. Unfortunately none of the developers is eben interested in this bug. One of the Trillian forum members did the favour to code a plugin to fix this and posted it for free in the net. If you have Trillian Pro you may use it. Simply copy the provided dll into the plugins subdirectory of your Trillian installation, restart Trillian and then activate the plugin in the settings of the program. From now on, all msn contacts will be updated quite reliable, if they change their screen name.


One of the most important gadgets I use is Babylon. I'm using this piece of software for years now - and I always really miss it when it comes to a reinstallation, a new laptop or simply a machine without it. So what is this all about?

Babylon is a handy and silent on-the-fly translator. It translates from any to any language, if there's a dictionary for that language installed. Additionally Babylon is able to look up words on the net.

But the most important part is its Optical Character Recognition functionality. I have configured my Babylon to launch that function on pressing Alt + Right Mouse key. It then scans the word underneath the cursor, and then lookis it up in the dictionaries. A perfect example for contextual and productive help:


checking WebSites on foreign OSes

Just after the upgrade to 3.0.2 Gold, Pascal told me this blog has no CSS anymore. While he was right for his particular installation it was wrong in general. I totally disagreed with him and then started asking about the configuration: Safari on MacOS. Well, Safari is one of those really intolerant applications - a few mistakes in the source may break the whole site. Additionally Safari has an incomplete CSS-implementation so it could have been both - or something completely different. So I checked the xhtml-code. According to W3C it was ok but had 4 warnings that time. That was easy to fix and page was officially approved as being XHTML 1.0 again. Safari still did not want to render the page in the provided CSS styling. At last I found a broken tag in the source, not found by theW3C Validator but in there.

The whole time I had to ask him for success after every little change - very annoying. At some point during the process I remembered that tool a colleague recently discovered int he web: BrowserPool - a pretty cool piece of software. You connect to a remote machine on certain OSes and are able to use different WebBrowsers on that platform. That way you are able to test drive your pages on so many platforms and Browsers very easily

Image:checking WebSites on foreign OSes

Image:checking WebSites on foreign OSes

My Favourite Firefox Extensions

There's still nothing like an "Extension synchronizer" - and that's why I just post my favourite Firefox extensions - to help myself reinstall them on all the machines I am working on. Do you have tips for other good extensions? Feel free to post them here:

my Favourites

during my reinstallation yesterday I had to think about reinstalling a lot of extensions for Firefox. This brought me to this list of favourites:
  • Bookmarks Synchronizer
  • ColorZilla
  • EditCSS
  • googlebar
  • JavaScripDebugger
  • SearchStatus
  • TweakNetwork
  • Live HTTP Headers