Search Words and the Nav-bar

June 17, 2014

The search word buttons in Googlebar Lite are occasionally a source of frustration for me. With the user interface changes made in Firefox 28+, I’ve heard of an increasing number of users who place Googlebar Lite in the nav-bar (the toolbar that houses the URL field, forward / back buttons, etc.). When search word buttons are enabled, they cause the toolbar to shift around wildly as they appear or disappear. The toolbar can even get into a mode where it completely overflows into a breakout panel, with the only way to restore it being to close Firefox and reopen it!

I’ve been trying to think of ways to improve the way search words are handled when Googlebar Lite appears in the nav-bar. One option I thought of is to use a fixed width search word area. Some words would fit, while all the other overflow into the overflow menu, as they do today. This comes with its own set of problems, however (a bunch of blank space in the toolbar, being one of them). The other solution I’ve thought of, and which I’m currently leaning towards, is to have a dedicated search words menu button that appears in this nav-bar case. Search words would then become children of this menu button. This would make things compact, the size wouldn’t jump around, and the words would still be easily accessible (though it would require one more click).

What do you think of this idea? Are there other ways that search words might be handled in this case? I’m leaning towards implementing the second option above for the next release, but I’m open for other suggestions.

Googlebar Lite 5.0.1

June 8, 2014

I have just uploaded a minor bug fix for Googlebar Lite. Here’s the change log:

  • Bug Fix: Implemented a workaround to prevent the search site button, up button, and Google Dictionary menu item from getting stuck in the “disabled” state

It appears to me that the underlying problem here is actually a bug in Firefox, but I need to do some more experiments to prove whether that is indeed the case or not. Nevertheless, this fix should correct the issue that people have intermittently been reporting. Let me know if you continue to see issues in this area.

Outer Banks in May

May 16, 2014

I’ve just posted a new photo album showcasing some sights from the outer banks. My fiancee and I took a trip out there recently and I took my camera along.

Googlebar Lite 5.0.0

May 9, 2014

The biggest release of Googlebar Lite in a long while is now available, offering Google search suggestions for the first time ever! Here’s the full change log:

  • Google search suggestions are now offered when typing in the Googlebar Lite search box
  • Searches are now performed over secure (https) connections by default
  • Added an option to control the search suggestions feature (suggestions are enabled by default)
  • Added an option to lock the search box width
  • Internal search URLs have been tweaked
  • Improved the efficiency of the window resize event listener
  • Removed the option to enable secure search since it is now enabled by default
  • Changed the minimum width of the search box from 150 to 100 pixels
  • Removed several deprecated strings
  • Removed the nb-NO locale due to it being woefully out of date
  • Bug Fix: The search word overflow button is now hidden properly if it was visible and search words were turned off
  • Bug Fix: The search word container is now resized properly if search words buttons were present and then turned off

As always, let me know if you spot a problem. Lots of code changed in this release, so hopefully I didn’t miss anything obvious.

Googlebar Lite 5 Sneak Peek

May 7, 2014

Can you spot the big new feature in this screen shot of Googlebar Lite 5?

Googlebar Lite Search Suggest

I’m very excited for this release, and I hope to make it available later this week. Stay tuned…

French Toast

May 6, 2014

I’ve been meaning to transcribe this recipe for some time:

  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)

In a shallow bowl beat together eggs, milk, sugar, and salt. Dip bread in egg mixture, coating both sides. Sprinkle cinnamon over the surface of each slice as you cook them.

Firefox Extension Utilities

April 28, 2014

I have created a GitHub repo storing several Firefox extension utility scripts that I wrote. Here’s the rundown on what this repository contains:

compareLocales.pl
Compares all of the locales it finds against a “master” locale (`en-US` by default) and reports the number of exact duplicate entries for each. This is useful for figuring out which locales have not been updated.
entityToProperty.pl
Converts a given list of locale entities into corresponding properties. Handy for migrating existing entity localizations into a `.properties` file.
removeLocaleEntries.pl
This script removes a given list of entries from all of the locale folders it finds in the current working directory and below. Useful for cleaning up strings that are no longer needed.

Hopefully others will find these scripts to be useful. I hope to add additional scripts to this repository over time.

Googlebar Lite 4.9.15

April 25, 2014

The latest build of Googlebar Lite restores the resize gripper. I’ll stick with the gripper going forward; apologies for the inconvenience while it was gone.

Toolbar Tutorial Updates: Phase 2

April 19, 2014

I have finished updating the toolbar tutorial here at the site. Chapters 6 through 8 have been polished, and all the appropriate downloads and sample files have been updated as well. Again, if you spot an error with these updates, please let me know.

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Toolbar Tutorial Updates: Phase 1

April 18, 2014

I have started making updates to the toolbar tutorial here on the site. So far, chapters 1 through 5 have been updated. Here’s a brief rundown of what has changed:

  • The downloadable version of the toolbar has been updated (though the GitHub repo has yet to be updated)
  • The maxVersion has been bumped to 99.*
  • Markup for the toolbar (in chapter 3) has been updated in several places
  • An image sheet is now used in the skin for the toolbar, and all the appropriate style changes have been made to support this; see chapter 5 for details
  • A number of links have been updated

As a result of this first phase of the update, chapters 6 through 8 are now out of sync. I hope to finish these updates later this weekend, but it may be early next week before I can get to it. If you spot any errors in these updates, please leave a comment to let me know.

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