Resources for writing Firefox Plugins

Gmoe Seahorse (Password Manager) I’ve got a evil plan to write a Firefox/Thunderbird plug-in to store passwords in the GnomeKeyring or some other desktop-wide place instead of the build-in Password Manager.

My particular itch to scratch here is that I’m tired of having to type my master password every time I open up Firefox or Thunderbird. Thunderbird in particular has a bug where I have to type the password multiple times.

Another Idea that I have is to wrote some kind of a desktop service that will automatically go to various sites like Facebook and WordPress and automatically change my password while storing an updated copy in the keyring.

So here are several useful resources to help me accomplish the task:

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Tab Candy – New Firefox 4.0 Innovation

Tab Candy – New Firefox 4.0 Innovation

This has a nice look to it, but I can’t help  but be reminded of Activities feature of the Gnome 3.0 shell.

It seems to me more and more of the things that naturally should be done by the OS are moved into the browser, with window management being the particular example here.

I really think that browser tabs, while being a good feature and workaround for the OS problems we had back when they were invented, should have been surpassed long ago by general OS-level window tabs (And the recent trend to move them to the top f the window proves it, I think).

RabbitVCS : Easy version control for Linux

RabbitVCS is a plug-in for Nautilus, The Gnome file manager, that implements a GUI for the Subversion Code Version Control system similar to the way TortoiseSVN does this for Windows Explorer.

As one can see from the comments on the site, this is a much sought-after feature.

The system is written in Python, and the authors indicate intentions to support more version control systems in the future with support for Git already in the works.  I will be very happy to see it support my personal favorite VCS, Bazaar, one day.

Rabbit VCS is very programmer oriented, and probably not suitable for common users, one thing I would like to see in Nautilus one day, is a tool that would deliver the benefits of file version tracking to common users, such a tool would need to support not only  developer oriented VCS, but also other OS and infrastructure-level facilities such as LVM and Storage snapshots and Backup systems.

Fixing the Nautilus garbage bin again

Usability bugs are nasty, they tend to be a major point of frustration for novice users, yet their importance is sometimes hard to explain to developers.

An even worse situation occurs when such bugs, once worked around, come back to bite you in a later software release because of a lack of developer foresight.

I am going to discuss a work around for a bug I’ve already discussed in the past. I’m going to skip going into the details of how this bug arises, please read the previous post for those.

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Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” upgrade notes

As experienced computer users know, the fresh-released versions of products are typically not very stable and reliable. It takes a few months (Typically until the x.1 version is released) for the product to really stabilize and become production-ready. This also seems to be true for Free and Open-Source software, though the maturing rate seems to be faster.

Knowing that, I typically wait a couple of months after an Ubuntu release before I take the time to upgrade. When it comes to Hardy Heron, the latest version of Ubuntu, a further reason not to upgrade was provided by the fact that up until now it didn’t include a stable version of Firefox.

I finally decided to take the time and upgrade the Ubuntu version on my personal home computer yesterday. The upgrade didn’t went as smoothly as I hoped it would. Most of the issues can be blamed on the manual tweaks I’ve made to my system. Not all, however.

Below is a list of the issues I’ve encountered during and after the upgrade, and the solutions I came up with (when applicable).

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Some long-awaited features in GNOME 2.22

I’ve been reading the GNOME 2.22 Release Notes which generally contain a laundry-list of nice-to-have features and improvements, when I stumbled across the following 2 lines in section 5.2 discussng improvement to administration tools:

The Shared Folders tool now allows you to edit the SMB user database (smbpasswd).

The Network tool can now set up PPPoE and GPRS connections.

I cannot stress enough how important I perceive those improvements to be.

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Fixing Thumbnails in Nautilus

Where the h@$#$ are my thumbnails?If you are like me and many other internet users, you’ve probably downloaded movies with one P2P program or another.

If you did that downloading while using Nautilus and Gnome, you might have noticed that Nautilus fails to produce Thumbnails for downloaded movies, presenting the film-roll Icon instead.

What happens here, is that Nautilus attempts to generate thumbnails for files as soon as you enter the directory that contains them, when it comes to files that are only halfway-downloaded it fails for obvious reasons.

The problem is that when Nautilus fails to generate a thumbnail, that failure is noted down somewhere, and therefore Nautilus does not attempt to regenerate the thumbnail once the file is fully downloaded.

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