Tag Archives: firefox

Cookies Can Give Servers Indigestion

For the third time in the past few weeks, I had an issue connecting to a site and the solution turned out to be completely not obvious: I deleted the cookies for the site. I tend not to like to delete cookies since I find it more convenient for (trusted) sites to remember me. Deleting cookies is something I do as a last resort after clearing cache and restarting my browser.

One site kept putting me in a login loop even though I was entering the correct password. If I purposely mistyped the password, it had an error message as it should. When I asked for support, one of the suggestions was to clear my cookies. I hate being told that so I resisted it. I then remembered that I didn’t have to delete all my cookies thanks to the Firefox Extension, Web Developer Toolbar, which allows for more granular deletion of cookies. I then deleted the cookie(s) for that domain and I was finally able to log in.

cnn.com showed me a connection reset error. I wasn’t able to access it for a few days. Since connection reset is a server error, I had no idea that it could be due to my cookies. Since I was able to fix the previous issue by clearing cookies, I tried it with cnn.com. It worked!

meetup.com showed me this message:

We’re Sorry

Our server wasn’t able to process your request.

This may be a temporary problem due to an upgrade, so please try again in a few minutes.

I tried again a day or so later and I got the same message. I figured that the upgrade couldn’t be lasting that long or that I was so unlucky that every time I went to meetup, they were doing an upgrade. Today, I tried clearing my cookies for the domain and again, that fixed the issue.

So weird.

I don’t remember having issues like this before but then again maybe I had issues but didn’t realize that clearing the cookies would help.

Firefox Extension: Search Everywhere

Have you ever been at a web site and wanted to find something on it but couldn’t because the site either lacked search functionality or had a useless one? Did you want a tool to help in your predicament? Here’s one that I’ve found helpful: Search Everywhere by Paul Komarek. It was developed by a colleague of mine, and as a search junky, I got to be one of the beta testers. It’s now officially on the Firefox Add-ons page.

The extension was designed “to search the outgoing links from any webpage”. A use case for that is if you’re on a particular site and wanted to learn more about a particular topic, you would use this extension to search the keyword on Google and it would look up the keyword through the site and other sites the current site linked to, on the premise that the current site would link to relevant/related resources.

When I started using this, there was no way to specifically search for results in the current site, so I requested it and Paul implemented it in the latest version. This one little addition has made the feature much more useful to me. I could have manually done a [site:domain keyword] query but that would have taken more effort.

Of course, the extension can only provide results as long as Google has indexed the site. Also, a heads-up that it might take a few seconds to get results when doing a search involving linked sites… probably due to the Custom Search Engine having to go fetch and process the linked sites. A SiteSearch is as quick as any Google Search so that would seem to confirm that theory.

Internet Explorer Horizontal Scrollbar Covers Last Line

Oh My Friggin Goodness. Internet Explorer makes me so mad.

Just to see how things looked in IE, I randomly checked a blog post that contained code, and one of the lines of code was obscured by a horizontal scrollbar! I compared the post in Firefox. It turned out the particular line of code was so long that it surpassed the width of its container. In IE, the code block got clipped to fit the container, and a horizontal scrollbar was added to view the long line of code. However, the scrollbar hid the single line of code. It made my post look silly because I would say here is code but then there’s no visible code.

I searched for a solution but couldn’t find one. So I used CSS (to the rescue). In the theme’s style.css file, I modified the pre style block by adding these lines:


padding-top: 10px;

The main one to add is padding-bottom. I added padding-top so that things looked more balanced.

I was about to title this as a fix but then realized it’s not a fix. It’s an unsatisfactory workaround. :P

This must have been going on for a while. I just hope that readers who found my posts with code were using Firefox, which tends to be popular among web developers. Otherwise, sorry for any confusion you might have experienced.

Firefox Used up Almost 600MB Memory

This morning, I noticed Firefox was awfully slow. I clicked on one bookmark and had to wait for the tab to load before I could open the second bookmark. Usually, I open both bookmarks one after the other.

I opened Task Manager to check how much memory it was using. It was over 580MB! I used to only have 512MB of RAM. No wonder my laptop would have issues when FF went up to over 300MB. Now that I have 2GB of RAM, my laptop is less affected by Firefox hogging so much of memory, but FF slows itself down.

I shut down Firefox, and watched the Task Monitor. At first, it looked like Firefox wasn’t going to shut down, but the memory usage slowly went down for a bit and then Firefox was closed. I don’t like to shut down Firefox at home because it messes up the “new posts” info in my favorite forum. At work, it’s not a problem, and I try to remember to close Firefox at the end of the day so that it’s not slow the next day I use it.

Upgraded All My Computers to Firefox 2

I’ve figured all the issues I had with upgrading to Firefox 2 and now all three of my computers are running the latest version with no problems.

The previous issues that made me revert to Firefox 1.5 after attempting the upgrade:

Lost bookmarks

It turned out what made the bookmarks disappear upon upgrade was that the Firefox process was still running. When doing the upgrade, make sure that Firefox is completely shut down, even if you don’t see it in the taskbar. Open up Task Manager and confirm.

Incompatible Extensions

Some of my beloved extensions did not have versions that were upgraded for 2.0, or I didn’t like the version written for 2.0. I found the trick to trick Firefox into running those extensions. There’s no guarantee that it will work with all extensions, though. Certain extensions showed error messages saying they were incompatible with FF 2 even though they technically could run under it. What was “breaking” them was their info file that stated the version number compatibility didn’t include version numbers greater than 1. We’re going to change that.

Extensions are basically archive files. Find a copy of your extension, which would end in .xpi. Rename it so it ends in .zip so that your computer can recognize it, given that you have software that can unzip zip files. Depending on your software, you’ll want to choose the function to Expand or Uncompress it.

In the resulting folder, you should find a file called install.rdf. Open it in a simple text editor like notepad or wordpad. Look for and edit the number to 2 or greater. Save the file. Compress the folder back into a zip file. Rename the extension from zip to xpi. Install the extension with that file.

Again, it may or may not work depending on the functionality of the extension.