Friday, July 27, 2012

Safari 6 - Appearance Pane Gone, No Customizing Fonts?

Not sure if this is a gross oversight by Apple's WebKit team, or an intentional thing, but there's no way to customize fonts in Safari 6 unless you want to use a CSS stylesheet. You'll see from the screen grab below that there is no "Appearance" tab in which you used to be able to set fonts, sizes, etc.

Here's an Apple Discussion post on the topic: 

You'll note that as one of the responders points out, Apple still lists it as a feature on the Safari page, bottom right:

For a lot of folks, being able to set the font to a readable size and style, this is a bad move. Raise your hands if you know how to write a CSS stylesheet to set your font preferences.

I don't know about you, but my eyes are aging. I always took advantage of customizing things via the Appearance pane to make things easier to read.

Yes, zooming the page is there. Even zooming only the text on a page. But that's not the same thing as being able to set a serif font style/size, and a sans-serif style/size.

Let's hope Apple adds it back to Safari.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Internet Slaves, Meet Your Masters" [Infographic]

What do Google, Facebook, Zynga have in common? They are today's "online masters" according to a new infographic from sent in to MacSurfer. Online Masters
Created by:

Friday, March 02, 2012

Dear Safari Team....

Safari used to be a great browser for my work at MacSurfer.

Once upon a time I was able to have a page open, hop up to my bookmark bar, click on a folder, run the mouse over to the contents of that folder, hold down the Apple/Splat key and click "Open In Tabs" and those bookmarks would open in new tabs WITHOUT REPLACING the existing tab(s) I had open.

In fact, I can't remember when that stopped working now it's been so long.

There was an add-on, Saft, that kind of enabled that. Every time I'd open new tabs, every single tab would reload. A pain, but it worked.

Question Safari team: WHY did you remove that feature? Can you PLEASE give it back? I've looked high and wide for an extension (if anyone knows of one, let me know in the comments), or anyway to get that functionality back.

But it doesn't exist...that I know of.

Why not? Chrome does this, Firefox does this. Without extensions. It's just part of the browsing experience.

I'd also like the ability to freeze tabs, change the size of tabs (like Tab Mix + in Firefox, or built-in "Pin Tab" in Chrome).

Even if you don't give me that, how about letting me open tabs w/o replacing existing tabs?

Or maybe you've given up on Safari as a power-browser, leaving that up to Chrome and Firefox?

But then there's Firefox. I've not ranted on Mozilla's flagship for a long time now because they just won't give it proper AppleScript support for some bizarre reason that completely escapes the realm of sensibility.

Guess Google is the savior here. Awesome AppleScript support, great extensions. (Not bringing up Camino here. Good browser, but not keeping up with everything like Chrome).

Rant over. For now.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Apple Store Coming to Adelaide, S. Australia

A longtime MacSurfer reader from Adelaide, South Australia, sent in the following tidbit to MacSurfer on Thursday:

"Apple Australia is considering opening their first UberStore in the state. Redevelopment of a large site in Rundle Mall, the prime retail area of Adelaide's CBD, means that a suitable location has opened up for an Apple Store. Overheard two days ago was a conversation between a major property identity, and a third party on the other end of the Iphone, with the pertinent question being, "have you arranged that meeting yet with Apple about the Harris Scarfe development?"

Details of progress of the redeveloped site were included with schematics in this article from August 2011 in the local daily newspaper, The Advertiser.""

Congrats to Apple fans in Adelaide, should this info bear ... fruit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Firefox 3.5 Beta and AppleScript - Still Broken

I have been holding out hope that Mozilla would, by now, have gotten its act together in fixing AppleScript for Firefox 3.0.x, and now up thru 3.5b.

Unfortunately not the case.

Things are a little different with the nightly builds; however, but still not up to snuff.

The newest 3.5 beta release falls prey to the already documented (here, here, and here) AppleScript bugs introduced with 3.0. The latest nightly builds by and large fix those issues, but introduce a new one, and a particularly glaring omission, at that.

Where before I documented that the properties of a particular window neglected to include the title of said window, in 3.6a pre1, they do.

But where 3.6a pre1 fails is in completely losing the ability to get the URL of the current page. It no longer exists in the properties as the class curl or as "URL". That property has simply ceased to exist.

For reference, this AppleScript is to get the properties of the current, front window in Firefox 3.5:

tell application "Firefox"
get properties of window 1
end tell

And from that I get this result:

{«class pObT»:window, «class pTit»:"Google News", «class curl»:"", index:1, bounds:{0, 0, 1440, 900}, «class pLcn»:{0, 0}, closeable:false, titled:false, modal:false, resizable:false, zoomable:false, zoomed:false, «class pNMo»:true, «class pMMo»:false, floating:false, visible:false}

You can see that «class pTit» is now filled properly. But add "activate" to that script and it will fail as it has in previous testing.

Enter Minefield (3.6a1pre) with this AppleScript:

tell application "Minefield"
get properties of window 1
end tell

The results are telling:

{zoomed:false, closeable:true, resizable:true, miniaturized:false, document:missing value, bounds:{440, 22, 1440, 790}, titled:true, floating:false, miniaturizable:true, zoomable:true, modal:false, class:window, name:"Minefield Start Page", id:2071, index:1, visible:true}

A little more cocoa goodness here with class names, etc. in place of «class pTit» is "name" and it is filled appropriately. But gone is «class curl», or "URL" entirely. No mention, thus no way to grab it properly with AppleScript - at least no way that I know of.

Beside that glaring omission, AppleScript no longer errors out as it did under previous versions (not including 2.x). There is promise... and disappointment all in one. Cheers for fixing the breakage, boos for dropping URL support.

So there's obviously a lot of work yet to be done. And for those of us who rely on AppleScript for our jobs, and who wish to use Firefox, we're out of luck. I have been able to work around some of these shortcomings, but with the newest update, all the add-ons have broken (not to mention that it is an ugly, inelegant way to get what I want, and it doesn't work all the time as AppleScript would).

So I'm pretty much left to Safari and Camino here, even though neither is 100% satisfactory. Yes, I've sung the praises of both browsers, and I'm using Safari 4 beta right now which I do like. Problem being that Safari 4 is a memory hog on my aging PowerPC, and Camino tends to leak as well. I have found Firefox tends to be the least leaky of all. Your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Firefox 3.1b2 - AppleScript *STILL* Broken

I've been messing around with the different alphas and betas of Firefox, including FF3.1b2 released yesterday.

Sorry to announce that Mozilla still has not fixed it. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please refer to my previous posts where I detailed the problems here and here.

This extends all the way to the Minefield nightly builds, and Shiretoko builds as well.

Mozilla - PLEASE - fix AppleScript support.  I realize AppleScript has never been a priority, but hey, it works in 2.x but it was broken (regression) in 3.x and it messes with workflows and other apps as well.

In the mean time, Safari has been working well; however, it has begun choking on sites like while something loads in the background. Takes about 40-50 seconds.

Monday, July 21, 2008

From MobileMe to Google Apps: A Progress Report

It is disappointing, the hassles facing MobileMe users, and I'm sure the team(s) within Apple are pulling their collective hair out trying to find resolution. And I'm sure Steve and the management team are not a little bit irked that this persists in the face of today's earnings report. There will be some shareholder angst to be sure.

On a smaller scale, back in my days as an IT Manager, I recall well the departmental shift into crisis mode when services went dark. But one thing was for certain, customer service became the critical priority externally, while service restoration becames the #1 internal priority. It seems that Apple is having a tough time with this.

As for my own MobileMe experiences, blogged about here and here, I decided to transition to Google for email and calendaring. Jury is out on whether or not I'll use Google's online office. The interface is yet quirky, although it is certainly functional.

If Apple were to put iWork online, that'd be pretty swell, if not an extremely daunting task (for Apple's engineers).

I pay daily visits to MobileMe with hopes things have improved only to find they haven't. I won't rehash all the reasons for me switching, suffice it to say, Gmail and Google Calendar (Gcal) are excellent apps, in particular the sharing functionality of Gcal. Picasa Web Albums is also excellent. It differs primarily from MMe's Photo Gallery in looks, which are pretty slick appearance-wise, I'll chalk that up to MMe's favor; however, looks are not everything.

From Mail/MobileMe to Gmail: Gmail wins me over for superior online options, customizations, tagging, calendaring integration. The usual suspects creep up with any address change: getting people to change to the new one. It hasn't been too bad thus far, but could be better.

Transition has been smooth, and the thought of losing our .Mac addresses is less troublesome with each passing day. I suppose you could say that the breakup is not as bad as I thought it'd be.

From iCal/MobileMe to Google Calendar: Couple things here. iCal/MobileMe is a local/online solution. Locally, iCal beats Gcal because it has ToDo's, and it is local. With Google Gears on the horizon for Gmail and Calendar, and the excellent plug-in architecture for ToDo's in Google services, it will be come local for 1-3 months in advance...

Still, for online Calendaring, MobileMe calendar is a long way from competing with Gcal. Sorry, but it just is. So Google Calendar wins here rather easily. The transition has been smooth since that is what actually started this whole thing back when MMe was announced.

Do I mind that it isn't local? Meh, maybe sometimes. I haven't yet had an outage during which I needed my calendar info. Yet.

From MobileMe Photo Gallery to Picasa Web Albums: Here again we have the interface being the main difference between these two. Google has gone to great strides integrating PWA into iPhoto; however, it is still a few extra steps and less elegant. Just like you're able to change the "Mail" icon in iPhoto, I'd like to have a PWA icon to upload to that service instead of Exporting to the service.

And the online experience goes in favor of MMe Photo Gallery simply because it looks better. But functionally they are on pretty much the same playing field. Where PWA pulls ahead is in sharing of albums - public or unlisted, and in ability to purchase from the web page. No option in MMe Photo Gallery.

Thus the photo situation has not been a difficult transition. But I will say that I liked .Mac's video viewing back in the day when I used it. That was cool. Haven't tested that in PWA, so don't know how/if it performs.

From AddressBook to Google Contacts: This one has not been as easy. Google Contacts seems like more of an afterthought than a great service/feature. It does most of what I need it to do, but for some reason the interface bothers me. It is not as clean and easy as AddressBook. And MMe's online AddressBook is quite nice, although again, there's more that you can do - online - on the Google side of the fence here.

From iDisk to Google (?)
: Um, no. There is no from iDisk to Google because Google falls down here. Yes there are hacks that allow you to use your Gmail space as storage space, but I don't like that solution at all. If Google were to offer an iDisk-like alternative, that'd be great. They don't, so it ain't.

This is the one area that is stckiest. Bottom line for me is that iDisk alone is not worth $99/yr. if I'm not using the rest of the service. For you it might be. I'd rather go to Costco and pick up the under $200 750GB Western Digital external drive. That's 2 years of iDisk with vastly more storage space. Granted, it isn't in the cloud, but it's more practical in this case. There are free online storage systems, I'm subscribed to which I like, but it has less space. Did I mention it is free?

Conclusion: The transition from MMe to Google has been going very well, the only areas that fall a bit short are with AddressBook and iDisk although there are solutions both free and shareware.

Any of you switching from MobileMe to Google?