firefox - 2/3 - Broken Links Archive

Using the GeoLocation API

With the rapid growth of the mobile web, location-aware services are very much in-demand; the GeoLocation API was proposed to cater to this need.

Implementation is spotty at the moment; Firefox 3.5 supports it, as does Safari for iPhone (although not on the desktop, AFAICS). But it’s so simple to use, I’ve no doubt it will be adopted rapidly.

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New background rules in Firefox 3.6

The latest alpha release of Firefox 3.6 (3.6a1) contains some new rules for providing backgrounds to elements: multiple background images, background-size, and an implementation of the Webkit gradient proposal (modified from the original — more on that later).

I’ve put together a very rough demo of what you can do with these new rules; you’ll require a recent build of Firefox 3.6 or Webkit to view it. Try resizing the window to different dimensions, and see how it changes.

Here’s an explanation of how I did it:

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background-size implemented in Firefox 3.6

Firefox 3.6 has become the latest browser to support the CSS3 background-size property (although the first to do so according to the latest W3C spec.).

Using it is pretty simple:

div {
background-image: url('image.png');
-moz-background-size: 80%;

This, along with multiple background-images, is going to go a long way towards cleaning up mark-up and prettifying the web.

Checking for installed fonts with @font-face and local()

Firefox 3.5 was released earlier today, and joins Safari in supporting the @font-face rule with OpenType and TrueType font families, allowing you to use a wider range of fonts in your designs (as long as they are correctly licensed, of course).

One slight drawback of the technique is the blank space that’s displayed as the new font is loaded into the browser; this is especially unnecessary for users who already have that font natively on their system.

The way to get around that is quite simple; use local() to check if the font is on the user’s system first.

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New CSS implementations in Firefox / Gecko

Mozilla’s Robert O’Callahan has posted a few hints about new features expected to land in the next version (1.9.2) of the Gecko layout engine.

Allowing use of SVG in <img> and background-image is high on the list, apparently, as are background-size, multiple backgrounds, and possibly text-overflow. These features have already been implemented between Opera and Safari.

I can’t find any information yet as to when Gecko 1.9.2 will land; I think it’s doubtful it will make it into Firefox 3.1, so are we looking at 4.0 or an as yet unannounced 3.2?

New features in Firefox 3.1 & beyond

While Firefox 3 is a really fast & usable browser, I was a little disappointed by the (comparative) lack of really new features in the rendering engine; that’s not to say there aren’t any, as there are plenty, but that Safari 3.1 and Opera 9.5 have set the bar very high in their latest iterations.

So that’s why I was delighted to hear about the 3.1 release of my favourite browser, and doubly delighted when I found out which features the team are planning to work on for inclusion in it:

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