Archive for the 'Browsers' Category

Where is my status bar in Firefox Quantum? Here’s a way to restore it!

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

The new Mozilla Firefox Quantum is quite cool. It’s fast, secure, and it has great support for all the latest “bells and whistles” in HTML/CSS/JS.

Firefox Quantum

One thing is missing though — OK, maybe not one, but one that highly annoys me: the status bar.

Firefox Quantum: searching for the (missing) status bar
And I am not the only one — Google “predictive results” suggests that probably thousands of people search for the status bar in the latest Firefox release.

To be fair, in Firefox 56 and earlier, the status bar was in a way missing too. But there was this excellent little extension that could bring it back in just a click: install Status-4-Evar, and bingo, the status bar is back! :-)

But what’s a status bar, you may ask? Usually it’s a little ribbon near the bottom of the browser’s window which can display a variety of information whenever needed. For example, while a web page is loading, the status bar may display brief glimpses about its loading progress. Or, when you mouse over a link on a page, the status bar will display the URL even before you click on the link. Handy!

When a web page is loading, the status bar may display brief glimpses about its loading progress
When a web page is loading (1), the status (2) bar may display brief glimpses about its loading progress.

In one word: the status bar is something very, very useful!

Here’s the catch though — you can display the status bar in a few different ways:
a) it can be either permanently on display at the bottom of the browser window (which was the default for all browsers only a few years back);
b) or, you can display and hide it based on context — which is the new default for most browsers, including Firefox.

In my opinion, displaying and hiding the status bar based on context, is not ideal UX (user experience). Page is loading and the status bar “pop-up” shows at the bottom of the browser window; page has loaded — status bar disappears; you mouseover one or a few links on the page you’re reading — and the status bar shows then hides then shows again… On/off, on/off, on/off… hundreds of times! It’s visually distracting.

A bit of history: Google Chrome was the first browser to introduce this annoying “show/hide status bar” behavior and then many other browser vendors started adopting it as well. Firefox was not exception.

But then, the Status-4-Evar extension fixed exactly that: it restored the status bar to the location where it belonged, and allowed Firefox users to browse happily with the status bar displayed at all times! No more status bar “flickering” on/off! :-)

Unfortunately, Firefox Quantum brought not only some cool stuff but some bad stuff as well, and namely, it broke all the existing (pre-Firefox-57) extensions! And so Status-4-Evar was gone as well.

I am using Mozilla Firefox (and before that, Mozilla Suite) for ages. I love the browser. I like that it’s developed by the Mozilla Foundation (and not Microsoft or Google or Apple — three giants that I don’t like particularly). I like that I can customize every little bit of my browsing experience in Firefox… or rather, could. Because, as I just mentioned, most of the old extensions will not work in Firefox Quantum (versions 57, 58 and later).

So I jumped on a quest to find the missing status bar!

A quick google search showed quite a few results but some of them were misleading and others turned out to be just some posts where people complained about the missing functionality.

I then dug deeper and found out that even if now Firefox extensions cannot customize the user interface of Firefox anymore, there is still a manual (and not so well documented) way of modifying bits of the interface by using a special CSS file that you can create locally on your computer: userChrome.css.

The userChrome.css file must be created inside the chrome folder in your Firefox profile (this is well documented in the following Firefox help page).

As an example, in Windows 10, the file is located here:
C:\Users\«your-Windows-profile»\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\«your-Firefox-profile»\chrome\userChrome.css

After you create this file, add the following code to it:


/*
    Display the status bar in Firefox Quantum (Firefox 57+)
    permanently at the bottom of the browser window.
    Code below works best for the Light Firefox theme and is based on:
    https://github.com/MatMoul/firefox-gui-chrome-css/blob/master/chrome/userChrome.css
*/

#browser-bottombox {
    height: 20px;
    border-top: solid 1px #CCC;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel {
    left: 4px !important;
    bottom: 0;
    transition-duration: 0s !important;
    transition-delay: 0s !important;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel>.statuspanel-inner>.statuspanel-label {
    margin-left: 0 !important;
    border: none !important;
    padding: 0 !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] #browser-bottombox {
    display:none !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] .browserContainer>statuspanel[type="overLink"] .statuspanel-label {
    display:none !important;
}

Save the file and restart Firefox. You should now see the status bar permanently displayed at the bottom of the window! :-)

I took the idea from the following page: firefox-gui-chrome-css and made some slight modifications to it. It works best with the Light theme for Firefox Quantum.

If you are using the Dark Theme in Firefox then better if you use the next block of code as it was adapted specifically for the dark Firefox look:


/*
    Display the status bar in Firefox Quantum (Firefox 57+)
    permanently at the bottom of the browser window.
    Code below works best for the Dark Firefox theme and is based on:
    https://github.com/MatMoul/firefox-gui-chrome-css/blob/master/chrome/userChrome.css
*/

#browser-bottombox {
    height: 20px;
    border-top: solid 1px #505050;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel {
    left: 4px !important;
    bottom: 0;
    transition-duration: 0s !important;
    transition-delay: 0s !important;
}

.browserContainer>statuspanel>.statuspanel-inner>.statuspanel-label {
    margin-left: 0 !important;
    border: none !important;
    padding: 0 !important;
	color: #EEE !important;
    background: #333 !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] #browser-bottombox {
   display:none !important;
}

window[inFullscreen="true"] .browserContainer>statuspanel[type="overLink"] .statuspanel-label {
    display:none !important;
}

Note: If you are using more than one Firefox profile, you’ll need to add the modification to the userChrome.css file separately to every chrome folder in every profile.

I have tested this “hack” on two different Windows 10 computers with the latest Firefox 58 and it works brilliantly, at least for now. And I hope it will work for some time (unless the Mozilla team alters further the browser’s core code, let’s hope not).

If you’re the lazy type, feel free to download directly my modified userChrome.css files:
http://www.optimiced.com/wp-uploads/2018/02/userChromeLight.css
http://www.optimiced.com/wp-uploads/2018/02/userChromeDark.css
— only remember (after the download) to rename the file back from userChromeLight.css or userChromeDark.css to userChrome.css. I added “Light” and “Dark” in the file name only to differentiate between the two versions.

Finally, if you’re a Firefox power user and already have a userChrome.css file with some customizations in it — in that case just add the bit of code and save it. (Do not replace your original file with the downloaded one as it’ll remove your current customizations.)

Hope everything is clear but if you have a question, feel free to post a comment below or to ping me on Twitter. :-)

IE9 background shifting bug

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

On Tuesday, I mentioned that the brand-new IE9 browser is out; yesterday and today, I am already fighting with the first IE9-bug I encountered… :-(

The story in short: I installed IE9 mainly because I was curious to see how good is the support for some of the new CSS3 properties — rounded corners, box-shadows, text-shadow, gradients, transitions, and so on.

So, as soon as IE9 was officially released, I installed it, then restarted my Win7 machine, and lo and behold! in one of the first designs I tested in it, I found a new bug (new in the sense: a bug that I never encountered in IE8 or IE7): a strange one-pixel shift in the background image of a page, when (un)certain conditions are met!

Here’s a test page:

http://www.optimiced.com/lab/2011/ie9-background-bug/

Test conditions:

Internet Explorer 9 (you need Windows Vista or Windows 7; Windows XP is not supported).
— The browser window must be maximized.
— I tested with the following screen resolutions: 1680×1050, 1440×900. (Not sure if bug will happen if your screen is larger or smaller.)
— Open the test page, wait for it to load.
— With the mouse, scroll down to the bottom of the page, then up to the beginning. You have a 50%/50% chance to see a one-pixel shift in some part of the background of the page, in the upper part! (At least, I see such 1px shift…)
— If you refresh the page, bug is gone. If you scroll again down-up once or twice, bug is back again!
— (Update 1) If the Menu Bar is not open in IE9, the bug is not triggered. If the Menu Bar is open, it is triggered! (Just in case: screenshot of the toolbars that are open when the bug can be reproduced: Menu bar, Status bar.)
— (Update 2) If you have AERO disabled, the bug won’t show up (for example, if you use Windows Classic or Windows 7 Basic theme). If AERO is enabled (Windows 7 theme, with AERO = “ON”), the bug is there! (Big thanks to Adam Kiss, who made some tests.)
— (Update 3) “Show tabs on a separate row” should not be enabled (and it’s not, by default). If you select “shows tabs on a separate row”, bug will disappear too (?).
— If you put more Lorem Ipsum text in the main column, bug is gone.
— If you reduce (or increase?) the height of the main column (#content) in which the Lorem Ipsum text is located, the bug no longer appears. Currently, the div#content has a min-height of 500px.
— If you minimize the window of IE9 and then back again to maximized state, the bug disappears (page is re-rendered after a minimize > restore-back-to-maximized operation).
— The 1px shift occurs only in the upper part of the background image, and quite randomly.

Now, the background image is applied to the body element:


body {
background: #8F8F8F url(../img/body-test.png) 0 0 repeat-x;
}

…and there is nothing special in the code.

The left part of this background-image is the original image, the right part is for testing purposes — the horizontal lines help see if there are any shifts in the background image position. Otherwise, that was the original.

After many tries I discovered that the format of the background image does not matter (PNG, JPG, GIF…) as well as its size.

You can scroll with a mouse or the up-down arrows on the keyboard.

Of course, it’s possible that something in my setup (Win7/IE9) is wrong and so any kind of third-party confirmation for the existence (or non-existense) of this bug would be appreciated! (Btw, I never saw such a bug in IE7/8, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome. Only in IE9.)

Here’s how the test page is supposed to look:

And here how it looks after a couple of scrollings down/up:

Also please note that after scrolling down/up, and then mouse-overing the elements in the navigation, another visual strangeness happens:

So, in “ideal conditions”, the page should look like this, but after some scrolling, here’s how it looks like (or even like this).

* * *

Otherwise, testing IE9 is fun — for now I see that CSS3 transitions and text-shadows are not supported. Border-radius and box-shadow are supported, though, which is nice. I’ll be testing more.

Any help is appreciated! Did I discover a bug? If yes, what triggers it?…

IE6-IE9: 10 years

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

10 years is a lot. In the Web, 10 years is quite a lot. IE6 was one of the best browsers when it hit the market in 2000-2001. Then it slowly started to transform itself into a brake for new technologies on the Web. While all other browsers (Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, and now Chrome) were adopting new technologies at a fast pace and improving their rendering of web pages, IE6 remained un-changed.

IE6-7-8-...9!

Microsoft now say that IE6 is history. And that IE9 (that officially was released today and is available for all users of Windows Vista and Windows 7) is much better.

We’ll see! :)


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