Category Archives: browser

Dock Badge for Yammer via Fluid

If you’re interested in running Yammer, on OSX, in a Site Specific Browser (SSB), so that you can launch it like a normal application, etc:

1.) get Fluid (free) and install it

2.) launch Fluid and setup with your Yammer feeds url (like:

3.) In Preferences -> Advanced of your new “Yammer app”, select “Allow browsing to any URL” (if login keeps sending you to your “real browser” you don’t have this checked)

4.) Click the scripty looking icon in the top bar and choose “Browse” -> search for “Yammer” and choose “Fluid Badge for Yammer Unread Messages”. Install it and activate it.

5.) You should probably restart your Yammer application now.

That’s it.  Enjoy and let me know if you have issues.


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Filed under browser, Javascript

Online Office? or Goog Docs?

I’m sure you’ve seen that Microsoft announced it will be bringing a free version of Office to the web.  It looks like that may actually still be a year out, but nevertheless it’s got me thinking about whether I’ll be a customer.

Google Docs is great but let’s face it, the best part about it is plain and simple: It groks .docs (and xls and whatever else).  If it didn’t… I imagine I might have a few docs out there — some random things people “shared” with me and what not, but add in the ability to handle .doc files and it becomes an essential tool for anyone lacking a copy of Office.

So, Microsoft’s announcement that Office will be available FREE online is a Goog Docs killer, right?  … nah.  I really think it would be but the thing about “Free online Office” is… it’s only free if you’re already paying… and while 400M people are — YOU, my friend, are not.

So, what will it take for this to be a success amongst the 2 groups of people I care about?  Let’s label them (1) Me and (2) My Uncle Rob.


I love having things online and everything that goes along with it, but… gotta be free.  Google’s online offerings are far from having perfect interfaces, but as any good 36-signals-following kid will tell you: free + simple = winner.  I just can’t justify paying $50/yr (to make up a number) to have Word online.  I know it’s $4 a month… but sorry: I’m out.

Uncle Rob

Uncle Rob doesn’t really get the whole online thing.  That’s not to say he doesn’t use/like technology.  or that he doesn’t like his Y! Mail and playing some online Euchre.  It literally means: he doesn’t know what it means to have documents hosted online.  If you give him Office online, he’s going to wonder why he can’t go to his harddrive to copy all his files to his fancy new flash drive.

But here’s the thing: he wants Office.  He doesn’t want something that can read and write doc files via “Save As” (or even worse “Export As”.  He just wants it to work – and look like the thing he uses at work.  THIS is why this whole plan may work.

So, what will it take to make me recommend it to him?  … gotta be free.  If he has to pay $50/year — no question about it: I’m telling him to have his kid buy him the $150 Student copy for his own machine.  It’ll be easier for him to understand and it doesn’t force him to send all his Uncle-Robby-Friends “share links” or use that pesky “Export As”.  If the prices are even close (and they really are), it’s the obvious choice for him.

Maybe they’ll figure these things out?  … or maybe they won’t AND the interface will suck.  It’ll be interesting to see how things look when we actually get closer to the release.


Filed under browser, Usability

Printing from Multiple IEs

‘Multiple IEs’ (easy installer here, interesting back story here) is pretty widely used for running (and therefore testing in) multiple versions of Internet Explorer these days. It’s really an essential tool for anyone supporting back versions of the browser.

Recently I came upon a need to test printable versions for a calendar app. After quite a bit of css things were looking really nice and shiny in Firefox. An hour of tweaking later, I was looking good in FF and IE7. When I gave it a try in IE6… no dice. “Print Preview” showed me a blank page. I couldn’t imagine what the heck I had in there to cause it, so I tried just printing it – IE6 basically flipped me off and just gave me a js error… ok, something was wrong. A quick try at printing the Google frontpage came up with the same results, assuaging my fear that I had written a magically blank page in the eyes of IE6 but sending me on the hunt for a fix.

I found a bit about exposing a bug to get printing going. That trick is that bookmarking also doesn’t work… in a good way (for us).

  1. Visit the page you want to print
  2. Bookmark it
  3. Visit the bookmark
  4. The print dialog magically pops up and you can print the page.

That works fine for Google’s frontpage but not so well for my page which is hidden behind authentication and other goodies.  After some hacking around for a good solution, I ended settling on the low tech route.

  1. Visit the page in Firefox
  2. Do a “Save Page As” and set the format to “Web Page, complete” – this’ll save a static version of the current html (and friends) locally for you
  3. Load that locally stored file in IE.
  4. Bookmark
  5. Visit the bookmark
  6. Viola

Not the smoothest possible process, but if you’ve only got a few protected pages to test… it may be better than installing and uninstalling various versions.


Filed under browser

Upload speed (or lack thereof)

While testing to make sure some javascript was properly working cross-browser, for an upload-progress indicator, I came upon a strange issue.  The script seemed to be functioning properly but the uploads were taking forever to complete in IE6…

That didn’t seem right.  It seemed like the browser would have something to do with efficiency but surely the primary bottlenecks (for something so dramatic) would be network related, but I was running the uploads off of the local network and wasn’t seeing the same type of issues in any other browser/OS.

With a bit more digging, the culprit was found.

This issue occurs because the default Winsock Send buffer is 8 kilobytes (KB), and therefore Internet Explorer supplies the data in 8 KB chunks. On an average network, this equals approximately 80 KB per second (KBps), regardless of network bandwidth.

So, you might not bump into this if you’re running on a not-so-fast connection, but if your users are typically going to be on something nice and quick – there’s a fix here (via some registry changes).  Of course, the real fix is: update IE to the most recent version or just use Firefox.

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Filed under browser, performance