Switch back to IE

This is spawned from an article on ArsTechina regarding the new IE 8 beta 2. (edited) I have now also found and article on Lifehacker. Check them both out for details on IE 8

I am an avide Firefox user. That is what I use on my PC at home and my Mac at work. I use it because of the greater security offered (especially from FF2 verses IE6) but more importantly I love the extensions that you can use with Firefox. Stuff like Ubitquity which I wrote about yesterday and have been using tonnes at home and at work.

With the new version of IE 8 beta 2 out though there are some very cool features that at least entice me to try out IE 8 in the future. Probably one of the most compelling features to me is the suggested sites. Basically it suggests sites that are similar to the sites that you are on. Seems kind of like stumbleupon (which i love but kills my time). I wonder if it would help in finding some design inspiration.

Think you would view a site with cool art work and then hit suggested sites. Voila now you have other sites that have some interesting arty thing to them.

There are lots of other neat features, most of them covered in Firefox 3. The only thing that will continue to hold me back from jumping into IE 8 as my fulltime browser is the lack of my favorite extensions like Ubiquity and the web developer tool bar. If IE 8 can catch up in the extension category I would consider making the switch.

Cool Web Developments

Surfing through my RSS feeds today I came upon a number of very cool web developments that I thought I would bring to your attention.

IE 8 InPrivate browsing. Pulled from ArsTechnica. Looks like IE 8 may mean that analytics programs we use to track our site traffice will no longer work. One of the features of InPrivate will be blocking of objects embedded in your sites (like google analytics). If a user has this turned onĀ  us web designer may never know for sure that IE 6 is dead or what screen resolutions best suited for a particular clients website. While there are benefits to this technology from a user’s privacy point of view it could be tough for people designing websites.

Our second chunk of news I first saw at Lifehacker but now also appears on ArsTechnica. Ubiquity is a prototype Firefox extension that adds a command line interface to your browser. To send a link to someone now you have to right click and then roll down to ‘send link.’ Ubitquity works something like Quicksilver or Launchy in that invoking it with a key command would allow you to start typing “email this to wife” and suggestions for the action would come up. A neat way to interact quickly with web pages but if your not already a Quicksilver or Launchy user it may be hard to get people on board. I don’t see my wife using this. If you’re interested head to the download and watch the tutorial video.

We’re almost done…. Many of us web professionals are devote followers of the Twitter (at least I am). I sometimes wonder how much information is gleaned about me from my posts. Not from the people that I follow or the ones I don’t block from following me but from the public timeline. I know that I can make my tweets private but that means I have to approve everyone and that is a waste of my time. Enter Status a project from Chris Coyier over at CSS-tricks. While not exactly like twitter there are some similarities. Many companies use twitter for tracking quickly where each other are. While twitter works for this it does expose people to the scrutiny of the wider public. Status is designed around private groups. You can start one or be invited into one. The purpose is to simply list where you are and what you are doing. This really has applications for distributed companies or companies dealing with some remote employees. I personally don’t have a great application for it right now but it has been bookmarked.

Finally how about some advice to budding web designers and developers. Basically it is a round up of advice for those that are starting out in the web industry. A good read for anyone who has been in for a long time or those just starting.

Enjoy the reading.