Mozilla Firefox – Reset Your Profile, Recharge Your Browser

One of the best features in Firefox is one of its least-known. Many, many people complain of Firefox feeling slow and bloated over time, and in a number of cases, they’re not wrong. They just don’t know that surfing the web can be analogous to playing Katamari Damacy, where simply browsing can accumulate cruft until you have this big ball of metadata that slows you down.

If you find your Firefox experience is sub-par and a little more pokey than you’d like, you should try resetting your profile before moving over to another product. You should know that your preferences, extensions, and themes will be reset/removed, but since you’re planning on installing Chrome or another browser, I’m willing to bet that’s ok (and you should back your profile up before you do this, just in case). Your browsing history, bookmarks, and form info will be saved, and that’s the important thing.

To reset your profile, open up Help->Troubleshooting Information from the Help menu, and click the reset button. This simple procedure will cure most things that ail you performance-wise with Firefox. You should also read our support article on Resetting Your Firefox Profile, which will give you the the full scoop on what happens when you click.

There, doesn’t that feel better?

hero

teacher by ibekev
teacher, a photo by ibekev on Flickr.

I spent the last two weekends in a classroom. nine hours each day, learning about things I’m interested in.

it’s been a hard year so far. I’m averaging about 65 hours a week at work, and I’m not even screwing around. it’s busy, and I’m exhausted, and I could use a break in a huge way.

instead of catching up on a little sleep, I get up on Saturday and Sunday at 5am to do my homework. I get to class at 8am. I listen. I learn. I participate. I’m still tired.

I’m also happy, because learning is what drives me.

my dad is a teacher. always has been, always will be. one of the most important lessons he’s passed on to me is that I should never, ever stop learning, because we can always, always better ourselves and pass that on to others to make things better for them.

he practices what he preaches. I can only hope I can do half of what he’s done to help people in the life I have left.

thanks, dad. you may not know of all the gifts you’ve given me, but this is one of them, and I cherish it.

Firefox OS Update Mechanics

I’ve changed roles at Mozilla, and have been working a lot less with external groups we work with on Firefox and more with partners interested in Firefox OS. A lot of what I’m focusing on is around explaining how Firefox OS works, what makes it different from other mobile operating systems and ecosystems, and what’s required to bring a Firefox OS device to a given market. I’m not the only one (by far) doing this, but I do find myself assembling a lot of docs to help our potential partners understand things.

I’m going to start posting about what I’ve been working on both here and to the Mozilla wiki, and I’ll start with the update mechanics behind Firefox OS. Note that it’s by no means definitive, and particulars may change for a given deployment scenario. The docs I am creating are intended to lay out the concepts behind things (at a 5,000 foot view), so that people can understand what’s going on and what questions they need to ask from a product marketing, development, and operations point of view.

All of these docs are a work in progress, and will continue to be refined. I do vet them with people who know a lot more about the particulars than I do, but feedback’s always welcome from everywhere. In any event, if you’re interested, I’ll be adding this and others over the next few weeks to the Firefox OS/b2g info troves.

Continue reading

Deadsquid Update

No one will really care about this but me, but that’s ok, I need to get in the habit of using this thing again.

The dedicated server that’s continued on something like 14 years of hosting for friends and family is entering it’s final days. I’ve been moving sites over, and am hoping coop is paying attention to his email. I ended up going with a Canadian firm for a VPS provider, and the experience so far has been pretty painless.

The biggest issue I’ve run into was slow MySQL response time, and I spent most of yesterday reading up on tuning and tweaking my.cnf. I wish I had read all this stuff about 5 years ago, as a lot of lights were turned on with regards to perf on cthulhu; I could have saved myself a lot of pain by changing about 10 lines. Thankfully I’m never too old to learn.

All mail services on cthulhu have been migrated, and everything else gets shut down at the end of August. I think everyone’s ready. It’s been fun, but I won’t miss it, and the VPS will be about 20% of the cost of a dedicated box with performance that appears to be at least comparable.

If you’re using deadsquid for anything and haven’t heard from me regarding migration, you should drop me a line sooner rather than later. Two more weeks and everything’s gone.

Repurposing Build Your Own Browser

Over two years ago we launched Build Your Own Browser as a way to create customized versions of Firefox that could be shared with friends, family, and affinity groups. Since that time we’ve had almost 6,000 individual registrations and almost 4,000 customized versions of Firefox submitted for distribution. We’re very happy with the response we’ve received, and have learned a lot during the time since we launched.

Moving forward we’re going to be re-focusing Build Your Own Browser as a customization framework, and will be shutting the current website down at the end of this month. The product will live on, but future versions will be the engine that creates customized versions of Firefox behind other web applications instead of web application in its own right.

Customized versions of Firefox that have passed review will continue to be available through 20:00 Eastern on June 30th 2012, after which the site will be closed and all account and build information deleted. If you’ve been using Build Your Own Browser to create customized builds for your organization, we recommend that you join the Enterprise Working Group mailing list, where browser customization for organizations is discussed at length.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s used Build Your Own Browser over the past two years. It’s been a great learning experience, and we hope to take what we’ve learned with Build Your Own Browser and use it to power newer, easier-to-use customization applications in the near future.

Decelerating Deadsquid

deadsquid.com turns 14 this month, and there are some changes afoot. I’ve been running a bunch of ISP-ish services – everything from dialup access to mail and web hosting – since 1995, and am tired of it. I like having my own server to do my own thing, and have been happy to help friends and family out by hosting their content, but the services I offer aren’t comparable to what can be had commercially at a very (very!) reasonable cost. So, to that end, I’m shuttering the dedicated server everything runs off of by the end of April.

Thanks to everyone who has used deadsquid.com over the years to vent about Ingenia, keep in touch with friends, play Expert CTF, check your mail, and post your thoughts and photos. I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m not paying anywhere near as much attention to it as I should, and it’s hard to justify the $1200-1500/year it costs to maintain. If you have a website still hosted here, I’ll be in touch shortly, and will help however I can to move it over to a provider who will take much better care of you.

k

Mozilla Firefox Extended Support Release

Just a quick note that the Mozilla Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) is now available. The ESR is based on Mozilla Firefox 10, and is intended to be used by organizations that deploy Firefox in a managed desktop environment. You can read more about the Windows, Mac, and Linux installers from the Mozilla website, and additional information can be found in the Firefox ESR FAQ. Organizations who use the Firefox ESR are also strongly encouraged to join the Mozilla Enterprise User Working Group; a discussion group focused on sharing information related to Firefox deployments.

a note to myself

andrea posted a link to a note she leaves to herself to remember something important. I have something similar on my work computer to ensure I remember something important, too.

I work with a great group of people at Mozilla, and a large part of how we function is through peer reviews of ideas, code, and the execution on them. those reviews tend to focus on the negative, which can be incredibly demotivating. I’ve found that I’ve fallen into the trap of giving criticism but not praise on more than one occasion, and I want to nip making that a habit in the bud. having this little note front and centre reminds me to start with what I like and why, and then move on to what I find that could use improvement, and some of the options I see that can help get there.

as a good friend of mine says, “two yes, one no” takes you a long way. criticism alone is draining. letting people know what you think they’re doing well is just as important as what you think they aren’t, and combining the two makes for an overwhelmingly positive experience that people can act on.