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A look at Mozilla Snowl 17 January, 2009

Posted by aronzak in Mozilla Firefox.
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2 comments

Mozilla Snowl is a new experimental Firefox addon that acts as a more advanced feed reader. It can display RSS feeds and also Twitter messages. I’ve never gotten into microblogging, but it’s an interesting concept. Here’s how Snowl works as an RSS/ATOM aggregator.

Snowl has three modes; List, Stream and River.

River modes shows a list of messages in a page view. It shows the title and a small snippet of text, and the author.

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List mode shows messages like an email client. It allows the a news article to be displayed in full by double clicking the message. There doesn’t seem, however, to be any way to open up links in a tab.

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Stream mode displays a sidebar with the latest messages at the top, with nice icons.

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Snowl has a lot of nice concepts, but it seems to be more intended to be used with Twitter than web feeds. The small amount of text in river mode, the small size of the frame for viewing articles in list mode and the ability to select people, rather than just feeds, all point to this. It would be good if Snowl was more customisable to better suit needs one way or another.

1. It would be good to be able to select how much text is displayed in river mode.

2. It would be even better to have a feature to expand the text, like in the old Isohunt.

3. It would also be good to be able to customise the number of messages that are kept. I’m not really interested in anything in a feed if I don’t read it after a day.It would be good to limit the time of messages, as well as the number that display in stream mode.

4. It would look nice if icons are displayed in river mode.

5. It would be good to be able to use something like greasemonkey to alter the way in which Google news appears.

6. It would be good if river mode could support the formatting in Google news, rather than just displaying it as text, which repeats the title.

Otherwise, Snowl is looking good.

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A look at Mozilla Fennec 19 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Mozilla Fennec is a mobile web browser, intended to be used on devices such as the iphone and the Nokia N810. So, Mozilla is entering this juicy market too. I downloaded alpha 1 and gave it a spin. There’s a few bugs, and the interface is terrible on a big screen, but is probably good where screen space is limited, and you have a touch interface. Here’s some screenshots of the alpha.

Fennec has a strange interface, in which you slide around the page in order to access the side panels. The top can also be slid to hide it. This didn’t look that great to me, because the sides slid in and out when I tried to go up and down a page. This probably isn’t such a problem with a touchscreen. Also, I expected the scroll wheel to scroll the page up and down, but it zoomed in and out. Would make good sense on a phone.

At the top of the screen, there’s a loading animation / page icon / security info button, then a bar that shows the page title rather than the url, then a reload and history button.

On the right, there’s a panel with a bookmark star, forward and back buttons, and a button to bring up the settings. There are few settings options, to keep it simple.

There’s also addons.

On the left, is a panel with all of your tabs.

Finally, downloading seems to work fine, and downloads appear in the middle settings tab.

Mozilla Fennec is looking good. The only problems that I had were a result of it being a first alpha, and using it on a PC (the interface is really made for touchscreens).