Outlook Web Access freezing Firefox

Had a curious thing with an Outlook Web Access site since a couple of weeks. Everything was working fine and snappy, except when opening a popup editor for an e-mail message or an appointment the entire browser (all tabs) would freeze for a couple of minutes. After that, (if I had the patience to wait instead of terminate the process) I could often continue working fine. Eventually, I got so annoyed I turned to Chrome, which worked like a charm but did display an error message on top of the screen about not being able to start Silverlight. I didn’t know there was something ‘silverlighty’ in that window, but it turns out it does. So… could it be related to this?

Yes, it is. Turns out Silverlight has had an update from windows update somewhere in May. After repeating the procedure from my other blogpost and changing the path to 5.1.20513.0 and restarting my browser, everything is working great again in Firefox.

Although I still think there’s a problem with Microsoft for not updating the path to the silverlight executable when their software is updated, I now also look at Mozilla a bit. Would it be hard to show a warning about a failure to launch Silverlight, like Chrome does, instead of a browser-wide freeze?

Silverlight not working in Firefox

Another long-running issue on my dev machine solved today. I never got the Silverlight plugin to work in Firefox. With every upgrade of either Firefox or Silverlight I hoped that the issue was solved, but no. Today, I finally found the solution here. Yes, it really was that simple.

When going to the Microsoft Silverlight page at microsoft.com/getsilverlight, it would always nicely report that it was installed and had the newest version. Also, browsing about:plugins would report everything being in order. However, no pages using Silverlight (like nos.nl that features a Dutch online news and sports tv channel) and more recent, this bytes.com interview with my hero Anders Hejlsberg) would ever work. They would simply remain blank or show a banner that links to the silverlight install page… which would tell me it was already installed. Of course, I could quickly Show this page in IE, but it bugged me nonetheless. Lees meer over dit bericht

Downloading a video from any website

As an aside, completely unrelated to software development, last night I browsed the web and found a video on a blog that I really wanted to save to my harddrive (because you never know if the blogger might take it down later). I tried really hard (yet unsuccesful) to remember what tool I used last time to do something like that, as I realised it should be possible with all those debugging tools present on my developer system.

That, and the brilliant guide at http://geeklad.com/download-flash-video-from-any-website quickly showed how to use the unsurpassed FireBug plugin for Firefox to quickly determine the actual video file. After that, saving it to my harddrive was as easy as clicking “Save to disk”. I will not repeat the steps here, credits go to geeklad.com, just read it over there.

Firefox 4 released

The Mozilla team released the final version 4 of Firefox (after 10+ betas or so).

I like the fact it checks in advance if your plugins will be compatible, which would be the major reason for me to not upgrade if they weren’t. Looks like I’m alright for all plugins that really matter to me, the remaining ones are a Glass plugin and Compact menus which are irrelevant for Firefox 4; I haven’t used the VMWare remote console plugin for VMWare Server since switching to Workstation several months ago; and Firebug 1.6.2 can easily be upgraded to 1.7.

I am going to hit that Update button soon.