How-to guide for the esoteric cheevos in Cheevos for Firefox (Part 1)

12 January, 2012 § 5 Comments

There are a few cheevos in Cheevos for Firefox that are esoteric and hard to win through normal interactions with the browser.

One example is the Yo Dawg cheevo. The hint for this cheevo is, “I heard you like browsers”. If you’ve ever seen MTV’s Pimp My Ride television show, you may recall Xzibit pimping peoples cars by redecorating their trunk to resemble their favorite hobby. Xzibit would often say lines such as, “Yo dawg, I heard you like basketball, so I put a basketball court in your trunk so you can play basketball even when you’re not at a basketball court.”

Through the power of the internet, this morphed in to a meme that represents recursive levels of repetition. For example, the image on the right could carry along a phrase of, “Yo dawg, I heard you like pizza, so I put a pizza inside of your pizza so you can eat pizza while eating pizza!”.

Well … it turns out that you can actually put Firefox inside of Firefox.

So now you know where the “Yo Dawg” achievement comes from. To see this for yourself, try the following:

  • Open Firefox (shame on you if you’re not already)
  • Copy and paste this URL in to your address bar:
    • chrome://browser/content/browser.xul
  • Hit enter

You will now see Firefox running inside of Firefox! This is a pretty cool trick, and it showcases the power of the user-interface programming language that Firefox uses to create itself.

This technology is XUL, pronounced as zool, and is very similar to HTML. Firefox also uses CSS and JavaScript. So with XUL, CSS, and JavaScript, Firefox is very similar to an extremely complicated web page that has more privileges than normal web pages 😀

I hope you learned something. If you’re not already using Cheevos for Firefox, give it a try today and let me know what you think about it.

Recap of Day 2 @ Mozilla

14 June, 2011 § 4 Comments

Today was my second day at Mozilla.

I started off the day by kicking off a local build of Firefox. I’ve built Firefox at home before, but this was my first build on my new machine. Generally speaking, a full build of Firefox on Windows takes about an hour. During this time I took care of some other paperwork that I didn’t get to yesterday, as well as looking through Bugzilla to find a bug to work on.

This is my first time working with the Mozilla codebase, although I have done some cursory readings about XUL before. I picked up a pretty simple bug that would give me an opportunity to get familiar with some of the XUL controls: Bug 598169.

Bug 598169 deals with the ability to select and copy the version string from the About dialog. This ability is useful if you are pasting the current version of the browser in to an IRC chat or in a bug report. Ideally users would use about:support since there is more diagnostic information, but many users have been trained over time to visit the About dialog.

I spent a good deal of time swapping out the controls and trying different variations, as well as tweaking the related CSS file for the dialog. By the end of the day, I had a patch submitted and ready for code review. I don’t expect that this initial patch will be the one that gets landed, but its a start and I’m happy to say that I was able to submit a patch within my second day.

Based on the new rapid release cycle, if the patch gets landed tomorrow then it should be visible in the Aurora channel of Firefox in early July.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to cleaning up the patch based on the code review and picking up another bug to work on.

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