The newest version of the ever popular Firefox browser will launch today at 10:00 PDT. While the news is exciting for all users, Mac users should be particularly excited due to the “under the hood” changes. The biggest change took place in the Gecko engine (version 1.9) for OS X , which was largely switched to Cocoa. While Gecko is not entirely Carbon free, the days of Carbon code in the Gecko engine appear to be numbered.
If you’re into the super geeky under the hood change details, you can check out a blog post by Josh Aas, one of the Mozilla Mac developers. Josh has even posted about the development for Gecko 1.9.1 for OS X.
The official Download Day website for Firefox 3 is HERE. It sounds like Firefox 3 will be the best Mac version of Firefox yet!
Less than 12 hours from now, the early giant in web browsers will be given its final resting place. On March 1st, 2008, AOL will end official support for Netscape, thus rendering it pretty much dead to the world. Used by over 90% of web users in the mid 1990′s, the browser has seen a steady drop in usage to less than 1% today. The death blow for Netscape was the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows by Microsoft in the mid 1990′s. The intense struggle between Netscape and Microsoft during the 1990′s for browser market share is known as the Browser War.
Though Netscape itself is headed to its eternal resting place, the Netscape DNA still lives. In the late 1990′s, Netscape open-sourced their next generation layout engine. This new engine eventually became known as the Gecko layout engine. Today Gecko powers a number of browsers, most notably Firefox, Flock, and Camino.
If you’re really curious about the Gecko engine, Netscape, or Camino, check out the below video. The video features Mike Pinkerton, one of the Camino developers who worked at Netscape. He shares a lot of inside information about what went on during the browser war and the open-sourcing of the Gecko layout engine.
Anyone using a Mac knows that the Mac development community is producing some amazing applications right now. With Mac sales at an all time high, those new to the Mac often don’t know about some of the great applications available. While there are a multitude of fantastic shareware applications available, the Mac community also has a number of great freeware and donationware applications to choose from.
I enjoy dabbling in a little web development and have purchased a number of fantastic tools. Despite owning a number of great shareware web development applications, I wanted to focus this article on some applications for those who don’t want to spend the money for shareware applications or just don’t have the money to spend. I’ll breakdown the best freeware applications into various web development categories.
Web Server and Languages
MAMP – MAMP stands for Mac Apache MySQL PHP. MAMP is a stand alone web development environment. Just install MAMP and you’re basically ready to go. MANP includes a desktop widget to easily start and stop Apache and MySQL. If you’re looking for the easiest way to setup your web server, database, and php then MAMP is your application. You can be up and coding in less than a few minutes.
Seashore – Seashore is a Cocoa based open source image editor. Seashore features gradients, textures, multiple layers, and alpha channel editing. Seashore is based around the GIMP‘s technology and uses the same file format. While you could just download the GIMP instead, Seashore does not use the X11 windowing system that some OS X users don’t care for.