Testing Flock 0.7.99 Trunk

While constantly getting frustrated at how Firefox 2 crashes on Tiger, I was hoping for a new update to the Flock 0.7.10.1release. Well I got bored of waiting around, so I looked around to find a nightly build and finally I found one at <http://tinderbox.flock.com/trunk/status.html [1]>.

I ended up at the <http://tinderbox.flock.com/builds/trunk/ [2]> page, and finally downloaded “Sun Feb 18 3:02:47 GMT 2007 flock-0.7.99.en-US.mac.dmg [3]” from <http://tinderbox.flock.com/builds/trunk/ [4]>.

Surprisingly, Flock dev. asks me to import my bookmarks from either Firefox or Safari, which is nice. So I imported them from Firefox. The downside is that it installs a fresh dir in “Applications Support” named “FlockTrunk”, which means that any extensions you’ve added (which are in “Flock”) don’t get utilized.

The dev. release certainly feels as if they’ve been tweaking speed factors.

Firefox Styled Organize Bookmarks Window
Now the fact that this dev. version uses Flock’s bookmark styled gui isn’t really bad for because Firefox’s style allows for one to see the parent folders, and how the bookmarks are organized, assuming you put some effort into organizing them. Unfortunately it searching doesn’t work for me (it is a dev. release). I think Flock should use this Firefox feature but improve on it by allowing better viewing of parent folders. Again, Flock could incorporate the “Firefox Organize Bookmarks window” style but do so by tabbing it into the same frame, incorporating the search feature Flock 0.7.10.1 has at the bottom centre of the window, allowing to quickly use a single search string within each folder. This allows for a quick “running down” (with the arrow keys) of highlighted favorite folders without having top re-input the search.

Of course, retain Live Searching.

Extensions
As already mentioned, installing the dev. version of Flock will not use previously installed extensions. So how do you get your installed extensions to work on the dev. version of Flock?
You could simply copy over your extensions folder found in the “Profiles/*.default (within ~/Library/Application Support/FlockTrunk to ~/Library/Application Support/Flock); The other files that start with the word “extensions” might be of service too. (On a related note, between two different “released” versions of Flock, copying over the flock_*.rdf files seemed to setup my WordPress accounts, but not with this dev. version)

There are extensions for which this procedure will not work. For instance, with AdBlock Plus and NoScript I had to uninstall, then restart Flock, and then install the extensions (and restart Flock again?). I haven’t verified them all but he following might work (no assurances)
*PDF Downloads (still verifying this)
*Web Developer (enlarging images works)
*Session Manager (not tested)
*Video Downloader (seems to work)
Keep in mind that I do not recommend the above procedure as reinstalling your preferred extensions seems best as suggested by experience.

I noticed that the tab feature added a plus sign to hint at how to easily add tabs (you click on a cross/”+”). While this caters to the non-power user (others use hot keys), it makes sense and may be useful to the ui based new-comer. It’s present incarnation is a little clunky, and looks like a red cross (“+”) sign. It needs refinement.

Suggestions
Snipets in this dev. version of Flock don’t work. I do see how extended use of this feature would clutter, and thus necessitates a better organizational scheme.

The “Preferences” pane seems to take after Firefox 2. I suggest that they give this up and utilize the last official Flock style where “Content” and “Privacy” are side by side so as to facilitate quick clearing/changing of javascript and cookies.

If I recall correctly, the Firefox 1 series allowed for the quick clearing of cookies with its own “Clear Cookies “button. Firefox 2 and this dev. version of Flock do not follow this protocol. To delete cookies one Firefox 2, one has to open a window showing one’s cookies. I personally don’t want to see my cookies to delete them. I can’t recall the last time I was interested in seeing them. You may not want to see them either unless you want to hack them (with an editor) to create all kinds of problems at their site of origin (I’m not encouraging this).

For the clip buff, “Flock Media search” is available via Live Searching (see “Searching” under “Preferences”). I also like a convenient “Share this link” button that opens Thunderbird to email the viewed page url. It even fills out the subject box.

To resume, I like this version of Flock with its Firefox-like Bookmark organizing scheme. This has almost made Flock a viable browser for immediate use (for me). I look forward to Flock’s future browser incarnations, and possibly switching over.

A Quick Breakdown
Pros
-speedy, and doesn’t suffer the lag mentioned in my previous article, when opening multiple tabs and media formats
-allows the importation of Firefox and Safari bookmarks
-use of the hierarchical Firefox bookmark representation
-this dev. version of Flock introduces Flock Media search under searching
-“Share this link” that fills out an email subject box

Cons
-had to set up my WordPress account again (not a big deal as it’s easy)
-had to install my extensions again
-snipets didn’t work (I’m not a big user although I can see how they might be useful.)
-I assume the auto-updates feature is still broken
-search within Firefox’s styled bookmark representation doesn’t work yet

Maurice Cepeda

Update:The Blog Post utility complains about postings that were not saved properly, when opening a “Open a Blog Post”. Selecting to recoup these doesn’t reveal anything until you kill the browser window to reveal a list of potentially recouped files (you can also command tab out and in).

Selecting to disregard recovered posts at this window also seemingly stalls unless you command tab out to another app and then back in which also stalls unless you again command tab out again to another app and then back in bringing you to a window labeled “Loose Recovery Data”.

This is reminiscent of Mozilla Suite problems and SeaMonkey’s problems with newly formed windows not showing up and being difficult to access via the “Window” menu in the Apple menu (I tried this in Flock).

A hot key access to the Posting utility would be nice.

Blogged with Flock [5]

This is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License [6]. All brands mentioned are properties of their respective owners. By reading this article, the reader forgoes any accountability of the writer. The reading of this article implies acceptance of the above stipulations. The author requires attribution –by full name and URL– and notification of republications.

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