Firefox 3 to drop support for older Windows and Mac X 10.2

I'm currently testing a development version of Mozilla's Firefox 3 (codenamed Gran Paradiso). The contents of the release notes for Gran Paradiso Alpha 1 may surprise a few users.

Currently Firefox 3 is scheduled to be officially released in May 2007. When Firefox 3 is finally released it is expected to no longer support older versions of Microsoft Windows including Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME. Support for Apple's Mac OS X 10.2 will also be dropped. For the Mac platform, Mozilla is recommending users run Firefox using OS X 10.3.9 or higher.

Several new features for the Alpha 1 version of Gran Paradiso include:

  • Cairo is now being used as the default graphics library, affecting all graphic and text rendering
  • Cocoa Widgets are now used in OS X builds
  • An updated threading model
  • Changes to how DOM events are dispatched (see bug 234455)
  • Changes to how web pages are painted
  • New SVG elements and filters, and improved SVG specification compliance

Many of the new features are a result of changes in the Firefox rendering (layout) engine, Gecko. For this alpha version, Gecko 1.9 Alpha 1 is being used under the browser's hood.

SMF 1.1 final is out and about

The final version of SMF 1.1 is out. That's right, as far as 1.1 goes, no more release candidates for this forum software.

SMF is by far one of the easiest Web applications to install and upgrade that I have come across. In fact I upgraded my WebCMS Forum within 24 hours of the release and haven't looked backed. Though, I'm giving a week or two for some burn in time before I upgrade a client's site.

Instead of listing all the new features since 1.0, below are the major changes since SMF 1.1 RC3 was released. Release candidates in SMF are typically stable and introduce new features. In fact most open source projects would actually have given the RCs new version numbers.

Drupal and Joomla comparison

On a recent visit to Drupal's forum I found another post with both Joomla and Drupal in the subject line. Making comparisons between Joomla and Drupal are very common these days as they are currently considered the top two open source content management systems (CMS) out there. The forum post written by Steve Burge contains a link that takes you to a comparison table he did between Joomla and Drupal.

TYPO3: Core-Team releases TYPO3 4.0.3

A new "bugfix" for TYPO3 has been released. Some of the major fixes in TYPO3 4.0.3 are for:

  • Internet Explorer 7 compatibility
  • Some minor fixes to the Extension Manager
  • Some small tweaks for PHP5 were made
  • Some fixes for the Tools>User Admin Module “SU” mode
  • A security enhancement prevents image access through thumbs.php.

The original TYPO3 announcement including links to release notes and downloads is available at TYPO3.org.

Quoting IT: Good managers know IT

"In today’s global economy, a company’s success or failure may hinge on the ability to implement technology to remain competitive. The business managers of tomorrow must be able to see the big picture while also understanding the nuts and bolts that keep everything running. The type of thinking that was once left to technologists is now essential for business managers."

C.J. Kelly, "Can a Manager Be a Techie and Survive?", Computerworld, November 20, 2006

C.J. Kelly is the alias for a security manager that wishes to hide her real name and employer in her articles for Computerworld.

Those in IT with any ambition to move up the ranks need to understand their organization's business better, obviously. What isn't acknowledged so readily by management is the need for managers to know IT better.

The botnets are coming to a Windows PC near you

The November 20, 2006 article "Spam surge linked to hackers" from eWeeks is a must read. Unfortunately, I can't find the actual online version of the article in print.

The article discusses the increasing complexity hackers are using botnets running on tens of thousands of hijacked Windows computers to spread spam. The article focuses on the research by SecureWorks regarding the malware trojan called Troj/SpamThru. Some scary unique features have been identified with this trojan including: