AnyColor 0.2.1

AnyColor with Colorful Tabs

AnyColor with Colorful Tabs

A new version has been uploaded to AMO. It’s still in the “sandbox” and you need to register to download it, so I’ve uploaded it here (Right-click, Save Link As…) as well for those that don’t want to register.

This release offers the much wanted compatibility with the Colorful Tabs extension, among other things. To enable it, open AnyColor’s options, go to the “Advanced” tab, selected “Theme tweaks” and double-click on “Compatibility: Colorful Tabs”.

The list of changes in this version:

  • Some Vista CSS fixes; I got my hands on a Vista PC and fixed some CSS issues that I had missed, like some menus and the “Library” window.
  • Compatibility with Colorful Tabs and All-in-One Sidebar. These have to be enabled explicitly by going to Options->Advanced->Theme tweaks.
  • Added a few optional theme tweaks:
    • Anycolor Compact

      Anycolor Compact

      Compact main window: Reduces the padding and borders on the main menu and toolbar. It’s meant to be used by people who like their Firefox as compact as possible, with small icons and no bookmarks toolbar.

    • Hide main menu: This will hide the main menu. Take care if you enable this, you may not be able to disable it without the main menu. If this happens, open the page “about:config” and type “extensions.anycolor.activeCssFragments” in the “Filter” box. Right click the configuration entry and click “Reset”.
    • Custom buttons in web pages: This will make all standard buttons in regular web pages appear like AnyColor’s rounded buttons.
    • Invert Url-bar & search-bar colors: Makes the url bar and search bar stand out by inverting the background and foreground colors.
    • Square buttons & Square scroll bars: Removes the rounded corners from the buttons and scroll bars. Note that you need to refresh a page before you see the changes in the scroll bars.
    • Google web search: This is mostly a “proof-of-concept” tweak, demonstrating how AnyColor can be used to change colors & styles in web pages. This one will make Google’s main page and search results use the currently selected AnyColor preset.
  • Several minor compatibility fixes for other extensions.
  • Added a menu item in Firefox’s tools menu for easier access with the keyboard.

Last, after getting the dreaded “download corruption” error (when trying to install AnyColor from addons.mozilla.org) myself, I think the following steps fixed it:

  • Enable cookies AND third-party cookies (Tools->Options-Privacy).
  • When logging in to AMO, make sure you check the “remember me” checkbox.
  • Clear the cache.

AnyColor 0.2.0

It’s been almost two months since the last update and I’ve been busy. The plan was to release this version about a week later because I wanted to document some new features of the AnyColor API that may be of interest to third-party theme developers and web masters.

Alas, the latest Firefox update came today and AnyColor wasn’t marked as being compatible with it so here it is: AnyColor 0.2.0 has just been uploaded to addons.mozilla.org.

The new version has several improvements although most of them won’t be seen by most users. One feature that stands out is the option to change the font size of the browser’s interface, a feature requested by Ken Saunders from AccessFirefox.org.

A list of all changes in this version follows:

  • It is now possible to add new presets by visiting a web page that offers them. I’ve created one such page as an example and as a place to post interesting presets. I’ve also added a link to this page on the presets tab.
  • Added a start-up page that greets the user when AnyColor is first installed and provides a way to easily add AnyColor to the toolbar.
  • Removed a hack that was used for compatibility with the Web Developer extension. It is no longer needed as of Web Developer 1.1.6.
  • Some progress on compatibility with the Linux theme. It’s usable but not perfect yet.
  • Minor CSS fix for the color of the links in about:mozilla.
  • Improved the way scripted presets work by allowing them to render to a canvas and specify the canvas id as the background image. Simply put, Firefox will not allow a web page to use a canvas’s toDataURL() method if external images have been drawn on it (it’s a security/privacy measure). To circumvent this restriction without giving the scripts access to this method, a scripted preset can now specify the id of the canvas as the url of an image in the form of “canvas://canvas-id”.
  • Fixed a small bug with the initial selection of the image position controls.
  • Made the advanced tab panel remember the last selected tab.
  • Fully implemented a way for third-party extensions to change the master theme or build upon it. It is now possible, and easy, to create an extension that completely changes the appearance (just like a different Firefox theme) while using AnyColor’s abilities to change colors and images on the fly. Similarly, an extension could keep the default master theme but offer several small, user-selectable tweaks, like making all buttons square or adding a fixed background image to all windows, or even modify the appearance of web-pages to match the currently selected preset.
  • Bumped compatibility to 3.1a1pre.
  • A few fixes for the colors of the Firebug console, especially for dark presets.
  • Minor CSS fix for the main window when the tab bar isn’t visible.

Installation problems

There’s a small bug in the mozilla addons site that affects some people trying to install “experimental” addons (“Invalid file hash”, corrupted downloads, etc.). The bug has been fixed according to bugzilla.

If you had problems installing AnyColor, please try again or visit this knowledge base article.

Update: The following steps may help solve the issue.

  • Enable cookies AND third-party cookies (Tools->Options-Privacy).
  • When logging in to AMO, make sure you check the “remember me” checkbox.
  • Clear the cache.
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AnyColor 0.1.3

New version out. No major changes except that this version is not compatible with beta 5, it requires the just-released Release Candidate 1 or a nightly.

Here’s a list of changes:

  • CSS updated for changes introduced in the new Firefox builds.
  • Minor CSS tweaks for better compatibility with the Speed dial add-on.
  • Added support for third-party master themes. No documentation on this feature yet; I’ll document it and offer a sample add-on that installs an alternative master theme soon.
  • Focus outline was made a bit thicker (and better).
  • After testing AnyColor on Linux, I marked it as Windows-only. It did work on Linux but it didn’t look good because of the huge differences in Firefox’s default theme. I haven’t been able to test it on Vista yet (hope it’s OK) and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to test it on a Mac.

Planned features

I have several features planned and I’ll probably implement them all before getting AnyColor out of the sandbox. Some of the most important are:

  • Support for third-party master themes (already implemented): AnyColor will allow other theme creators to create themes that use it’s engine and replace the default master theme. I’ve also created a sample extension that does that.
  • Allow user-specified CSS fragments that get processed after the master theme.
  • Importing & exporting presets.
  • Ability to preview & install a preset or CSS fragment from a web-page.
  • UI improvements: Add AnyColor to the Tools menu, add an icon on the status bar and an option to automatically show the toolbar button/status bar icon on first install.
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Thunderbird?

Not yet but it’ll happen. There’s a lot of work to be done with the CSS and there are some other issues too. The biggest problem so far is that it won’t display background images that use the data: URI scheme. I’ve filed a bug and hope it gets resolved soon. Another issue is that Thunderbird 3 is still in early development and I expect many, many changes until the final version.

Here’s a very early screenshot of AnyColor on Thunderbird 3.0a1pre.

Firefox 3 required…

…but Firefox 3 isn’t available yet; it’s still in beta. This seems to have caused some frustration to several users.

AnyColor uses several features introduced in Firefox 3, making it impossible to work with previous versions. To avoid any further confusion, I updated AnyColor’s description on the addons site and added a note explaining the situation.

The good news is that the release of Firefox 3 isn’t that far and, once it’s released, you’ll definitely want to upgrade!

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