On this day….

…23 years ago, i was born. Yup, at 5 pm to be more specific. And then the state of humanity went down hill from there….

So anyway, since i know that no one cares that its my birthday, i will present all of you with a present. I will release a firefox extension that I’ve been working on(and actually finished a few months ago). Ok, so maybe i should have said that this present is only applicable to firefox users, but hey i got your attention for a while there, didn’t I?

So, as i said in an earlier post, i love google and the work that they’re doing. But i wouldn’t use an extension such as google browser sync except if i could put the information on my own server and the extension is open source. And since i need functionality to sync different firefox profiles on different platforms, the sync extension was born.(Its not an original name, i know….if anybody has any ideas, please help)

So far, the extension can only sync passwords across profiles, and it needs an ftp account on a server(could be on your network or could be on the Internet, or could be your own machine). The next steps would be to introduce bookmark handling, persistent cookies, history and visit history.

The way you use it, is to install the extension on all firefox profiles that you need synced. Then you need to setup, manually, an ftp account. You set the ftp information in the options of the extensions, and you press on the sync option in the Tools menu. When you do this on each computer, the extension will update its cache of passwords(and rejects) then sync that with your own profile.(so basically it stores the passwords that it doesn’t have and send the passwords that are not there). So each profiles that you sync, will have the superset of passwords so that eventually, all the profiles will have the same passwords.

The extension is still rough around the edges, and this is after several re-writes.(as i said before, mozilla apis suck) So for example, the server will always hold a superset of all the passwords of all your profiles(no repeats ofcourse) and you cannot change it, you can only add to it. However, the cache that stores the passwords on the ftp server is a simple xml text file which you can edit yourself if you need to. Plus, on first run, the extension will backup your profiles current passwords file(which is called signons.txt in your profile directory) so that if things get messy, you can always get it back.

As i posted before, i am still angry about the current state of software, so i don’t believe in half-baked applications. Having said that, i am aware that this extension is lacking in several features and i tend to fix that.(i somehow got it to the point where it served my needs and sort of got bored with it) In addition to that, the extension is under the GPL or MPL and you’re free to modify it in anyway. If you do(or want to do) something interesting please tell me about it so that we can share.

I also noticed a trend where writers of free software often do not document their code or explain their architecture at least which is very bad.(since you can’t contribute to something you can’t understand) So in addition to the above, i tried to document my code(inline comments) as much as i can and followed simple naming practice and so on. So if somebody wants to read the code to use in something else, or to learn how extensions works, or even to suggest fixes and improvements. It should be much easier(you can’t believe the crap that i had to go through to find out about all of things that i now know about extensions). If anything is lacking or is confusing in anyway, please also tell me about that.

Ok, so this is getting to be a long post, and i will cut it short. Since i still have not figured out how i will present the projects that i am going to release(i have a few), for now, i will just release it on the blog with no version number along with its source code. Anyway you can always reach me on alaasalman {at} gmail.com
The tar file of the source code is here. Along with an build file if you change the code.
The xpi for people who directly want to install it is here. Oh, you need to download this and then open it from your own computer, it won’t install directly.(and i don’t want to change that)

Alaa
P.S. There’s also a new section in the picture gallery. That section is for personal photographs(i am separating them on purpose, for people who do not want to see them and are only interested in the other categories). Also there, a picture of me for those who would possibly want to assassinate me on the street(for example all of the angry Israelis who used to come by here, and still drop by sometimes).

5 thoughts on “On this day….

  1. Rima

    Happy Birthday! Just wanted to leave a mark on your site to tell you that I always keep up with it and I’m proud of you.

  2. Daniel S.

    Hehe we Israelis still come to visit for sure 😉

    Happy birthday.

    Too bad our goverment is teeming with corruption (well, yours as well). I wish there was peace between our countries, I’d very much like to visit Beirut one day……

  3. Leev

    Happy Birthday from Liat Cohen from Tel Aviv.
    Read you all the time since the war.
    Enjoy your birthday!
    Wishing you all the best!

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