Initial experiences with Mozilla Firebird and Radio


Today I decided that I wanted to convert a couple of stand-alone web pages on my blog into stories and use Mozilla Firebird to do it.

I ended up giving up on Mozilla Firebird for this task because of three things that happened:

1. I normally do my editing in Front Page 2000, then copy the finished post from Front Page and paste it into Radio. When I did this today, the Mozilla editor in Radio picked up all of the indents in Front Page's code and changed them all into a series of characters at the beginning of every line. It was a pain to remove them all, but I decided that I would try to figure out how to get around that issue later.

2. While I was trying to delete the above mentioned characters, the Mozilla editor seemed to get confused at times about what text I was trying to edit. The blinking cursor would be at a specific position in the html code, and when I pressed the BackSpace or Del key, the character that would be deleted was one character to the left of the character that should have been deleted.

3. When I had finished editing the html and published the story, all of the text that I had entered and edited disappeared. The story file was created in the proper directory on the disk drive, but all that was in the .txt file was #title and #postTime directives. At this point I gave up on Firebird and did everything over with Internet Explorer. I don't know the loss of my story text was just a fluke occurrence, a bug in Firebird, a bug in Radio, or what.

I also found out that Mozilla Firebird (and Mozilla) will not display tooltips for images that have alt text. In order for Mozilla Firebird to display a tooltip for an image, the img tag must have a title attribute instead. You can read all the details about this issue as well as some workarounds for it in my post here. I have also posted a programming request for Radio's programmers to fix the radio.macros.imageRef macro to address this issue, which you can see here.


Firebird is doing the tooltips thing correctly. Alt text is supposed to be used only to display on the page for someone who doesn't load images. The title attribute is supposed to be used for tooltips. The   thing is annoying but more the fault of Front Page's lousy HTML than Firebird.
(Can you tell I'm not an MSIE fan?)

I'm not sure which program is at fault for the   thing. It would seem that at least one program is not clear (maybe both) on when text being copied and/or pasted should be html-encoded or not.

I did figure out a way to get around this though. Copy the text from one program, paste it into a text editor (like Notepad for Windows), then copy that text from the text editor and paste it into the second program. No encoding occurs.