Media Queries

13th January 2004 · Last updated: 5th October 2016


The Moose has done it again. The master of CSS experiments has come up with a demo showing how a different background image can be loaded depending on your browser width - purely using CSS. There's only one problem (if that's the right word) - the technique is only supported by Opera 7 at the moment. I was shocked to find out from one of my readers recently that Mac users cannot download this version yet! They are stuck with Opera 6. Sigh.

For an explanation of the Moose's interesting idea and the code behind it, see his demo introduction page CSS3 Media Queries: Background Stretch.

Now another reason to applaud Opera 7. I've been copying and pasting a lot of web addresses recently, using Mozilla. But after copying the link into the browser's address bar, I could see no way to go to the site without swapping from the mouse to the keyboard to press the ENTER key, over and over again. I don't mind doing it once or twice but for a long session it soon becomes annoying. Well after checking the Moose's demo in Mozilla, I copied the link and went to paste it into Opera 7's address bar. I was pleased to find it has a right-click menu option which is just what I needed, labelled 'Paste and go'. As it suggests, this not only pastes the address but takes you to the site. No need to use the keyboard!

Of course you're all screaming "What about IE6! It has a 'Go' button!" And you're right. If it were on the left it would be neat to use that, only at my resolution of 1280 pixels wide, it's a bit far, stuck way out on the right. Now Mozilla does have a 'Go' menu, but it only offers you options to go back, forward or home.

Before I leave Mozilla out in the cold here, I must praise a feature I'm trying out now. I wonder if Opera has this? You can bookmark a link then use the Bookmark Manager to right-click on the bookmark and set Mozilla to automatically check the page for updates. You can choose from a range of days (and other options) to check the site without having to visit it manually. You then choose what happens to alert you when a site update has been made. This is great. I can bookmark all my favourite blogs, along with ones I forget to check for months (even though they're high quality) and Mozilla will show a pop-up when the site has been changed. Then I can choose whether to visit the site or ignore the alert. (You can also set it to go straight to the site when it's been updated.

But here's where Opera bites back. The latest beta version (at the time of writing) is 7.5, which includes an RSS Aggregator! In theory this could be used likewise to check the RSS feeds from your favourite sites without going to each one individually. After all that's the idea of RSS. Though I have to say I like Mozilla's background checks at the moment. When Opera 7.5 is finalised I can't wait to download it and give the RSS Aggregator a spin. If it works like a standalone program would (with a reasonable amount of commonly required options) then it could be a real killer feature, and another reason to swap to Opera for browsing.

Don't be surprised if Microsoft then bring out an RSS Aggregator of their own for the next version of Windows. Only it'll require everyone to publish their RSS feeds in a new specification they've devised. (And since they remain a huge chunk of the market, everyone will be forced to comply with the new code, or face millions of irate users. And naturally the code will feature bugs, unimplemented features you really need, and lots of annoying ones you don't.) Time will tell...

Comments (6)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. Ro:
    --"What about IE6! It has a 'Go' button!" And you're right. If it were on the left it would be neat to use that, only at my resolution of 1280 pixels wide, it's a bit far, stuck way out on the right.

    You may not be aware, but in IE6 you can uncheck "lock the toolbars" and then you're free to resize and position toolbar elements as you see fit.

    Posted on 14 January 2004 at 4:17 am
  2. riccard0:
    Mozilla too have a "GO" button: Edit > Preferences > Navigator > select the buttons you want ;-)

    Posted on 14 January 2004 at 9:07 am
  3. arb:
    There are a couple of extensions available for Mozilla Firebird that you might find handy. gives you "Paste and Go" functionality, makes text links work like real links, is similar, and of course (TabBrowser Extensions) which has an option to automagically open a new tab whenever you copy a URL to the clipboard. Plus there are a number of RSS aggregators available for Firebird too...

    Posted on 15 January 2004 at 5:33 am
  4. Chris Hester:
    Riccard0 - what can I say! My Mozilla Go button is ticked 'off' - the default? I now have it showing!

    I'm being a bit silly anyway. You can paste an address in from the right, next to the Go button. The whole address bar works the same for paste. Then I could just move the mouse over a tiny bit and hit the Go button.

    Thanks for your great help everyone!

    Posted on 15 January 2004 at 9:33 pm
  5. lsaplai:
    Neither IE nor Mozilla has CTRL+D feature, which is the keyboard shortcut for Paste and Go:

    Hold your mouse in your right hand and put your hand on your keyboard:
    Left click and drag to select URL
    CTRL+N for a new, blank page (or F2 for a Go to page pop up)
    CTRL+D to go there directly

    Need faster than that: select URL, right click and choose Got to URL (hold down SHIFT if you want to open in a new page, CTRL+SHIFT if you want the new page in the background).

    Even faster: double click on a word and choose Go to URL. Opera will attempt to open the web site by adding www, .com or other tld as configured.

    Can you get any faster?

    (note: they are a few variants to obtain a new page, not only CTRL+N)


    Posted on 21 January 2004 at 12:55 am
  6. Chris Hester:
    Had to turn off Mozilla's option to check for updated sites. It doesn't work with blogs, which use a standard page where any new content is added separately. So checking for the main page to be updated doesn't catch any changes made to other files added on top to make up the page. I was wondering why loads of sites weren't being announced as updated, yet I knew they had new content on them.

    I'm now using KlipFolio to load the RSS feeds of each site instead. That way I can read the title and description of new posts before deciding to view them or not. Works great!

    Posted on 4 February 2004 at 9:10 pm