A new user interface for Browserling!

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Exciting news at Browserling! My team and I just launched a brand new product interface for Browserling. The new interface lets you access all browsers on all platforms and all features through a single neat menu.

You can try the new user interface right now by following this quick browsing link:

browserling.com/chrome/92/catonmat.net/new-browserling-ui

This link will open this same blog post in the latest version of Chrome.

The menu

The new menu contains everything you need to work with Browserling browsers. The top part of the menu focuses on the platform, the browser, and the website that you want to test, and the bottom part lets you quickly access the most popular features.

The features include display options (allows zooming the browser and changing resolutions), screen capture (allows capturing browser screenshots and quickly annotate them), local testing (allows opening an ssh tunnel to localhost or local network to test local websites), on-screen keyboard (allows using an English keyboard on non-English computers, and allows using a keyboard on mobile devices), share a browser (allows sending a quick link to the current browser and website you're viewing), and send feedback (we love feedback!)

Operating system and browser selection

The operating system and browser selection lets you quickly access all available platforms and browsers. With a click or two you quickly load the browser version you need.

URL navigation

The URL navigation field lets you quickly navigate to the website you need. Just enter the address of the website, click the go button, and a browser will open and load the website.

Display options

The display options feature lets you zoom the browser in and out (especially useful if you're on a 4k screen) and change the resolution to a bigger one or a smaller one. Also, this feature lets you do responsive web testing as you can see how your website looks on various screen sizes.

Capture screen

The screen capture feature lets you quickly capture screenshots of your browsing sessions. Once you select the browser region you want to capture, it opens a screenshot of this region and you can use the editing tools, such as a pen, rectangle, text annotation, and eraser tool to make modifications to the screenshot.

I'll be writing another more detailed article about this feature in one of the next posts as it has many other amazing features that let you quickly copy screenshots to clipboard, share bug reports with your co-workers by emailing them, uploading to Imgur, downloading, or saving to your account for later viewing.

Also, coming soon, you'll be able to record your browsing session to a GIF (we call it a GIFcast) or a video.

Local testing

The local testing feature lets you test your local websites that run on the localhost or any local network machine through ssh tunnels. The initial dialog lets you enter the hostname and port of your local web server.

Then, once you run the ssh command and establish a connection between your local computer and our tunneling service, it changes to connected state and you can start testing.

If the connection drops at any time, you'll instantly be notified through a yellow warning message.

I'll be writing another article about local testing as there's a lot to explain.

Onscreen keyboard

The virtual keyboard lets you easily send keypresses to the browser even if you're using a device that doesn't have a physical keyboard, like a tablet. Also, it's very useful if you're using a non-English keyboard, such as German or French keyboards as they have keys for "at" and "slash" symbols in different places.

The keyboard window can be resized to any size, made more compact if you're on a smaller screen or expanded if you're on a bigger screen.

Share a browser

The browser sharing feature lets you quickly share a link to the current platform, browser, and URL that you're viewing with your co-workers and friends.

Also, coming soon, we're launching a collaborative browsing feature that will let you and your team share the same browser.

Send feedback

We love getting feedback, so we also added a quick way to share your thoughts. Let us know what you think about the new UI! My entire team gets all feedback messages.

Technical details

We built our user interface using plain HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the if statement. We started with an empty text file and finished with a fully working self-contained application that we deployed to production in 0.1 second. There are no frameworks, no dependencies, no node modules, no bundlers, no rust, and no modern web crap. There's just code that runs the user interface that lets us keep our focus 100% on the product and 0% on resolving node module issues.

What's next?

Next, we're launching a new browser streaming algorithm. The new streaming algorithm will offer near-native experience when using remote browsers. Then, we're adding a collaborative browsing feature that lets two or more people use the same browser at the same time. After this, we're adding a screen recorder that lets you capture your browser sessions to gifs and mp4 videos. And then! More awesome things!

What's Browserling?

Browserling is the world's first online cross-browser testing platform. It offers web developers, web testers, and qa teams quick access to all browsers on all platforms. To make really great web apps and websites, you need to make sure your code and design looks and functions the same on as many platforms, browsers, and screen sizes as possible. You could maintain a bunch of virtual machines and devices or you can simply use Browserling that offers quick cloud access to all the browsers.

Browserling's customers include L'Oreal, T-Mobile, Dolby, Accenture, Payoneer, Wegmans, Library of Congress, House of Representatives, City of New York, State of Texas, UK Home Office, and Government of Australia.

What are other common Browserling use-cases?

Besides being a useful cross-browser testing service, Browserling is also used by security professionals to get a sandboxed browser for testing suspicious links and casual Internet users who want to browse the Internet in an online browser without being tracked.

Thanks everyone for following along my adventure and see you all next time!

If you build it, they will come

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TLDR: We built it and they came.

At Browserling, over the last couple of years we built a network of online tools websites. Each website focuses on one category of tools and each tool does one and only one thing. We made all tools free, without ads, and with the simplest possible interface that uses a <textarea> or a <canvas> for the user input and output. We let Google decide the fate of the project and it was a huge success – people loved our free tools, sent us backlink love, we started ranking at the top, and now, all tools are used by millions of people every month. All tools followed the same growth curve – it took on average 2 to 3 years for each site in the network to became popular. The success formula was very simple: building things that people search for + patience = success. Now that we have captured the market, we're merging all these sites into a single ultimate get things done site OnlineTools.com and adding paid plans to make it a huge financial success.

Update: Executed.

Here's what we built.

We built Image tools and they came:

We built Hex tools and they came:

We built Ascii tools and they came:

We built Gif tools and they came:

We built String tools and they came:

We built Number tools and they came:

We built JSON tools and they came:

We built XML tools and they came:

We built YAML tools and they came:

We built Unicode tools and they came:

Build too and they will come; but remember – if you don't build it, they won't come. See you next time!

Browserling is now a top 15k website in the world!

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According to Alexa, Browserling is now a top 15k (actually now top 13k while I was writing this blog post) website in the world. 5k positions up from 20k a year ago. It's yet another small step for a ling and a giant leap for ling-kind.

alexa.com/siteinfo/browserling.com

My goal is to make Browserling a top 10k website and beyond. Thanks for following along my adventure and see you next time! I'm still just getting started here.

Announcing OnlineTools.com

Team Browserling keeps shipping!

We just bought the premium domain OnlineTools.com and launched Online Tools. Online Tools offers thousands of utilities for getting things done quickly and it's used by millions of people every month.

From technical perspective, Online Tools is powered the <textarea> and <canvas> HTML tags and it's running on a $5 micro instance in a detached screen session. Checkmate, front-end developers and devops engineers.

See you next time!

Happy Holidays!

I and my team at Browserling wishes everyone warm and happy holidays!

Thanks for reading my blog and see you in 2023!

Announcing paid plans for Text and String tools

Team Browserling keeps shipping!

Last week we launched paid plans for our top three most popular websites (PNG Tools, JPG Tools, and GIF Tools) and this week we're launching paid plans for our next two most popular websites – Text Tools and String Tools. Text and string tools are collectively used by 300,000 people every month. Next, we're adding paid plans to all other online tools websites that we built and eventually joining them into a single ultimate get things done website called OnlineTools.com (we already bought this premium domain!)

From technical standpoint, we used programming, Google SEO, and a web server to launch the paid plans.

You can still use the free tools version but if you super like them, then you can get a subscription to support my team's work. See you next time!

Announcing paid plans for PNG, JPG, and GIF tools

Team Browserling keeps shipping!

We just added paid plans to our top three online tools websites – PNG Tools, JPG Tools, and GIF Tools. These three websites are collectively used by over a million users every month. As soon as we launched the paid plans, customers started pouring in and we have already signed up our first 150 online tools customers! Next, we're adding paid plans to all other online tools websites that we built and eventually joining them into a single ultimate get things done website called OnlineTools.com (we already bought this premium domain!)

From technical standpoint, we used programming, Google SEO, and a web server to launch the paid plans.

You can still use the free tools version but if you super like them, then you can get a subscription to support my team's work. See you next time!

10 useful vim shortcuts

I use these 10 vim shortcuts daily.

gi

Typing gi in normal mode moves the cursor to the last place you were editing and instantly puts you in insert mode.

Ctrl+o and Ctrl+i

In normal mode, jumps to the previous (Ctrl+o) or next (Ctrl+i) place where the cursor recently had been.

Ctrl+a and Ctrl+z

In normal mode, increment and decrement the number under the cursor. Additionally, the speeddating vim plugin makes these two shortcuts more powerful and you can also increment and decrement calendar dates under the cursor.

Ctrl+e and Ctrl+y in normal mode

In normal mode, scroll the current buffer one line up (Ctrl+e) or down (Ctrl+y).

Ctrl+e and Ctrl+y in insert mode

In insert mode, copy text character-by-character from the line below (Ctrl+e) or line above (Ctrl+y).

{ and }

In normal mode, go to previous/next paragraph.

>> and <<

In normal or visual mode, shift the line (or selection) one indent to the right (>>) or left (<<).

Ctrl+n and Ctrl+p

In insert mode, complete the current word under the cursor from the word following it (Ctrl+n) or words preceding it (Ctrl+p).

Ctrl+j

In insert mode, join the current line with the next line.

zz (two lowercase z's in normal mode)

Center the buffer so that the current line you're editing is in the middle of the screen.

ZZ (two capital Z's in normal mode)

In normal mode, same as :wq!. Saves and exits vim.

See you next time!

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