Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Firefox Extensions I use

I've blogged about this before Mozilla (+Firefox) user pref/extensions back in April 2004 (when I primarily used Mozilla App Suite).

Anyway, here is a list of the current Extensions I am using in Firefox 1.5:

  • Forecastfox v0.8.2.5 (amo homepage)
    Used to like a lot, but the weather date provider (Accuweather) is usually way off for Melbourne weather, so I use the Bureau of Meteorology's plain text based forecast.
  • Adblock v0.5.3.042 (amo homepage)
    Couldn't live without. Need to check out Adblock Plus, with heaps of improvements like whitelisting. While I have maintained my block list of many years, when setting up for other people, I use FiltersetG list (usually via the updater extension).
  • Enhanced History Manager v0.5.8.05 (amo homepage)
    Ok, so I'm an old Mozilla App Suite user, and like my advanced History manager to prune my huge history list.
  • SmoothWheel (amo homepage)
    Makes scrolling so nice and smooth.
  • Aardvark v1.01 (homepage)
    Lets you point to sections of a web page and delete, isolate, de-widify etc. Great for pruning a page before printing.
  • Menu Editor v1.2 (amo homepage)
    Don't use this that much anymore, but used to aggressively prune the context menu to make it faster to use (by getting rid of stuff I don't use).
  • Mouse Gestures v1.0.4 (amo homepage)
    Lets me use gestures, which for me involves shortcuts for going Back and Closing a tab/window (customised to use a down stroke).
  • View Rendered Source Chart v1.5.02 (amo homepage)
    Useful when trying to analyse how a website is structured, when checking out how it works or for customising.
  • DownThemAll! v0.10.6 (amo homepage)
    Great when downloading lots of the same type of file linked from a page (ZIP downloads, images etc.).
  • Web Developer v1.0.1 (amo homepage)
    Analysis and debugging pages. I use mainly for outlining block elements in HTML, validation and resizing the window for common sizes.
  • Linky v2.7.0 (amo homepage)
    Lets you open multiple links in a variety of ways. I use it by selecting links I'm interested and opening them all in tabs.
  • Console2 v0.3.2 (amo homepage)
    Replaces the inbuilt JavaScript Console with the "Error Console", makes the console very useful and adds advanced features.
  • JavaScript Debugger v0.9.85 (amo homepage)
    Great for serious JavaScript development. PS. Had to use the altered version because its the only one to work with Firefox 1.5.
  • AJAX Yahoo! Mail v0.5 (amo homepage)
    Modifies Y! Mail so that I can open messages inline (meaning I can open many at once and see them all on the one page). It also lets you download attachments with one click and "instant reply" without having to load a new page.
  • Tab Preview v0.3 (homepage)
    Great use of the new Canvas feature in Firefox 1.5, it shows a thumbnail of each page when you mouse over noncurrent tabs.
  • Greasemonkey v0.6.4 (amo homepage)
    Tried a few times in the past but never used it for long. Then I found a few useful scripts at Userscripts that make Y! default to secure login, remebers Y! account names, hides the search section on the Google Personalized page (redudant with FF searchbox) and makes some improvements to All music guide.
  • Grab and Drag v1.0.1 (amo homepage)
    Instead of the cursor being used for selecting text (except for links), it makes the mouse pointer act like Acrobat Readers, where you click and drag the page around to scroll. Just starting to use it, and it's great.
  • Performancing v1.1 (amo homepage)
    New extension that adds a Blog poster to Firefox, for Blogger, TypePad, LiveJournal, WordPress & MoveableType. Seems very slick and I like the way it acts as a docked bar at the bottom of a FF window, allowing you to flick between normal tabs without losing the editing window. This is my first post with it, so lets see how it performs (no pun intended). Update: publishing failed for some reason, so having to cut-n-paste into Blogger's editor. Also ask's for the master password 4 times on start, still not fixed in v1.1 (not sure if publishing is fixed now).
  • (2006-01-27)Download Manager Tweak v0.7.1 (amo homepage)
    Trying out this for the first time. Seems to add nice little tweaks to the Download Manager. Will see if it is worth keeping...

Extensions used but no longer:

  • Google Suggest - adds "Suggest" to the Firefox Google searchbox
  • Hash Coloured Tabs - creates new tabs with colour coding
  • Link Visitor - lets you selectively mark links as visited or unvisited
  • Resize Searchbox - creates a grippy for the Firefox searchbox so it can be resized

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Firefox 1.5 released today

The Mozilla community finally released Firefox 1.5 today, with lots of improvements (mainly behind the scenes).

I'm impressed with the level of QA in this release, they had 3 real release candidates. In fact Firefox 1.5 is the exact same bits as Firefox 1.5 RC3 (which is what I'm using right now).

The things that interest me for this release include:

  • Lighting fast back/forward navigation
  • Improved update system (tiny binary diff patches)
  • Partial SVG support (wait for all the demo pages to spring up)
  • Gecko improvements (mainly CSS additions)
  • Plus lots of tiny stuff not worth mentioning

Already waiting for Firefox 2.0 (from the 1.8.1 Gecko branch) with its "Places" support (redoing bookmarks, history, feeds etc. into a new user interface and storing in a super fast SQLite DB).

Firefox 3.0 will come off the 1.9 branch, with its Gecko improvements (complete? SVG support, rewrite rendering using Cairo on all platforms, reflow rewritten) and the proposed tagging system for bookmarks (which might appear in Firefox 2.0).

Get Firefox! Download Firefox 1.5 now.