Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Useful Firefox 3 Add-ons

Now that I've started using Firefox 3, I've found a few add-ons that I think can increase productivity, if not just make your browsing experience more fun:

  1. FireGestures - Allows you to use mouse gestures to control aspects of Firefox, like navigating back and forth through pages, etc.
  2. Digg Firefox Extension - Provides insight into how many "diggs" the current page has received on, enables you to submit the page to, and shows you mini-views of the most "dugg" stories at the moment.
  3. IE View - An oldie but goodie, allows you to immediately open the current page in Internet Explorer, for when people have unfortunately written their pages in a way that they do not render correctly in Firefox (happens with a lot of Intranet pages written with Front Page, for example).
  4. Interclue - Is this plug-in absolutely necessary? No. It is cool and fun to see previews and statistics of pages before you even go there? You bet. :-)
  5. ScribeFire - A blog editor that integrates with most blogging sites and allows you to post directly to your blog from your browser, in some cases with better rich text editing and image and video sharing than you will get from the RTE that is provided online by your blogging platform. (Note: if someone can point me to a free, more full-featured [multi-indent lists, table support, etc.], whether it's a browser plug-in or not, I'm open to suggestions)
  6. Shareaholic - A tool that allows you to share a page or link using almost any of the available social bookmarking tools out there (delicious, digg, facebook, stumbleupon, twitter, etc.).
  7. Tab Catalog - Renders the contents of all open tags as navigable thumbnails.
  8. Web Developer - Still one of the most useful add-ons out there for Web developers. It provides insight into styles applied (and real-time editing of them), images embedded, cookies downloaded, and more features than I could possibly do justice for Web site and application developers.

Are there alternatives to the above that you think do a better job?

Are there add-ons that you use on a day-to-day basis that you think are also worth consideration?

A great list of add-ons for Web developers and Internet socialites can be found here.

My favorite add-ons from this bunch so far are the FireShot (for immediately creating, annotating and saving as JPGs screenshots within Firefox) and PicLens (for visualizing as 3D walls images from Google Images, Amazon, and News Media outlets).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Firefox 3 Upgrade Experience

So I took the plunge and finally downloaded Firefox 3. Firefox 2.x was working so well, I didn't really feel at first that there was much of an incentive to upgrade.

The upgrade went pretty smoothly. There were just a few plug-ins that I use that are not compatible with Firefox 3:

  • deskCut - allows you to create a desktop shortcut for the current page; if there's an alternative out there for Firefox 3, just let me know.
  • All-in-One Gestures - allows you to use mouse gestures to easily navigate backward, forward, or through a list of your backward or forward history; an alternative, FireGestures, is available for Firefox 3, and seems to be just as capable.
As a result of upgrading and taking advantage of the now built-in session and tab management of Firefox 3, my sessions are successfully saved when I either exit or (for whatever reason) the browser crashes. With the previous Session Manager add-on that I used, it stopped working at some point, giving an error about some line in a .js file.

To get Firefox to successfully open up Adobe PDF files, I had to:
  • Shut down Firefox.
  • Uninstall Adobe Reader 8.1.2.
  • Reinstall Adobe Reader 8.1.2.
  • Restart Firefox.
Otherwise, I would forever receive the error message, "Could not launch Acrobat". I could not tell you how annoying that is. Or how annoying it is that I have to restart my computer in order to uninstall Acrobat Reader 8.1.2. But we can leave that for a future blog. :-)

Happy browsing! :-)