Thursday, November 17, 2005

my firefox

Following is a list of extensions that are *must-use* if you are a firefox user - if you are'nt one, do yourself a favor and go get it

. adblock - gives you the option to right click on an ad image and select "block image" or iframe or url with a wildcard (e.g. *_ad_click*) - the image is removed alongwith the whitespace that would have been left behind

Use the script here in tandem to give the best adblocking support

. apart from the heavy loading time, the one thing that was stopping me from switching to firefox was the terrible usage of tabs inside firefox - ctrl-tab opened the next tab in the firefox window and not the last selected - e.g. if you have 10 windows open on your windows machine and you opened window # 5 and then window # 8, pressing alt-tab would open 5 & 8 alternatively - in firefox doing the same for tabs would open tab 9 after tab 8 and then tab 10 next... grrrr.... fortunately we have lasttab now - not only it opens the previous tab but also gives a menu listing all the current tabs in the window

. this extension saves the state of your browser in real time (did not feel any difference in system performance on my p4/512 mb ram) - it's great in case your browser crashes with many tabs open - it even saves the text you are typing in an edit-box !

. one of the most annoying things on the web is when java applets decide to loading without asking you first - noscript can disable them (asking you politely at the bottom of the screen whether you want to run it or not) - it also disables javascript too - not sure if this is really useful...

. mouse gestures really improves your browsing experience, now you can only move your mouse without clicking to open and close tabs and windows - trust me, it's not an indication of laziness...

. firefox has a problem with adobe pdf files - use this extension to receive a prompt about whether you want to download the file

. use this extension to bypass compulsory website registration on websites (these come up often if you regularly read google news)

. stumbleupon - probably the best thing next to google for web browsing afficiandos

. I left Greasemonkey for the end but in the long term, this will probably overtake all the extensions - this is essentially a piece of code that acts as an extension engine - it lets people write scripts that can be run inside this extension - the coolest thing is that these are scripts, not compiled dll's or even zipped xpi files - so you can change variables, add functionality if you know even the most basic javascripting. Installation is very simple

1. just install the greasemoney extension and restart firefox

2. Next search for the best site-specific and generic scripts here and here

3. Click on the script you want to install - a whitepage with javscript mumbo-jumbo will open up - just click Options-> Install User Script and click OK on the window that opens up

4. Refresh the page on which you want to see the script action and you are ready to go

I have installed quite a few scripts including:

. Gmail delete button - this one is buggy, use the "smart" Gmail Delete Button
. adblocker
. bookBurro (let's you see prices of different books on different sites side-by-side, fantastic!!)

Please let me know of any other extensions if they are necessary for your firefox browsing

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