I use multiple browsers. There are a good number of them out there. I use Chrome as my primary browser but also use IE and Firefox. Some sites work only with IE. I know that sucks but the Outlook Web Access my company provides is an aging version and only IE renders an usable version.
The trouble is which browser do I set as default. Links from external applications open up in the default browser. Here is where Browser Chooser comes in handy. It registers itself as the default browser. When I click on a link in any application it shows a dialog like above and lets me choose the browser I want to open. Simple but very useful. Check it out.
Just like my first Chrome extension, I created my first Jetpack extension. Just like the chrome sample extension there is a Gmail checker sample. I modified two lines again to get it working in for my hosted gmail account.
Developing for Jetpack seems to be easier as they have editor builtin to the about:jetpack page itself. There is no packaging required just a link.
I will try to port my other Chrome extensions to Jetpack for fun.
Mozilla has recently announced Mozilla Collections extension. I have been waiting for some thing like this for quite some time. I work with multiple computers: Work Desktop, Work Laptop, Personal Laptop, Mac Mini HTPC. I have Firefox installed on all of those. But they always have a different set of extensions installed. I have tried BELOW, waited for Weave to add the functionality…
Mozilla Collections seems to be the answer. Collections has two parts first the extension that can be installed form here. Then you have to sign up for a mozilla account and go to Collections page. Here you can subscribe to Collections created by others or create your own. A Collection is just a group of extensions.
Now you sign in with the mozilla account in Firefox (Tools>Add ons>Subscriptions). Here you can view all your scubscriptions and add extension to Firefox from it. You can even create and manage your Collection here.
You are notified of any new additions to your subscriptions too. Pretty cool. Check out my collection here
One of the main reasons for using Firefox is its fabulous ad blocking extension. Not it is not a reason not to use other browsers here is a list of ad blocking software available for every major browser:
AdSweep uses user scripts to block ads. So it works on all browsers that support user scripts: that is all of them. But it is a bit tricky to install.
Hmmm… What would happen to Google if everyone used these ad blocking software?
I have been a long term user of Foxmarks (now Xmarks) to sync my Firefox bookmarks across different PCs I use. Now Foxmarks supports Internet Explorer too.
Mozilla has come out with a similar service which provides more. Weave not only syncs the bookmarks but also open tabs across PCs. The tabs from other PCs are available via the History>Tabs From Other Computers menu.
But what is more interesting is that the disabled options shown above. When complete the extension would sync themes, extensions, search addons… That’s when it will become really compelling.
I have been tweeting more often these days. So I was looking for a good twitter client. Since I have Firefox always I thought why not give a Firefox addon a try. I tried a few and ended up with TwitterFox. The others seem to be sidebar oriented. I am not a sidebar fan. Anyway TwitterFox show up as an icon in the status bar and shows how many unread tweets are waiting for me.
On clicking the icon it shows the latest tweets. Replies and DMs are shown in separate tabs. Nice. The addon lets me reply to tweets, retweet and open links in Firefox. Kind of does it all.
To help post links I use the service is.gd. There is a addon, is.gd Creator, for that too. Simple and easy to use. With a single the current URL is shortened and copied to the clipboard. Nice.
Amazon released the Kindle 2 and the Kindle for iPhone. The most interesting aspect of these releases is the Whispersync technology. Here is an interesting scenario. You are reading a book in your Kindle. A little later you go out to get some grocery and are waiting in line at the checkout counter. Instead of getting bored waiting, you take your iPhone out and continue reading a few pages of the book. Now when you reach home you can pick up the Kindle and continue reading.
This is cool. But I don’t have a Kindle and I do not read books. I can do the same thing with Google Reader and RSS feeds. But I want to do the same to podcasts, browsing, reading PDFs or word documents…
Lets say I am stuck in some line waiting. I get my E71 out and open Google Reader. I read an article, follow a link and am reading some web page. Not when I come back home and open Firefox I want the same page to be automatically opened and I can continue reading.
Another scenario is that I am listening to a podcast in my car. When I reach home I want to start listening where I left off in my home PC… Is that too much to ask?
In my post about the firefox addons I use, I mentioned I would do a separate post about AutoPager. This addon automatically loads the next page of a site at the end of the current page. It provides a continuous scrolling of pages.
For instance lets say I am googling for “AutoPager”, I scroll down the Google results. When I reach the 10th result I have to click next to see the next ten results. With this addon, the next page is already retrieved and displayed in line. See the screenshot below:
AutoPager work for a lot of sites, blogs and forums. With a fast internet connection I don’t even notice the load time. The more I use it the more I am into it. Now I feel how I did without these all these years. I vaguely remember that Opera had some thing like this with a fast forward like button. But I like this implementation even better. It is addons like these that pulled me back to Firefox from Chrome.
One of the best things about Firefox is its extensions support. When I blogged about BELOW yesterday, noticed how many extensions I had installed: 27! Wow! Here is a list of them:
- Web Developer – I use this when I am customizing the theme on me blog.
- TwitterFox – This is a nice twitter client. Since I have Firefox open almost always, I like this better than desktop client.
- Tab Mix Plus – I like to customize the way tabs work.
- SeoQuake SEO – Just for some SEO stuff.
- QuickDrag – I use this to mimic the Super Drag and Drop of the Maxthon browser.
- NoScript – Makes the web a lot safer!
- Nightly Tester Tools – I am on Firefox 3.1. I use this extension to install other extensions that have not been updated yet.
- New Tab Button on Tab Bar – To get back this functionality that was removed from Firefox 3.1.
- MeasureIt – I use this to measure stuff when I am working on web design.
- Live PageRank – Some more SEO stuff.
- is.gd Creator – Creates a tiny is.gd URL for posting on twitter.
- IE Tab – Just to check how a web page looks in IE. Web design.
- Greasemonkey – Well there are some very nifty things you can do with this…
- Grab and Drag – Acrobat Reader style hand. Useful in tablet mode for scrolling.
- Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer – Keeps my bookmarks sync in multiple PCs plus works with Internet Explorer now.
- FireGestures – I like gestures. This feature should come built in to Firefox.
- feedly RSS News Reader – Just trying this out…
- Email This! Bookmarklet Extension – I can email links with Gmail.
- DownThemAll! – The best download manager for Firefox.
- Download Statusbar – Keeps the downloads in sight in the main window.
- CustomizeGoogle – I don’t know why I have this… I rarely search in other search engines.
- ColorZilla – Color picker for Firefox. Useful for Web Design.
- Backup Extentions List On the Web (BELOW) – Just read this.
- AutoPager – Just scroll! This extension shows the next page automagically. I got to write a whole post about this.
- Add Bookmark Here ² – This should be a feature of Firefox. Eases bookmarking.
- Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper – I hate ads.
- Adblock Plus – I hate ads more.
What are the extensions you recommend?
I love Firefox and its numerous extensions. I have a bunch of extensions installed always. I also use multiple PCs. It is always a hassle to install the extensions multiple times.
BELOW (Backup Extensions List On the Web) is an extension that backs up the extension list on the web. Duh! It does not store the extension. Just the list, making it easy to have all the same extensions installed on multiple PCs.
There is a lot of scope of improvement in the extension but it is a good start. I would like it to back up automatically and prompt to install extensions. Are there any other better extensions out there which does a similar job?