Fun with Firefox

I’ve finally gotten with the program and switched over to Firefox. (The fact that IE went totally nonfunctional on me and I spent five days without internet at home while we worked through the whole “no it’s not the modem” thing made my arrival on the path of righteousness all the more triumphant.)

To start with – saving my tabs, how fucking helpful is that? And I’m sure it will do many other things to make my life more delightful.

So what are they?

Mouse gestures. Once you get used to them you’ll never go back. I only delay my switching over to Google’s Chrome because this feature isn’t there yet.

100% agree. I use All-in-One Gestures and it’s the only extension I must have. In the 5 months since I got this new computer I actually haven’t even bothered to reinstall any of my other old extensions, but I got gestures back on the first day.

As for non-extension Firefox goodies, “undo close tab” is right up there. Can’t live without it.

Just got it. Think I’ll keep it… Thanks…

I have
ColorZilla: color picker, page zoomer, etc.
Custom Download Manger: oddly enough, it makes downloads easier
Dowload Statusbar: I really like this
Graphing Calculator Toolbar: I’ve got kids. They’ve got homework.
hideBad: removes history, and related things. Very helpful at work, if say, you come here
PDF Download: seems to spin off PDF downloads into a separate thread, so your browser doesn’t appear to lock up.
Sage: A RSS and Atom feeder
Stealther: Allows you to surf without leaving a trace in Firefox. Veeeery handly here at work.
Tab Kit and Taboo: Tab managers. I’m not sure which one I’m using, but for example, my tabs are now in a color coded tree on the right side of my browser.
User Agent Switcher: let’s you spoof IE when sites ask. (MS updates used to do this. Since I almost exclusively use Linux, I’m not sure now. It does not implement .NET, though, so I was still screwed for the Olympics.)

Adblock. That’s the “killer app” for me.

(Sorry, can’t create hyperlinks since they made the … what ever it was, earlier this year. A few months ago, “adblock” would have been a hyperlink you could klick and everything.)

Adblock Plus is an absolute must-have. It’s better than Adblock because it automatically updates its blacklist so it stays on top of things better.

NoScript makes your browser fairly secure by default. It does this by disabling Javascript and plugins (Flash, Java, Silverlight (who uses that?)) in a somewhat esoteric way (the attacks are esoteric, so the defenses must be as well). The downside is that it can cause sites to just stop working until you configure it to be a bit less totalitarian. The plus side is that configuration is very fine-grained and fairly intuitive (point-and-click): You can allow all of the good scripts (from the site itself) while still blocking all of the bad ones (from known advertisers and unknown miscreants). I suggest installing it because I think the added security worth the hassle of configuring it, especially if you’re on Windows.

Tab Mix Plus enhances tabbed browsing far beyond what Firefox offers, even now with all the improvements of Firefox 3. The feature list is fairly long and exploring all the options would be an adventure but it has good default behavior.

Forecastfox brings the weather to your status bar, both current and forecast. It can even show you an animated radar map.

The Wizz RSS News Reader is the easy path to RSS junkie-hood. You can easily monitor hundreds of different feeds, which is nice because it comes with about that many pre-loaded, all nicely categorized for your obsessive convenience.

Greasemonkey is in a class by itself: an extension that lets you extend it, quickly and easily (no reloading the browser!). Greasemonkey extensions are called User Scripts, and there are a whole lot of them, many of them site-specific. If you get Greasemonkey, grab Platypus as well so you can create your own User Scripts just by pointing and clicking. Greasemonkey and Platypus let you rewrite your view of the Web.

That’s not even its best feature! Watch a video on The Daily Show’s site, or many others and it cuts out the commercials automatically! Depending upon your connection speed at the moment, there might be a slight “blip,” but most of the time, you won’t even notice there was supposed to be a commercial. I use Opera for 99% of my surfing, but when it comes to watching videos, I luuurrrrrrrve Firefox with Adblock Plus.

For a good laugh type “about:robots” (minus the quotes) into the address bar and enjoy!

Thanks for the info, all. Once I catch up on all the email, etc. that accumulated during my forced vacation from the Internet, I’ll check some of these out.

Could someone explain to me what a “tab” is and why I would like to use it? I’d like to be like all the cool kids.

Chocolate-coated cherry to anyone who explains it in English.

Flashblock stops all your tabs chewing up CPU while Flash stuff runs in the background.

Yanno how you can have different windows open? Well, instead of having each page you’re looking at in a different window, you can have them each in a different tab in the same window. Makes it faster/easier to go back and forth among them.

Hit “control-T” and it should open a new tab – call up the web page you want there. Hit “control-T” again and you’ll get a third tab.

A tab is a browser window inside the browser program. I got hooked on them back when I had dial up. What you can do with a tabbed browser, for example, is when it launches, you can have multiple homepages appear at the same time. So, if you’re a big fan of the Dope, when you launch your browser, you can have each of the forums load up in its own tab. You can then skim one of the forums, click on a link that you find interesting, while its loading, click on the tab of another forum, scan that, and so on. Its really handy for me as one of the forums I routinely visit doesn’t send out email notifications when someone responds to a thread. I keep one tab set on that forum, surf around the web in another tab, and then periodically click back over to that forum’s tab and hit reload to see if anyone’s posted anything new. Most people discover that once they start using tabs, they never want to go back to non-tabbed browsing.

Firefox does not however, have a handy “new tab” button in the window by default, but you can add one using the “add on” feature.

Note that workplaces generally track web usage not from the individual web browser, but from calls to the site’s proxy or gateway, so nothing you run on your browser will hide your browsing history from your employers.

That is correct. However, I’m not in that situation. Still, what it is useful for is quickly resetting the computer when the boss walks in while I’m here, or checking the sports scores, or xkcd. I believe the default behavior is one keyboard command or mouse click, and all your tabs are closed, your homepage(s) restored, and your history, etc. cleared. I suppose the biggest users are teenage kids looking at porn at home, but I’m not in that situation, either.

I also forgot to mention Adblock Plus. The only problem is that I never get the references to ads in threads at this board.

I should have mentioned that Taboo lets you save web pages within the browser. This is only useful for sites that do not time out. For example, I have saved the results of a survey of the AGU and AMS on global warming, so I can read it later, but there is no point to saving an itinerary bought through a site you log into.

“And they have a plan.”

That’s gold, Jerry. Gold!

NukeAnything. It adds an option to any context menu within a tab to ‘remove this object’.

Filterset.g updates Adblock.
Deskcut lets you create shortcuts on your desktop.
Imagezoom is handy for making itsy pictures bigger… or big pictures smaller.

In a way that’s easier than drag-and-drop? :confused: