Firefox Extension: Twitterfox

Twitterfox is a handy little Firefox Extension for all users of Twitter. It keeps you up to date with your friends twitters, and gives you a nice quick interface for posting. It takes up a tiny piece of real estate on your status bar (an issue if like me you have a lot of extensions that place things there, I have run out of space on some of my installs, and Firefox gets a bit ugly when that happens).
What is also worth mentioning is that it is really nicely designed, the alerts and interface for reading/posting twitters is tiny and well done. I suspect that the style may well end up influencing other similar extensions, as it is the way to do it. I’d love similar for status updates to Facebook for instance.

Save typing on URLs with CTRL + ENTER in Firefox

I’ve just seen this tip on Lifehacker, about not typing full URLs in Firefox. Basically, you can type just the keyword of the domain name e.g. “lifehacker”, hit CTRL and ENTER together, and it will add on the http:// and the .com . This then made me curious about how I could alter this for my own needs. I’d prefer it to jump to .co.uk. A bit of searching and digging about came up with a solution:

  • Type about:config into the Firefox address bar.
  • In the Filter bar, type suffix
  • You should get a short list of values (probably just the one). The one we are going to modify is browser.fixup.alternate.suffix
  • Right-click on this value, and select Modify
  • Change the default value of .com to .co.uk and click OK.
  • Close the tab, and try it out. If you don’t like it, repeat the process again and change it back to .com

Obviously you can change this to whatever top or second level domain you like.

Applications I’m missing at the moment

I was just thinking about the applications that I don’t have, that I would like. So I thought I’d write a quick list, explain them, and then revisit them in a few months time to see if they exist. I was going to put SMS notifications for Google Mail for my phone on there, but a quick check just now revealed they have added that since I last checked, so I’m one up for the evening already!

  • Firefox Mobile – I have to admit, I don’t mind Mobile Opera. However it does seem a bit basic, and I’m not that keen to have to pay for a browser with more features. I’d like to use what I’m so used to using on my computer, and ideally to be able to extend it to do many other things.
  • Decent Nokia software for Linux – I’m lazy, I just want to plug it in, and it to do all that it does in Windows, as that is a rather nice little suite of software. One day.
  • A proper movie file browser and player for Ubuntu – What I want is a self-updating catalog of all my movie files, thumbnails (in a perfect world I’d just hover over the thumbnail for a couple of seconds, and it would start playing in the thumbnail itself, so I could identify it if it wasn’t clear), and proper indexing and searching. I’d love something for video that was the equivalent of Amarok for audio. Kaffeine is almost it, but the index/search side lets it down a bit. This may be down to my knowledge of it though.
  • A way of syncing contacts between Google Mail and my phone – Again, I want an easy life, and I just want them all to keep up to date, rather than having to maintain two lists.
  • An open-source program that edits CSS in a WYSIWYG style – I’ve heard tell that this sort of functionality is creeping into Dreamweaver now. Great, I’d like it for free. Ideally in a way that would plug into Eclipse as well.
  • Something that manages podcasts perfectly – I’ve never found this since I started listening to podcasts. It’s always felt that it’s been tacked onto music programs such as iTunes. Amarok does a better job than most, but it still feels like hard work some times. I’m going to think about this more, try and describe what I’d want.

Well that should do me for starters. How about you, what applications do you want that you don’t have yet?

Somewhat more awake

Slept a world-record amount last night. Headed to bed not long after 8pm, and snoozed on and off until 11pm, until crashing out for the rest of the night. Feel like an utterly different person today, although somewhat in need of a coffee to kick my head awake a little.

Have found some nifty twitter things today. A Firefox Search Extension, which isn’t, but instead allows you to post directly to your Twitter account. And the Twittervision mashup, which shows you the latest postings worldwide on a Google map. Really nicely done.

Firefox Extensions 1.5

Okay, so as promised, here is a little list of the extensions I use presently for Firefox.

Del.icio.us
Del.icio.us is a social bookmark manager. I find it particularly useful when I am researching a project for work, and want to gather all the links together, and be able to access them from several computers (in the course of my normal day, I use four different computers, so perhaps this is more useful to me than most people). This extension helps me post links very quickly, rather than having to cut and paste the url to a page on the del.icio.us site. Incidently, to see my current bookmarks, go to Flotsky’s del.icio.us bookmarks

FasterFox
FasterFox is designed to speed up Firefox even more (it is already pretty nifty compated to Internet Explorer), and uses a few tricks to prefetch links on the page you are on. Also has a handy little display on the status bar which shows how long the page has taken to load, and which can also be right-clicked to clear the cache (both of which come in handy for doing web development)

Fireftp
Guess what? This is an ftp client for Firefox. I like having several elements of functionality within firefox, so I don’t have to keep opening and closing different applications. I haven’t yet found a good IM client for firefox, but that would sit inside here wonderfully (however I have found a webpage that does, more on that soon). Ideally, I would have two programs open at work, Firefox and Eclipse. I’m actually getting pretty close to having that rigged up, I now do all my sql, html, perl, cgi, version control and a few other things in Eclipse, and can do quite a bit in Firefox. Like ftp.

Greasemonkey
Possibly my favourite Firefox extension (yes I have one. yes I am aware this is pretty sad. read the rest of the blog, it isn’t exactly out of character). Uses javascript to modify webpages. That, essentially is it. The beauty is in what can be done using this. There are now thousands of scripts out there, many of which fix issues with popular websites, add functionality, make them look different, or just remove things you don’t need. Absolutely bloody marvellous.

Adblock
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Saves loading time, lets you miss out on content you never needed. Wonderful.

And that will do for now. There are others, and I may well add to this entry over time.

A Firefox for the rest of us

Well, Firefox is now officially version 1.5. The main external differences I’ve noticed so far are:
– Tabs can now be dragged and swapped with each other
– The RSS icon is now in the url bar, rather than down the bottom (which threw me at first)
– Secure pages show in different colours in the url bar. A confirmed, secure site will now have a green background there

The internals are a lot more important though. The biggest change is updating Firefox itself, which now goes off and finds updates itself, and doesn’t need a new install each time the browser is updates. I think now all my most used extensions are back working, within a few days of the release. Which is not bad, compared to previous experiences. It shows that the Firefox community is working a lot quicker these days for one.

What I hope to do over the next few days, if I remember, is a series of a few posts detailing the extensions, search plugins, and greasemonkey scripts I’m using at present. Handy guide for me, and maybe even for others.

Dream Serious

Last night I had a long poignant dream about balancing precariously on narrow ledges. On reflection, I think playing Mario 64 in bed before I went to sleep was a bad idea.

It is snowing on and off here, but in a rather pathetic non-northern fashion. Very pretty to look at this morning, if a little less fun to walk through. Taking great care not to fall on my arse this morning.

Finally, someone has revived an old Firefox extension that I have been desperate to find ever since I moved from Opera to Firefox. Save Session remembers all your open tabs when you close Firefox, and reopens them as you left them. Which was one of the main things that I loved about Opera, and finally it is a part of the browser I truly love. I am quite glad about it, mainly cos I was starting to think I might have to try and learn how to do it myself. Which could have taken me ages.

Official Firefox 1.0 out now

Sorry, thats my browser advert for the day out of the way. Firefox as a browser is a constant delight, I very occasionally have to go back and use Internet Explorer, and its like the difference between a racing car and and a Skoda. Its designed how I want it, cos I can set it up how I want it. Simple really.

I’ve also just downloaded the homeland security threat level extension, that tells me how safe the world is in a little icon at the bottom of my browser. Well, saves me reading the news don’t it?