6.18.2008

Ode to Firefox

As you can probably tell from the title, you should skip this one if you can't think of a single reason why anyone should write about how much they love a web browser. What can I say? I am who I am.

I love Firefox, the free, open-source alternative to Internet Explorer. If you use Firefox, you know why I love it. Tabbed browsing, a straightforward search bar, a smart location bar (you can do an "I'm feeling lucky" Google search by just typing a query in the location bar and hitting enter - awesome), inline spell-check, standards compliance, ease of use... the list goes on. Firefox 3 was released yesterday, and unlike the bloated Internet Explorer, it's incredibly fast and uses very little memory.

Despite all this awesomeness, the greatest advantage to Firefox is its "add-ons." If there's anything at all you want to change about your browsing experience, chances are someone has created a Firefox add-on to do just that. So here is the real reason for this post: my...

Top 10 Firefox Add-Ons
  1. Tab Mix Plus (not yet compatible with FF3) - I use this guy for "undo close tab," opening results from the search bar in a new tab, and its killer session features (you can save all the tabs you have open for later).
  2. Customize Google - No more Google ads (Gmail is completely different without them).
  3. Download Status Bar - See current downloads in the Status Bar. No annoying "download window" popups.
  4. FireFTP - A full-featured FTP client in a Firefox tab.
  5. Web Developer Toolbar - If you do any amount of web design, this is a must-have.
  6. Copy Plain Text (not yet compatible with FF3) - If you've ever copied anything into Word, you know how painful it can be to remove all the formatting. This extension does that for you.
  7. Searchbar Autosizer - Increases the size of the search bar as you type.
  8. Qute Theme - The default Firefox theme is pretty ugly. This one isn't.
  9. UI Tweaker - I use this to put tabs on the bottom, which increases efficiency when you're switching between other applications and your browser.
  10. DisableBackspaceNavigation - Pretty straightforward.
Any other add-ons I should know about?

3 comments:

  1. I've actually been using Safari as my main browser (though I use Firefox for work stuff), but how could you leave AdBlock Plus off of the list?

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  2. Come on. Safari? Seriously?

    I actually don't use AdBlock because it changes page layouts, adds "block this buttons," and sometimes blocks content I actually want. But maybe I should reconsider... browsing without ads is a much more pleasant experience.

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  3. Yep. Seriously.

    I went back to Safari because it supported embedded color profiles in images. Most people convert their images into a standard sRGB profile before uploading them to the web, but getting the right colors at all the photo sites I visit was important to me.

    Other reasons for Safari:
    - I vastly prefer the way it stores usernames and passwords.
    - Cleaner UI out of the box. Sure I can make Firefox look like I want it to, but I already like the way Safari looks.
    - I think it was a little faster on some sites.
    - The ad blocking plugin I found worked on some content that AdBlock wouldn't.
    - It lets me separate "work" and "play" by using different browsers.

    I don't have anything against Firefox, though. In fact, there are some features I definitely miss. I don't think there's a free plugin for Safari that will let you make shortcuts in the address bar (type "wp anything" to go directly to a wikipedia entry, for instance). That's an awesome feature. And the Web Developer tool bar IS killer, and is reason enough for me to use Firefox for work.

    I do hold a few grudges against IE, though.

    ReplyDelete