Saturday, July 04, 2009

FireFox 3.5 and new add-ons

I'm writing this blog post using an add-on for Firefox called ScribeFire. I loaded it to write not only to Designated Import, but to the Arc Dream LiveJournal. While Blogger's online editor isn't too bad, LiveJournal's sucks. I was using Semagic to write to LiveJournal, but I couldn't figure out how to use it for both blogs. ScribeFire solves that problem.

I downloaded Firefox 3.5. It's a cool update of Firefox. It's still not as fast as Google Chrome, but it has way cool add-ons and it's much faster than Internet Explorer (and I really dislike IE8).

I thought I'd list the add-ons I'm using in Firefox, as they're the reason I haven't moved to Chrome.
  • Adblock Plus: Blocks ads to your browser. I don't use it that much, but has these incredibly annoying in-line links that are automatically added to forum posts. Adblock blocks them.
  • Better Gmail 2: I do all my home e-mailing through Gmail. This add-on adds some features to Gmail, including a coloured bar that shows the e-mail you're hovering over.
  • Canadian English Dictionary: Because I still haven't gotten away from spelling things correctly!
  • Cooliris: Cool image preview software. Alana really likes this, though I'm still unsure about it. It's flashy, but I haven't really used it for much and a couple of times it annoyed me by starting when I didn't want it to.
  • Download Status Bar: When downloading files, the status of the download shows on your status bar. When finished, it shows the file, which you can then double-click to launch.
  • DownThemAll!: Lets you download all the files on one web page. It's of limited usage, admittedly, but if you ever have a web site where you need to download a lot of files, this helps out a lot.
  • Duplicate Tab: Duplicate any tab, including history!, to a new tab. Technically this still shows up as "not available for Firefox 3.5" but if you go to the comments section, there's a link to a pre-release version for Firefox 3.5 that works quite well.
  • Greasemonkey: Runs scripts to do a wide range of things in Firefox. I haven't explored this yet, but it's needed for Better Gmail 2.
  • IE Tab: There are some sites (okay, Microsoft's and a few badly written ones) that require IE to work. IE Tab launches these sites in IE within Firefox. You get all the benefits of Firefox while rendering the site in IE (and it looks to the site like it's running IE). I don't have to run IE at all with this add-on.
  • It's All Text!: Instead of editing a text box in the browser, this add-on launches your favourite text editor for editing in it. When you close or save the document in the text editor, it updates the text box.
  • Long URL Please: Converts shrunken links, like those produced by TinyURL and other sites, into the full-sized link, so you can see just exactly where the link will take you.
  • PDF Download: One of the most useful add-ons I have, when you click on a link to a PDF file instead of automatically opening the PDF inside the browser, you have a number of options, including saving the PDF to your computer.
  • Read It Later: New add-on for me, and I haven't really tried it much. It lets you bookmark sites on a separate set of "pages to read when you have time" list, and downloads it for offline reading.
  • ScribeFire: mentioned above, for posting entries to blogs.
  • Shareaholic: Easily share links using several applications, including blogging the page, sending it through Twitter, or sending an e-mail (even through Gmail)
If you have any cool Firefox add-ons of your own, feel free to list them in a comment.

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