Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Buttons and Bars

This afternoon I went looking for a new Firefox add-on -- I can't even remember now what functionality I was looking to add -- and of course I ended up spending a good 45 minutes sorting through the add-ons before downloading and testing several and spending a happy half-hour reconfiguring my Firefox interface. Enough buttons for convenience, but not too cluttered, mind, or you can't find anything.

I love Firefox extensions. The only thing I haven't found is a decent stock ticker extension, ideally to run in my status bar like ForecastFox does.

I run:
  • Adblock Plus -- of course
  • Clipmarks -- new; saves bits of websites. Hoping to stop cluttering up my bookmarks list for something I just want to look at later.
  • ForecastFox -- Best. Extension. Ever. Mine even tells me how allergic I'm going to be to the world today and how quickly I'm going to get sunburned. Also, I think it's neat the way it puts an icon in my status bar for severe weather alerts, because the odds I'm watching TV or listening to radio are low, but Firefox is almost always on, so that's a much better emergency weather alert system for me!
  • GMail Checker -- meh
  • Google Reader Notifier -- I use Google Reader as my RSS reader
  • Googlebar Lite -- slightly redundant with the standard search bar already there, but I adore the highlight feature
  • ReminderFox -- to-do list & calendar in status bar
  • RetailMeNot -- alerts you to coupons when e-shopping
  • Zotero -- new; supposed to be spectacular for web research
I also futzed around with my search bar and bookmarks bar since I discovered I can add to my search bar (which, I swear, is 50% of my ad hoc searching: "Who the heck is that actress? It's driving me crazy!") and I can make just favicons (no text) appear in the bookmarks toolbar, which means I can pop them on the main toolbar and not take up so much damned screen space. I absolutely loathe having half a dozen toolbars dripping down the top of my screen.

What extensions do you run?


Star said...

Oddly, you're the second person to ask this question in a blog I read in as many days...

I no longer use Firefox, unfortunately. It's too much of a memory hog; I literally can't run it at home and run anything else at the same time. But when I did...

I'll second ForecastFox and AdBlock Plus. I also used some extensions to customize the tabbed browsing experience, though I don't remember which ones. And the one that lets you create TinyURLs (or maybe it's shorls) from the right-click menu.

What I miss most, though, is the search box with all its wonderful search engines. Opera gives me Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and a couple of others, but is missing most of the ones I really used (like IMDb and Wikipedia). :(

Anonymous said...

I like gmail manager better--it even checks multiple accounts.

TabsMixPlus adds some great options for locking and closing tabs.


tsheets said...

My favorite extension is Greasemonkey! Basically, it's a scripting extension that you load scripts into. Generally, they're for modifying the contents / layout / etc.. of common web sites / frameworks. For example, there are tons of modifiers for phpbb based forums, flickr, gmail, myspace, etc..

I run several others including tabbrowser Preferences, SessionSaver, IE View, etc... I ran foxytunes for a while, but generally opt to just run my media player in its minimalist form, so ditched it.

The tinyurl one sounds really nice.

Eyebrows McGee said...

Yeah, I wasn't impressed with FoxyTunes either. Also I'm not ALWAYS using Firefox, so it was irritating to have to switch music players if I went to go word process with FFox turned off for a while.

Star -- they've fixed some of the memory leak issues in the newest release. Also, some of them were related to extensions, most of which have also repaired (forecast fox used to be a giant memory leaker for no apparent reason).

Star said...

Hm. I might have to try it again, then, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I use a new browser called Enigma. You can obtain it for free at
You can find the link to obtain it just above the products section.

Enigma runs faster than Firefox and does not take up too much memory like Firefox, Opera, or Safari. I have 35 windows open right now and it runs fast.

I have stopped using Firefox, K-Meleon, Opera, Internet Explorer, each of which take up too much memory and do not run as fast as Enigma.