Archive | September, 2007

Easily Create Open Searches

OpenSearchFoxFor me, creating a new Firefox search for the search box everybody has in the upper right hand corner of your browser became harder once Mozilla moved towards the open search standard. Since then I haven’t bothered much with creating searches for it – but I found an extension that might get me back in the game.

The OpenSearchFox extension allows you to quickly and easily create a search plugin from any web site. Now after you first install this extension, you might be a little lost with what to do. All you need to do is right click on any search form (like the one found on FirefoxFacts.com for an example) and then you will have a new menu item to select to create your search. You can also change the icon for the search plugin too – just in case the favicon for the site isn’t “doing it for you” or it does not have one.

Update: Check out this screencast to get a tutorial on how to get up and running with this extention! (Thanks Eddie!)

Snap Links Provides Better Mass Link Clicking

Snap LinksWhat in the heck is “mass link clicking”?

You click a link, you open a link – it is all pretty straight forward. What if for example you are browsing through search results and you want to open the top three links? You have to go to each one click, have it open in a new tab, repeat…repeat..

There is an extension to save your finger from those extra clicks and I do have to admit it is pretty fun to use. Snap Links allows you to draw a rectangle over a series of links and automatically open them all up. Think of it as you would selecting multiple files on your desktop.

Here are a few more details about the Snap Links extension:

  • The user selects the links by drawing a rectangle
  • Only the main links are selected by default
  • Requires only one click
  • There is visual aid to show which links are currently selected
  • The extension attempts to be simple, fast and intuitive

Snap Links allows users to select the default action on the options window (open links in new tabs, in new windows, in new tabs on a new window, bookmark, download or copy links to clipboard). Overall I think that Snap Links is a very unique extension that is sure to get a lot of attention (and hopefully even a lot better too) over time.

Want a New FirefoxFacts.com?

I have been reconsidering the idea of changing up the Firefox Facts web site.

If I were to do so – what would you like to see changed, removed, added and updated? I am open to any and all suggestions so feel free to just start one big comment post here and give me all the feedback you have. This web site is for you – so I want to make sure you are getting what you want, what you need and what you love.

Thanks! As always I appreciate each and every one of our readers here and look forward to bringing in some more.

A Look Around the Firefox Links

Always wanting to be one who puts others before himself, it is time yet again to take a look at that Firefox loving world around us to see what is going on.

Have an interestling Firefox related link? How about a new Firefox theme, extension or project? Feel free to share in the comments or drop it to me in an e-mail and I’ll see what I can do to get it included right here on FirefoxFacts.com.

Video Downloads Without the 3rd Party

Video DownloaderI have had a few people ask me how to download flash or embedded movies without having to use extensions that push you through a third party.

There are a lot of extensions out there that will open up a pop up window, and if they support the site you want to download from there should be no mess. People want to cut out the middle man though and go right to downloading what they want. For those people I have a solution.

Although it might be a little more on the geekier side than some might like the UnPlug extension is what you are looking for. It goes right to the source, digging through the web site code and turns up what will most likely be the file you want to download.

Unlike the extensions people have problems with, UnPlug scans the page, and if it doesn’t know there the data comes from it can guess. I would say nine times out of ten it guesses the correct one too.

Me.dium – Follow Your Friends

Me.diumSome of the new tools and services out there with the social kink in them have yet to really impress me. One of the few that does the job though and does it well is Me.dium. This service, along side the Firefox extension that comes with it is something I think everybody should try out.

The neat thing about Me.dium is it opens up an entire new world that many might not see behind the web site your visiting. Talking with others that might be on the same web page you are on is a neat experience. Also they give you recommendations of other web pages you should visit based on the one you are at right now too.

Browse with friends or make new ones, the possibilities for the future of this application are endless.

If you get tired of it or you don’t want to use it all the time, just click the browser icon to turn it on and off. The tool lives in your sidebar, so you don’t have to worry about messing up the layout or visual of the current web site you are on either.

There is a world behind each web site you visit, so get to exploring!

Firefox and BitTorrent

BitTorrent Loves Firefox?

Since the beginning of AllPeers, there have been many different collections of plugins offering BitTorrent functionality to Firefox and its other Gecko-based variants of Flock, K-Meleon and Wyzo, a Mozilla Firefox-based browser that fully integrates BitTorrent functionality into its core along with Firefox 2.0 code.

There have also been numerous plugins as well:

AllPeers (http://www.allpeers.com)
FireTorrent (http://www.wyzo.com)
FoxTorrent (http://www.foxtorrent.com)
BitFox (currently in development)
Firestorm (http://firestorm.mozdev.org).

FireStorm and BitFox, are both currently in active development. Wyzo is in alpha stage of development and have an alpha release (not for deployment in a production environment). FoxTorrent has been reviewed a few times before and installs a background DAEMON process to handle the transfers.

Wyzo/FireTorrent are both in alpha release although the Firefox extension is still available to download for testing purposes. From the list, it is plain for all to see that there is no shortage of BitTorrent extensions for Firefox at all.

However, the nature of Mozilla’s open-source platform and of the BitTorrent protocol mean that this list is by no means exhaustive and other projects are sure to take advantage to Firefox’s modular nature.

Posted by Si Howard – Si Is currently studying for a Bachelors in Computer Science and turned to Firefox and Thunderbird after many years as a Netscape user. He maintains a personal blog at devastator.wordpress.com

Download Manager Tweak

Download ManagerFirefox’s download manager by default is a little light in the loafers. It is nice to look at. It gets the job done. It could do a better job though. If you want a few extra features on the download manager too give Download Manager Tweak.

This extension changes its appearance and allows it to be opened in a separate window, a new tab, or the sidebar. Now after hearing that, even the doubters would have to say they’d like to see those details in with the current download managing services Firefox provides.

Turning a Bookmark into a Search Tool

Editing Bookmarks to Add Search FeaturesBookmarks in Firefox have a very powerful feature that most people don’t know about. Let’s take a look at this:

  1. Click on Bookmarks.
  2. Right-click on any bookmark you have there.
  3. Choose properties.

Now, third from the top, there is a text box called “Keyword”. Most likely, this is blank because by default it’s not used at all. Welcome to the wonderful world to keyword bookmarking. Let me show you how to use it.

Say for instance that you wanted to create a keyword bookmark for the search on firefoxfacts.com. Ok, lets go to that page. After using the Firefox Facts search using the words “test”, I come to the page:

http://www.firefoxfacts.com/index.php?s=test

If I bookmark it, it will look like any other bookmark.

Then, if I look at the properties of my newly created bookmark, I can make a few changes to it to transform it into a keyword bookmark:

  1. Notice that the my search term “test” is in the address in the location field.
  2. Replace that with the string “%s” to get http://www.firefoxfacts.com/index.php?s=%s.
  3. Add a keyword to the keyword field. I chose “fxfacts” but anything will work. Use something short and you can remember.
  4. Press OK.

Yay, now we have a keyword bookmark. This is how to use it:

  1. Type the keyword of the bookmark in the address bar. (In my example “fxfacts”)
  2. Type any search terms after that. (My example: “fxfacts bookmarks”)
  3. Press the enter key.

Firefox will now take me to the Firefox Facts search for bookmarks just like that. Let’s see IE7 can do that!

Post by Samuel Brisby – Sam is currently a student majoring in computer science who loves and supports anything open-source especially the Firefox browser. Questions or comments can be sent to spamuel42 (at) gmail.com.