Archive | November, 2007

2 Tab About:Config Tips

About:Config TipsDo you like it or hate it when Firefox decides to give you the left and right scroll buttons up on your tab bar to navigate through a long list of tabs?

Minimum Tab Width

One way of fixing this would be going into your about:config file and bumping down the minimum tab width so that more tabs fit in the bar before the scroll scroll feature starts. Your default limit is 100 pixels but you can set it to what you need.

Open up about:config (by typing the phrase into your address bar) and search for this string in the search box provided at the top:

browser.tabs.tabMinWidth

Change the default to whatever you might want it to be. If you set it to 0, it will disable tab scrolling.

Delete the “Close” Button on the Tabs

Now while we are saving space, why not get rid of the close buttons that appear on each tab? To get this done search the about:config page for:

browser.tabs.closeButtons

Set the value to “2″ and ditch the close button all together. A value of “0″ only displays the close button on the active tab, “1″ (the default) shows it on all tabs. Now you have a little more power over your Firefox tabs.

ShareThis – Makes Link Swapping Easy!

Share it All!

It isn’t often that I find one of these social “all in one” tools that I really like. They are usually lacking in a few areas or tossing so much stuff in my face, I don’t know how to even get started. One place that seems to have learned from the bad and the good to roll out an awesome service is ShareThis.com.

This service makes it super easy to get to sharing just about anything at just about all the biggest bookmarking and social link sharing web sites out there. With the Firefox extension you gain a button for your toolbar that when hit, will pop up a box letting you e-mail the link to others or post it to your diggs, stumble upons and deliciouses of the world.

Another neat feature I have yet to see anywhere else is the ability to scan your contacts at MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, GMail, AIM and others so that when you send a link to a friend, you can pick exactly how it is sent to them an via which platform you’d like to send it.

If you don’t want to have to install the extension, you can also gain a lot of the same features by adding the bookmarklet to your links as well. All in all, I would say that ShareThis is a winner and one of the more impressive Firefox additions I have seen in a while.

Mozilla and Web 2.0

Mozilla and Web 2.0For a while now, we’ve been hearing about “Web 2.0″ AKA AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) heavy sites offering lots of eye candy but, nothing much in the way of substance which hasn’t already been a 1000 different times a 1000 different ways before.

While these “eye catching” sites may offer up a new level of interactivity and/or functionality, there’s always a price to pay no matter how good the engineering/technology is. For example, everyone these days a Gmail account. It extensively uses AJAX which, while making it appear very functional, also takes its toll on the browser in terms of memory usage, in this case Mozilla Firefox.

Recently, the Mozilla Foundation released Prism (renamed from WebRunner) from the Mozilla Project which is stripped down version of the XULRunner platform using the Firefox runtime environment (Gecko). It handles JavaScript/CSS etc…. well and is light on the memory usage from personal usage and handles several web applications well – Gmail, GReader, Facebook, Twitter etc… As well as the option of programming your own and has a list of user contributed web application scripts. Continue Reading →

Top 5 Links of the Week

There has been a lot of cool tools, tweaks, links and news to fall through the cracks this week so let me get you caught up to date with a little round up of my top five stories of the week. Well, top five that didn’t start at FirefoxFacts.com anyways, Hehe…

5. Wrap Firefox’s Bookmarks Toolbar – Neat tweak to make that toolbar wrap onto multiple lines instead of scrolling off the right side.

4. Meet the Firefox Marketing Team – Check out the folks who’s job it is to spread the word about Firefox to all. Plus, you can get a little more information behind them too.

3. First Look at Firefox 3.0 – A series of screen shots of what you can expect to see in Firefox 3. If your just itching to see what it looks like, this is the link for you. They get two thumbs up from me thus far.

2. Gmail Greasemonkey API – The recent Gmail updates broke a lot of Greasemonkey tweaks – and now it looks like the Google Gmail team are offering an olive branch to the create scripters.

1. Better Gmail is Back – Gina over at Lifehacker has updated the Better Gmail extension to work with some of the recent changes to the Gmail system. All your old favorites might not be enabled in the extension just yet – but I am sure with time this extension will become as good (if not better) than Better Gmail 1.

Have a link suggestion? Pass it to me at mitch@mitchkeeler.com!

Extend Firefox 2 Contest

Extend Firefox 2 ContestHave what it take to create the next great Firefox addon? Well put on your developer’s hat and enter the Extend Firefox 2 Contest.

Here is an overview of how the contest is laid out:

This edition of the Extend Firefox contest runs until December 31st, 2007. A panel of judges will award three Grand Prizes and twelve Runner-up Prizes based upon excellence in user experience, innovativeness, and use of open standards.

What do you get if you win? Well – the appreciation of the masses for creating a great tool for the Web. Not enough? Well.. three Grand Prize winners will each receive an Ultimate Firefox Developer Kit, including:

Twelve Runner-Up Prize winners will each receive a Firefox Pack, including:

All qualified entrants will receive, while supplies last, a Limited Edition Extend Firefox T-Shirt. So will you enter? Good luck if you do!

Get More Than 5 Bookmark Backups

Want to get a little more from Firefox when it comes to backing up your bookmarks? Not many people know that Firefox actually does save backups (one a day) of your bookmarks. They should be located in your “profile” folder. On Windows XP that would be here:

C:\Documents and Settings\YOURNAME\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\UNIQUEID\bookmarkbackups

You can change it though to go a little higher. I wouldn’t recommend bumping it up too much more, but a jump from 5 to 10 shouldn’t hurt you.

Bookmark Backup

By default Firefox only saves five backups of your bookmarks. If you want to set this higher go into about:config (just type about:config in your address bar) and search for:

browser.bookmarks.max_backups

Now change the value from 5 to some other number. From that point on, Firefox should be saving more than just five backups.

Spell Check for All Text Areas

Spellchecking FixFirefox’s spell checker has saved my bacon a number of times. Before I had to search around for special tools and services to slap me on the wrist each time I misspelled mississipi..misissippi..Mississippi!

For some reason though, by default Firefox does not do spell checking in all text areas. You can fix that for youself like I did with a little about:config tweaking.

In your about:config (type about:config in the address bar to access) search for this string:

layout.spellcheckDefault

Change the value from 1 to 2 to get spell checking for all text fields and not just the big text area boxes.

Microsoft Inspired Firefox Themes

Hard to think that there are more than a few Microsoft inspired themes out there for the Firefox browser. Now I have no real hate towards everybody’s favorite monopoly – but it is always amusing to poke fun at the biggest dog in the yard.

Want to go back to the Office?

Office Firefox ThemeNow I don’t know too many people who say, “I’m such a big fan of Office, I wished all my apps looked like this!” but love it or hate it, the Office look makes for a pretty nice Firefox theme. If your looking for that traditional Microsoft look – but with a little class and style the Office theme for Firefox might be the download you have been looking for.

Stick it up your aero, Vista!

Vista-aeroOur next Firefox theme inspired by the Microsoft machine looks like it fell out of Windows Vista. If your a big fan of the way the new Internet Explorer 7 looks then the Vista-areo theme might be up your alley. Sleek blue style with that Microsoft glow.

Crappy, yet classic Microsoft style…

Looks FamiliarNow this is the style that you know and love. No wait, does anybody really love the classic and familiar look of IE6? No – it couldn’t be.. could it? Well if you do fall in that camp then the Looks Familiar theme for Firefox is a download you might want to do in private. Close the blinds though and make sure nobody sees you using it.

3 Addons for Web Dev Heads

Web Dev Tools for FirefoxWhen web development and design is mentioned, everybody’s top Firefox extension is the Web Developer toolbar. There are a few other choices out there for design and coding tools that you might have not of seen before.

View Source Chart – This extension does one job and does it well. It draws colored boxes around different source codes to help you read the information better. Instead of black and white confusing stuff – it’s all colored man. Look at all the pretty colors. Far out!

FireShot – This screen grabbing extension does the basics. It takes pictures of the web page your looking at. Unlike other extensions that do this job, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify captures and insert text and graphical annotations.

Palette Grabber – This one is really new (at least to me). It creates a color palette for Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, Flash, or OS X based on the current page.

What alternative web development extensions are in your toolkit?

Fancy Numbered Tabs

Numbered Tabs in FirefoxNow here is a new tab extension that got overlooked the other day with our roundup of the best of the best tab tweaks. Fancy Numbered Tabs lets you replace the red X that you see on your tabs (for closing) with numbers.

Now, why numbers? Well – and old keyboard shortcut guru once told me many moons ago that if you hit the Ctrl key plus one of the numbers on your keyboard you can quickly surf between the tabs you might have open.

If you like the shortcut, but hate remembering how to execute it the Fancy Numbered Tabs extension is an addon that can’t be missed.

This puts a prettier interface on that same idea so that you don’t have to sit and count up the tabs before you use the shortcut. I mean – come on, if you have to count up the tabs, then try to think of the keyboard shortcut then do it your not really saving time.