Archive | March, 2008

Best of the URL Shorteners for Firefox

One fad that has caught on in the past few years is the art of shortening those really long URLs, as you would find in a search result or on Amazon for a product listing. When you try to share just the long link, it often gets broken or just will not fit in the message you are sending. That is where these tools come in handy to have.

The winner (and best URL link shortener) would have to be Shrinkify.

Shrink Your Links

It not only shrinks your URLs via Firefox, Shrinkify also gives you a pretty interface when doing so. Out of all the URL shrinking extensions, this one is the best, hands down.

Firefox 3 Solves the Memory Problems?

This is a ‘bit of news that might have been missed by some. It looks like Firefox 3 continues to gain praise for having a significant reduction in the amount of memory it uses over Firefox 2.

Over at Ars Technica this is what they are saying:

During intensive browsing with approximately 50 tabs, I have found that Firefox 3 generally consumes less than half of the memory used by Firefox 2.0.0.12. Firefox 3 is also snappier and more responsive when switching between tabs and performing other operations that typically lag in Firefox 2.0.0.12 when the browser is experiencing heavy load.

This is great news for any Firefox fans out there. Over the recent years the memory problems seem to be the big sticking point for a lot of people. Has this mountain of an issue finally been solved?

+ Firefox 3 Goes on a Diet, Eats Less Memory than IE and Opera

Super Config for Firefox

Looking for a tool that will help you find and edit all the little hidden Firefox advanced configurations?  Configuration Mania is a powerful addon for both Firefox 2 and the Firefox 3 Beta 4 that does a lot for being such a little addition to the browser.  I am really impressed by this little jewel of an extension because it has just about every hidden away and forgotten about edit and modification you an make the browsing experience all in one place.

Configuration Mania Running Wild!

Want the super tweaker that does a bit of everything?  Configuration Mania is the extension for the job.

Firefox Mentioned in Super Smash Bros. Brawl?

180px-Fox_070611a-l Seems like no matter where I turn, Firefox follows me everywhere! Thumbing through the instruction book for Super Smash Bros. Brawl – I noticed one of Fox’s names (from Star Fox) for his signature moves was a little familiar.

His “up” special move is called Fire Fox. Now the fan boy inside of me would like to think this is a nod to the fine folks at Mozilla from Nintendo but it is probably not the case.

Tell me this though, when was there a mention of Internet Explorer as an awesome move in a video game? Chances are, if there was it would involve a crash* for sure.

* – sorry, couldn’t resist!

Cover Flow for Bookmarks

There is no doubt that the cover flow feature on Apple machines reeks of pretty eye candy that I wish I could enjoy.  I don’t have a budget big enough for a Mac or the time to learn how to use it, so I’ll have to stick with the knock-offs for now.  BookmarksPreviews (found via Download Squad) is a new addon to Firefox that wants to copy that fresh cover flow feeling with your bookmarks.

Cover Flow for Firefox

At the time of writing this they say it works for both Firefox 2 and Firefox 3, but due to their different bookmarking systems some things might be different.  This is a very unique way of getting up close and personal with your bookmarks, and while I don’t see this making it into a future Firefox release – it is nice to see the option out there for those of us who like our eye candy.

Firefox Themes with Version 3?

Looking for Firefox 3 Themes?  Check out the Best 5 Firefox Themes HERE!

Mozilla, do we have a problem?

2325998976_4fa0508fa5

I have a feeling I am not the only one who is wondering about this one.  What will happen to all the current Firefox themes once Firefox 3 goes final?  It seems like a handful of theme designers are having issues with getting their themes to look right with the new Firefox 3 interface.  Will they all have to start from scratch again?

The above screen shot was taken from TwisterMc – who is describing his own issues getting the iPox theme to work correctly.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 in the Wild

Firefox 3 Beta 4 is ready for download. Well there was some confusion yesterday on if it was out or not, so I decided to hold off on this till today. Yet again, Mozilla continues to surprise and amaze with improvements to the core product. Two of the biggest updates I would say would be:

  • Speed:
    Improvements to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimizations have resulted in significant improvements. Compared to Firefox 2, web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office run twice as fast in Firefox 3 Beta 4, and the popular SunSpider test from Apple shows improvements over previous releases.
  • Memory usage:
    Some new technologies work together to reduce the amount of memory used by Firefox 3 Beta 4 over a web browsing session. Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a new memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned.

You can check out the full list of improvements and updates on the release notes and as always, Mozilla Links has an awesome in-depth review of this newest Firefox beta release.

Tree Styled Tabs

tree-tabs Who was the person who decided that tabs have to stay on the top or the bottom of the browser or application you are using?  In Firefox the default spot is the top but it does not have to be.  With the Tree Style Tab extension from Firefox you can add it to your side and also give it a tree like appearance.

Now does that mean it will be green and brown?  No, not exactly.  Think of it much more as a folder tree like you would see your folders in via Windows Explorer.  New tabs are opened from links and attached to the current tab.  If you have tons of tabs open this will help you figure out which tab is associated with which topic you are browsing about.

Some of the features of Tree Style Tab include:

  • You can collapse/expand sub trees. It is convenient for too many tabs.
  • When you close a tab which has collapsed sub tree, all of tabs in the sub tree will be closed only one action.
  • The tree of tabs can be show in at right side.
  • Vertical tab bar cab be shown/hidden automatically.

If you have been wanting to find a way to give your tabs a new look and feel or you are looking for a way to better organize the tabs you have open Tree Styled Tab is an addon that can not be overlooked.  It gives you a unique experience just by making one simple change to your browser interface.

Top 3 Mozilla Store Favorites

The Mozilla Store has been getting better and bigger ever since it’s launch. They have tons of cool Firefox or Mozilla themed merchandise for you to pick up. To help you with your shopping I though I would point out a few of my favorites that they have in stock right now.

#1 – Firefox Plushie – How is this not the cutest thing ever? You can get your own plush red panda (also known as firefoxes) then hug it, squeeze it and name it George.

firefox-plush

#2 – Firefox Hoodie – This awesome, yet simple hoodie will make a bold statement. You like Firefox, and your not afraid to wear it.

firefox-hoodie

#3 – Notable Flip Jotter – Lets see you whip this bad boy out in your next big meeting to take notes and then see the “ohhh” and “ahhh” remarks you get from those people oh so envious of you.

firefox-notes

So that is my favorite Firefox gear, do you have your own?

Keep Track of Time

time-tracker Sitting at the keyboard for hours on end, it is really easy to get off task, get distracted and get to where you forget to check what time it is and what time you started.  Thankfully the TimeTracker extension for Firefox helps you keep track of how much time you browse.

Some of the features of this awesome addition to any Firefox install include:

  • Tracks browsing time across sessions
  • Pauses automatically when you stop browsing
  • Reset counter
  • Pause toggle per window
  • List ‘work’ sites that should not count
  • Tooltip showing total time today, since last reset and since installing.

TimeTracker is a great way to keep tabs (not the browser kind) on yourself and the time you are spending Online.  For those of us who spend our days working within the Firefox interface it also is a helpful reminder to tell us we have worked enough and we might deserve a break.