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TechCrunch Crashes Firefox 3.5, I Ask Who Cares?

TechCrunch is Embarrassing

As somebody who usually writes in order to help the masses in one way or another, no matter if it is to inform or entertain, it really bugs me when I see people complain about something, but then do nothing to fix the thing they are complaining about.  Recently on TechCrunch I saw a feature about Firefox 3.5 crashing for one of the writers.  I though, hey – maybe they’ll have some interesting information on how to get around or troubleshoot the issue; maybe I should check it out. 

Let us check out this post together shall we?

Ever since the new Firefox 3.5 came out about a month ago, I’ve been using it as my main browser. Generally I am very happy with it.

Hey, that is cool.  I have been too!  I can “relate” with that.

But there is one persistent bug that might push me to another browser: it keeps crashing on me.

Oh, really? Hate to hear that, wonder what is causing the crashing?

This usually happens when I have too many tabs open (like 15 or 20, which is not unusual for me towards the end of the day). The whole thing will just freeze and I’ll have to force the browser to quit.

Well, that is odd.  I usually run the same thing or more during my day and have yet to have that problem.  Then again, I am only running a handful of extensions too.  So maybe that is where the problem is?

Without basic stability, none of the other great features or add-ons really matter much.

Yeah, that is true – but, did you try to fix your problem?

I realize that Firefox 3.5 is a just came out of beta, and to be fair, it has become slightly more stable over the past month (it was crashing every day in the beginning, now it is just every few days).

So, you didn’t do anything to fix it?

I’ve been patiently waiting for the crashing to stop as Mozilla releases patches and updates.

Did you try to fix it?

I’m on a developer build, so maybe I’m just asking for crashes.

You are just waiting for somebody to do it for you magically?  Well, maybe your not the only one – go ahead and give me a few quotes from somebody else. Go ahead, the floor is all yours.

But plenty of other people are complaining as well.

Wait a minute, did you just quote Twitter? Ok, so there are 2 and a half pages of people saying Firefox 3.5 crashes.  Also worth noting that there are 15 pages people who say they love pirates.  Oh and you can’t forget the page and a half of people who think toast is god.

Now, before you paint me as some Firefox loving wing nut, I can admit Firefox might have some flaws, and some people might be having problems with it.  However, when you have a megaphone the size of TechCrunch try to at least help people who might be in your same shoes rather than trying to paint a perfectly fine browser as an unstable mess. 

Match Your Tabs to the Sites Your Browsing

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There are a number of different add-ons that will change the way your Firefox tabs look.  How would you like to have one that made your tabs match your web site you are browsing.  FabTabs does that.

How does it work?  I’m happy you asked…

FabTabs is kind of an experimental extension for now that will color your Firefox Tabs in a way you have never seen before. By taking a small screenshot of the website you are currently viewing, and calculating the most commonly used color from that screenshot, it tries to take the 1 essential color from the website and applies it to the tab.

Sounds like a good idea.  If your looking to make your tabs appear more like the pages your surfing, pick up the FabTabs add-on for Firefox.

Create a Link List from Your Open Tabs

The URL Lister add-on for Firefox gives you the ability to grab all the open tabs you have, and collect them as a series of links, formatted in three different formats, so that they can be copied easily.

Instant Link List from Your Open Tabs

To use, all you need to do is right-click on one of the tabs, and select URL Lister.  Next, you will see a box (like the one above) that will give you URLs (one per line) for each tab you have open.  This makes it super easy to copy and save the links for later. You also have the choice to save the list as plain text URLs, a HTML coded list (for use in a web page), or a Linked List, which would give you the list of links with both HTML code around them an the traditional “list” HTML tags too. 

This extension will also open a number of links.  So if you have a list of links you need to open in bulk, paste them into the text box, and hit the “OK” button. After doing so, you should have each URL open up in its own tab.

You can grab the URL Lister add-on at the Firefox Add-ons site or learn more about it at the author’s official site.  If you love lists and links, you will love this browser link lister.

The “Better” Firefox Add-on Collection

Better Firefox Addons

It is no secret I am a big fan of Gina Trapani’s line of “better” add-ons for Firefox, so I can tell you I was more than excited to see that they had been rolled together as an add-on collection, so you can grab them all at once. 

Which extensions make the list?

Better Gmail 2 – Add useful extra features to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, an unread message icon on your browser tab, file attachment icons, and more.

Better Amazon -  Highlight Amazon listings with free shipping, automatically enlarge product images, clean up book pages, shorten URLs and more on Amazon.com. Enhances Amazon.com with a compilation of user scripts and styles. All scripts copyright their original authors. Click on the script homepage in the Help tab for more information.

Better Flickr -  Adds collapsible header and sidebar, event title text wrap, colored weekend days, week numbers, and skins to Google Calendar.

Better GReader -  Preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar for more reading area, add favicons to feed subscriptions and more with Better GReader.

Better YouTube – A compilation of some of the best Greasemonkey user scripts for YouTube in one interface.

Go pick up the Better Pack of Firefox Add-ons and find out what is so great about them yourself.

Drag and Load Content Quicker in Firefox

Looking to make drag and dropping a little more functional in Firefox?  The Firefox add-on QuickDrag will let you load URLs, do web searches and more just by highlighting text, grabbing it and dragging it to the right location. 

Here is what QuickDrag looks like in action, as well as more details on how you can use this great extension for Firefox to speed up your browsing.

How to Use QuickDrag in Firefox

Now, some might look at this add-on and say that is not much, however after you start using it, you really start to realize how much more functionality this adds – just be adding a few tweaks to the browser.  For more help, you might also check out the author’s FAQ.

You can pick up the QuickDrag add-on via the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Give Firefox a Highlighter

There have been several highlighter extensions I have seen over the years for Firefox, however this one might be my favorite.  The ultra light-weight Highlights add-on for Firefox simply highlights selected text on web pages with a right-click of the mouse.

Highlighter for Firefox

To highlight text on a web page, select the text, right-click (‘Ctrl+Click’, on Mac OS X) and select ‘Highlight’ menu from the popup.  The default yellow highlight color can easily be changed, by clicking the “Highlights” icon on the status bar, and choosing the color picker.  To remove the highlights, simply refresh the page.

No matter if you are doing research or you just like to highlight interesting points while you read, the Highlights extension is an excellent way to mark your spot on the Web.

Instant Google Shortcuts with GButts

Do you use a lot of Google services?  The Firefox add-on, GButts, will help you get quick and easy access to any Google service you want, next to your address bar or anywhere else you might need it.

Here are all the Google services you can quickly show or hide via the extension.

Add a Google Service Button, Anywhere!

You can customize how much space you want to save with the options across the bottom (by making the menu a toolbar or a drop down menu).  You also have the option of a horizontal or vertical menu.  You can then right-click on your toolbar, go to “Customize” and then drag and drop the GButts Toolbar you created on to your toolbar layout – anywhere you might need it.

If you are a heavy Google user – the GButts add-on should be right up your alley.

Make HTML 5 Videos Go Full Screen

Full Screen HTML 5 Videos The talk about Firefox 3.5 supporting the HTML 5 support for playing videos without the need of a player was pretty sweet.  Seeing it in action, now that I have Firefox 3.5 installed is even sweeter.  You know what would put the icing on the cake?  If I could make those videos go to full screen resolutions.

The Full Screen Video add-on for Firefox does that.  Once installed, it adds a “Full Screen” menu option, when you right-click on any HTML5 powered video.  As of right now the only two known issues with this awesome extension are:

  • When switching to full screen, the video will load and play from the start.
  • Full screen is really only implemented on Windows at this point. On other operating systems, it’s merely a maximized window.

Other than that Full Screen Video gives you a simple addition to an already awesome feature of Firefox.  You can pickup this add-on via the Firefox Add-ons web site or check out the official web site for more information on the project.

Browse Faster with SmarterFox

SmarterFox Helps You Browse Faster Another jewel in the ruff I discovered when browsing around the Mozilla add-ons site was SmarterFox.  What does this add-on to the browser do for you?  It helps make browsing the web just that much faster…and smarter!

Where are the features?  Here are some of the thinks I liked about this awesome add-on to your browser:

  • Search by selecting/highlighting text and then clicking on the popup bubble
  • Google results automatically show up in the Awesomebar/URL bar as you type (faster than going to google.com)
  • Easily switch between search engines during a search with a single click
  • Convert text URLs into clickable links
  • Automatically copy on select / paste on middle click / paste on right click (NOT enabled by default)
  • Visit bookmarks quickly with keyboard shortcuts using qLauncher
  • Adds "related articles" side-pane to Wikipedia

There is definitely a lot of browser tweaking to be loved here.  It is that type of extension that does many things well, instead of focusing on doing one thing really well.  So if you would like to kill several birds with on stone – this is the pick me up your browser has been looking for. 

Want to give it a shot?  Pickup SmarterFox on the Mozilla add-ons site and let me know what you think.  Has it helped you browse the Web any faster or smarter?

Headup Delivers You Related Content in Firefox

headup - giving you inline searches without leaving the page your browsing The idea of having a Firefox extension that gives you content related to what you are looking at is nothing new really, however I have found a Firefox add-on that will help you get it done in a new and exciting way. 

Headup underlines words on pages when you browser.  When you hover over those words, you get relevant content from popular web services. 

Headup - find more information as you browse Online

Technically speaking, they  “presents you with textual and rich media content related to the objects and terms it identifies on the pages you browse.”  Here are a few more examples from their web site:

Use Headup’s ability to recognize objects and relationships to discover all kinds of information quickly and effortlessly. Here are some examples:

  • Discover which of your friends like a particular band and gain access to the band’s videos and lyrics.
  • Find blog posts and stock news about a company and discover which of your contacts work there.
  • Get alerted about your friends’ birthdays and see which books they’re likely to enjoy as a gift.

Overall, I have to say it is an interesting idea – and a cool tool.  Sometimes these semantic plugins kind of confuse the general public, so I would really recommend playing with Headup to see if it is right for you.  You can pickup the Headup add-on on Headup.com or the Mozilla Add-ons web site.