Tag Archives | Web

How to Access Your Sync Account

Access Sync in FirefoxAre you using Firefox’s built in Sync feature? This great addition to the Firefox browser will keep your addons, bookmarks, passwords, preferences, history and tabs in sync between multiple computers or machines.  However, once you get it set up – it can be hard to find out where you need to go to access it or change your settings.

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Open Web Apps

Open Web Apps from MozillaMozilla’s open and free alternative to Chrome’s web store is up and running. It might not be much to look at just yet, but it does show a lot of promise when it comes to how Mozilla will handle it’s own open web apps store. Developers who are interested in developing apps for the browser can do so very easily.  The OWA Application Manifest is now stable, so there is no more worry about changing code or policy there.

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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.

Fast Forward to Other Popular Sites

Fast Forward for Firefox Want another way to find out what other people are looking at?  The Fast Forward add-on for Firefox is an interesting one.  It adds a fast forward button to the browser, so you can see what is the top page that most people look at after looking at the page you are on.  For example, if you were on FirefoxFacts.com, and hit the button – it might lead you to Mitchelaneous.com, because more people went to that web site next more so than any other web site online.

They describe it as Amazon recommendations for web pages.  Such as, “People who viewed this page also viewed this next page…”.  Why use FastForward compared to StumbleUpon?  Here are the reasons they give:

  • Page Relevance – We give relevant results based on the page you are on, it isn’t something random.
  • No Registration. We don’t ask for any personal information to use the service.
  • Only 1 button – We only add 1 small FastForward button, not a toolbar.

They boast having over 200,000 people contributing and over 40,000 websites in our system.  So, chances are you should find some good results (for at least popular web sites).  You can learn more at buzzbox.com or pick up the extension on Firefox’s add-on web site.

Interview With the Mind Behind NoScript

ss0 So what type of questions would you have for the mind behind NoScript?  I recently got to chat with Giorgio Maone, the creator of possibly the most popular security related extension for Firefox.

Why would the random Firefox user off the street be using NoScript?

Firefox is an extremely safe browser, because it can take advantage of an open and agile development process, a very security-minded core development team and a multi-vendor security coordination group, including people from major Linux distributions and IT integrators, which I’m also a member of. This ensures that many experts with different backgrounds and points of view are steadily discussing about making Firefox safer and stronger, and that discussion quickly translates in bug fixing and enhancement code.

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Browse Through Only the Images

Wish to access only the images on a page and none of the clutter – like those annoying big words, style and layout? For those out there who want the images and the images only the Browse Images add-on should get the job done.

Once installed you can browse all linked images of a page one after another or all at once.

The Browse Images add-on at Work!

On the positive side of things, Browse Images does make it rather easy to browse through multiple images when a web site might not make the job all that fun to do (thanks to bad design or bad organization of the links. On the negative side, I really could do without having yet another toolbar in Firefox. I think a lot of this functionality could have been kept in a statusbar icon.

Making Video on the Web Easier

Video on the WebWant to view, edit, publish video for the Web without worrying about having the right plugin, or doing the right version for the right people depending on the video method they like the most?

Well both Mozilla and the Opera people are getting behind a movement to do just that.

Looks like the solution will be to use some open source technology mixed with a new tag to make embedding video in web pages easier.

Opera and Mozilla officials say the changes to their browsers will offer a new level of ease for Web developers using open-source tools to embed and stream their video. If video encoded in Ogg Theora plays directly in the browser, everyday Internet surfers would not have the burden of downloading extra plug-ins for their browser to play the video.

A lot of other good points are made in this PC World article on the topic. We don’t need a plugin to view images – why should we need one to watch video?

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?

New Firefox Cousins – Instantbird and Webrunner

What, you didn’t know that Firefox had more than a few branches off from it’s Mozilla base? To keep things simple, we can think of them as cousins (just hope they don’t start kissing). Both the Webrunner and Instantbird projects show a lot of promise and might just be the next big thing for the Mozilla team.

Webrunner – WebRunner is based on a concept called Site Specific Browsers (SSB). The idea behind Webrunner is to make a super light weight browser that is stripped down of all the toolbars, user interface and more so you have a lighter memory footprint and more a a base around the web application you are pointing it at.

Instantbird – This instant messenger client will be Mozilla’s version of Trillian, Pidgin and others that have come before it. That alone should gain it a lot of traction. The basic backbone of the program is up and ready to download right now – but your not yet getting anything other than the ability to say, “I downloaded Instantbird back when it first came out!”. Bring AIM, Yahoo, MSN and others all together the Mozilla way.

I welcome both into the vaguely-related-to Firefox family. From personal use, Instantbird still has a ways to go but Webrunner is looking interesting right now for simple web applications you can’t do without.