Sunday, May 22, 2005

Get Firefox

Check out the Firemonger Project, and get all the Firefox you need on one downloadable CD. ^_^

OK, if you don't know what to do first, I'll walk you through it.

1. Download and install Firefox. That's the easy part.
2. Get some extensions. This is the hard part.

Firefox is very capable, but it's barebones out of the box. You need lots of extensions if you want to match (exceed) the functions of IE (note: properly rendering pages is not a function, it should be standard. I'm looking at YOU, IE).

So, here's a list of what I use. This may be long, but bear with me.

  • Adblock ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Get Filterset.G and you may never see another ad again.
  • Mouse Gestures 1.0 Something I didn't think I would use, until I started using it. Opening new tabs, going back and forth between pages, opening the source....all with gestures.
  • Tab Mix 0.2.1 (mirror here) Where to begin....I keep all my browser one window. I rely on tabs. This extension is actually a collection of other tab-related extensions. Very VERY handy. Another ESSENTIAL.
  • SessionSaver .2 Ah...SessionSaver. Actually, I use Tab Mix (see above) to save my day-to-day sessions, and SessionSaver as a backup. It saves my sessions in case of a crash, and I can also store specific sessions to be recalled at any time (my pages for studying Japanese, for example). You can also store all open tabs as bookmarks and open them again as a group. Confused? You won't be.
  • Linkification 0.9.20 Someone didn't add clicky-goodness to a link? This fixes it.
  • SpellBound 0.7.3 The essential spell-checker so you don't look foolish in your posts.
  • ForecastFox 0.7.1 Puts little weather icons on the bottem right of the browser (on the status bar). Very unobtrusive, and very handy.
  • googlebar Just like Googlebar for IE, only...not. But very similar.
  • Smiley Xtra 3.1.3 Inserts smiley graphics into your posts, like this: Hopping Devil
  • InfoLister 0.8.2 A handy extension to turn "about:info" into a list of your installed extensions, if you wanted to post them on your blog or something.
  • Slim Extension List 0.1 Hides extended information about extensions not currently selected. Makes browsing the extension list much easier. It's the little things...
  • xMirror 0.1.1 Don't put all your eggs in one basket. In this case, don't rely on one source for your extensions.
  • Stop-or-Reload Button 0.1 Combines two buttons into one. Another thing I didn't think I would use until I installed it. Now, having two buttons just doesn't make any sense.
  • User Agent Switcher 0.6.6 For the foolish web n00bs that hard-code compatible clients. Actually, I don't think I've every used this.
  • ieview 0.86 Right-click, "View this page in IE"
  • FirefoxView 0.31.1 Ah...right click (in IE), "View this page in Firefox"
  • BGM Conductor Fixes the minor annoyance non-standards-compliant pages cause with the Microsoft-only BGSound tag.
  • Show Failed URL 0.1.4 Another annoyance fixer. Displays failed URLs in the Location Bar when XUL error pages are enabled. XUL error pages are enabled by setting browser.xul.error_pages.enabled to true (this can be done via about:config, prefs.js or user.js). I'll explain in step 3.
  • ChromEdit Finally, a handy tool to facilitate editing of your user files. See next step.
3. Customize your Firefox.

These tips are from Customizing Firefox and Customizing Mozilla.

Basically, my user.js file looks like:
// Reveal more tab/window options:
user_pref("browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs", true);

// Instead of annoying error dialog messages, display pages:
user_pref("browser.xul.error_pages.enabled", true);

/* Force New Windows Restrictions
0: Default - Divert *all* new windows to current tab/window or new tab
1: Don't divert *any* windows spawned by JS
2: Don't divert JS windows that include size/placement/toolbar info */
user_pref("", 0);
There are many more things you can do, but this will get you started. Victory

4. (Optional) Optimize your screen real-estate.

To make room for the tabs and the googlebar, I moved the navigation buttons and the address bar to the top.

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