After years of faithful service you have abandoned Internet Explorer in favour of the more polished FireFox, and you love it to bits.
It is everything you want a browser to be.
But can it be more?
Yes. There are a wealth of addons, and improvements, for fireFox because it is community developed. [What is called Open Source nowadays]
I hope to cover a few of them in this post.
Faster, faster, more, more, more!
Now everyone knows browsers are slow. This is entirely becaus most browsers are bandwidth-throttled. This means that they only download one thing at a time. [This is why images load one at a time] But you can tweak FireFox to make it so that you can download many simultanrous things.
Of course you must be brave. You are fiddling with the custom configuration settings of FireFox at a very developer level.
But the advantage is blazingly fast loading of webpages.
Do the following;
- Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries: network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining and network.http.pipelining.maxrequests
- Double-click “network.http.pipelining” to “true”
- Double-click “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”
- Double-click and set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to 30.
- Lastly right-click [ctrl-clik for macs] anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0”.
What the above does is enable the browser to download 30 simultaneous things [usually pictures] and paint them strait to the browser without waiting.
If you do not have broadband, i.e. Cable Internet or DSL, do not do the above.
Changing the throbber link!
“Say what now?”
The throbber is the little icon in the top tight that throbs as a web page is loading.
It defaults to the FireFox homepage. But you can change it to anything you wish. [This would give you the ability to have a hidden link to a weblog for instance. Or just something fun to change]
Just enter the about:config screen as described above and find “browser.throbber.url” and double-click to change it to whatever URL you wish.
There are many cool extensions out there for FireFox that make it more usuable and just a down right pleasure to use. [To use you have to enable the installation from the website. This is simply two clicks]
What is Ruby? Well if you read Japanese you will know it as Furigana [ãµã‚ŠãŒãª]. This is where hirigana characters are shown above, or to the side, of the kanji characters, so that people who have a low level of literacy [children mostly, or foreigners] can still understand what is going on.
A lot of Japanese websites are using the W3C standard for XHTML markup of ruby. This is a cool application that means you see the characters as the author intended. [Even if you are still unable to read them ;-)]
I am a commoner. And so should you be. But how on earth do you know when somones website has a creative commons license if it is embedded, read hidden, in the XHTML?
By using this extension you get handy little icons in your status bar that inform you of the license information of the works you are presently viewing.
tabX is a wonderful extension that puts the close button into every single tab, instead of having just one on the right hand side of the screen which deactivates the active tab. [Be careful as now you will be able to close tabs that are not currently selected.]
This effectively makes it a lot easier to use and also a bit like Safari.
Never forget a tab
We have all done it. Shutdown the PC/Mac with a cool site in the browser that we can not remember how to get to, and then spend half the day trawling our history to see if we can find it.
Well, worry no more. Session Saver is here to help. It will save all currently open tabs. So when if you shut down your browser, and then restart, all your tabs miraculously reappear. [Be warned. It does not save half filled out forms. Just the URL.]
Stumble Upon is one of the most addictive extensions there is. By giving it some metrics you can stumble on pages that might interest you and then rate them as to if they did or did not interest you, so that they can serve you better pages in future.
Of course there is a catch to this cool extension. Every now and again they direct you to a comercial site based on your preferences. If you are a privacy nut, or have an addicitive personality, stay away.
What this means, to the layman, is that you can format any page in your browser exactly how you want it. Regardless of how the web site designer designed it.
It is quite difficult to explain. Just go to the