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Thread: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

  1. #1
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    Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    <sarcasm>In an effort to make my browser as slow as possible on my i5 naturally I try to add as many extensions as possible. </sarcasm>

    What addons for Firefox (or Chrome I guess) do you like?

    I added Tree Style Tab recently.

    That addon pushes tabs into a side bar and lists them vertically instead of listing them in a row on the top of the browser.

    It's nice because it scales much better and can optionally group the tabs logically automatically; aside from taking up quite a bit of screen space it is the way to do tabs IMO.

    It has an autohide option but I do not like not being able to see my open tab descriptions.

    FF has a built-in feature that consolidates tabs nicely but requires manually manipulation to achieve, so I like how Tree Style Tabs does it automagically for me.

    Since Firefox removed the built-in stop gif animation feature (previously bound to ESC) I added Super Stop to regain that feature.

    Although I don't have it loaded all the time, Abduction is nice if you need to capture an entire web page as a screenshot.

    It saves the time to take multiple screen shots then stitch them together in photoshop.

    The Tineye Reverse Image Search is nice if you use that a lot.

    In order to have a feature similar to Safari's built-in Reading List feature I am using the "Save for Later" addon.

    It is basically a local version of Instapaper as far as I can tell.

    I use Youtube High Definition in order to automatically set Youtube videos to their maximum quality upon loading the page.

    The main ones I use are Adblock Plus and Noscript though.

    Noscript is the main reason I use Firefox to be honest; the other browsers either do not have something like that or they do not work as well.

    Reddit Enhancement Suite is basically mandatory if you use Reddit much; it makes a lot of things very convenient and adds new stuff that the site can't (or claims to) not be able to do server side for performance reasons.

    Currently I am using Lastpass to manage secure passwords without the massive brain strain associated with having unique secure passwords everywhere otherwise.

    I would like to drop that eventually but I have not put together or found a local version that works comparably well.

    I know if it is something that is a pain to use I won't.

    Protecting my future self from my current self's potential idiocy is the main motivation for that, lessons that have been repeatedly reinforced through disasters.

    I tried out Sage as a RSS reader but it lacks some functionality that I would like, so I was not super happy with it; it works okayish though.

    I am looking for an addon that manages bookmarks in a smart way as that is something that just grows into an unmanageable heap for me and becomes difficult to find stuff I am looking for later on.

    So if you know of something that does that well please let me know.

    I am also using omnibar so that Firefox's address bar works like Chrome's and I can search Duck Duck Go or enter website without switching text fields or having another text field take up space; I am not sure why that is not default in FF but whatever.

    Also, if you know of a good RSS reader on any browser (other than IE and Opera) let me know as well.

  2. #2
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    In addition to Adblock Plus and NoScript, which you already mentioned, I most frequently use:

    - Cookie Monster. Gives you quick options on which cookies to accept or reject rather than turning them on or off globally.
    - Sticky Password Autofill. Browser counterpart to the Sticky Password manager.
    - TabMix Plus. Improves tab options.
    - HTTPS-Everywhere. Automatically switches to HTTPS on supported sites.
    - Ghostery. Selectively blocks trackers from ad companies, social networks and such.
    - Better Privacy. Blocks Flash cookies ("super cookies").

  3. #3
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Quote Originally Posted by Yaxa View Post
    In addition to Adblock Plus and NoScript, which you already mentioned, I most frequently use:

    - Cookie Monster. Gives you quick options on which cookies to accept or reject rather than turning them on or off globally.
    - Sticky Password Autofill. Browser counterpart to the Sticky Password manager.
    - TabMix Plus. Improves tab options.
    - HTTPS-Everywhere. Automatically switches to HTTPS on supported sites.
    - Ghostery. Selectively blocks trackers from ad companies, social networks and such.
    - Better Privacy. Blocks Flash cookies ("super cookies").
    I actually use https-everywhere and better privacy as well, they are pretty esoteric though so I left them out. I think the user has to go to EFFs site to get https-everywhere though; I don't recall being able to find it through Firefox's addong search.

    Regarding Ghostery, is the advantage to using it in addition to noscript/adblock plus so that the user is aware if any trackers are loaded that are not already blocked (and Ghostery would then allow to block it)? I used it for a bit in one setup but uninstalled it due to uncertainty of whether there was any point in using it in addition to noscript.

  4. #4
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Quote Originally Posted by MI Redeux View Post
    Regarding Ghostery, is the advantage to using it in addition to noscript/adblock plus so that the user is aware if any trackers are loaded that are not already blocked (and Ghostery would then allow to block it)? I used it for a bit in one setup but uninstalled it due to uncertainty of whether there was any point in using it in addition to noscript.
    I like being able to see exactly what kind of crap sites are serving with their content. It's true that there's some redundancy, especially when you add Cookie Monster into the mix. But I haven't noticed any adverse effects.

  5. #5
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    .
    Last edited by MI Redeux; July 7th, 2013 at 02:06 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/reader/ Adds the reader functionality found in Safari and Chrome to Firefox, very nice

  7. #7
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Quote Originally Posted by Yaxa View Post
    I like being able to see exactly what kind of crap sites are serving with their content. It's true that there's some redundancy, especially when you add Cookie Monster into the mix. But I haven't noticed any adverse effects.
    It looks like there were a number of trackers that my usage of noscript did not block, so there is utility in Ghostery for me.

  8. #8
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    I thought of something that would be useful and provide parallel utility to that found in other information domains: a way to save archive web pages completely for later usage.

    I have not seen a method that proposes this that actually works as hoped, and obviously this would not work for all cases, however for the purpose of merely archiving information it should be possible to do in a complete manner I think.

    I have encountered issues related to not having this ubiquitously with useful domains that had excellent information and research vanishing. It is common to not delete anything when it comes to mail or rss or news in emacs as an example, however there is not something for web pages (emacs does not have a proper browser as but one reason for this).

    ***EDIT****

    I found something that meets all these criteria: http://maf.mozdev.org/ It's not a finalized spec as of yet, but it is a WIP; the addon is very nice.
    Last edited by MI Redeux; July 9th, 2013 at 01:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    I must say that I am really loving being able to archive pages easily and in an open format. I can foresee a lot of my disk space taken up this way.

  10. #10
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Quote Originally Posted by MI Redeux View Post
    Tree Style Tab
    Does this allow you to customize tab label width (or in this case, height) below the minimum that firefox does?

    I DESPISE HAVING TO HIT ARROW BUTTONS WHEN I HAVE x NUMBER OF TABS OPEN.

    Firefox 4 removed the ability to set TabMinWidth to "0" and have it actually function. (I stop opening tabs when I can't read enough to know what they are in order anymore, but I miss never having to scroll and regularly have 2 or 3 browser windows open, some with 20+ tabs each. I miss being able to have 1 with 40+.)
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  11. #11
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrick ap'Milandra View Post
    Does this allow you to customize tab label width (or in this case, height) below the minimum that firefox does?

    I DESPISE HAVING TO HIT ARROW BUTTONS WHEN I HAVE x NUMBER OF TABS OPEN.

    Firefox 4 removed the ability to set TabMinWidth to "0" and have it actually function. (I stop opening tabs when I can't read enough to know what they are in order anymore, but I miss never having to scroll and regularly have 2 or 3 browser windows open, some with 20+ tabs each. I miss being able to have 1 with 40+.)
    It turns your open tab list into a tree. It looks like this more or less



    The extension has a lot of options on how it should look aesthetically and how to show parent/child relationships with tabs.

    Presenting tabs this way makes a lot more sense (on wide screen monitors) than how it is done in all other browsers because it scales much better and instead of wasting more limited vertical real estate with a tab strip it uses the much more available horizontal real estate.

    I would not go back to presenting tabs any other way having used it for a while now; the alternatives seem incompetent in comparison.

  12. #12
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    All of these extensions are making my browser lag hard at times, even though FF takes up less memory and has low latency in general. I have awesome battery life changing from laptops but even with the most recent i5 iteration and the fastest DDR3 memory (I think, don't feel like looking this shit up) and a SSD things go to shit at times, especially when I have Newsblur opened up.

  13. #13
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    I have really been liking Image Picker, Abduction, and Flash and Video Download though lately.

    Image Picker is a very well executed addon that allows quick saving of images, especially tons of them.

    It can even save images on a selective, domain level, which is very valuable as a lot of images are hosted on imgur or minus that I look at.

    Abduction is something I rarely use, but when I need it it is invaluable. It allows one to grab an entire screen shot of a web page, which means that I won't have to take multiple screen shots and stitch them together in photoshop; it's a huge time saver in those cases.

    Flash and Video Downloader pick up where Mozilla's Web Page Archiver leaves off as it allows me to archive entire videos offline or just save them for later viewing, which is nice when wanting to view very long presentations or wanting them for long term reference.

    As you can tell I lean on a lot of extensions to transform content into a way that is much more elegant and durable long term, which is invaluable for myself.

    All of this has made me super aware of how shitty computing is currently and how much everyone needs an environment that is scriptable across the entire userspace through a uniform manner.

    Currently that does not exist in any fashion.

    Take my desire for a yank and kill ring outside of emacs.

    Nothing like that exists anywhere!

    Sure, I can make it, however that does not solve my problem uniformly across all of my devices.

    The thing is, the sort of UI I want has been readily achievable for decades yet apps have eschewed such a work flow and *nix environments have abandoned that entirely as well, pursuing the horribly brain dead windows desktop instead.

    What is apparent now though, and possibly predictable at the time was that chasing another platform in a one-to-one way is never going to work for attracting users to the UI completely.

    They will just stick to the thing being targeted instead.

    What has been successful and what Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin got is that being different and undeniably good is what is required to make a killer app, pursuing homogeneity won't work totally ever.

    Both are dead though and no one else has fanatically pursued that in an all encompassing manner.

    We are just left with a legacy and a downward spiral to shittier states.

    Since no environment has made a truly uniform platform that pursues this, or even makes it possible, the only way I can have this is by making my entire workflow funnel transparently through the same app, which is a crying shame as the UNIX philosophy of every tool doing one thing well and working together is so much nicer and avoids feature creep that leads to a sluggish hell scape.

    At least that is something that is solvable through throwing hardware at the problem though, assuming the app's sluggishness does not grow faster than the ability to throw hardware at it does.

    If that is not true the approach fails horribly, something that Rob Pike encountered when trying to solve Google's problem of attempting go manage Google's increasingly complex or burdensome build issues, because the entire technology was broken it wasn't something he could solve within the tech itself and had to scrape the approach to manage growth's latent effects.

    What is interesting is that despite this, Google continues to go to the well that has a huge hiring pool instead of training people to use technology that solves their issues.

    If we accept that Google is an innovative company, John Carmack's point about being unable to move to such tech at ID because of inertia becomes even more salient.

    He is one of the rare people who just get things on a level that exceeds his peers by light years, even when they steadfastly disagree he inevitably is found correct.

  14. #14
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    On Newsblur, I think it is a good implementation except for using RSS to manage mailing lists at which point it completely falls on its face and is virtually incomprehensibly, especially for busy mailing lists, which means that an actual newsreader is necessary to interface with this, of which there are many in emacs, but it is not possible to view that within emacs with a fully competent browser like FF or Chrome. There are some partial implementations but for anything not basic it is not going to work, and implementing a browser from scratch is nontrivial both to bring up to date and then continue with.

  15. #15

    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    For me the absolute most vital addon is Adblock Plus.
    "When you name your baby Jeeves...you've pretty much set up his career for life. You don't see many Hit Men, for example, named Jeeves. "Pardon me sir, but I must wack you now."
    — Jerry Seinfeld

  16. #16
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Quote Originally Posted by FilanFyretracker View Post
    For me the absolute most vital addon is Adblock Plus.
    Not having that is why viewing the web on my iPad or iPhone on some sites is hell. Advertisements have made the Internet unusable without extensions.

  17. #17

    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    I dunno about Apple but for awhile on Android you could get system wide adblocking if you were rooted. It got nixed from the Google App Store because well I think advertisers cried.
    "When you name your baby Jeeves...you've pretty much set up his career for life. You don't see many Hit Men, for example, named Jeeves. "Pardon me sir, but I must wack you now."
    — Jerry Seinfeld

  18. #18

    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    There's a firefox extension that I like that vibrates your browser window when an earthquake happens anywhere. its fully customisable down to region/country/magnitude etc.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Adblockplus for android still works. You just need to side load it. Don't need root, just the ability to proxy your wifi connection (point local). Doesn't work so well on the cell data from what I can see though.

    https://adblockplus.org/en/android

  20. #20
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    Re: Firefox/Chrome Extensions That You Like

    Here's what I am running lately, some of which address features Mozilla has for no apparent reason removed (click to play and a shortcut UI and escape to stop gif animations).

    Customizable Shortcuts: adds the ability to (once again) change what the shortcut keys are bound to in Firefox without having to modify a cryptic confid file.

    Youtube High Definition: videos on youtube are automatically set to play at their maximum quality

    SuperStop: pressing Shift+Esc caused animated Gifs to stop, it was just Esc before, and is no longer available in FF by default. That is very nice on a lot of forums to have if you are similarly annoyed by animations playing while trying to read a long post.

    Tree Style Tab: this one is the reason I use Firefox above everything else. I have not seen anything similar on other browsers. I often have tens to over a hundred tabs open and this groups them automatically in a way that does not result in a quagmire of tabs.

    Enable Click to Play: this allows activating plugins on a need by basis instead of having to have them turned on or off all the time for all domains, which is a pretty stupid decision to force as Flash etc. are massive attack vectors on their own.

    Omnibar: merges the search bar and address bar together so that 1) less real estate is taken up with non-content stuff and 2) makes the address bar multiple functions, which is pretty logical with how it works

    Https-Everywhere: dubious utility nowadays, but I like it for most cases, in particular it prevents less sophisticated traffic analysis by the network used.

    Mozilla Archive Format: I am still liking this the best for archival purposes; it does not fully encapsulate a site's content if it is heavy on Javascript for enabling the desired content, but for articles etc. it is great.

    LastPass: I am not super happy with this solution for various reasons, but the way I would like to do it is not as seamless of an experience and I am to lazy to rectify that. Ideally I could simply have FF use a local GPG file that has all my passwords and user names in it. As I trust the FSF about 90 million times more than LastPass.

    NoScript: This is another reason Firefox is invaluable to me; aside from JS as an attack vector, it saves a ton of resources for me, which is an issue if you have loads of tabs open and also pages are generally rendered as less of a clusterfuck.

    Ghostery: Blocks a lot of trackers with minimal effort on my part, also see the resource usage from above.

    Adblock Plus: see above

    Abduction: makes saving an entire webpage or a selection of it as an image a lot faster for lazy people like myself.

    Image Picker: makes saving a tab with a lot of images in it a lot easier for lazy people like myself

    Self-Destructing Cookies: makes management of cookies much easier for lazy people like myself

    Reddit Enhancement Suite: This makes Reddit about 90 million times more usable and much faster to work through.

    Readablity: Finally, this is the one that has been the most useful and one I could not find a comparably competent extension to add Safari's Reader functionality or Chrome's Reader functionality to Firefox before hand. There were some, but they were not quite as good at extraction. This also has a Reading list available like what Safari has. The major downside with this is that it uses an external site to do the extraction and reading list storage instead of doing everything locally, something I really do not like as I try to avoid any walled gardens completely, which is why I do not use Twitter or FB seriously. I wish I could just pay for this and have it used locally instead of a third party's external APIs, alas no.


    On the Youtube et al. download front, I am still trying out various ones. Flash Video Downloader is probably the most competent one that I have ran into however it is really close if not already adware, especially on Windows, which seems majorly shady to me, so I am not using it at present. I am trying out some others though.

    RSS reader: nothing good on this front, so I am using newsblur.com, which to be honest, really takes an exorbitant amount of resources when I have it loaded up. What is nice about it is that it is open source and does a so so job of content extraction and presentation, so the situation ran into with Reeder and Google Reader is not an issue, worst case scenario it is forked and I keep on trucking. I really wish Reeder would just be updated though, but it also has the same issues as Readability does. I like just using a separate RSS reader than having it built into the browser though at present, since they all seem to suck or be nonexistent. Reeder has a lot of presence on iOS or Android but not on the desktop 8(

    Wish list: I wish Firefox integrated better with OS X's services, which are very nice once they are actually used, in particular the Summarize, Dictionary, and open selection in an external Text Editor, the last of which is really valuable to me when my posts start turning into dissertations on the human condition, since I have lost quite a few manifestos to my browser.

    One thing that FF is the worst at is the UI for managing bookmarks and such. I had a nice one, however, one day it updated and nuked all of my bookmarks, which I cleverly did not have saved anywhere else, so I have been managing those manually since then.
    Last edited by MI Redeux; October 30th, 2013 at 09:52 AM.

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