Fireday - Firefox extension reviews for December 7, 2007
This week: DZone Voter
Developers just love to get new code tips and techniques, so when DZone appeared, I definitely ate this site up. Think of DZone as a Digg for developers.
People post articles or sites relating to programming, design, or web-related techniques and the community cast their votes for the most popular articles.
There is one problem that users of DZone face. When a user clicks on a post to read the content and you are taken to the article on a different web site, you have to go back to the voting page of that article and cast your vote. It's kind of clunky, but it seems most social networks work that way.
A brand new extension called the DZone Voter fixes this problem and allows you to visit any site and vote for it.
The DZone Voter extension takes DZone voting all over the Internet. If you are on a programming page that already exists, you can immediately vote for that article.
DZone Voter is extremely small with an installation size of 17k. After you restart Firefox, the DZone Voter extension will appear in the statusbar.
Being such a compact extension (which I love), DZone Voter solves the "chicken or the egg" problem: How can I cast a vote for an article that I never read and how can I read the article and then cast my vote for the quality of the article?
If you come across a web page that already exists in the DZone list of articles, a small DIV will appear in the top right-hand corner of your browser window. The up and down votes will appear and allow you to cast your vote for this article. Quick and painless.
If you don't see a small DIV box appear, left-click on the DZ icon in the statusbar. A submit link appears. If you think the page has quality content for a programming site and the link is worthwhile, submit it.
Along with the submission and voting of DZone articles, another cool feature appears when you hover your mouse over the icon in the statusbar:
- Left-Click: Shows/Hides the voting area.
- Middle-Click: Picks a random article on DZone.
- Right-Click: Show the context menu.
The context menu shows the following:
- View most popular links
- View newest links
- View votes and comments
- Show/Hide voting area.
As mentioned above, the DZone Voter's configuration screen is located under the Context menu.
There are only four options that you can configure. They handle how your most popular links, newest links, and votes and comments should behave when you click on them. Open a new window, new tab, or open it in the current tab.
The fourth option is a checkbox for when you want the floating area always visible when following a link from DZone.
The options are in a convenient location, but I also went to the Tools -> Add-Ons and looked for the DZone Voter options. They were on the context menu, but disabled on the Add-Ons dialog box.
Ever since DZone's inception, I've always been a follower of the site. The DZone Voter extension is definitely part of my Firefox tools now. It's like having a mobile DZone assistant telling you what developer sites are popular, which ones suck, and which ones have quality content as you travel the programming web sites.
Overall, 5 out of 5. Oh yeah!
After next week, I will be taking some time off from writing and working on the site itself for 2008.
I will be adding a lot of additional Firefox and small business features. I just need the time to work on them.
And since it's the holiday season, I'm trying to pry myself away from my home office to spend time with my family.
Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.
When asked what he likes doing in his spare time, he answers..."programming."
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