Fireday - Firefox extension reviews for July 13, 2007

This week: FoxSaver

July 13th, 2007 at 4:00am — Comments: (3) — By: Jonathan Danylko — Tags: Fireday

FoxSaver

Rating: 3/5

One of the things I like about Windows is when Windows is idle for a period of time, the screensaver kicks in and optionally locks the PC. If you wanted to make your own screensaver, you'd need some programming skill. Luckily, there is a screen saver for Firefox in an add-on called FoxSaver.

In my opinion, the FoxSaver add-on is another staple in moving Firefox towards the image of an OS (operating system) as opposed to being "just a browser." When Firefox is idle for a period of time, FoxSaver starts the screensaver mode until you right-click your mouse, which returns you to the current web page.

Of course, the installation of FoxSaver was simple, but the configuration of this extension is another story altogether.

When installed, an icon with the words "FoxSaver" appears on the status bar. Right-clicking on the FoxSaver icon displays three options in the context menu: FoxSaver Start, Disable AutoStart FoxSaver, and the About box.

Click on the FoxSaver Start option to run the screen saver. I have to admit that the pictures that I saw were very cool and attractive. Ok, let's get down to business...Where's that configuration dialog so I can add my own pictures?

I immediately went to the Tools drop down and Add-ons configuration screen and clicked on the FoxSaver add-on. My heart sank when I noticed that the Options button was completely disabled. I can't speak for everyone, but I would definitely be interested in managing a list of my own pictures, either locally or URL, for my FoxSaver.

The Disable Autostart FoxSaver feature turns the screensaver on and off, which can be easily accessed by left-clicking on the icon in the status bar.

The About box should just be left off of the context menu for the amount of information provided in it. I received more information from the add-on dialog box than the about box.

Another feature that I think the author should include in the future as an option is the ability to password-protect the screen saver. I'm sure a lot of users would love this feature.

Overall, I like the concept of using Firefox as a screensaver, but the drawback of telling your audience that they can't use their own pictures is limiting the architecture of having an extension to begin with. With further development, I would definitely revisit FoxSaver and review the add-on again once it was fine-tuned.


I'll see ya next week.

If you want your Firefox add-on reviewed, please contact me with the URL and I'll let you know when it's reviewed.

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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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3 Comments

  1. July 15th, 2007 at 3:28pm
    Hi, Jonathan,

    Thanks for the nice detailed review!

    The first release is really a trial for the concept, and it basically no configuration for the user. :)

    But after one week's hard work, we have added some new features, like controllable timeout, detecting youbute.com, options to remove special effects to save CPU, and avoid possible memory leaking.

    And we are working on the configurations. Your suggestions are very good and we will be working on it!

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions!

    Chris Lu
  2. Melissa
    July 20th, 2007 at 10:14am
    How do I stop FoxSaver? Can anyone help? The pictures are driving me mad.
  3. Jonathan Danylko
    July 20th, 2007 at 5:29pm
    Melissa,

    There is an "Disable Autostart FoxSaver" when you left-click on the icon in the status bar.

    Select this option and it will stop the madness. :-)

    JD

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