Fireday - Firefox extension reviews for March 16, 2007
This week: CSSMate and TabGroups
It seems the Firefox Add-ons Promotion Contest is about over (End of month). Make sure you head over and check out all of the excellent reviews that users have submitted.
Its definitely worth it.
For designers, the best tool to use when designing a web page is a dynamic CSS add-on that takes your existing CSS, modifies it, and views your changes immediately. Using something similar to Web Developer's edit CSS option is fantastic for a one-size-fits-all add-on, but if you want something a little more slim and trim, i would recommend CSSMate.
After installation, CSSMate is activated through either the View/Sidebar/CSSMate pulldown menu or by using the shortcut keystroke of Ctrl-Shift-8. The sidebar opens on the left and loads all of the CSS files associated with the web page you are currently on. As soon as you make a change to the CSS, the web page is instantly refreshed with your changes.
According to the author, 90% of the extension was gutted and completely rewritten. I haven't ran the previous version, but you can tell when a version of a piece of software is coded properly.
Overall, the extension is a solid 5 out of 5.
When tabbed browsing was introduced in Firefox, I knew they had something that was indispensible for surfing the web. It eliminated the need for cluttering the OS with so many additional windows, you didn't know where you initially started or stopped.
The idea behind TabGroups consists of taking a common list of tabs and putting them into another grouped tab, organizing your bookmarks even more.
At first, I didn't think much about grouped tabs until I looked over my bookmark toolbar. That's how Firefox is already thinking! I already was starting to collect grouped bookmarks on my bookmark toolbar. Each item in my bookmark toolbar was already considered a group. It started to make sense.
TabGroups is considered alpha software and is pretty functional already for demonstration purposes. This was taken into consideration when finally rated.
One issue was the ability to open multiple bookmarks into one group. I have a couple of web stats sites that I look at often, so I thought I'd add a new group by clicking on the "new group" button on the left hand side and "Open all in tabs." It opened four sites in the first tab group and then proceeded to add another tab group and added the remaining two sites into the second group.
This is considered minor and may have been a theme issue as opposed to an extension issue, but when a new group was added, the tabs weren't consistent with the browser's theme. Again, it's probably an easy fix.
Saving the groups of tabs would be a great feature as well.
Experienced Firefox users are already using bookmarks in a grouping fashion by using folders and TabGroups provides a more suitable way for novices to group and organize their bookmarks.
Hope everyone liked this weeks reviews. I'll see ya next week.
If anyone has questions, please post them below or Contact me directly.
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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