Fireday - Firefox extension reviews for March 30, 2007

This week: eBay Buddy and FireDoodle

March 30th, 2007 at 3:00am — Comments: (0) — By: Jonathan Danylko — Tags: Fireday

Yes, I missed last week. I'm sorry folks, but it's amazing when you have a ton of projects on your mind and need to focus on just one.

Also, make sure you vote for the top add-on reviews at the Firefox Add-Ons Reviews Contest. Tomorrow is the last day to vote.

Here we go with this weeks extensions.

eBay Buddy

Rating: 5/5

Since I did a special edition of Fireday with eBay extensions, I've had users write me and ask if there were any more extensions worth owning if you were an avid eBay-er.

Why, as a matter of fact, yes, there is.

The eBay Buddy is an extension that gives you a quicker and easier way of maneuvering around eBay with a context menu. Every section within eBay is located in the context menu.

eBay Buddy screenshot

After installing the eBay Buddy and restarting Firefox, right-click on any web page, and you'll be whisked away to the eBay section you selected. You can even jump right to your "my eBay" account.

If you want the eBay Buddy installed on your toolbar, click View/Toolbars/Customize. Find the eBay Buddy icon in your list and drag and drop it where it's most convenient for you. This is a nice feature and seems to be catching on with extension developers.

eBay Buddy provides a sitemap-like viewing of the eBay universe. I can imagine if eBay changes their architecture/urls, eBay Buddy will have a lot of changes to its extension users.

I really like this extension. I do very little with eBay, but my wife is the one who would benefit the most from it.

eBay Buddy gets a resounding 5 out of 5.


Rating: 4/5

Whiteboard, whiteboards, whiteboards. Everyone is into whiteboards nowadays. On- and off-line.

FireDoodle isn't any different. FireDoodle takes existing web pages and makes a whiteboard out of them. Hey web designers, here's another tool for viewing marked up sites from clients.

Install FireDoodle and restart Firefox. To use FireDoodle, you need to create an account. Use the FireDoodle main page to create your account. Once you're registered, you can start using the extension.

Notice in the top right hand corner of FireDoodle, a login section is available. Left-click on the "Log In?" text and enter in your user name and password to access your existing doodles. Naturally, if this is your first time, you'll be starting with a clean slate (Yuck, Yuck, Yuck!).

FireDoodle has four icons in the toolbar that focuses on your highlighted web pages: New, Save, Cancel, and a dropdown of your saved whiteboards. We'll get to the other two icons in a little bit.

To start a new whiteboard, click New. When I started using the FireDoodle on DCS Media, the highlighter was off. I went to a couple other sites and noticed that it only happened on certain sites. This is one issue that needs addressed.

The hot keys for FireDoodle are defined below:

  • Number keys 0-9 set the color of the highlighter
  • Dash (-) and Plus (+) define the thickness of the highlighter
  • Left ([) and Right (]) bracket sets the opacity of the highlighter
  • 'C' clears the whiteboard without closing the highlighter

Now, to the other two icons to the right. An additional feature was added to FireDoodle that is great for long web pages as described in the YouTube video on the main page. Placemarks allow users to define "bookmarks" in web pages so you can jump directly to them later. I'd rather call them "User Anchors." If you're a web designer, you know what I'm talking about (<a name="number">).

FireDoodle is a great tool. As I mentioned before, it's great for web designers who want to draw on an existing web page to make notes while presenting the draft of a page to clients. Since it hasn't even hit the 1.0 mark (currently 0.5 Beta), the current version has great potential and I'm eager to see the released version.

Hope everyone liked this week's reviews. I'll see ya next week.

If anyone has questions, please post them below or Contact me directly.

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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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