2006-03-24

Why I use Firefox (and everybody else should...)

Mixel asked me to make a list of the plugins I use for Firefox to surf the web, so here it goes...
First, I'll repeat some advantages it has over other web browsers:

  • It's multiplatform, which is good for a person like me using MacOS, Linux, and Windogs machines...
  • It's open source, meaning not only free, but that enthusiasts can check the code, and easily add their own improvements.
  • Features include: tabbed browsing, search engine box (where you can add searches from hundreds of search tools. I use, among others, Google Scholar, Amazon.com, Yandex.ru, Webster's Dictionary, and Wikipedia... so I can make searches in no time in these sites), and themes (I use iFox, which integrates it nicely with MacOS look and feel)
Now, all these are similar to other nice browsers, such as Safari, Galeon, Konqueror, or Netscape. (Notice how IE is not in the list of "nice browsers...." it doesn't even have tabbed browsing!!!). But, what takes Firefox a level above all browsers (at least for my needs), is the diversity of plugins you can download (actually called extensions), developed by the user community, for the community... Here I list some of my favourite (I have more than 20 installed....)
  • Bookmarks Synchronizer. I can upload my bookmarks to my website, so that I can check them from any computer, and download from other computers... great for keeping them up to date...
  • AdBlock. Simply right-click on an annoying ad, send it to adblock, and you'll never see it again... It blocks strings, so you can use it to block whole domains or directories... No more garbage, thank you! And, recently, you can update automatically the filterset with this extension!
  • All-In-One Sidebar. This extension enables you to control History, Bookmarks, Extensions, Themes, etc., from a single sidebar. You can even send webpages to the sidebar, to browse two sites at a time...
  • Auto Copy. Copy a text into the clipboard just by selecting it (like in Linux). Would be great to have this for the whole OS...
  • Tab Mix Plus. You can control much better your tabs, e.g. go to last visited tab after closing, restore closed tabs, merge windows, restore closed and crashed sessions...
  • All-In-One Gestures. Control everything with your mouse.
  • Blogger Web Comments. See what blogs say about the page you are browsing, or add easily a comment on the page you're broswing to your blog...
  • ForecastFox. Weather forecast at hand...
  • FoxyTunes. Control your music player from a Firefox toolbar...
  • Google Toolbar
  • Google Suggest. Suggests common searches in the Search Engine box...
  • eReader. Makes online reading of long texts a nicer experience... printing can be expensive...
  • DownTHEmall! For massive downloads... no more monotonous click and save...
There are much more, the best option is just to try them... I'm sure you'll find several that you never knew you couldn't live without... For example, there are several extensions for collaborative browsing and sharing, such as del.icio.us, stumbleupon, and flickr...

So, what are you waiting for? Get Firefox!

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