BetterSearch 1.7 for Firefox

BetterSearch is an excellent example of the sort of cool extensions that people are writing for Firefox. BetterSearch enhances Google and other search engines by including thumbnails of the pages returned as search results. Its got pretty sophisticated options, too — I’ve got it set up to show small thumbnails and then big thumbnails on a mouseover. At least with Google, its building the thumbnails based on the Google cache of the page.

Very cool.

The Missing FireFox Extension

Okay, so FireFox went 1.0 and if you’re still using Internet Explorer you’d be crazy not to download and run it. More features than IE, and much less security risk.

One of the cool things about FireFox are all of the extensions that add to the browser’s usefulness. But there’s still one extension I have yet to see.

Back when it was still called FireBird, FireFox had a cool feature where it would tell you in the status bar exactly how long the page you were viewing too to load. That feature got removed based on the claim that it was a developer-only style feature that normal users didn’t care about. An alternate version is that people complained (wrongly in my view) that early builds of FireBird/Fox were slower than IE.

Regardless, it was a useful feature and I for one hope someone writes an extension that restores that capability.

How Do I Love Firefox? Let Me Count the Ways

When I first started using what was then called FireBird and is now FireFox it was for one, and only one, reason — I had grown to hate Internet Explorer for all of the usual reasons. The tabbed browsing was a big plus, but I was ultimately just trying to get away from IE.

As FireFox nears its 1.0 release, however, it is a full-blown platform that is so far above and beyond Internet Explorer that I’m surprised everyone isn’t using it just for the additional functionality.

Microsoft keeps discussing its LifeBits project which someday might let you capture some or all of the web pages you visit automatically. Yawn. A free FireFox extension, Slogger can do that today.

Yes, other browsers have tabs, but FireFox has a number of extensions such as Tab Browser Preferences and Focus Last Tab Selected that allow the user to fine tune tabbed browsing to best fit you he or she works.

And then there are extremely cool experimental extensions such as Wikalong which turns the sidebar into a Wiki to provide a collaborative web-wide annotation system, and presumably user or group-specific ones eventually.

Thank goodness there’s a real alternative to that piece of crap IE.