Bembel-B Blog

2006/01/23

My favoured Firefox Extensions arsenal

Filed under: Firefox,Firefox Extensions,Linux,Mozilla,software,Windows — FrankZabbath @ 22:27

Mozilla applications allow to extend their functionality by installing so called Extensions. Here you’ll find a quick write-up on my choice for Firefox 1.0.6 on Linux. Most Extensions are also running under Windows and should be available for Firefox 1.5 meanwhile.
I used German localized versions when available. These are often not (yet) included in the original Extension versions and were found at erweiterungen.de. Theses non-official German locales are marked with [de] in the list below.

Upgrade to Firefox 1.5!

Bookmarks

Bookmark Duplicate Detector [de] 0.0.1
When trying to add an already existent URL to your bookmarks, a dialog box will pop up asking you whether you really want to create a duplicate bookmark.

Bookmarks Synchronizer 1.0.1
Lets you upload and synchronize your whole bookmarks or just a certain bookmarks folder via FTP or WebDAV using the XBEL XML format. A great tool! You can also use it, to sync your bookmarks with SiteBar servers (after installing an XBEL addon on the SiteBar server).

Enhanced Bookmark Search [de] 0.1.4.03
Extends the very basic bookmark search function to searching for URL, description, keywords even with logical operators like “begins with”, “contains not” etc.

Flat Bookmark Editing [de] 0.7
Now you can edit bookmark’s properties in the bookmark manager directly in a bottom window pane, so you won’t have to open a popup window for each bookmark.

Locate in Bookmark Folders [de] 0.2.4
Circumvents the annoying fact, that in a bookmark search result listing you can’t edit nor view bookmark properties nor see its hierarchical folder location. Now you can rightclick on a bookmark search result to open the full bookmarks view with the chosen bookmark focused.

OpenBook [de] 1.3.4
When creating a new bookmark you can edit its URL and also specify description and keywords and choose its folder location.

Search Engines

Advanced Search Sidebar 0.1.7.4
A Search Sidebar as found in the Mozilla Browser. You can define and group search engines. The search result listing will be displayed in the Sidebar.

Search Engine Ordering [de] 0.5.2
Lets you order and delete the search engines directly in the search bar dropdown menu.

SmartSearch [de] 2.8
Firefox keyword searches, normally only available through the address bar, can be triggered for highlighted text in a website via the context menu. Very useful!

Navigation and Usability

All-in-One Gestures [de] 0.17.4
Customizable mouse gestures support for many of Firefoxes functions plus new functions like removing any object from a website. You can also directly access the history for the current tab.

Enhanced History Manager 0.5.8.04
Similar to the Enhanced Bookmark Search this Extension adds a second History Manager with advanced search functionality, detailed listing, editing.

FlashGot 0.5.9.99
Provides integration for dozens of download managers. You can highlight multiple links and let them get downloaded in one bunch. Has many other features!

Image Zoom 0.2.3
Images and text of a website can be resized with the mousewheel.

Open Long Url [de] 0.2.2
Adds a dialog to open URLs spanning multiple lines. You can define characters to be removed from an URL like “>” used as quotation marks in e-mails.

Paste and Go [de] 0.4.3
Lets you paste an URL from the clipboard to the address bar and submit it in one single operation via Ctl+Sh+V or the context menu. This also works for the search bar (Ctl+Sh+S).

Show Image [de] 0.3
Images get a context menu item to reload only that image (and not the entire page). Useful for handling “broken” images.

Tab Mix Plus [de] 0.3
A powerful tabbed browsing Extension. Complex configuration of when and how tabs will be opened. Multiple tab header lines, x-symbol to close a specific tag, disable javascript or plugins etc. for a tab, prevent a tag from changing/reloading, mark unread tabs, mouse navigation through tabs, tab history and recovery. Many more features. Seems to be the best tabbed browsing Extension around!

Configuration Utilities

Locale Switcher 0.3
Define the locale (language) Firefox should run with.

Mimetype Editor [de] 0.2
Edit and add MIME types and their handling.

Mozex 1.07.1
A modded version of the official mozex Extension specially for use with Firefox. You can easily define external applications to be used for certain protocols (news://, irc:// etc.), an application to view site source, and also integrate your favorite text-editor for forms’ textareas.

MR Tech Local Install [de] 4.0
Heavily simplifies the use of the Extension Manager. Sorting of Extensions, easy installation of saved Extensions via a file open dialog, generate a report of installed Extensions.

Tweak Network Settings [de] 1.0
You can set maximum number of simultaneous connections and HTTP pipelining support.

User Agent Switcher [de] 0.6.7
Chose the user agent string to be sent from a editable list. Newer be bored with websites telling you “You must use Internet Exploder to access this website”!

Miscellaneous

BugMeNot [de] 0.9
Integration of the BugMeNot database. Login forms are filled and optionally even submitted.

CuteMenus [de] 0.4
Additional menu icons. I use the Smoke CuteMenus icons (had to be installed manually) with the Smoke Firefox Theme. Get smoky at Aaron Spuler’s website.

Get File Size [de] 1.1.3
Shows you the file size and date of a linked URL in the Link Properties when available. You can also display the raw HTTP server headers.

Greasemonkey 0.5.3
A genius Extension allowing you to change webpages’ sourcecode on the fly adding javascript commands on the client-side.

Sitebar Sidebar 1.01
A Sidebar for displaying a SiteBar webinterface.

Other Extensions that might be useful for you (but not me)

As I filter advertisements and other annoyances with Squid in combination with adzapper under Linux as well as under Windows/Cygwin, I don’t need an extra ad blocking Extension. But the following seems to be a good choice for browser side ad blocking.

Adblock Plus
Extended version of Adblock ad blocker with whitelist support.

Adblock Filterset.G Updater
Periodical automatic download and import of Filterset.G filterlists (including whitelists).

Caveats

Installing that many Extensions will result in a longer startup time and slightly less performance. But my Firefox (on an Athlon XP 2500+) starts in a few seconds and still many times faster than the good ole Mozilla Browser.
Incompatibilities and conflicts between Extensions is an issue. Some Extensions won’t run correctly at the same time, others have to be configured not to hookup the same functions. An example is tabbed browsing configuration and mouse handling.
The worst case caused by Extensions going mad is that Firefox not starting up. In that case use the -safe-mode parameter to skip loading any Extension and Themes.

Where to get Extensions

ChangeLog

[2006-04-23: Add tags.]

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Musical and social networking, acoustic fingerprints, music file tagging

Extend your musical experience, get your music files tagged correctly easier.
Last.fm Social Music Revolution

Last.fm

This free service is a combination of a musical and social network web-application based on the Audioscrobbler technology. You have to submit the music you listen to with your PC’s mediaplayer(s) via plugins, e.g. for me Rhythmbox, XMMS, Winamp. Based on that data, charts of your most “favorite” music are calculated and compared to other charts. Thereby you will be recommended artists you haven’t listened to yet and also people with comparable musical taste. You can also listen to webradio in context to your taste. Paying subscribers will get their own personalised webradio.
There are lots of other features (like fan listings and groups), so best check it out yourself.
I haven’t done research on whether this service is thrustworthy, but they seem to be quite nice ppl there! :) Privacy is taken seriously (server logs are deleted every 3 days) and the content is Creative Commons licensed. I guess they are enthusiasts (musically and IT-related) and earn their money through subscriptions, Amazon affiliation, reputation.
In the future Last.fm’s database will be fully coherent with MusicBrainz, in order to avoid collecting badly/differently tagged music data. So if available, use a plugin with MusicBrainz integration and/or tag your files like in the MusicBrainz database.
You can take a peek at my userpage at Last.fm.

MusicBrainz

A database collecting metadata (artist, album, title etc.) for every audio track. Tracks are identified by their acoustic fingerprints (TRM); that’s some checksum magically generated by the amplitude, frequency spectrum, length of a audio track, as far as I understand. The data is user-maintained.
On the project website you can browse the database, download software and keep yourself informed about the project’s development.

Tagging your music files (with Linux)

I tried 3 MusicBrainz enabled taggers for Linux. Most of my problems are probably caused by my old and broken Linux installation (Fedora Core 3), where the RPM database got wiped. With RPM and up-to-date software this shouldn’t be that much of a hassle.
So unfortunately I only got QMBTagger to run. There’s an (new) official MusicBrainz tagger called Picard Tagger, but I obviously failed to update from source to the required wxWindows/wxPython version. Kid3 compilation aborted with an error.
There are many tagging applications around, but my favorite so far is EasyTag! But no MusicBrainz support (at least in my version).
Guidelines for MusicBrainz compliant tagging seem to be: Use correct English upper- and lowercase spelling (e.g. “Tales from the Crypt” and not “Tales From The Crypt”), keep foreign spelling as-is (what about non latin letters?), keep “The”-prefix (i.e. “The Doors” and not “Doors”), don’t add anything to the album title like “CD2” or “EP”. But this is just my impression! I bet there’s an official guideline somewhere on the project site. And in the end, as this is user-driven, any spelling could be “correct”.. :/
And there’s also libid3tag and its command line utilities, which can be handy for mass tagging and checking tags..

Other interesting music related sites

Allmusic
A vast database of artists/bands featuring professional artist and album reviews, style categories, discographies and more.

Discogs
A community-based discography database.

Liveplasma
A neat 2D map displaying artists’/bands’ relations in style and involved persons(?). Formerly called Musicplasma.

rolldabeats
A database for drum & bass, jungle and related music.

Musicline
A (mainstream) music portal in German language including the commercial “rororo Rock Lexikon”.

ChangeLog

[2006-04-22: Add tags.]

2006/01/03

Copyright and license for this blog

Filed under: Copyright,Creative Commons,law — FrankZabbath @ 18:52

Left, right, left, right, Copyleft, Copyright.. My long march towards legal use of Intellectual Property.
First of all, I ain’t in no way as pedantic in normal life. Usually I feel I’m hardly a perfectionist. :) But I want to respect the authors with their generosity in “lessening” their traditional Copyright. I also see this as a learning exercise.
And finally, anything else would be illegal! I don’t want to receive a death penalty for violating the DMCA, as I still have other plans with my all-so-young life.

UPDATE: This posting is outdated. Please see the Copyright Notice page.

General Copyright and license for this blog

To avoid inconsistency, you preferably can find the rules for using my own work stated on every page of this blog. Most probably on its bottom or in a side panel.
Creative Commons License At the time of writing, all original content of whatever nature created by me, FrankZabbath, and included in this blog, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Blog themes

The design themes used on this blog are made available through Blogdrive and are free to use and modify for blogs hosted on Blogdrive.
As the themes are subject to change, you should find the author’s names in the source code of every page.

Bembel-B logo

Creative Commons License The photograph showing a bumble bee, as seen on this blog’s logo, is © 2004 Gilles Gonthier and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
Creative Commons License FrankZabbath, the author of this very blog, integrated it in this blog’s logo. This derivation is thereby © 2005 FrankZabbath and © 2004 Gilles Gonthier and is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Syndication buttons

Creative Commons License The original markup for the syndication buttons used on this blog are © Denise M. Howell and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 License.
Creative Commons License FrankZabbath, the author of this very blog, made some minor changes. This derivation is thereby © 2005 FrankZabbath and © Denise M. Howell and it is also licensed under a Creative Commons License.

ChangeLog

[2006-01-03: Fix Creative Commons licenses.]
[2006-04-23: Add tags.]
[2008-01-20: Strike out outdated passages. Refer to Copyright Notice page.]

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