Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Firefox Showcase Add-on - part two

I did in fact install the Firefox Showcase add-on as reported in the preceding blog post, and have any managed to remember that I intended to write something about it after having it installed, that being, I suppose, the time when one should generally write about software, after having it installed, although there are plenty of stories and articles and such written about things that not only haven't been installed and tested but which aren't yet available, or in many cases don't even exist.

Showcase does have the function that I want, to search for text in existing open tabs, so that you don't have to remember and hunt for something that you are think you have open already, or do as I tend to do and give up on finding the alread open tab and open a new tab and search for the desired content with Google.

Showcase also has a whole bunch of fancy features that I don't particulary want or need. Showcase will give you thumbnails of open tabs. I tend to have a lot tabs open, say, 20 to 80 tabs open in a window. The thumbnail default size is such that I can't read the text. There are means for setting and adjusting the thumbnail size, but I don't really want to have to learn a bunch of new controls and so on for adjusting the size of things that I will spend as little time on as tab thumbnails. Bad enough that I have to adjust the values of page zoom and text zoom so frequently when viewing the regular web pages. I don't want to read thumbnails anyway; I just want to find tabs by searching for text.

If I keep this extension, which I probably won't, I'd tend to want to use it in the Open in New Tab mode, but there's a problem with that; when you close that tab, you don't go back to the tab you were on when you invoked Showcase. That may be because I'm using both Tab Kit and Last Tab. Firefox extensions don't all work together well. Specifically, Showcase wants to do things to the tab controls at the left and right of the tab bar, but Last Tab also wants to modify that area's behavior, and since I've tried Tab Kit, I've been using 4 rows of tabs and not having the normal left and right tab selecting controls, so these three add-ons don't blend together in a harmonious way.

Well, I've lost the desire to write more about the Firefox Showcase extension; I will leave it installed for a while and perhaps write more about it after using it a bit longer, although the probability of remembering that I intended to do that is rather small. If you want a flashy way to look at tabs, and perhaps want to be able to search for text in open tabs, you might want to give it a try; if so you can find it at .

Firefox Showcase Add-on

I haven't been posting a great deal, for a number of reasons, one of which might be the feeling that I should post something of note, or possessing literary merit, or containing the solution to peace in the middle east, or something of that sort.

I will now attempt to set my standards a bit lower, and post about trying the Firefox Showcase add-on.

I haven't actually tried it yet, I've just installed it, and I have to restart Firefox in order to actually test it out.

I tend to have a lot of tabs open; a whole lot. So many, in fact, that I need to be able to search through all my open tabs. I guess I'd like to include the already open tabs in the search in the awesome bar. If already open tabs are in fact already in the awesome bar search results, then I'm not aware of it, and need to have them made more readily distinguishable.

Firefox Showcase is said to create a display with thumbnails of the current tabs and to allow searching for them based on content. I don't need the thumbnails, I just want the search. I've tried "Find in Tabs", another Firefox extension for searching open tabs, but I'm having a problem with the text in the "Back" buttons dropdown list of previously visited sites having vanished, which I think might be caused by the Find in Tabs extension, it having happened previously while the Find in Tabs extension was installed and enabled, and vanishing when the Find in Tabs extension was uninstalled.

The missing back text might be caused by other problems, though; it's kind of hard to tell what add-on is causing a problem without uninstalling and re-installing each one, and trying assorted combinations, since they can interact with each other.

Speaking of Firefox extensions interacting with each other, there's a new Firefox extension system under development which is supposed to keep that from happening, called Jetpack. you can read about Jetpack at Jetpack sounds like it should be very good for Firefox users. I'll be testing it out, I suppose, since I seem to end up at least starting to test everything I see, at least so it seems; it is certainly true that I sign up for and start out testing so many things that I can't remember them all, much less remember which ones are currently open and what they contain.

I took a little break in the midst of the preceding paragraph, and have sort of lost my train of thought, which is perhaps the real reason I don't post more often: a tendency to meander, to lose my train of thought. This might be due to IAD, Internet Attention Deficit, coupled with the fact that writing takes so long that it's hard to write about what you were doing, or are doing, because you have to stop doing what you were doing in order to write.

So now I have to restart Firefox in order to try out the new extension. I will be pleased when Jetpack goes mainstream.

Before I go, I'll just add a note about the spellchecker currently advising me that "combinations" is not a word. If "combinations" is not a word, what then is the plural of "combination" supposed to be? Combinationi?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Test out ScribeFire

I'm testing ScribeFire now.

I  just tried to add a video, using ScribeFire's video search control, and after adding the video, I wasn't able to add more text below the video.  This seemed less than ideal.  I will try again.

ScribeFire QuickAds

This time it worked, apparently I did something wrong, such as typing in between the video and the caption "ScribeFile QuickAds" above.

ScribeFire comes up as a window that covers half the current tab's display, which means both the editing area the part of the current web page are rather small.  It would probably be good idea to be in "full screen" mode if you want to see much of the web page. 

My screen is extra cramped vertically at the moment because I'm using the FireFox Tab Kit extension, which I have set to show up to 4 rows of tab, and I currently have 3 rows show, thus eating a fair bit of vertical space. 

I've resisted buying LCD screens, and have never used a widescreen monitor.  I can see now how a web surfing addict might want a widescreen, with a widescreen I could have the tabs displayed in a panel instead of as bars, thus allowed me to read more of the tab title, while still leaving sufficient horizonatl room to display the page itself.

ScribeFire has a video search function, though not as good as the one I just used on HelloTxt.  However, it does not have an image search function, which seems a bit odd; if you have a video search function, why not have an image search function as well? It could search Photobucket and Flickr and maybe whatever Microsoft calls it's image sharing place (is that Gallery?) 

Notifications from Friendfeed's FF Notifier are popping up at the bottom right of the screen; I'm not sure if I like that or not.  Hi Tami Weinberg, your face is popping up repeatedly.  Unfortunately it doesn't stay there long enough for me to read it. 

The FF Notifier flickers horribly when it appears on top of the Second Life screeen.  TweetDeck's popup does too, and the entire Seesmic Desktop application does.  TweetDeck's main application does not flicker when on top of Second Life, which I think shows that the problem is not universal among Adobe Air based applications that are run on top of Second Life.  I believe the AlertThing application also flickers when it's on top of Second Life.

Time to shoot this off and see if Scribefire successfully gets it posted at WordsInPosts.

So far I'll say I like ScribeFire better than the Windows Live Writer add-on, if only because ScribeFire loaded instantly, while the Windows Live Writer add-on is hampered by having to wait for Windows Live Write to load, which is a fairly long process.