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Um... Yeah!?
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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know, I've been advocating the use of Mozilla/Mozilla Friefox for some time. Of course, there are still lots of people who don't even know what it is, or are still new to what the browser has to offer, so I figured I'd dedicate a thread to outline some of the benefits, and highlight some of the features or add-ons that I've found to make my browsing experience much better.

First off, here's the link to the Firefox Homepage. You'll be able to download the browser from there.


So, what is Firefox?

In short, it's the stand-alone browser product based on the open-sourced Gecko engine. If you're looking for a all-in-one program to take care of browing, e-mails, etc., you might want to take a look at the Mozilla Suite, instead.

(Firefox was originally known as Phoenix, and then the name was changed to Firebird, and has now settled into Firefox.)


Why use Firefox?
  • Built-in Popup Blocker
    So you don't need to install a third-party software that runs in the background to kill your popups for you.
  • Search Toolbar
    Oh yeah, for those of you using the Google Toolbar to block your popups, you may also want to search quickly using the Google Toolbar. Firefox has a built-in Google Search Toolbar. You can also add different search engines to this toolbar.
  • Better Security
    Firefox supports a much higher level of security encryption--up to 256-bit AES encryption so far. Internet Explorer supports up to 128-bits.
  • More Spyware-free (and Virus-free)
    Most of the spyware people get from their computers are from malicious websites (typically porn or warez sites) that make use of ActiveX or VB Script. In this way, they can install their own software on your computer without you knowing about it.
  • Tabbed Browsing
    Not everyone likes this (eslai), but most of the people I know who tried it ended liking it... It makes going through search results and forum post much easier... which I'll attempt to demonstrate in a later post using screen caps.
  • Other Stuff
    Everybody has different browsing habits. I've found serveral things useful to me with Firefox, but they may not be of value to you. I'll try to go through some of them, and hopefully you'll end up liking them, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Plug-ins

One of the tough-parts of installing a new browser is having to install many of the plug-ins you already have for your current browser. Unfortunately, for the most part, there is no getting away from this with Firefox (unless you're using Netscape 6 or 7 as your current browser).

You can look for and install plug-ins for Firefox here: http://plugindoc.mozdev.org/faqs/

Choose the appropriate operating system, and look for the ones you need. Things you will probably want are:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader - Go for version 5.1 instead of version 6--version 6 is slow and buggy.
  • Java Plugin
  • Macromedia Flash
  • QuickTime
  • RealPlayer
For QuickTime, you may have to go into Windows' Control Panel to make sure that it is set as the default MIME type for your browser after installation.

Instead of QuickTime and RealPlayer, you may want to consider QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative, both freeware developed to replace their official counterparts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Next, the good stuff...

Extensions

Extensions are little add-ons that other users developed for the browser. More often than not, they were made because the person/people who developed them wanted a browser with those functions. I have a few favorite ones for general browsing, and there are some specific to forums that are useful...

Adblock
This is pretty much a must-have, IMO. Firefox comes with a function to block images from specific sites from loading (like if you see an image ad on a page, you can right-click on it so that images from that server never shows up again), but that only works for ads coming from servers specifically made for serving ads (like doubleclick.net), plus the link still exists, so you might accidently click on the empty spot, and still be taken to the ad-linked page. With Adblock, you can block based on image string, as well as link location. Not only that, it can collapse the ad-space, so you screen doesn't get filled with ads.

PrefButtons
Firefox's navigation bars can be customized (to some extent), in that you can move around and choose the buttons you want to appear, or even create/remove bars to suit your needs. But what can be added to the toolbars is preset. PrefButtons adds a few toggle switches that allows you to quick turn on/off images, JavaScript, fonts, buttons to quickly clear the browser cache, etc.

IE View
There are some websites that only works well with Internet Explorer, like the ones with ActiveX (Windows Update, for instance) or VBScript. Some are just pages with malformatted HTML, that only IE is forgiving enough to make viewable. Whenever you encounter a page like that, with IE View, you can right-click on an empty spot at the page, and choose "View this page in IE" to open the exact same page in Internet Exporer.
 

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Um... Yeah!?
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Image Zoom
You know how sometimes some people will post images that are too big to be seen on your screen? Or too small? Right-click on an image to zoom in or zoom out. New version has more functions, like custom zoom size, fit to window, etc.

Scribe
Allows you to save and open web forms, so you can work on it similar to a word processor.

Paste Quote
Inserts the [ quote ] tags around the clipboard contents when you right-click and choose "Paste Quote" into any input form. In case you ever need to quote from more than one source, and don't want to bother with having to type the [ quote ]tags each time.

Reload Every
Right-click to set a reload interval, then the page will reload based on that setting. Makes it easier to check for new posts! ;)

Popup Count
Keeps track of the number of popups from each site, and overall.

Linky
Drag over a bunch of links, and then right-click to have the selected links open in new windows or tabs (you can choose to omit some prior to opening).

Text/Plain
Makes a non-linked url text open (in current window, new window, or new tab). This is especially useful if there are some sites that checks for referer to block visitors... so, for instance, often someone will post a link and tell us to copy and paste... You can simply select that link, and right-click to choose "Open selection in new tab"--when this is done, no referer is passed, so the page/image doesn't get blocked.

Past and Go
Alternatively, you can use "Paste and Go"--it can automatically paste the URL in your clipboard to the location bar.

All-in-One Gestures
Move your mouse in specified motions while holding down a mouse button (right by default, you can change it manually) to make the browser perform certain tasks, such as view page source, close tab, reload, etc.)
 

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Hmmm i might dl that, Im running netscape 7.1 right now. And I love the tabbed option... Plus I have 2 monitor hooked to my computer running netscap on both monitors(there now you know my secret...)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
CopyImage for Windows
Allows you to right-click on an image and save it to the clipboard (similar to an IE function).

Note: You do not need to install this for Firefox 0.9 or above--this function has become a built-in feature.


Dictionary Search
Select any word a web page, right-click to search for the defintion from Dictionary.com.

Diggler
Adds some quick controls for popups (enable/disable), clear location bar, and parent directory of the page you're viewing (going up a directory, switch between http and ftp, etc.); quite useful when you get to a site you found through searching.


There are many other extensions available, some of which I use but didn't bother to mention here, others which some of you might find useful, and many more still in the works (like a spell-check for use with web forms, the ability to right-click on an image and append the [ img ] tag around the image URL, etc.). Most of the ones that are available can be found here.
 

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Um... Yeah!?
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Customizing the Look

In addition to being able to customize the location of the nav buttons, you can also change the themes and icon for Firefox. With themes, you can make Firefox look almost completely different (or even like IE if you so choose).

Most of the themes are available here (for 0.8 and below) and here (for 0.9 and above).

If you want to make Firefox look like IE, there's a Luna Theme, based on the XP version of IE. Get version 0.6.3 or higher for Firefox.


Changing the icons means that the icons that appear in the Windows taskbar and at the top in the program title bar will be changed. You can install the IconPacks here.
 

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Um... Yeah!?
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Discussion Starter #9
01clipse said:
Hmmm i might dl that, Im running netscape 7.1 right now. And I love the tabbed option... Plus I have 2 monitor hooked to my computer running netscap on both monitors(there now you know my secret...)
Most of the extensions will also work for Netscape 7.1, but not all of them. Firefox is using a newer version of the Gecko engine than Netscape 7.1, so you might be able to notice some minor improvements.
 

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Thanx i didnt know that i had a better engine that this one. Thats the entrire reason I got 7.1 becaue The gecko engin rocks!!. Did you every have the gecko beta???
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Post Whore Tricks

Similar to 01clipse (we have something of a whore-off at eclipseforum.com), I have two monitors on one computer at work, both with Firefox open (and one with Mozilla, actually), so I could post on one, and look for smilies/pics/quotes/etc. on another. But two monitors is not required for simple whoring purposes.

Middle-Click

If your mouse has three buttons, the middle button can be used to click on links, which will then open them in another tab (in the background). In this way, you can open up a bunch of threads that you haven't read, then going through each one (and optionally posting a reply if you so choose). Closing the current tab takes you to the next tab you opened, until you get back to the list page.

(Sorry, I don't know what it would be on Macs with just one button on the mouse.)

You can close any tab by middle-clicking on the tab in the tab-bar, or clicking on the "X" button at the right-hand end of the tab-bar. Or use Mouse Gestures (if you have Mouse Gestures installed). I personally use Mouse Gestures, which is usually faster for me, as I don't have to move my mouse much to look for the "X" button, or to find the location of the tab on the tab bar. (See why I included All-in-One Mouse Gestures above?).

Optionally, you can use the CTRL button to open links in tabs.


Mouse Gestures

The quick-and-easy (once you learn the gestures) way to open new windows, reload a page, close a tab, etc. Because you don't have to look for the buttons that perform these functions.
 

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Um... Yeah!?
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Discussion Starter #12
01clipse said:
Thanx i didnt know that i had a better engine that this one. Thats the entrire reason I got 7.1 becaue The gecko engin rocks!!. Did you every have the gecko beta???
Nah, I don't want to mess with the nightly-builds, since I still want to browse the net. :D

The nightly builds tend to have more bugs in them, as is the case with most betas. But of course, with the official releases, they will pick a stable build to use. Of the current official releases, Firefox has the mose current Gecko engine.

There will no longer be any newer versions of Netscape after 7.1; this was announced some time ago, and it seems that the Mozilla suite will begin to adopt Firefox and Thunberbird (the stand-alone Gecko mail/news program) in the near future...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BTW, be sure you enable fortunatemind.com and club3g.com for popups... or else you'll have some problems when you receive PM's on the forum.

To do so, click on the "Tools" menu and choose "Options."

Find the "Web Features" section.

By default, "Block Popup Windows" should be checked. Keep it checked. Below it, you'll notice a field for you to enter sites that you want to allow popups. Click on the "Add Site" button and add fortunatemind.com and club3g.com separately.
 

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Glenn said:
Nah, I don't want to mess with the nightly-builds, since I still want to browse the net. :D

The nightly builds tend to have more bugs in them, as is the case with most betas. But of course, with the official releases, they will pick a stable build to use. Of the current official releases, Firefox has the mose current Gecko engine.

There will no longer be any newer versions of Netscape after 7.1; this was announced some time ago, and it seems that the Mozilla suite will begin to adopt Firefox and Thunberbird (the stand-alone Gecko mail/news program) in the near future...
I though I heard some thing about them stoping netscape
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Maverick_7 said:
ok, so d/l'd this biznatch. so far so good, EXCEPT i cant use my middle mouse scroll to make the page scroll down while replying to a thread! otherwise, it works great. whats the dealio?
Click on "Tools," then go to "Options," and choose the "Advanced" section.

Under "Browsing," make sure "Use autoscrolling" is checked.



Also, if the "focus" is inside a form element, the mouse wheel will only scroll within that element, and not the page. If this is the case that you are describing, then you need to click outside the form element to get the mouse wheel to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Other Tricks

Keywords
In your bookmarks, there is an optional field called "Keyword"; by typing a keyword associated with a particluar bookmark in the location bar, you can open that bookmark immediately. Coupled with the Ctrl-L (sets focus to the location bar), you can quickly open sites with keywords, without having to take your hands off the keyboard.

Additionally, you can use the Keyword function to perform simple queries (typically used for search). That is, when you replace a part of the actual URL with "%s," that part becomes dynamic, so it searchs for different things based on what you type.

Okay, that might be a bit too technical for some people, so perhaps some examples would make it easier to understand.

By default, Firefox has four bookmarks already set to make use of the keyword function. To use them, just type in the following in the location bar:

  1. google [your search terms] - Will perform a google search with the keywords you entered. In other words, if you typed "google Club3G mutiny team" in the location bar and pressed ENTER, it will perform a goole search for "Club3G mutiny team."
  2. goto [your search terms] - Uses google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" function. Test it out with "goto MTFO" ;) (hold down the Alt key while you press ENTER to open the resulting page in a new tab).
  3. dict [word] - Looks up a word with Dictionary.com.
  4. quot [stock symbol] - Performs a stock symbol lookup.
You can modify (and add) your bookmark settings by clicking on the "Bookmarks" menu and choosing "Mangage Bookmarks."


So, it's just a matter of using this for the sites you use more often. For instance, I've got mine setup to use IMDb and Urban Dictionary. I will give a step-by-step instruction using IMDb as an example. Just use the same technique for the site you like, and see if it works:

  1. Go to http://www.imdb.com/
  2. In the Search IMDb field, type "Fight Club" and click on the "Go" button
  3. Take a look at the URL. If you can see the keyword(s) you entered, it means you can use this function. In this case, we have http://www.imdb.com/find?tt=on;nm=on;mx=20;q=fight%20club
  4. Bookmark the page (Bookmarks > Add to Bookmarks).
  5. Go to the Bookmark Manager (Bookmarks > Manage Bookmars)
  6. Find the bookmark you just added, and right-click on it to choose "properties"
  7. Replace the keyword(s) you entered with "%s"; in this case, it's "fight%20club," so the result should be http://www.imdb.com/find?tt=on;nm=on;mx=20;q=%s
  8. In the "Keyword" field, enter the keyword you want to associate with this bookmark (for this example, let's use "movie")
  9. Change the name of the bookmark, if you'd like.
  10. Click OK to finish modifying, and close the Bookmark Manager
Now, whenever you type "movie [movie name]," it will perform a search on IMDb. (You can also search for actors' name with this same keyword.)

( For Urban Dictionary, use http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=%s&f=1 )
 

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malt liqwa
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I used firefox for a while, but swtiched back to plain old mozilla - I'll wait til firefox has some more work done to it. (build id: 200403163)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Multipe Homepages
You can have more than one page as your home page (they will be opened in tabs). To do so, just separate the URLs with the verticle bar character "|"; alternatively, you can open up each of the page you want to be as your homepage in tabs, then going to "Options" in "Tools," select "General," and click on the "Use Current Pages" button. Once you click okay, the next time you click on "Home" or open the browser, these pages will be opened as your homepages.
 
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I tried using but I had 2 problems:

1. it takes a lot longer for images to load
2. Certain pages wouldn't format properly. I'm sure it was because of "less than optimal" code on the site, but it worked fine in every browser except Firefox.
 
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