Google Chrome is the latest browser to let users add, edit and contribute their own coding efforts. Extensions or plugins are what makes web browsers so handy and extendable. Firefox users have long known this– Google Chrome’s extension capabilities are so far not as well known, but hopefully will soon have a synergistic effect on both applications. More publicity for competing products ensures a wide array of choices.
Google has their own “Getting Started” tutorial which is extremely helpful. You can get your feet wet here:
Note that at this point, you will need the Developer version of Chrome. You can grab it here:
The Chrome extension’s backbone is the manifest file. Specifically, manifest.js. It describes what will be packaged in the extension and describes the name, a brief description, whatever explicit permissions you grant it, and other details. The fields in full are described here:
Google Chrome extension A Bit Better RTM is one of our favorite ways to tweak the popular Remember the Milk online to-do list web app, and now it's been ported as a native Google Chrome extension.
We've mentioned the A Bit Better RTM Greasemonkey script twice before as one of our favorite user scripts for Greasemonkey in Firefox, and the the native Chrome version works much the same way—the most noticeable feature moves the tabs over to the left, saving precious vertical space for widescreen laptop users, and making them more readable in general.
In addition, you can rearrange the lists, hide the lists you don't use, use keyboard shortcuts to switch between them, and even move an item to a folder from the keyboard. It's an extremely helpful extension, and this author, at least, is thrilled to finally have it on Chrome. A Bit Better RTM is a free download, works wherever Chrome does. Thanks, CookingCat!
Geez, Google really wants you to install its toolbar, right? They usually introduce new web features, like their goo.gl URL shortener, into it first, leaving developers to figure out non-toolbar executions. Luckily, a webapp and Chrome extension are on it.
Digital Inspiration points us toward both a webapp that spits out a goo.gl URL in one click, after pasting in a full URL first (don't forget the http:// bit, or you'll get an empty result). If that's a bit too much work for tossed-off links, and you're a Chrome user, you can install the goo.gl shortener extension and do your link shortening with a toolbar button.
The appeal of goo.gl-shortened links is their theoretical longevity, but, at the moment, they lack the statistics and tracking that makes the de facto standard, bit.ly, widely appealing. We'll see what improvements come along, but for now, you can grab Google's server re-direction benefits without having to keep their toolbar installed.
Computer mice are great and all, but sometimes you'd rather not have to deal with them—say, when you're using an uncomfortable touchpad on a laptop. Chrome Extension KeyboardNavigation helps you browse the web while keeping mouse clicking to a minimum.
Once installed, you can activate the extension by hitting Alt+G on your keyboard—this will put a number next to every link on the page. Typing in one of the numbers will take you to the linked page as if you clicked on it, and you can toggle whether to open up links in a new foreground, background, or the same tab by pressing b or g. When you want to go ahead and read the page, just hit Alt+G again to hide the numbers (as the page can get pretty cluttered pretty quickly on sites with lots of links).
KeyboardNavigation is a free download, and works with the Dev version of Chrome for Windows or the Linux beta. Firefox users, check out similar extensions like LoL.
- We expect most users to install extensions from the gallery, where each extension has a reputation. We expect malicious extensions will have a low reputation and will have difficulty attracting many users. If a malicious extension is discovered in the gallery, we will remove it from the gallery.
With the release of Chrome for Mac, Google has also announced the launch of Chrome extensions (available for Windows and Linux, Mac – coming soon).
One great thing about Chrome extensions is: no annoying restarts after installation. On the downside, as of today, there are only about 300 add-ons available.
These last few days, it seems that the extensions team has developed a newfound love for the F5 key. We all keep refreshing the "Most recent" page of our new gallery, obsessively checking the newest amazing extensions that developers have uploaded. Today, we get to share this nervous tic with millions of Google Chrome's users. We're launching extensions in the beta channel for Windows and Linux (Mac is in progress). We're also opening our gallery, which, as of now, contains more than 300 extensions!
An extension system has been one of our most requested features for Google Chrome. It's a tribute to Mozilla and the Firefox project that nowadays, users just expect all browsers to have built-in extensibility.
We started the project by presenting a design doc that outlined our vision to create an extensions system based on web technologies - a system that is easy to use, stable, more secure and that wouldn't slow down Google Chrome. It wasn't always easy to balance our goals, and sometimes we had to make tough trade-offs.
[via Google Chrome Blog]
There was nothing more excruciating for me as a kid than seeing the presents pile up under the Christmas tree but knowing that I couldn't open them until Christmas morning. On the Google Chrome team, we've had the same feeling as we've been working to get betas ready for Mac, Linux and extensions. It's been a long time coming, but today we can check the top three items off our users' wish lists.
Google Chrome for Mac (Beta)
We've been working hard to deliver a first-class browser for the Mac — it took longer than we expected, but we hope the wait was worth it! We wanted Google Chrome to feel at home on the Mac, so we've focused on uniting our clean, simple design with subtle animations and effects to create a snappy and satisfying browsing experience on OS X. As you might expect, the speed of Google Chrome for Mac is something we're very proud of. If you have a Mac, try installing the beta and see how fast it launches — there's hardly even time for the icon in the dock to bounce!
For more details on this beta release of Google Chrome for Mac, read on in the Google Mac blog or watch this video from one of our engineers, Mike Pinkerton:
Google Chrome for Linux (Beta)
At Google, most engineers use Linux machines, so we certainly heard loud and clear how much they wanted Google Chrome for Linux. Just like Google Chrome for Windows and Mac, we focused on speed, stability and security, but we also wanted a high-performance browser that integrated well with the Linux ecosystem. This includes tight integration with native GTK themes, updates that are managed by the standard system package manager, and many other features that fit in natively with the operating system where possible.
Just as important, we've had quite a bit of help from the open source community. More than 50 open source contributors have worked on Chromium and they've been especially helpful on delivering our Linux version of Google Chrome. For more details on the beta release of Google Chrome for Linux, check out the Chromium blog.
Extensions in Google Chrome for Windows and Linux (Beta)
When we first launched Google Chrome in September 2008, we knew that we wanted to make it easy for you to customize the browser with extensions. We also wanted to make extensions easy to create and maintain, while preserving Google Chrome's speed and stability. Extensions on Google Chrome accomplishes all these goals: they are as easy to create as web pages, easy to install, and each extension runs in its own process to avoid crashing or significantly slowing down the browser.
If you're on a PC or a Linux machine, you can check out more than 300 extensions in the gallery, including a few cool, useful and cute extensions . Extensions aren't quite beta-quality on Mac yet, but you will be able to preview them on a developer channel soon. And if you're a web developer, you can learn more about writing extensions for Google Chrome on the Chromium blog.
I’m selling my iBook which currently does not run like a champ. You can not play games on it, surfing the web is is also impossible, and there are numerous office applications that will also fail. What’s not to like?
This has been used to craft some Firefox extensions you love and/or hate. Buy a piece of history today!
*seriously, it is a giant turd.
This is just a little quickie that I find handy to use. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but life kept getting in the way.
Prefsearch is an easy-peasy way to search the names of preferences in about:config via Google. There are a million preferences scattered about in there, and I found myself repeatedly copying a preference name, opening a new tab, going to Google, and searching for said name. This is just a simple hack that lets you right-click on a name, select “Google Name,” and you can figure out what happens next.
If you can’t, I’ll let you in in the secret: a new tab is opened in focus or in the background, whatever you have your preferences set as, and Google tells you what’s what regarding the name you just selected. Groovy.
Install Prefsearch 0.1
(Size: 8kb Release Date: January 19th 2008)
Tested on Firefox 126.96.36.199
To develop a Firefox extension, you need certain tools. One of these essential tools is a text editor. You need something that should feel intuitive, be powerful, adaptable, load quickly, and be a pleasure to use. Which programs are the most suitable for developing web applications with?
It’s a fine line to walk. Text editors are a programmer’s bread and butter, and they need to have everything you want, and not anything you don’t need. If an editor is lacking features, then it is considered not complete, and if it has too many features, people call them bloated. People are so damn picky. This is why I’ve done the leg work for you and definitively decided the best damned text editors for Windows. Why Windows? My answer is “because, that’s why.”
If you have a Mac, then buy TextMate. If you have Linux, then use Emacs or vi, because you know you’re special, and that’s what you should use. Windows users have a little more choice in the matter, so let’s dive in.
First things first: just how do I consider the programs to be “best,” or “bloated?” Excellent question. I’ll tell you: I don’t want them to be my FTP program, or Microsoft Word replacement, or anything a “text editor” is not supposed to be. WYSIWYG is an acronym for “Well, You See, I Want Your Genitals.” I hate generators that add more bloated code than necessary.
Okay, okay, before you say, wait a minute- there’s no reason to install a tab extension on Firefox. It can do everything right out of the box, and all of those are way too bulky and they mess up my other extensions.
I say, “Nay.” This beauty adds features that are simply not available in the default Firefox setup. There are some things it can take care of that are a short tweak away in your about:config page, but there are many, many options it adds. I only use a few, but the few I use are indispensable.
My favorite thing that I love to do is inadvertently close tabs. Well, let me re-state that. I inadvertently close tabs from time to time, and I cry if I can’t remember where I was or if I am unable to retrieve them. This extension will let you undo a series of tabs so that you shant have to shed a tear.
I know there’s a separate extension that does just that, but that’s all it does. If minimalism is your thing and that’s the only thing you need, then that would be perfect for you. But you’re not. You’re a Firefox junkie and you need it to survive, to feel young again. To feel free, to feel the blood rushing through your veiny paws. Wait, where was I?
I’m a poet and I kind of know it. RetailMeNot, brought to you by the perspicacious minds of BugMeNot, is both a service and a Firefox extension. The extension is new and will be the main focus of this mini-review. It sits invisibly behind Firefox’s exterior, waiting to pounce on any web site that will try and make a buck off of you. As soon as it detects a web site that has possible coupon codes, it lets you know:
A slider bar indicates that there are coupon treasures that await you. If you’re not interested, you can close the bar or simply ignore it. Once you surf away, the bar discretely closes.
I have used the web site for quite a while now, usually as a last check for saving me a little bit of cash. The extension is great because if you forget to check online, it’s no big deal- it will let you know from the get-go if there’s deals to be sliced and diced.
It’s an unobtrusive little gem of an extension that I recommend. Go check it out for yourself.
IE Tab has saved me from ever using Internet Explorer on its own again. Now, don’t assume that I’m a rabid anti-Microsoft hater / sheep-like Mozilla fanboy, although you’d have good reason to assume so. After all, this site is about Firefox extensions, something you can’t really mirror with Internet Explorer. My only beef with the big blue E is that there are a lot of web sites out there that force you to use it. I like having one browsing program open, and I don’t really want to have to switch back and forth. That’s just a pain in the ass.
So, IE Tab saves me the trouble of opening multiple applications for one purpose, which is grand. Here’s a sample screenshot:
The icon in the tab lets you know that the Internet Explorer engine is being used on that page. Nice, simple, effective notifications- that’s what makes a great extension great. It doesn’t pop up in your face, yet it lets you know exactly what’s going on.