Firefox extension & tweaks test/preview thread

Discussion in 'Testing Arena' started by Impotence, Dec 9, 2007.

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  1. Impotence

    Impotence May the source be with u!

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    I am using this thread to clean up one of my other threads and to preview changes without the risk of accidentally changing the original.


    This post is a list of tweaks and extensions that improve performance & the the functionality of the Firefox web browser.

    Firefox is a free, open-source web browser for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and is based on the Mozilla codebase. It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advantages over Internet Explorer. ("What is Firefox" from the Firefox FAQ)

    You can learn more about Firefox and its history you should read its Wikipedia article.

    You can download Firefox from Mozilla website which will try to determine your operating system and language and is the easy way to download Firefox. If you wish to choose which build or language of Firefox to download, or just wish to see what is available, you should go here

    CustomizeGoogle, make it your homepage

    "CustomizeGoogle is a Firefox extension that enhance Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam). All features are optional and easily configured from the options menu. View a short introduction movie at"

    1. install CustomizeGoogle
    2. and restart firefox.
    3. click "tools", then "CustomizeGoogle Options"
    4. The Options you use here are your personal choice, you don't need enable the Google ad blocking as that will be done by Adblock.
    StumbleUpon, ever get bored of browsing?

    "StumbleUpon lets you "channel surf" the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for browsing, reviewing and sharing great sites with like-minded people. This helps you find interesting web pages you wouldn't think to search for."

    Basically, You create an account and select your interests. With the toolbar installed you click stumble and firefox will load a page which has been recommended by other users in one of your topics.

    Install StumbleUpon, you will need to create an account!

    ShowIP -Originally Posted by Matt555

    Show the IP address of the current page in the status bar. It also allows querying custom services by IP (right mouse button) and Hostname (left mouse button), like whois, netcraft. Additionally you can copy the IP address to the clipboard. This extension was formerly known as ipv6ident.

    Install ShowIP

    X-Ray -Originally Posted by Matt555

    One installed the X-Ray command is available by right-clicking as well as in the Tools menu. When applied to a page it can help you see how the document was constructed without having to go back and forth between the sourcecode and the page in your browser. Is that list made of li, dd or p elements? Is that an h3 tag or just some bolded text? X-Ray shows you what's beneath the surface of the page.

    Install X-Ray

    In my quest to make Firefox behave the way I want it (ie. more like Opera :) ), I've discovered two excellent plugins.

    NewsFox -Originally Posted by megamaced

    NewsFox is an embedded RSS news feeder. It opens inside Firefox as a tab and lets you view / manage all of your live bookmarks. It's similar to Opera's RSS handler and thats a very good thing indeed.

    Install NewFox

    New Tab Button On Tab Bar -Originally Posted by megamaced

    This is a really simple extension and it's a wonder why it isn't built into Firefox natively. Every tabbed browser should have a 'new tab' button by default :doh:

    Install New Tab Button On Tab Bar

    Other extensions you might like

    Google Advanced Operations Toolbar
    Advanced Google Dork
    Mouse Gestures
    Gmail Manager
    Web Developer Toolbar
    ReloadEvery Allows you to refresh web pages at set time periods.
    DownThemAll mass download manager
    foxmarks Allows you to keep your bookmarks synced between multiple computers (or OS's)
    FoxyTunes Use Firefox to control common media players. extension, informs you if there any are know coupon / discount codes for the website you are on


    This OT box is being used for notes:

    There are some FF2 tweaks here that you might find useful, i will integrate them when i get a chance.

    There is a list of "20 must-have firefox extensions" HERE that are worth a look, will update the sticky soon.

    If anybody is willing to write mini-guides for the extensions (Setup and use age) they would be greatly appreciated, the "other extensions you might like" list is getting a bit long... PM them to me if you want to help out! (try to match the formatting that I've used so far, i can do that if you really cba :p)
  2. Impotence

    Impotence May the source be with u!

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    Extensions & Tweaks to make Firefox run faster.

    Enable HTTP Pipelining

    HTTP pipelining is an experimental feature in Firefox that will dramatically reduce page load times if the web server, and any HTTP proxy you may be using, support it. For an explanation of how HTTP pipelining works read the Wikipedia article

    HTTP pipelining is disabled by default in Firefox, but can be turned on easily.
    1. type "about:config" in the address bar of Firefox and then push enter.
    2. Enter "Pipe" into the Filter bar (the last step loads a local configuration page).
    3. To Enable an option or change its value, double click it.
      • Enable "network.http.pipelining"
      • change the value of "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" from 4 to 16
      • Enable "network.http.proxy.pipelining"
    4. Try it! this tweak turns Firefox into a speeding bullet!

    Notes: This tweak works best on reliable high bandwidth connections, i would not recommend it if you are using dial-up or wireless network with a weak signal. HTTP Pipelining is enable by default in Opera, Internet Explorer doesn't even support it.

    Render Pages ASAP

    This tweak will cause Firefox to start rendering web pages immediately, instead of waiting the default 250ms

    This tweak changes amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives to zero!
    1. Type "about:config" into the address bar of firefox. push enter
    2. Right click anywhere on the page that has loaded, select New, Then Integer
    3. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to 0

    Notes: This tweak should not be used on slower computers, you will be waiting longer for pages to load if you do.

    Caching DNS Requests

    This tweak should decrease page loading times for sites such as Slashdot, Digg, Myspace, Bebo, Stumbleupon*, hardwareforums etc where you are constantly requesting pages from the same domain.

    *Stumbleupon, This tweak (in theory) will decrease the loading time when you stumbling as the tool bar needs to communicate with every time you click stumble to find out what site to send you too!

    By default Firefox will remove the result of a DNS request from its cache after one minute, after following these instructions Firefox will remember results for five minutes. (You can set this higher if you wish, but i would say five minutes is a good amount of time)

    1. Type "about:config" into the address bar of firefox. push enter
    2. Right click anywhere on the page that has loaded, select New, Then Integer
    3. Name it "network.dnsCacheExpiration" and set its value to 5
    4. Restart Firefox for this tweak to take effect

    Notes: using good DNS servers will also increase your browsing speed, i would recommend using OpenDNS's DNS servers instead of the ones run by your ISP (The default ones), follow the instructions on there site. there are a few other advantages of using openDNS which you can find out about on there site.

    Blocking Adverts

    This is one of the best changes to Firefox that you can do to decrease page loading times. Adverts increase page loading times for many different reasons.

    • They create unwanted DNS requests (I believe Firefox deals with DNS requests sequentially, so when it is resolving an advertising domain it could have been doing something useful!)
    • Waste of bandwidth (Firefox could have been downloading actual content!)
    • Waste of time rendering them
    • Flash adverts, apart from being really annoying, can actually slow the whole computer down.

    There has been a bit of controversy recently about the morality / legality of blocking adverts, personally (I am not a lawyer), i do not see how there arguments can hold any water as its your bandwidth, your computer, and you haven't signed any contracts agreeing to view any advertising so its ultimately YOUR CHOICE. You should be supporting any site that you use regularly anyway :p

    Follow these instructions for a much nicer internet :)
    1. Install extension Adblock Plus
    2. Install extension Adblock Filterset.G Updater
    3. Restart Firefox
    4. You will see a legal warning from Adblock, accept it. [But only if you agree!]
    5. You will also see a message from Filterset.G updater telling you that its updated the Blacklists (and White lists), choose not to be informed when it updates.
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