cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (sweatdrop)
Cimorene ([personal profile] cimorene) wrote2013-09-10 06:51 pm
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No longer dependent on Opera

A counterweight to the trouble I went to in order to get my computer working again was that at the same time I checked out Firefox more thoroughly and for the first time in years I'm no longer dependent on Opera!

I've used Firefox for various periods of my life, but eventually I've always gone back to Opera. Opera is faster and uses less system resources, and round about 2005, the first time I got fed up and moved back to it, it was because Firefox was consuming all the memory and not just crashing a lot, but also causing X to crash, requiring me to logout and back in. Other reasons for reverse pilgrimage, or failed attempts to use Firefox, have included:

  • Opera's mouse gestures, the original reason, but a Firefox add-on duplicated that years ago.


  • At one time it was impossible to keep my Firefox bookmarks in a side pane and edit them easily via dragging and dropping. This is now accomplished by the All-in-One Sidebar extension, which also allows downloads, history, and add-ons to be managed from the side pane, much like in Opera.


  • Opera's customizeable Speed Dial is better than the Chrome and FF default behaviors. You can manually enter the addresses of the bookmarks you want to show there. The last time I tried to go back to Firefox - because several sites I needed to use frequently wouldn't work in Opera - this was the stumbling block. A few years ago there were a couple of Firefox add-ons for this functionality but none of them would work correctly for me. Constant crashing, very slow loading times, etc. But the add-on New Tab Plus suffers from none of those problems.


  • Opera's tab groups are actually still more convenient than Firefox's tab stacks, but it's not the end of the world. I don't mind the group view page, but I would like to be able to view each group as a stack the size of one tab in my tab bar, to allow switching between groups via the tab bar. In opera you can also mouseover a tab bundle and get a preview pane showing thumbnails and titles of every tab in the group. You can then click on the tumbnail to open that tab even if it's not the top one in the stack. It's not unlikely that a Firefox add-on duplicates this functionality but I haven't found it yet.


  • Opera Dragonfly was way more useful than the Firefox alternatives for some time. It's most useful when saving images as it allows you to highlight CSS elements and objects by hovering and click on them to view their selectors in the code pane. That made it quite simple to find the address to the image, usually. It was also quite nice for trying to do CSS yourself of course. However, I was pleased to find that the clickable element selection is now available in Firefox too.


  • FF still doesn't have its own open closed tabs button, but the Undo Closed Tabs Button add-on takes care of that. Tumblr savior also works more easily in Firefox.


  • One thing I've been wanting since forever is for Opera to remember my page zoom preferences by default. I want to always view this site at 90% or that one at 120%. Well, Opera doesn't have it, but in Firefox you can do it with the NoSquint add-on. NoSquint also allows you to override text, background and link color, and to disable images.

  • Unfortunately, the one thing I couldn't figure out how to replace are Opera's view buttons, 'viewer/author style' (disables the style sheet) and 'fit page to width'. You can disable the stylesheet in Firefox but I don't know of a toolbar button that will do it with one click; and I wasn't able to figure out how to duplicate Fit Page to Width, which is really, really useful. I found an add-on that sounded like it might do some of the same stuff, but it was part of a broader zoom control widget and, unfortunately, it broke NoSquint. I needed NoSquint.



There's also Extended Statusbar, which gives more information during page loading, like Opera's does. I also like Tile Tabs, which will automatically resize several tabs within the window for you, side by side or in other configurations. Share This didn't work for some reason, but I don't use it that often anymore anyway, since most of the places I might want it now have their own Tweet This buttons.

Anyone else got any add-ons or user script recs?