4 April 2014 - 8:51Why I’m a Mozillian

I became a Mozillian 10 years ago when I started participating in Bugzilla and helping with the Spread Firefox campaign, earning both the 25 million and 50 million-downloads coins. I was just a freshman at the University of Illinois studying Computer Science, but I was eager to help the non-profit Mozilla create a web browser that promotes user choice for liberty.

SF Mozilla Monument

San Francisco Mozilla Monument

Mozilla’s founders created the mission for openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet; and because of that, I was able to find my passion of helping people. In between lectures, I hacked on open source Firefox to create the AwesomeBar through many iterations of conversing with individuals to learn about their specific needs. I collaborated with other Mozillians to come up with ideas and to implement them into this Firefox feature which still provides better and faster choices for everyone.

Yesterday, I cried when I learned that one of Mozilla’s co-founders was leaving [brendaneich.com]. It was the most I’ve cried since my mother passed away, and in some sense it was appropriate as Brendan is a “founding father” of the organization I’ve dedicated over a third of my life to.

Even as Brendan announced his departure, he provided next steps to advancing the mission by reaffirming Mozilla’s focus on users. The direction he provided could put the non-profit Mozilla as a users union leader to push back the bullying aspects of the Internet that prey on individuals (think of privacy policies or terms of services) and instead flip that around to be pro-user [blog.mozilla.org].

I’m a Mozillian because the founders made Mozilla with the mission. I believed in the mission when I became a Mozillian, and I still believe in it now — especially with this golden opportunity for Mozilla to fight for users. I hope all Mozillians can continue to collaborate together to make the world a better place for everyone.

- Ed Lee
Love Mozilla

1 Comment | Tags: AwesomeBar, Mozilla, UIUC, User Data

25 May 2012 - 12:54Copy Selected urls from the AwesomeBar

I happened to switch to #fx-team to see madhava asking for an easier way to copy/paste urls from the AwesomeBar into the page. So whipped together something to do just that!

Just switch to the location bar by pressing ctrl/cmd-L, start searching, highlight the result you want, and press ctrl/cmd-enter. The url will be in the clipboard and automatically pasted to wherever you left off in the page.

And of course this works with Enter Selects, so you don’t even need to press down to copy the first result. Enter Selects automatically highlights it, so you can type out the page you want, and directly hit ctrl/cmd-enter and you’re done!

Try out Copy Selected or check out the code on github. (This is neater than I expected! I just used the functionality 3 times in one post. ;))

5 Comments | Tags: Add-on, AwesomeBar, Mozilla

29 March 2012 - 9:42Enter Selects with Inline Autocomplete

Firefox will soon have inline autocomplete [blog.mozilla.com] in the AwesomeBar, so I’ve updated Enter Selects [addons.mozilla.org] to be compatible with that new functionality.

If you’ve previously used Enter Selects, the behavior will now be the same as it was before — pressing [Enter] after typing in the AwesomeBar will automatically select the first result from the list. This is different from the new inline autocomplete behavior of completing a domain or url that begins with the letters you’ve typed.

Enter automatically selects the highlighted first result.

Enter Selects’ behavior is good for you if you tend to type words that match in the title or mid-url or use multiple words where the AwesomeBar’s adaptive behavior will push these non-prefix domain matches to the top. If you do want inline autocomplete after Enter Selects highlights the first result, just press [Up] to edit or load the inline-completed url.

Just as before, Firefox’s adaptive learning behavior will push the sites that you frequently visit to the top, so quite quickly, you’ll be able to type 1 letter and press [Enter] to go to the page you want.

I’ve also revamped the code from the original Firefox 3 implementation to be restartless by using the Add-on SDK [addons.mozilla.org]. Additionally I converted the repository from hg to git for people to fork [github.com].

“what a fine add-on! Saves so much on needless keystrokes!” “Thanks a lot, this function is easy but necessary, now I can forget about chrome~” “This is the BOMB! This should be a built-in feature in Firefox, as it is with IE9. Keep up the good work!” -st3ve, yaapal, Deep Thought [addons.mozilla.org]

Try out restartless Enter Selects in Firefox! [addons.mozilla.org]

23 Comments | Tags: Add-on, AwesomeBar, Development, Mozilla

10 June 2011 - 19:05(Colorful) Search Tabs to search selected/typed text

Continuing yesterday’s initial add-on for a Restartless Dominant Color, I’ve taken some ideas from the Firefox UX team to associate search engines with a color.

Colorful tabs appear along the whole bottom edge on install

Here I’ve used the dominant color to add search engine tabs to the bottom of the screen. Normally they’re hidden away, but when you first install the restartless add-on, all the tabs appear for a few seconds. You can also see that all installed search engines are available, such as the one for Twitter Address Bar Search.

Selecting text shows colored tips

When you select some text or start typing in a text box (including those in the Firefox interface like the AwesomeBar!), the tabs will peek up from below only to show their transparent color-filled tips. If you do point at one of the tabs, it’ll become fully opaque and pop up to show the icon. Clicking it will let you search for whatever you have selected or typed.

Install Search Tabs on Firefox 4 without needing a restart. Just reply back in comments if you have any feedback. Or check the code on GitHub and file suggestions or issues!

2 Comments | Tags: Add-on, AwesomeBar, Development, Mozilla