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

9 June 2011 - 13:33Restartless Dominant Color

I’ve packaged Margaret’s getDominantColor code into a restartless add-on and put the source up on GitHub for people to try out and tweak the logic.

After installing the add-on, hold shift while pointing at an image to have it report the color and show it behind the image. One slight difference from Margaret’s code is that color and transparency values are rounded down to a multiple of 16.

Pointing at an image in about:addons

Download the add-on and check out the code!

10 Comments | Tags: Add-on, Development, Mozilla

15 February 2011 - 2:22Great time to use Firefox 4

If you’ve previously tried a Firefox 4 beta and ran into problems on some websites, I’m glad to report that everything is now working! (At least for the websites I use, and hopefully the sites that you use are working too.) Below is a list of the websites that I’ve run into problems in the past but are working great now. :)

YouTube, Pandora, Gmail

  • Problem: Video/music/flash keeps crashing when clicking links, e.g., related videos or skipping songs
  • Plugin: Upgrade to Flash (Feb. 8 update)
  • Context: Firefox on Windows added Crash Protection with 3.6, and OS X users will no longer worry about plugins taking down Firefox in 4. But there was something different in Flash for Mac that was tickling Firefox in just the wrong way at the wrong time that resulted in many more plugin crashes. (Good thing Firefox could keep running and others tabs were unaffected.)
  • Learn more: Adobe security bulletin, bug 572134


  • Problem: Trying to watch a movie always shows “Once installation is complete please restart your browser to watch this movie.”
  • Plugin: Upgrade to Silverlight 4.0.60129.0 (Feb. 14 update)
  • Context: One major feature in Apple’s latest operating system is 64-bit Snow Leopard, and Firefox 4 combines that with its speed improvements to go even faster. Unfortunately, existing 32-bit code, e.g., Silverlight plugin, doesn’t always play well with the new 64-bit code.
  • Learn more: Silverlight 4 update, bug 598406


  • Problem: Lightning deals don’t show up on various pages like Gold Box pages
  • Context: Firefox 4 supports ECMAScript 5 "strict mode", which makes writing JavaScript code easier and cleaner. Amazon.com combines multiple files, e.g., its own code and jQuery, into a single file to speed up the site; however, jQuery uses strict mode, which applies to the whole file, and some of other other code was no longer valid.
  • Learn more: bug 579119


  • Problem: User-submitted photos, map navigation, search filters don’t appear or don’t work
  • Context: Firefox 4 implements many parts of HTML5 from the <video> tag all the way down to the nitty-gritty details of what properties exist on certain HTML elements. Yelp’s code was counting on "style" in HTMLElement.prototype to be false, but HTML5 browsers will now give true instead.
  • Learn more: bug 608651

So if you haven’t tried Firefox 4 recently because your favorite sites weren’t working, download Firefox 4 beta or have Firefox update itself and try again now. Thanks to the excellent work from all the teams involved to make sure Firefox 4 works great when the release candidates and official release appear in the coming weeks.

7 Comments | Tags: Development, Mozilla