Ask Slashdot: Best Browser Extensions — 2016 Edition

Slashdot is running a discussion thread on what are the best browser extensions these days.  The comments cover a variety of browsers and all kinds of extensions.  The most popular are, of course, well know.  But there are a few gems here and there.

snooze_panel

For me personally, I’ve picked the Tab Snooze extension.  I’ve tried quite a few tab management solutions, and neither one of them fits my needs even though most tried (I want to run a single browser window, with dozens or hundreds of tabs open, but I want them to be organized into groups and hidden until later, when I need them).   Tab Snooze approaches the problem from a slightly different angle. It sets the reminder for when to reopen the tab, and once that’s done, it closes the tab.  You can find all snoozed tabs and open them before the due date, of course.

This works surprisingly well for me.  If only I could control the opening of the tabs with something like “17 tabs were woken up and are about to be open. Continue?”.  Currently, I get the notification and the tabs are open automatically, which is often not at the best time.  Waking up a lot of tabs can slow the system down a bit and get in the way of things on which I’m working at the time.

Chrome apps … mind blown!

Don’t ask me how, but I’ve ended up in the Google Chrome Web Store, where I spent the last three hours – especially in the Productivity -> Developer Tools category.  I knew, there were plenty of apps to make Chrome OS / Chrome Browser super awesome, but it seems it’s been a while since I looked in there … My mind is officially blown!

I don’t need much from my Fedora laptop – a browser, a terminal, and some instant messaging apps.  But these days apparently that’s too much.  A lot of the things I do through the regular day can be handled right from the browser apps.

mysql

Here are some examples.

  1. Text editors.  There is a slew of them!  Simple and complex, specialized and generic, fast and … not so much.  Have a look at Caret for example.  It’s Sublime-like editor, based on the Ace editing component.  It offers a selection of themes, syntax highlighting for all the major languages, multiple tabs, project settings, and more!
  2. SSH client.  Yup, that’s right.  You can connect to your remote servers right out of the browser, using, for example, ServerAuditor.
  3. MySQL clients.  Choose between a simple command-line one, like MySQL Console.  Or a full-featured one, with ERDs and database browser, like Chrome MySQL Admin.
  4. Git, GitHub, and Gist tools.  Which there is a variety of…
  5. Web server (yes, really, a web server running in the web browser!) – Web Server fro Chrome, debugger (Xdebug), and compiler (Compiler.work).

Most of these offer session saving, networking synchronization, Google Drive data saving, social network integration, etc.

Wow!  The browser world has come a long way since Netscape 3 …

 

Good bye Google Chrome, hello Chromium

Google dropped the support of its Google Chrome browser on 32-bit Linux operating systems.  This is very unfortunate, but not deadly.  This change doesn’t affect the Chromium browser – the Open Source project behind Google Chrome.

Chromium-vs-Google-Chrome

The two are very compatible.  In fact, if you use the Google Sync in Google Chrome to synchronize your passwords, bookmarks, settings, etc. to Google, then Chromium will just pick them all up from there, once you login.  All your extensions will get installed and will continue working as well.

Here’s a link for those Fedora users who want to perform a manual installation.  Using dnf is probably easier:

dnf copr enable spot/chromium
dnf install chromium

Hopefully, 32-bit Linux Chromium will survive much longer…

Update:  Here is how to bring back Flash plugin, for those who need it:

wget http://mirror.yandex.ru/fedora/russianfedora/russianfedora/nonfree/fedora/updates/23/i386/chromium-pepper-flash-20.0.0.306-1.fc23.R.i686.rpm
file-roller --extract-here ./chromium-pepper-flash-20.0.0.306-1.fc23.R.i686.rpm
mv usr/lib/chromium/PepperFlash /usr/lib/chromium-browser/

Restart chrome after that and verify that you have the Adobe Flash Plugin on the about:plugins page.

Chrome DevTools : Remote Debugging Devices

remote-debug-banner

Remote debugging on Android with Chrome DevTools sounds like the best thing since sliced bread for anybody involved in web development.  TL;DR version:

  • There’s no substitute for debugging your site on a real device. Debug browser tabs on your device from your development workspace using remote debugging.
  • You don’t have to shift attention between your device and development screens. Use screencasting to display your device’s screen along side your developer tools.

rather – replace anything you want in your social feeds

rather

For all those people who complain about my pictures of food, somebody else’s pictures of babies, Justin Bieber photos, and the like, here’s something to try: get rather.

This sounds like a handy tool for anyone who hasn’t been blessed with patience or can’t figure out the “unsubscribe” button.

Weird New Tricks for Browser Fingerprinting

I’ve given up on privacy and security a long time ago.  So I don’t really care much.  But every time when my position is reinforced with things like “Weird New Tricks for Browser Fingerprinting“, I still lose some sleep for some reason.  And she is on the good side too …

OctroTree – Google Chrome extension for browsing GitHub code repositories

OctroTree – Google Chrome extension for browsing GitHub code repositories.  I promise you, this is one of those things that you wouldn’t believe you lived without before.  Fast, convenient, with support for private repositories (via API access token), GitHub Enterprise, and keyboard shortcuts.  Absolutely essential for anyone who is on GitHub!

octotree

Microsoft doubles MSIE web pain with Spartan

The Verge reports that Microsoft is killing its Internet Explorer brand.  Don’t confuse it with the browser though.

Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 mainly for enterprise compatibility, but the new Project Spartan will be named separately and will be the primary way for Windows 10 users to access the web.

There is no realistic way for Microsoft to kill the MSIE browser.  Even if they will completely remove it from all the new installations, there is still a gadzillion computers with it already installed.   It doesn’t matter if they “end of life” it or even actively push people to upgrade.  It’ll just be dragged around for a few more years.

MSIE

And what does Microsoft do to help?  They introduce yet another browser – Spartan – into the mix.  Like we don’t have enough good browsers already.  So now web developers will be suffering the pain of not one, but two Microsoft web browsers.  And the fun part will be supporting all the old ones, and figuring out all the quirks of the new one.

Thank you very much, dear Microsoft.  You’re fun as always.

P.S.: A better solution would be of course to drop their own web browser completely and use one of the existing applications – Firefox, Chromium, Google Chrome, Opera, or anything else.  All these options are free, well tested, solid, fast, and secure.   Most even have huge communities with extension developers, theme designers, and support forums.