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Firefox Friday Five

By now you should know what this column is all about: Firefox. Everything Firefox. Some of this will be new, some of it old, but generally all of it will be pretty neat if you're a Firefox user. Let's get stuck in!

1. You can undo closed tabs in Firefox

You know what Ctrl-T does, right? It opens a new tab. How about Ctrl-Tab? It cycles through your tabs! Now... what happens if you throw shift into the mix? Ctrl-Shift-Tab cycles backwards through your tabs. And Ctrl-Shift-T... guess what... re-opens closed tabs!

Yes, it's basically impossible to pull off with just one hand, but it's still a very neat shortcut to know. Also, you can do it over and over, popping up tabs that have been closed for hours. I don't know how far the history reaches, but if someone wants to find out...

(Incidentally, the same thing can be pulled off by right-clicking any other tab and 'Undo Close Tab', or via the History menu.)

2. Shareaholic for Firefox is really quite awesome
I know, when you think of social media and bookmarking your first instinct isn't to think of Download Squad... but Shareaholic really is very good. Its latest version enabled the 'AwesomeBar' icon, which I suppose allows you to have super-minimal interfaces with just the AwesomeBar and nothing else.

If you look in the bottom right corner there's also a 'Buzz' meter that shows you the latest trending topics from Twitter and OneRiot -- now it's easier than ever to keep up to date!
Mozilla Labs has just wrapped up a cool competition to raise developer awareness of Jetpack, their new add-on system that will likely make its grand, built-in debut with Firefox 3.7. To enter, developers simply had to create a Jetpack add-on with 50 lines of code or less. This was obviously to prove just how 'easy' Jetpack coding is -- and I have to admit that the three winners have done well with so little code!
The 'main winner' was Davide Ficano's JetColorTab -- a tiny add-on that lets you simply re-color your Firefox tabs. There's no 'install' button on the add-on's page, so I had to paste the code into Jetpack itself (about:jetpack) -- and hey, it's as easy to make Jetpack addons as they say it is!

4. New version releases: both Firefox 3.6 and Firefox for Mobile reach RC1
As the roadmap predicted last week, the beginning of 2010 was scheduled to be a busy one for Mozilla! This week we saw both Firefox 3.6 and its fleet-footed Mobile brethren (Fennec) reach the Release Candidate stage.

Firefox 3.6's main focus is on performance and personalization. Personas, Firefox's theme system, is built-in to 3.6. There are also significant improvements to the AwesomeBar, Firefox's all-in-one navigation bar.

Meanwhile, Firefox for Mobile trudges slowly onwards. It's still only for mobile phones that run Maemo -- a grand total of three high-end Nokia handsets. There are hints of a Windows Mobile version, but that's still stuck in alpha testing. I think 2010 will be another slow year for Firefox for Mobile, but we'll see!

5. VidzBigger -- it's as ghetto as it sounds
It's about time I featured a Userscript! This one, as you probably guessed, makes your, er, vidz... bigger. Basically, depending on the size of your window (and screen resolution), it scales videos as large as possible. It also enables 'HQ' automatically. It also does a whole lot more (like removing ads), but you should just go check the add-on's site for the full list. Basically, if you have the spare CPU cycles and you want to take advantage of all those juicy high-def videos now turning up on YouTube, this is a great add-on to get.

Userscripts require Greasemonkey, one of the most popular (27 million downloads!) Firefox add-ons. Once you have it installed, a massive wealth of neat functionality is then available to you via the repository at Userscripts.

* * *
That about does it for another week. If I've missed anything big, bring it up in the comments!

Tags: add-on, addons, fennec, firefox, firefox for mobile, FirefoxForMobile, greasemonkey, jetpack, roundup, shareaholic, userscripts