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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
I have reviewed this addon favourably in the past too, and have added it to my addon collections as well. I have come back to encourage the developer to continue developing this great addon and taking it to new heights. This really is a work of art.
I must praise the developer for being very responsive to users' ideas. If the developer continues to develop this addon at this pace, in 1 or 2 years, it will become an addon in the same class as Adblock Plus and TabMix Plus.
A few suggestions I'd like to give to the developer to give him new ideas about how to enhance this all-in-one addon:
1. The smart searchbox could contain additional commands like the addon "Clip reference". For example, an option to copy the selected text, open selected text as url, find selected text in this tab, find selected text in all tabs, copy text, etc...+ few more functions not found in Clip reference i.e Search selected test within this site using Google, Search selected text within this site using the site's own search engine, and so on + Functions like the addon "QuoteURLText", copy selected text alongwith page title, url and date
2. Use the keyword 'f' to search for text in a page and 'ff' to search in all tabs. This is a feature we find in the Opera browser. If you type 'f firefox' in the address bar, it finds and highlights all instances of the word on the page. If this function is added to Fastest Search, then find text with one step less as there would be no need to do Ctrl+F or Ctrl+Shift+F before you can tye your text.
3. Enable/Disable Autocopy or Instant Search or Drag and drop by middle clicking or right clicking on the Fastest Search's button. You(the developer) might choose to allow toggling any function of your addon by pressing the button. This will make the button more usable. And by disabling/enabling functions on the go, we get a faster firefox.
4. Double click image to save it. Double clicking opens a dialog to allow you to choose the location where you want to save image.
5. Copy page's title, url and date by pressing Ctrl+C when you are on the page and have selected no text.
Hi, thanks for your kind review as always! For your suggestions:
1. Open selected text in a new tab is supported in "Misc. Settings" (named "Do not open selected plain text link"). Find select text in this tab/all tabs would be useful. Searching text on current site using Google is supported using Custom Engine with a special syntax (see "Misc. important features" section on this addon's page). Copy selected along with page title etc. sounds too undefined (some users might not want title but just want date, some might want only url ...) to be implemented.
2. That's useful, but I personally would rather use Ctrl-Alt-F to turn on Find-As-You-Type instead. This way you instantly see how many results are found and can immediately change keyword. No need to jump into addressbar and type f.
3. That's unfortunately not doable, AFAIK. It's limited by Addon SDK - I tried catching right click before and failed. And the current SDK version still only supports left click.
4. I'm not sure this is better than right click and drag to save an image. In fact, I know for certainly that if an image has a link on it, double clicking the image would still open that link before my addon even receives that double click event to do the saving. It's too unreliable to do this.
5. Copying current page's URL when nothing is selected is supported in "Misc. Settings" ("Smart Copy & Paste"), and you can Ctrl-V in another tab to open that URL without having to type 'Enter'. Note that this feature is inactive if your focus is in anywhere that you can type text in, just in case it's an inadvertent mistake. Again copying title etc. is too undefined for now.
Again thanks for your review and suggestions!
Bug report reversed Rated 5 out of 5 stars
I had earlier reported that the image save isn't working. I take that back, it is working perfectly. The problem is that the folder I was trying to save images in was a password protected one. My mistake, I am sorry.
Regarding the other bug(not being able to disable smart search), Thanks for rolling out the next next version to fix that so soon. I have now set the Hide Smart Searchbox after _ seconds" to 0. That has disabled the smart search. But it would be great if I could disable it altogether to not show the pop up even when I press the shift key. I use other addons which do stuff with the shift key and I would appreciate it if the smart search box would not keep popping up everytime I press shift.
Grrr, AMO has been swallowing my replies occasionally, now I have to type this reply again:
It's good to hear about the image save is working.
Update: I just released v2.16 that:
1. Fixed the smart searchbox 0 engine config bug. But don't remove all engines, just used the new-in-v2.16 'Do not show the Smart Searchbox' option in the main Options panel, IF needed. I recommend you use SS, because of the reason below.
2. Now engine shortcuts or map location shortcuts can contain numbers and underscore and v2.16 increased engine shortcut max length to 4 characters from 3.
3. As per your wish, now Smart Searchbox allows unlimited number of engines specified. You can have 16, 32, 100 icons if you want!
4. v2.16 rearranged options and only present easy-disable options in the main Options panel. This allows novice users to quickly turn off the major features that they find intrusive. Basically, those are Instant (and/or Suggest) and Smart Searchbox. The detailed Smart Searchbox options now belong to a new Smart Searchbox settings panel.
I hope you test the new version (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/fastest-search/versions/2.16) and let me know how it goes. So far all your wishes are implemented except for the options panel remain unwieldy in a sense. Not much I can do there. Now I can get some sleep ...
Thanks for the quick reply Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for addressing all the issues I had raised Mingyi. I am satisfied with your explanation about:
- Not adding more search engines to Fastest search
- Not allowing a search engine keyword of more than 3 characters
I am happy that in future versions you have agreed to see whether the limitation of numerals in the search engine shortcuts can be removed. Also, it is great that you are going to remove the bug that causes smart search to not be disallowed easily.
w.r.t. your explanation about the settings interface, I myself am not bothered by it much, but I think that the average user does not take time to stop, read all your instructions in the ? buttons, and then configure the addon. I think it would be better if you make the process of adjusting settings a bit easier. You should probably consider allowing people to choose between 1.All settings enabled 2.All settings disabled 3. Medium settings 4.Most important features enabled and so on, in one separate window. Probably in this new window you could have check boxes to allow people to quickly enable or disable features more quickly. For example, it could contain a checkbox to enable/disable Instant suggestions, Smart search, Image save, Preview, Autocopy, Text search, Preview
and so on all in one window. If one wants to fine tune the settings for each of them separately, then he has the choice of going to the specific window of that feature and adjust them in more detail.
I love your addon, and I would have awarded you 4.5 stars if Mozilla would allow me to. I have corrected the 4 stars and awarded you 5 stars now, But please
- Allow us to disable the smart search easily(as you said you would do it in a future version)
- Allow us to add more than 7 search engines to smart search
Your addon would deserve 6 stars if you did both of them together.
Thanks for your update as well!
1. Removing the limit of numbers in engine shortcuts: UPDATE: it's done. Can you send me an email so I can mail the new version to you and you can test it out? I want to test it out a bit further before releasing it.
2. I agree. Allowing users to quick-sets would be better - it's partially done with the Instant/Suggestion/Image Save/Autocoopy/Smart Search (via method below, although not a checkbox) all needing just one check/character change, but it is not all in one place or straight forward. I'll think about it.
3. Disable Smart Searchbox is already easy (just set the "Hide Smart Searchbox after _ seconds" to 0). It's the preferred way (this way you preserve the engines, which would be useful when using 'shift' key to bring it up again), but I already fixed the bug. UPDATE: as above, contact me using 'support email' on addon page, I can send you the update.
4. More engines in Smart Searchbox. I'll see if I can make it arbitrarily big with a certain limit. It'll be a little tricky and could take a bit time/planning.
BTW I seriously recommend watching the 8-minute intro video I linked in the 'About this addon' for FS. You'll truly find the textbox in the Smart Searchbox unique and quite useful. The auto-guess engine using the default or customized text-recognition rules is also unique and quite helpful.
I'll update this reply when I release a new version that addresses some of these things.
A few suggestions and a bug Rated 4 out of 5 stars
First of all, let me congratulate you for creating such a wonderful addon. It has the potential to become to Firefox Search what the Tab Mix Plus is to Tabs.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take a look at an addon called 'Selected Search' (you can't reach the page by searching for it on Mozilla, use the link I have provided below)
It works like your smart search feature but is much better at it because
A) I can more easily have 16 search engines pop up rather than the 7 you provide us with
B) The interface is better and more customisable
C) I do not want a box to pop up for me to enter the keyword of search engine among the smart engines. I instead would like to have all my 16 search engines pop up with their own icon. If I ever want to use another search engine apart from the 16, I type fast enough to go to the address bar or the search bar rather than enter things into the little box you provide us with. So please give us a way to disable this.
2. Add more search engines to the list of search engines you provide us with. Here are a few I'd suggest - Google searches for the last 24hours, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 1 year; Google image search without filtering adult content, Google image search for large images; Google search for similiar sites; Urban dictionary; Pirate bay, Drugs.com. All of these search engines are available from the Mycroft project website.
3. Improve the interface of your addon's settings pop up. I think you probably underestimate how unwieldy it is.
4. Your addon does not allow us to use search engine shortcuts more than 3 letters long or shortcuts that contain numerals. I understand that you really might need to keep the 3 letter limit to work with your smart search, but please remove the limitation on using numerals in the shortcuts. I use the Google search for the last 1 day, 1 week, 1month and 1 year a lot, and I had named my shortcuts as g1d, g1w, g1m and g1y respectively, so I couldn't easily import those search engines into your addon. I also use some longer shortcuts like drug for drugs.com, which again I could not import into your addon because of the 3 letter limit, so consider removing this limit too.
1. Image save does not work. I have about 70 addons installed, but none of them should affect any drag and drop functionality except yours. Image save still doesn't work.
2. Can't disable the smart search by leaving the field for search engines empty. The addon keeps showing me an error asking me to either leave the field empty or enter *, when I press save even after emptying the field. (I don't use your smart search, I use selected search instead). I had to go to an older version because of this problem.
Your addon is great. Keep up the good work.
Well, I don't know what to say - this is the 2nd review in a day's span that someone said my addon's wonderful or so close to perfection, then slap a 4-star rating on my addon. Does an addon have to be perfect and absolutely bug free in all 95 features it offers to get a 5-star rating? I'm beginning to regret spending so much time to offer so much in this addon. Seriously, my extra effort seems to only backfire. Anyhow I hope you can reconsider the rating as did the last person after I made my case and thanks in advance.
Now replies to your suggestions:
1. 'Selected search' addon. Interesting, it does multiple similar things to the Smart Searchbox (even the offset settings!), but it doesn't do preview or text box, both of the latter are very fast search features that's special/unique to my Smart Searchbox - your argument that you could easily go to urlbar and type a search rather than using the text box in Smart Searchbox simply doesn't stand - it wouldn't be nearly as fast, especially since you have to type the selected text again if you were using the 'selected search' addon. The textbox allows quick switching to the exact engine you want, even if you have 80 engines.
Perhaps as importantly, the textbox allows multi-engine search (type 'g,y' searches both Google and Yahoo), FAST driving directions if address is selected (watch demo video), and category search (like type 'Movies' in the textbox to search all movies engines at once) on selected text. This is much more advanced and impossible to do with just icons. You should give these features a try, I can't imagine any user that could not make use of these really useful features, all because of the important textbox.
Still, if that's how you prefer it to behave, you can easily disable Smart Searchbox by following my demo video or FAQ page, then use the 'selected search'. I do not see any advantage of 'selected search' compared to FS except that you could have more icons, which is dubious as it's hard to find icon fast with so many icons popped up. If more users make the same suggestion, I'd consider increasing the number of icons.
2. Add more search engines. One can add those engines from mycroft project page to searchbar then import from searchbar. It takes a bit time, but I don't see why I should pack that many engines for everyone.
3. Unwieldy addon settings. For the sub-settings, it is unwieldy as closing the subsettings does not go back to main Options panel. Otherwise it's actually faster and easier to access the main Options than other addons that uses Addon Manager. I in fact wish all the other addons's Options/Preferences are so easily accessible right from the toolbar. It does take some getting used to though. And if closing subsettings should go back to main Option panel is preferred by more users, I can change this behavior. Otherwise due to technical and time limitations, there's not much I could do.
4. Engine shortcut length and no number limit: These limits exist because: 1. I don't think one likes to type more than 3 letters for an engine, and 3 letters allow a theoretical 17K engines. 2. More importantly, when you type 'drug for fever' in urlbar, how do I know if you want to search 'for fever' on the 'drug' engine you mentioned, or that you meant to a Google search on 'drug for fever'? That's the problem of lengthy and unrestricted shortcuts. I'll probably remove the number limit it in the next version or at most 2.
2. Can't disable the smart search by leaving the field for search engines empty - yes, you're right. Sorry for my oversight and rest assured it'd be fixed in the next version. Do note that as I stated above, the demo video and FAQ mentioned the preferred way of disabling the Smart Searchbox and it does work. No need to go to an old version of FS.