Ric B

About me

Developer Information
Name Ric B
User since March 5, 2007
Number of add-ons developed 0 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Not yet rated

My Reviews

Evernote Clearly

Works surprisingly well -- a welcome "fix" for overly busy page designs Rated 5 out of 5 stars

I don't use Clearly a lot, but when I do I'm always amazed at how well it works. It's a GREAT tool for getting to the useful content on a cluttered page. The only thing to note is that I block scripts by default (thanks NoScript) and I must temporarily enable scripts for a page's main URL to get Clearly to work.

Also, note that Clearly is nicely enhanced by the Paragrasp add-on. Paragrasp highlights a single paragraph as one scrolls down a page. It makes Clearly even better…

GMail Checker

Working well for me -- glad to have it Rated 4 out of 5 stars

So far it's working well. Glad to have it as a replacement for another add-on that stopped working after Google changed something in its authentication. Thanks for keeping this add-on current!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.6.4.1-signed). 

Classic Theme Restorer (Customize UI)

Now first in my list of mandatory Firefox addons... Rated 5 out of 5 stars

If this addon didn't exist, I'd still be running Firefox 28. Only after I learned that this addon existed did I upgrade from 28 to 30. (And I only upgraded to 30 to get the most current version of Firebug.)

IF one likes to put certain controls and icons in the so-called Addon Bar, or otherwise wants to position the browser's primary controls where you like them rather than where the designer thinks you ought to put them, then you need Classic Theme Restorer. It's that simple.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.2.0.1-signed). 

Add-on Update Checker

Very handy, but version 2.5's new icon isn't a step forward Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I've been using one or another variant of this add-on for several years. It's on my list of must-install add-ons for any new Firefox profile.

But having just updated to version 2.5, I notice a new, fuzzier, and otherwise less attractive toolbar icon. Ugh! What's that about?

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.5.1-signed). 

Downloads Window

Nice to get the downloads panel back. It'll be better with a Clean and Close option Rated 4 out of 5 stars

Like many longtime Firefox users, I was annoyed when the download panel disappeared in FF 26. Happily, "Downloads Window" puts it mostly back in place.The only thing I personally miss is the equivalent of the Clean and Close functionality formerly provided by that Extension. The old stand-alone Extension no longer works in Downloads Window, so it would be great if that became an option in this otherwise handy Extension…

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.3.3.1-signed). 

FindBar Tweak

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Very nice enhancements to Firefox's native Find tool. Findbar Tweaks is now part of my "must have" Firefox extensions.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.3.4.1-signed). 

Context Search X

Context Search is one of my "must have" add-ons Rated 5 out of 5 stars

I've been using the original Context Search add-on for a lonnng time. It's one of the add-ons that's on my must-have list for any new Firefox profile.

I find Context Search most helpful when I want to check the meaning of a word, abbreviation, or acronym on a web page. Because my Firefox search engines include acronym, dictionary, and etymology sites, I can highlight a string, right-click it and select the best search engine, and get the search results without the need to perform additional mouse movements or keystrokes.

Love it…

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.4.6.11.1-signed). 

Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out (TACO)

Repeatedly grants Google+ blocking exceptions Rated 2 out of 5 stars

Most of the time TACO Abine works well enough. But it has evidently been "updated" to keep re-granting Google+ a blocking exception: I must manually re-apply — and re-apply and re-apply and re-apply and re-apply, ad infinitum — blocking of Google+ tracking when using Google Reader.

Based on what I've learned, I suspect this new behavior isn't a "bug" but rather a new designed-in limitation of TACO. For a start, this new behavior has been reported by other users of this extension. Additionally, Abine's site provides no answers; and an email to Abine support resulted in a "read the FAQs" form letter and no follow-up. Makes me wonder who got paid off to cripple TACO's blocking of Google+ and when.

Long story short, when TACO does as it has been told it works pretty well. But as other users have indicated, TACO gives all appearance of having been intentionally crippled so as to keep overriding user choices for Google+ for sites / pages such as GReader…

EDIT: Received the following email response from Abine:

"I do not believe that there is a way to permanently tell TACO to block Google +1. It is an older product and we have since replaced most of its functionality with our newer product Do Not Track +. DNT+ is also a browser addon for IE, Firefox…"

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (4.48). 

Bookmark Tab

A great idea and nicely implemented Rated 5 out of 5 stars

I tend to keep a minimal number of bookmarks for a handful of sites I access regularly. How nice it is to be able to quickly pick one of those bookmarked sites from a navigable list presented when I open a new tab.

One of my favorites and "must haves" for sure.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.6.1-signed). 

Blur

Okay, I guess, but I still like TACO more… Rated 4 out of 5 stars

What I like about TACO Abine, and like less about Do Not Track plus, is that TACO provides me with direct control over per-site blocking of third-party cookies.

DNT Plus may — or may not — be blocking third-party cookies from Google, Facebook, and other regular offenders: I can't tell.

So for FF profiles other than my experimental / try-out profile, I'm still going with TACO Abine…

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.2.1.611.1-signed). 

Word Count Plus

Still can be made to work in version 13 of FF Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Word Count Plus has remained one of my most useful and frequently used Firefox extensions (nee add-ins) since FF 3.

This morning I once again updated the install.rdf file in my precious copy of wordcountplus-1.3.0.xpi to make it compatible with version 13.0.1 of Firefox.

The funny / non-funny part is how many Firefox users continue to update their Word Count Plus XPI package and its install.rdf file in lieu of any more contemporary version of the extension.

(For more complex word counting needs, I paste text into GVIM and use G CTRL+g to provide a detailed word count in GVIM's status line…)

Pentadactyl

Impressive as Heck, but it ain't VIM Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, impressive, a formidable amount of development and work. But it ain't VIM.

I use VIM on a daily basis. But when I tried to use Pentadactyl to browse, I spent virtually all my time in the add-on's Help files.

The underlying idea of Pentadactyl is interesting: Navigate Web pages with VIM commands. But the problem is that there are so many non-VIM commands and options that need to be learned before you can then use a handful of actual VIM commands to move around a bit. What might have made Pentadactyl work better was to use a GVIM approach so that users could incrementally learn Pentadactyl's unique commands and so ease in to more sophisticated usage.

Pentadactyl was fun to play with and explore, but in the end I needed to disable / uninstall it so I could actually use Firefox to view Web pages…

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0rc1.1-signed). 

Aeon

Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I've liked this theme since sometime around the Firefox 2 days. I was happy to see it was still available for F'fox 10.

Aeon is for me a very good occasional theme. I alternate between its bright, usable cheeriness and other themes depending on my mood.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (5.0). 

Show Anchors 2

One of my all-time favorites, now available for F'Fox version 10 and beyond… Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Stefan for the updated version — the toolbar button missing from earlier versions of Show Anchors 2 is now available. One can once again click the toolbar button to immediately see all the anchors on a given page.

Insofar as the earlier instance of Show Anchors meant for older versions of Firefox was one of my all-time favorite add-ons, and insofar as Show Anchors 2 now delivers that functionality for version 10 of Firefox (and presumably beyond), I've rewritten my initial review and added some stars…

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.3.1-signed). 

Google Shortcuts - All Google Services at a glance

Helpful, but would be better with HTTPS as a global option Rated 4 out of 5 stars

Google Shortcuts provides a very handy way to access the specific Google services and products you regularly use.

However — by default the services are accessed via HTTP, *not* HTTPS. It is possible to edit the URL of the services you have selected, and thus specify HTTPS, but it's a one-by-one operation.

So four stars for the convenience it provides, but not five stars because it doesn't make it sufficiently easy to use HTTPS by default…

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (2.1.7.1.1-signed). 

Tools Menu Button

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

The Tools Menu Button solves one of the annoyances arising from Firefox 9-pluses' well-intentioned but not entirely thought-out attempt to reclaim viewing space by hiding the Menu Bar.

Although hiding the Menu Bar does reclaim some vertical viewing space, it also makes it problematic to access certain tools and extension options.

The Tools Menu Button provides a way to both hide the Menu Bar *and* easily access those "buried" options…

MouseZoom

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

I installed this just to see if I liked it. I like it a lot.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.4.7). 

Vista-aero

Rated 2 out of 5 stars

Looks good, but highly disruptive.
The look of Aero Vista blends nicely with the Vista or W7 operating system, but unfortunately the theme also imposes "rules" on menus and status bars that affect usability.

After using the theme for about two weeks, I lost my patience with the inability to remove the theme's zoom tool from the status bar, put a reload page button where I wanted it, etc. So I've uninstalled it...

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (3.0.0.87). 

Vista-aero

Rated 2 out of 5 stars

Looks good, but way too disruptive for my taste. Clobbered my Tools menu, added a non-removable Zoom tool to my status bar, prevented me from moving or adding a reload button where I wanted one. Uninstalled after about a week of finding yet another annoyance.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (3.0.0.87). 

Zoom toolbar

For better or worse, works across tab boundaries... Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Unlike the old Textsize toolbar, this zoom toolbar seems to apply the zoom settings to all open tabs. The older Textsize toolbar confined its activities to the current tab only.

Still, a convenient way to mouse the zoom level up or down...

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.9).