Xyzzy

About me

Developer Information
Name Xyzzy
Location SF North Bay
User since November 20, 2009
Number of add-ons developed 0 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Not yet rated

In a little more detail...

I used to be a huge Firefox fan that got lots of people to convert to it from IE. I switched to SeaMonkey because I like being able to control how my browser looks/acts, and I love it -- it's like a glimpse of what Firefox 4 could've developed into if the devs hadn't fallen for the latest UI fad.

I'd describe my looks or other hobbies, but the above is what's truly relevant.

My Reviews

Mysites - the best speed dial and start page

Look up "Perion" on Wikipedia... Rated 1 out of 5 stars

As others said, "Mysites" commits classic red-flag behavior like redirecting to another site for a download, messing with browser settings like changing your homepage, altering or removing toolbars, etc. If you look up its creator on Wikipedia, you will find that Perion Ltd. creates adware/malware toolbars & programs -- enough said!

Word Count Tool

Lightweight & works perfectly Rated 5 out of 5 stars

I've wished for an extension like this for a long time -- it's going to be invaluable on forums that only allow for a really short signature, as I change my sigs on a regular basis. Happily, it isn't increasing Firefox 21's CPU or RAM usage, even though my computer's fairly old (2GHz Centrino running Mepis Linux).

The only things that I think might improve it would be things like:
-- at least some control over where the statistics appear
-- have the info collapse after an adjustable period of time has passed with nothing highlighted, possibly then available in a tooltip if we hover over the icon
-- choose between having the info automatically visible or appear only as a tooltip for the icon (I'd go with icon)

In any event, I hope this extension remains active for a long time!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.0.rev216). 

Tab History Redux

No longer working for me Rated 1 out of 5 stars

This was one of my favorite extensions, but in the last month or two, it has been causing Firefox to restore tabs with my normal current by-date history rather than the history that belongs to that tab. That happens when Firefox starts up or if I restore a tab from Too Many Tabs, but never if Tab History Redux is disabled.

Maybe it'll work fine for people that haven't tried it before, or that don't bother restoring tabs...worth a try. (I don't have the free time to experiment right now.) Hopefully the creator will notice the rating of Tab History Redux dropping as more people report this, and fix it.

Tab History Menu (modified)

A delay would be nice Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I spent this evening trying this extension out, and it did work just as advertised -- it's really awesome that the creator was responsive to user requests for an alternative to the original due to add-on conflicts.

Suggestion 1: let the user set how long we must hover over the tab before the history appears. (The idea comes from Tab Mix Plus's switch-on-hover ability, which is controlled in milliseconds.) Alternately, maybe the menu could appear specifically if we hover over the site icon, or if we hover while holding down ctrl, alt, meta/window or the Mac equivalents.

Suggestion 2: optionally also have the history appear when the user hovers *other* tabs. That would let us check which tab we viewed a particular page in, without having to actually click through each tab.

Suggestion 3: if possible, allow the user to control how many history entries appear (I've always felt that the default number is kind of tiny).

I ran into one mild problem, was that the close button on the tabs didn't respond about half of the time. Holding the mouse button down slightly longer than usual often forced it to obey, but not always. It 'felt' like there was some connection between the menu's timing/presence and the button misbehaving, but I could be wrong.

Split Pannel

Working Well Rated 5 out of 5 stars

So far, in Firefox 19 (Linux) this extension is working perfectly well without slowing my 9-year-old computer down. Being fully resizeable and having separate navigation buttons and a basic menu for saving, bookmarking or changing the location is a useful touch.

It would've been preferable if the button defaulted to using an icon instead of text; I wouldn't care, except changing it requires the browser be restarted. More problematically, the options window is too small to include the text & buttons, and doesn't allow resizing. If my desktop environment (KDE 4) didn't let me force windows to change size, I wouldn't have been able to hit the buttons to save my settings.

PS. It seems from what other creators have done that it's possible to rename an extension, so please change it to "Split Panel" so it's spelled correctly! Or perhaps rename it something else entirely like "Window Panes" so it's not potentially confused with the rival that's getting an increasingly bad rep.

Hide Add-on-Bar-Close-Button

Works great, except… Rated 5 out of 5 stars

It does almost everything I'd expected/hoped it would… The one issue is that the hidden button still takes up a space, which I can move around on the add-on bar, but not actually remove. (Firefox 19, Linux)

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.2.3). 

Menu Editor

Where's the new menu? Rated 3 out of 5 stars

I've really liked this extension for the last year-plus... However, it hasn't been updated in almost 2 years, so there's no way to edit the new Firefox button menu that more and more people rely on, including me.

MyWords

Simple & Effective Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I use MyWords at least a few times every Firefox session, often far more -- I use it for my public & temporary email addresses, standard login names for starting new accounts, and my OpenID address. I really like how easy it is to add new entries.

There are two things that could really improve MyWords... One is if we could nest folders in the context-menu, as that would make a lot of entries easier to work with. The other would be for the configuration window capable of using small/single-line text areas or even just labels, so we might see all of our entries (or their labels) at once.

Fox Splitter

Worked OK, but description is for a totally different extension! Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Fox Splitter inexplicably has the description belonging to an earlier project by the same name. *This* extension clones the Firefox window so there's two of them -- the old one, which the description is all about, really does let the user show more than one website within a single window.

To be fair, I'm going to review the extension as if the description didn't exist or was marginally accurate.

It works fairly well for what it's intended to do (create two synchronized windows), and has all of the options that a power user could hope for; I also really appreciated that it's a No-Restart install.

I did run into some problems, using Firefox 19 for Linux:
-- The location bar on the newer window was halfway obscured by the webpage; nothing I tried would fix it.
-- The toolbar-hiding settings couldn't apply to the add-on bar, as it's coded for the defunct statusbar.
-- It was impossible to align the windows without putting them both against the bottom of the screen; one would automatically jump a little higher/lower than the one I moved.
-- When I resized a window and its twin did so as well, they moved but still ended up overlapping quite a bit.

If I was doing the right kinds of online research right now, I'd find this extension very handy, so I'm keeping it bookmarked. Given the programmer's seeming inability to update things to match changes in Firefox (or his/her own extension) I assume "Fox Splitter" won't exist by then. :-/

JS Switch

Works well, gray hard to see Rated 3 out of 5 stars

I've been using JS Switch for several weeks now: it does the job promptly upon being clicked, and doesn't bog my ancient system down.

There's one problem though -- when JavaScript is off, the "JS" turns a light gray that I find very hard to see against many window colors. Outlining the letters in black would solve it without making it any harder for folks with dark color schemes.

When I tried to teach one of parents how to use JS Switch, I also ran into another color issue: they are used to red meaning "stopped," so they would click it over to gray and get confused when pages broke. Giving the user a few colors to choose from for on & off (like in a drop-down in the preferences pop-up) might be the simplest solution.

"Zenturio" said in the review before mine that this is the only one-click JavaScript disabler, but there's another called JSOff that uses red/green dots. I find that having JSOff & JS Switch alongside one another in a toolbar is perfect, as the red dot is easier to see than the gray JS and the red JS reminds me what they do better than the green dot does. :)

Side note (regarding Zenturio's comments): the review system IS supposed to indicate personal preference. As the instructions say on the page for writing the review: "what features you liked and/or disliked...any disadvantages it has." That means that if I find the gray JS hard to see, or if it won't work for someone in text-button mode, we're supposed to include that.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.2.9). 

New Tab Tools

Working great in Firefox 16 Rated 5 out of 5 stars

NTT includes the functionality that should have been part of the new tab page, plus it adds professional-looking polish like tiles without pics being semi-transparent to show the wallpaper -- definitely a five-star addon. It really deserves some good screenshots to show off the appearance and the options.

Some requested future improvements:
1. It'd be great to have the tile name be editable along with the image in the options sidebar, instead of having to make/drag a custom bookmark onto the tile. (I think name editing was possible in an earlier version of Firefox, but not in 16.)
2. A button near the 'pin' on each tile to make Firefox refresh the thumbnail or load it for the first time.
3. Having the options sidebar shift in size or wrap words/buttons with the minimum font size, instead of having them vanish off the right side. Right now the biggest font that fits is still below what most seniors or others with moderate visual impairment can comfortably handle with glasses.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (3). 

Offline Restart Buttons

Helpful, needs confirmation Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I find the button really useful, but it'd be really helpful if it had a confirmation box to prevent accidental restarts. Luckily I use a text-area cache saving extension so I haven't lost anything yet. :)

I'm also glad that the author chose to use full-color icons (I use the :-/ one) instead of Mozilla's blah monochrome. It'd be nice if there were options that were more suggestive of a restart, though -- maybe the author could accept submissions and include the best of those, or let us use images from our drive?

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.1.5). 

Vertical Toolbar

Update Rated 5 out of 5 stars

From my earlier review: I've really enjoyed using Vertical Toolbar, which should've been part of Firefox by default ever since wide screens became the norm. Even though I use a 23" 1920x1080 LCD, switching just 1 toolbar to vertical made a noticeable difference, so I imagine it'd be excellent on a small screen.

Update: My earlier review said that I gave it only 3 stars because of two problems: it was making my icons revert to the built-in blah gray style, and that adding the Bookmarks Toolbar Items disabled the ability to customize toolbars. I let Firefox spend a few restarts (one wasn't enough) with the Vertical Toolbar disabled, then when I enabled it again, the problems were both gone: my themed icons are back & I could customize toolbars despite the Bookmark Toolbar Items being on the Vertical Toolbar. So, now I'm giving it the 5 stars it deserves since everything is working. :)

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.2.6).  This user has a previous review of this add-on.

Vertical Toolbar

This should be built-in! Rated 4 out of 5 stars

I've really enjoyed using Vertical Toolbar, which should've been part of Firefox by default ever since wide screens became the norm. Even though I use a 23" 1920x1080 LCD, switching just 1 toolbar to vertical made a noticeable difference, so I imagine it'd be excellent on a small screen.

I'd give it 5 stars, but there were a couple of problems. The small one is that it made Firefox ignore my theme & use the drab default icons. Much worse, putting my Bookmark Toolbar Items (it's 1 folder named .) onto V.T. made the "customize toolbar" menu option grayed out; the only way to fix it was to restart Firefox with Vertical Toolbar disabled.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (0.2.6). 

Context Peek

Could potentially become VERY useful Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Context Peek could be one of those rare "must have" add-ons, maybe even one of the kinds that becomes integrated... However, it has to overcome a couple of flaws first.

1) It really needs to let the user control the size of its window, preferably based on each individual entry since they won't all need the same amount of room. On my system, it was only big enough to show maybe 1/5 of its Translator, and I don't use particularly large fonts.

2) It should have a "test" area for trying out commands and/or implement changes/additions right away, not ignore them until Firefox restarts like it does now. When a person's work doesn't do what's expected, it's pretty rare for them to figure out how to 'fix' it without some trial-and-error -- waiting for Firefox to restart after every attempt to see if the changes worked would be a tedious time-waster.

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (1.2). 

Stylish-Custom

Must-have for Stylish Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Stylish-Custom makes a huge difference in how usable Stylish is, adds all of the little things that a person might wish Stylish had, and restores the best abilities that Stylish has lost over the years.

Diigo Toolbar - Annotate, Screenshot, Bookmark

Lopsided; should list tags Rated 3 out of 5 stars

Good: it integrates tools like mark read/unread, add to list, and a highlighter.

Bad: a whole toolbar of stuff I don't find useful, yet ignores tons of Feedback Forum requests from users (many migrating from Delicious) for the basic ability to list all of our tags, which forces me to waste time later on fixing cases like where I used "software" instead of "program" or couldn't recall half the tags I needed.

**No, "autocomplete" is not "list all of my tags" & isn't helpful with a ton of research bookmarks/tags unless you have a great memory. (This directed partly at Julian Knight below me.)

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (5.1.0.27). 

Mouse Gestures Redox

Sad; it was good work. Rated 3 out of 5 stars

I used this addon long ago, and was initially hopeful upon seeing it still listed, especially as the nightly for 4 (link at the bottom of the thread someone else's review linked to) does work. Sadly the developer said on the forum that he refuses to share the code to any binary files needed, so the project's dead once he stops working on it -- seems like a very sad waste to just toss it like that.

I had to reduce the stars because the attitude I saw in the forum towards polite fans of the addon would have had me too afraid I'd be snapped at to ask for help or make suggestions.

FF Rocker

Didn't work in Debian Linux Rated 1 out of 5 stars

Didn't work at all under the latest stable release of Debian Linux with Firefox 4... Hopefully the creator will fix the problem: it'd be nice to not need a fullblown mouse-gestures addon to just go backwards/forwards with a plain three-button mouse!

SmartSearch

Must-use for Yubnub fans Rated 5 out of 5 stars

I wish I'd heard of this add-on before now; it should be built-in! I use Yubnub for my searchbox, which lets me use tons of other search engines & sites via keywords but can't work with right-click search. Thanks to SmartSearch I have the best of both worlds now!

This review is for a previous version of the add-on (3.18).