Friday, 27 October 2006

Firefox 2, a couple of useful hacks

The Mozilla Foundation has finally released the official second version of the famous browser. There are plenty of new interesting features, but also a couple of steps behind.

A first new feature, hard to comprehend, is the overriding of websites' accesskeys. I cannot understand why a browser -which should HELP people navigate in the most accessible way- has been reprogrammed to ignore the accessibility keys. By the way, it is sufficient to enter configuration page by typing this address:


and look for this keys:
  • ui.key.chromeAccess
  • ui.key.contentAccess
  • ui.key.menuAccessKey
The first key is the user preference for the Firefox keyboard shortcuts. You can completely disable them (assign "0"), use them with SHIFT (assign "1"), ALT (assign "2") , CTRL (assign "4") or define a combination with a logical OR (i.e.: if you want to assign SHIFT and CTRL for Firefox shortcuts, set this key to 1 OR 4 = 5).

The second key is the user preference for the webpages accesskeys. It's equal to the previous one. If you want to use accesskyes correctly, just assign it to ALT (so, set it to 2).

Finally, you have to activate this preferences setting the last key to -1.

A second innovation of Firefox 2 is the placement of a closing button on every tab, just like Opera. I don't agree this choice, it's much more comfortable the single "X" on the right to close many tabs in sequence, and if I want to close a single tab I can always middle-click it.

To bring the clock back, just set to 3 this key:


You're done. :)

Finally, you can observe my first job in the cybernetics field: a simple webpage generating Coven's automata. Maybe you can find it interesting, check it out!

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