Monday, October 25, 2004

The Latest Great Thing About Firefox 

As I've said before, I don't have Flash installed on Firefox, because nothing good ever comes of Flash. It only leads to obnoxious movie previews and commercials making noise in your browser window while you're trying to read, or gigantic ads that obscure the page until you dismiss them. Well, almost nothing good comes of Flash. Occasionally, you want to check out Strongbad Email, or something like that. Then, it's too much trouble to bother, since you have to open IE, and deal with that whole unpleasant experience.

Well, the answer is Flash Click to View. This extension prevents every Flash object from loading, and instead replaces it with a play button. If you want to see a particular Flash movie, you just click the button. Otherwise, your browsing experience remains just as quiet and pleasant as if you didn't have Flash installed.

This was actually the first time I'd ever installed a Firefox extension, and I was pleasantly surprised. Firefox itself takes you to their extension repository, and a simple click on "Install Now" does all the work. It just tells you that you need to restart Firefox before it can take effect.

Similarly, installing Flash was easier than on IE. I really like the Firefox tells you that you don't have a viewer for a certain page object (with the yellow bar across the top of the page and the button that lets you get the viewer), but today I got to tell Firefox to load the Flash plugin. You never have to deal with Macromedia's site or an installer, or anything. Firefox hides the whole thing from you. All you need to do is agree to the license, watch the progress bar, and restart Firefox.


You don't have adblock installed yet? Yikes!


Go install now and ping me (via email) for my current blacklist.

Hey, thanks for the offer. I did try adblock, actually. The thing is, it has a weird, cheap feel to me. It puts those "Adblock" tabs sticking out of random things, and the tabs seem half-there and not drawn correctly. That weirds me out much more than any non-flash ads do. It makes me afraid something's not getting drawn right or something.
Diff'rent strokes, I suppose. I've gotten to the point now where I can't stand browsing without adblock installed. All of the flashing and das blinkenlights of the ads are distracting to the point where I can't focus on the page itself.

I understand your point about layout, etc. but in practice, it's not been a big deal to me. Text usually either just flows around the collapsed element, or if the page has specified the dimensions of the image, there is a large blank spot with the same dimensions.

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