Tuesday, 20 October 2009

What Google Chrome needs before I give up FireFox

I spent some time this afternoon thinking about migrating my browser experience from FireFox to Google's Chrome.  Why?  Chrome is lightning fast, and always has been.  But previous releases of Chrome have been unstable, and in my own beta testing I found numerous websites that were not formatted properly.

It seems that Chrome has come a long way and I'd like to switch...  However, I have my FireFox exactly the way I want it.  If there were a way to speed up FF I wouldn't even consider switching.  Here's what I'd like to be able to do in Chrome:

  1. Use custom search operators from the omnibar *SOLVED* (e.g. "youtube STRING" is equivalent to typing http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=STRING&search_type=&aq=f)
  2. Allow me to change my bookmark icons (similar to the FireFox Favicon Picker extension). Apparently there is a way to do this, but it's long and complicated.  I have about 20 bookmarks in my toolbar and do not have room to give each a name.  I distinguish between them by their icon.
  3. Search the page automatically (i.e. as soon as I start typing, similar to the feature in FF via Tools > Options > Advanced > General).  Chrome allows you to search the page, but you need to press CTRL + F or F3 first.  As simple as it sounds, this is a great feature to have when quickly browsing pages with lots of text.
  4. Customizable proxy settings.  My workplace is fairly strict in filtering our web content.  I use the FireFox extension FoxyProxy to route certain webpages through a company-approved proxy.  FoxyProxy allows me to specify which domains go through the proxy (e.g. *youtube.com*) and which do not.  So far I haven't seen anything like this in Chrome.
  5. Another workplace necessity: a mechanism that allows me to view my current web page in IE.  In FireFox, I use the IE Tab extension which reloads the current tab in IE (within the current FF tab) with the click of a button.  No one likes IE, but unfortunately we still need to test in it.
  6. Show current weather in the browser.  This isn't as important as items 1-5, but would still be nice.  My FF version is the Forecast Fox extension
  7. Another one for the would-be-nice category: the ability to shorten a URL directly from the right-click context menu.  My FF version, the Shorten URL extension, creates a short URL and saves it to my clipboard with one click of the mouse.  It is configurable and can use many services - from bit.ly to ping.fm.  *SOLVED* There is a chrome extension called bit.ly shorten URL that basically does the same thing.  Not from the context menu... available here.
If you have answers to any of these questions PLEASE don't keep them to yourself.  I'm hoping to switch soon :-)


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