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Useful Firefox extensions versus Google Chrome without RSS

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Just for kicks, I’ve been brainstorming whether I can replace FireFox with Google Chrome.

The answer is no, but more accurately, almost. I’ve made a list of FireFox extensions that I live by. Namely:

  1. FoxyProxy => can set up privoxy to do similar (simple) rules to selectively proxy traffic
  2. ScrapBook => can print to PDF and use Google (or other) Desktop search
  3. Read It Later => can use Google Bookmarks (which isn’t a service that Google really advertizes anywhere. Not even on its “more services” page. It is separate (but integrated into) Google Notebooks, meaning that you can get to Bookmarks without going into Google Notebooks but not vice versa.
  4. It’s All Text => I can get by without this extension, but I do like editing text externally (in vim)
  5. ScribeFire => I generally like WordPress’ built-in editor (in conjunction with #4). I use ScribeFire once in a while, but not always.
  6. Verisign OpenID Seatbelt => convenient, but I can easily place a bookmark to Verisign’s OpenID/PIP login and just as easily log in (although OpenID fields aren’t filled in for me).
  7. CustomizeGoogle => the main thing that I get out of this one is that I can force SSL for gmail, but gmail has an option to do that now anyway.
  8. TiddlyWiki (not a Firefox extension) => Google won’t (presumably for security reasons) allow a javascript page to modify files on disk. This is a good default, but you should be able to give some local javascript the ability to do this local alteration. Anyway, an alternative is a hosted TiddlyWiki (tiddlyspot.com for example).

I notice that #2 & #3 are Google products. I notice that #8 can be heralded in the name of security. However, it also points out Google’s computing philosophy: why would anyone want to look at and edit a web page on their computer? Clearly, Google has a strong tilt toward cloud computing.

Knowing this, it’s really weird that Chrome excludes one very web-centric feature: RSS. Chrome doesn’t detect or handle RSS feeds. I am constantly visiting blogs and want to subscribe. I look for the RSS icon in the browser bar (a la Firefox), but there’s not there. (One could argue that my inability to subscribe is a good thing.)

Another wierd outcome of this investigation is that I’ve found quite a few Firefox plugins that I realize I don’t really need anymore. So, if I were motivated, I could speed up Firefox by uninstalling them. And Chrome’s speed was my motivation in looking into it in the first place.


Update 2008-09-16

I found out that Read It Later has bookmarklets available for other browsers: http://readitlaterlist.com/bookmarklets/


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