11 plug-ins and scripts that will change the way you use Twitter. No technical ability required.

February 22, 2009

imageI wrote a few weeks ago about how anyone can easily change the Twitter web interface with Firefox and the GreaseMonkey plug-in (here). The great news is that this process is so easy that there’s little reason not to give this a go – you really are only a few clicks away from what’s shown below. Here’s some power UI enhancements I have chosen – and yes, this list goes to eleven.

Have fun, @Eunmac

Setup:

  1. You’ll need Firefox. (here)
  2. You’ll need to install the GreaseMonkey Addon (here)
  3. Now click the links below to add new features to change your Twitter interface.

1. Nested Replies in Twitter: (install here)
This is by far the most useful script for me. It collates a threaded conversation of replies inside the twitter page. Without this it is very hard to see what conversation took place.

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2. Add Bio’s to Friend Following/Followers page (install here)

When you’re checking out someone’s ‘following’ page you get no information other than a picture and a name. Useless! Anyway, if you add this script and you’ll see all their details including a bio, follower info and even last tweet. Here’s me checking out who Guy Kawasaki is following:

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3. Sidebar Replies Panel (install here)
See all other replies sent to another Twitter user.

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4. Auto shortening of URL (install here)

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5. Mentions and unread replies: (install here)

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6. Add Friend Name Helper (install here)
Auto suggests names from your following list.

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7. Add Retweet Button (install here)

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8. Power Twitter. (install here)
This is plug-in for Firefox. It displays videos and images nested inside conversations.

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9. Expand Short URLs (install here)
Don’t get fooled by those short bit.ly urls anymore, this plugin will reveal the full url inside the web interface.
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10. Endless Tweets (install here)
This is pretty cool, as you get to the bottom of the page, the page simply gets longer so you never have to move back and forth between pages.

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11. Add search and Tools to sidebar (install here)
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Other useful scripts:
Hide All re-tweets. (install here)
Block tweets with specific words (install here)
Reveal followers. Places icon over those following you (install here)
Shrink tweets with Tweetshrink (install here)

Want to see all the twitter scripts? There are over 300 on userscripts.org (here)

Found any more great tools? Add them to the comments please 🙂


Lunascape Browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer And Chrome All-In-One

November 27, 2008

Lunascape is a new web browser that handles all three major web rendering engines — Firefox’s Gecko, Internet Explorer’s Trident and WebKit (which is used by Safari and Chrome).

Lunascape 5 Alpha is Windows-only and the first English version of the browser.

This is how Lunascape works: Users can toggle between rendering engines by either right-clicking tabs or by clicking on the engine switcher button on the bottom left of the screen. If you have figured out which engine works best for a page, Lunascape lets you force the page to use that engine for future visits via a pull down menu.

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I will get our PLDs here to do some testing and it might help us in developing better websites.

read more here.


Safari on PC. Windows Review. Includes speed test and other comparisons.

March 25, 2008

Here’s a screen shot of Safari, the Apple browser in action on a Windows PC released on Mar 18 2008. The first thing I noticed is the way fonts are rendered, even down to a small point size. Being used to IE and Firefox it all seemed a bit fuzzy to me. I looked for an option to turn font smoothing off but could only alter the intensity of anti-aliasing. Have a look at the images at the bottom of the article and compare the difference.

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So which Windows Browser is fastest? Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox?
What surprised me was the speed of Safari in several rendering tests I ran in which it outperformed the two big guns by a big margin. For this I downloaded a CSS benchmark test created by nontroppo. I then tried some script tests here from CelticKane.

  Firefox IE Safari
CSS render 285ms 574ms 51ms
Script Test 859ms 1209ms 257ms

Putting this into layman’s terms – a blink of the eye is roughly 50-80 ms so when you start to compare the above then you realise the time differences we’re talking about are very visible even to the untrained eye. In the real world when I visited some heavier html/css websites in Safari they seemed visibly to load faster.

Font rendering comparisons from the three browsers:
Notice the Safari rendering on the right is quite different…

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Firefox IE Safari

So what’s the downside?
Well Firefox and IE are very well supported by the development community. Plugins like PicLens do not work yet (I tried) so basically it’s good for browsing, not much else at this stage. Having said that the speed of browsing makes it worth a look (if you can bear the fuzzy fonts).

Interestingly the default search engines include only Google and Yahoo. Hmm is the omission of Live Search a subtle poke at Microsoft?

Note: Tests were completed running on a Centrino Duo Inspiron 1720 with Vista Ultimate.