CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




URL’s make the Web go round, and depending on how easy or hard they are to remember can make a huge difference as to whether someone will return to a site or not. So it makes sense that URL’s and links are a good item to target when trying to make yourself more productive.

To get us started, I thought I would roll out some interesting stats that you may not know regarding the length of URL’s. Have you ever tried to see how many characters your browser would support in a URL? It’s fine if you didn’t, because one guy did and this was the result:

  • Internet Explorer: The longest URL that’s supported is 2,083 characters
  • Firefox: The longest URL that’s supported is 100,000+ although it stopped showing the characters in the address bar after 65,536 characters.
  • Safari: The longest URL that’s supported is 80,000+ characters.
  • Opera: The longest URL that’s supported is 190,000+ characters, where the author noted that in Opera 9 the URL was still “fully editable, copyable and pasteable” even at 190,000 characters.

So today I want to present some Firefox extensions that will make your life easier when trying to copy or manipulate URL’s and links. Here we go…

–Ones You Probably Know About–

The first thing that I want to point are the extensions that you probably already know about or ones that we have already written about. I decided not to count these against the 10, but thought I would point them out anyways:

  1. Locationbar2 (Homepage)
    This extension has become very popular because it makes the actual domain stand out in the address bar, as well as make different parts of the URL clickable similar to a breadcrumb trail. It was even nominated as a feature that should be included with Firefox 3.
    Locationbar2
  2. Linkification (Homepage)
    Makes text links clickable that aren’t otherwise clickable. For example, someone pastes a hyperlink in a forum and it isn’t clickable since they didn’t use the proper code…Linkification will make that link clickable.
  3. Link Alert (Homepage)
    When you hover over a hyperlink there will be a little icon showing you what type of file it is, or whether the link will open in a new window.
    Link Alert
  4. Snap Links (Homepage / Our Review)
    Lets you draw a box around a group of links and have them all open. It’s really nice when reading news, and is very configurable.
    Snap Links
  5. iReader (Homepage / Our Review)
    Shows a text-based preview of the the site being linked to. It’s similar to the Snap Previews that show the thumbnails, but this is purely text.
    iReader
  6. Next Please (Homepage / Our Review)
    This adds buttons to Firefox that are similar to Opera’s Fast Forward and Rewind. These are especially useful when going through search result pages where clicking the button will take you to the next results page.
    Next Please

–Address Bar–

The Address Bar is undoubtedly the most popular location for a URL to reside, so here are some extensions specific to the Address Bar:

  1. Tab URL Copier (Homepage)
    Ever have a bunch of URL’s that you want to send to someone? With this extension you can copy the URL’s of all open tabs to the clipboard.
    Tab URL Copier
  2. New TabURL (Homepage)
    This extension isn’t unique because it lets you pick the homepage for all new tabs that you create. Instead it is unique because you can adjust the settings so that it will load the URL that’s on the clipboard when you open a new tab.
    New Tab URL
  3. URL Fixer (Homepage)
    Automatically fixes the errors you make when typing in a URL, such as “.con” instead of “.com”. You can set it up so that it notifies you before making any corrections to the URL.
    URL Fixer
  4. MyURLBar_a (Homepage)
    Adds search-by-name capabilities to the address bar, so that you can type the name of the site you want to visit. It will search both your bookmarks and browsing history, with the bookmark results being placed on top.
    MyURLBar

–Hyperlinks–

Hyperlinks are an amazing tool, and with them we can navigate the Web faster. There’s always room for optimization though. :)

  1. TinyURL Creator (Homepage)
    Makes a TinyURL of the site you’re currently on through the use of the right-click menu.
    TinyURL
  2. LinkChecker (Homepage)
    Checks to see whether the links on a page are valid, and highlights them accordingly.
    LinkChecker
  3. Super DragAndGo (Homepage)
    Dragging a hyperlink and dropping it anywhere on the current page will open it up in a new tab. It’s essentially the same thing as holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the link, but Super DragAndGo makes it a one-handed operation.
  4. CoLT (Homepage)
    Let’s you copy a hyperlink into a specialized format. For example, you can copy a hyperlink into a format that makes it ready to be inserted into a forum. It even lets you create all of your own formats.
    CoLT
  5. All Your Maps Belong To Us (Homepage)
    Translates URL’s to other mapping sites into a Google Maps link. It tries to avoid translating unsupported URL’s and seems to do a fairly good job.

And Last, but Not Least…

I came across one extension on my journey that did something I had never heard about. The extension is called Mobile Barcoder and it creates a 2D barcode (also known as QR Codes) that can be scanned using certain cellphones. By having these barcodes you could quickly scan a URL into your phone so that you didn’t have to type it in.

As of right now this feature is found mostly on Japanese phones, but if you have a phone that supports it, this barcode should take you to our homepage :) :

QR Code for CyberNet News

–Overview–

So there you have it…URL madness! I’m sure there are a lot more useful extensions for managing and manipulating URL’s, so hit us up in the comments below with related extensions!