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Google Firefox Toolbar Out Of Beta 181

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the standard-issue-plugins dept.
wellington map writes "Google has released Firefox search toolbar (Version 1.0.20050923) after two months in beta. One interesting addition is Google Suggest, which guesses what you're typing and offers useful suggestions in real time."
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Google Firefox Toolbar Out Of Beta

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  • by Dogers (446369) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:15AM (#13644074)
    Claims it's not compatible and refuses to install. Don't they support other beta programs? :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      download the .xpi, edit the install.rdf in the archive, set max version to 1.5. YMMV.
    • by job0 (134689) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:03AM (#13644341)
      You can fix this but at your own risk, the extensions will load but they might not be compatible with the changes in that version of firefox. All extensions have a file called install.rdf. There is a section called maxVersion that Firefox checks to see if it should enable or disable the extension. If maxVersion is lower than the current version, then Firefox automatically disables the extension because it considers it to be incompatible.

      To modify install.rdf do the following

      1. Close Firefox
      2. Open %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
      3. Delete extensions.rdf
      4. Go to the extensions folder.
      5. Now you'll have to go to every folder there and edit its install.rdf file with a texteditor such as notepad.
      6. You will see something like this:
      CODE
      <em:targetApplication>
          <Description>
            <em:id>{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}</em :id>
            <em:minVersion>0.8</em:minVersion>
            <em:maxVersion>1.0+</em:maxVersion>
          </Description>
        </em:targetApplication>
      Change maxVersion to 1.4, save the install.rdf.

    • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:08AM (#13644376) Homepage
      Install the Nightly Tester Tools [blueprintit.co.uk] extension and it will work just fine.

      ~jeff
  • Wait.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    why? doesnt firefox have a built in one...?
    • Yes, it does.
    • Re:Wait.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by gid13 (620803) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:29AM (#13644149)
      Yes, but it has limited functionality by comparison.

      The new Google toolbar is neat, but it can't compete with the open source Googlebar (which Google, to their credit, offers a link to on the Google toolbar download page). Many more features like the use of Google Maps, and so forth.

      The difference is so great that my browsing is significantly less efficient when browsing at someone else's computer, even if they're using Firefox.
  • Google toolbar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by timecop (16217) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:21AM (#13644104) Homepage
    As most of you know, the more extensions you add to FIREFOX the slower it becomes.
    With standard firefox taking ~1second to open a new window, after loading Google toolbar and couple other "extensions", opening new window in FIREFOX will take several seconds.
    I'm not even talking about starting a new copy of firefox after the old ones crash, that takes anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds depending how much of it was moved out of disk cache.

    Perhaps it's time FIREFOX/Mozilla developers stop adding useless features, and concentrate on making FIREFOX *fast*? I'm sorry, but opening a new window of ANY application on a Pentium-M 2.13Ghz with 1.5GB memory should NOT take more than 0.01second. IE6SP1 opens instantly, and so do new windows of the same browser. Food for thought.
    • Re:Google toolbar (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wasn't the whole idea behind Firefox (Phoenix back then) was to be a much faster, more lightweight Mozilla?
      • yeah ... it's actually very interesting ... phoenix itself was amazingly fast and worked just fine .... why did they have to mess it up with the slow extensions and gui module ?

        i still use galeon/epiphany by default, because they are a lot faster than mozilla-firefox ... althrough the html rendering engine itself is the same gecko, something is always very wrong and slow in the "mainstream" mozillas ...

        as for the opera trolls, opera is still quite much off the dhtml stuff (like modifing iframe contents at r
    • by FhnuZoag (875558) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:48AM (#13644247)
      13 extensions installed, still takes less than a second on mine. This is on a 1.5 GHz with 256 MB ram. Perhaps there is something wrong with your computer? Spyware, perhaps, from Internet Explorer use?

      In any case, Firefox isn't really about windows - rather, tabs, which open in the background. If you learn to use that, you will get much better performance. IE meanwhile is designed to open new windows, and is also preloaded as part of the operating system. Obviously it has an advantage here.

      Nor is it the fault of the Mozilla devteam that people are making, and using slow extensions. The whole point of firefox is the customisability. What is useless to you certainly isn't useless to other people. To people like ME, speed is itself useless - page download times massively eclipse time taken by the browser itself. The firefox developers can't be all things to all people. If speed is a priority over customisability and compatibility, perhaps you are better off using a different browser (like Opera, or maybe Lynx) instead.
      • by PhoenxHwk (254106) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:56AM (#13644302) Homepage
        I still have a gripe in this regard. Each tab should really open in its own thread, so that its loading and rendering does not stall the whole interface. Drives me nuts when I start opening a bunch of new tabs (a la while looking at the slashdot front page or other forums) and then I have to sit through a stall before opening a new one. That's one spot where I definitely prefer Opera.
        • I've never had a tab load anything but instantly. I can open 20 new tabs before I can click on a button to open a 21st (using, say, right click on Latest Headlines and open in tabs). Sounds like you've got spyware. Having a borked Windows install or a Pentium 2 is not a reason to prefer Opera.
          • If you use Acrobat Reader, the UI freeze on loading a PDF in a new tab is a well-known bug. I'm not sure if there will ever be a resolution... the last time I read about it, there seemed to be lots more finger-pointing than fixing.
            • Solution: Don't use PDF. That happens to me in internet explorer, Opera, and even in windows itself. Its Adobe's, not Mozilla's, fault. And adobe needs to die for it *rolls eyes*.
              • Solution: use Opera (or IE).
                Opera 8.5 opens PDFs in Acrobat Reader (not in the browser), at least that's why my copy does.
                In respect to PDF handling, FF is the worst. MS IE is OK.
              • You can roll your eyes all you want. I do NOT have this problem with Opera. Adobe might suck, but there is no reason a buggy app should crash your browser, or even cause it to become unresponsive.

                And NOT using PDF is not a viable solution to most people.
      • One possible speed increase (on Windows) can be acheived by adding " /Prefetch:1" after the target portion in the properties of the icon(s) you use to open Firefox. Then subsequent launches of Firefox should happen quicker.
      • by njyoder (164804)
        is also preloaded as part of the operating system. Obviously it has an advantage here.

        That's not a valid excuse, Firefox is slow due to poor optimization. MSIE doesn't have access to super magical rendering features that Firefox doesn't. It wasn't until Firefox 1.5 Beta that they got speeds comparable to IE's and before then all the apologists were stepping in to say that IE had some magical advantage.

        Nor is it the fault of the Mozilla devteam that people are making, and using slow extensions.

        The extensi
      • i use both tabs and windows, i have a 3 row windows taskbar that often fills to the point of having a scrollbar mainly with ff windows and some of those windows may well have thier tabbar full to the point where tabs dissapear behind the x (highly annoying behaviour that)

        generally i use windows for different sites and tabs for different bits on the same site especially if the site is running slow or i wan't to do some mass editing on a wiki etc.
    • if you like the fact that IE is preloaded in memory, you should try mozilla seamonkey (the full suite) that offers this option too
    • I know what you mean (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrSkwid (118965)
      one of my extensions used to check for update every time a new window was installed, thinkg was the update web site has disappeared so it was waiting to time out. I managed to stop this behaviour using /etc/hosts. Perhaps your extensions are doing simlar things. Time to tcpdump!
    • On my computer doing some time trials these are the results I get for loading times:

      Firefox:
      68, 69, 69, 72, 65

      IE
      81, 81, 75, 71, 75

      Opera
      93, 103, 103, 107, 103

      All of these were timed by hand using a stopwatch, so the results aren't perfect. The units are 1/100s, and each test was opening a new browser window from the exectable (not from within the running application). My system is a P4 2.4 Mobile, 512, XP Pro. Each application was loaded 5 times untimed before being timed to make sure they were ca

      • Re:Google toolbar (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Taladar (717494)
        All of these were timed by hand using a stopwatch, so the results aren't perfect. The units are 1/100s
        And from this I'd say you are nuts. You can't stop anything below a second by hand accurately.
    • Wow, spend a few of your precious seconds and look at the big picture.
      Compare the time it takes to open the browser to the time you will spend browsing. Unless you use Firefox for less than a minute before closing it again, the time to open is meaningless.

      This kinda reminds me of people who spend 5 minutes looking for a good parking spot which will save them 30 seconds of walking, just to spend the next half hour walking around the grocery store.
    • by kevin_conaway (585204) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:05AM (#13644347) Homepage
      Anyone else find it humorous that a guy named timecop is complaining about the time it takes to open an app?
    • "should NOT take more than 0.01second. IE6SP1 opens instantly,"

      That's because its library files are loaded in to memory the moment you boot your windows installation . Its really quite easy to start up instantly if you have already started
    • Yes and IE is also built into the system like a shell with processes that are already running before IE starts up, food for thought. Besides, you are always free to help in the development of firefox, well here is your chance.
    • Perhaps it's time FIREFOX/Mozilla developers stop adding useless features, and concentrate on making FIREFOX *fast*?

      I think that is exactly their focus. Compare any of the 1.0.x builds vs. the 1.5 beta . The beta is much faster. Part of how they've made it faster is by keeping it slim, i.e. minimal features. Of course more extensions means that those extensions will require some RAM and some CPU cycles. Just how much RAM/CPU they consume is a function of the extensions, not Firefox. Of course there is som

    • opening a new window takes 0.5 seconds. a cold start of firefox takes 1.8 seconds. this is a 2.0 GHz AMD system with 1.0GB of memory. I have fifteen extensions installed, including the google toolbar, web developer, tab browser preferences, gmail notifier, and all-in-one gestures.

      perhaps there is something else wrong with your system.

    • Some of the features of the Google Toolbar are a bit computationally expensive (although I'm surprised creating a new window is so slow). One thing you can do is to remove buttons that you're not using from the toolbar; they won't use any extra CPU that way. This can be done by going to View -> Toolbars -> Customize (or right click on the toolbar and select Customize). From there, drag away any buttons that you don't plan on using. Also, simply hiding the toolbar isn't sufficient, you need to remo
    • Hmm, my IE6 doesn't open instantly, there's noticeable load time involved, just as with Firefox.

      Never bothered to measure which is faster though, I don't really care. I keep the browser open all times anyway.

      Now what does bother me is that Firefox seems to be not releasing a lot of memory when in sustained use. I'd much rather see them working on that -- either it's an actual memory leak or providing some type of flush() to release whatever is being cached that is eating up the memory.

      Startup times

  • by Kylere (846597) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:21AM (#13644106)
    I wish Microsoft and Google could merge, then Microgle would produce beta products that worked already, and alpha products that are not impressive enough to upgrade to!
  • Worth noting.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by footissimo (869107) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:22AM (#13644108)
    ..that google suggest is available as a seperate extension [google.com] (and is quite useful)
  • Why RedHat only? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:23AM (#13644109)
    I have seen that when most software companies are to release software for Linux, the impression they give is that Linux *is* RedHat, which is wrong. Take Google for example. I have just installed the toolbar on Kubuntu with Firefox 1.0.7 with absolutely no hitches, but Google advertises RedHat alone. The same goes for Yahoo with their online games. These games run fine on any Linux distro I have tried with java properly configured, but Yahoo says somewhere on their site that [name-of-game] is not compatible with Unix or Macintosh computers. Heck RedHat is primarily a server OS...sheesh!
    • I don't really know what rock you're living under, but Linux *is* Redhat to a whole lot of people, especially PHBs. Thus, if you advertise to your clients, they understand what you are talking about.

      Anyone who's educated enough to know what Linux is, knows that Redhat isn't the only distribution, but if you've only ever heard of Redhat Linux, then there's a huge chance you've never heard of any other kind of Linux.

      More than anything, it's marketing.

      Oh yeah, and Yahoo says it's not compatible with U
      • OK, it is just marketing, but IMHO it's wrong. Don't I just need to know the Linux kernel version that the binaries were built with, so I know if I have up-to-date libraries? OK, so we don't expect most people to worry about libraries, etc. Still, I think we need one single "metric" that gives all Linux users a clue about what they should know, and that IMHO is the kernel version.
        • Up to date libraries (Score:3, Informative)

          by jurt1235 (834677)
          Don't I just need to know the Linux kernel version that the binaries were built with, so I know if I have up-to-date libraries?

          That is called the Linux Standard Base, to which about all commercial and several non commercial linux distributors adhere to. So, if it is LSB compatible (would be a handy note from google), it will run on Redhat, but also on Debian, SuSE, mandrake and many others.
      • if you've only ever heard of Redhat Linux, then there's a huge chance you've never heard of any other kind of Linux
        I'd say the probability's pretty high...
    • Re:Why RedHat only? (Score:2, Informative)

      by cerelib (903469)
      They probably do that because they really do not care about supporting every linux distro. They are just throwing linux a bone. Do you think google is going to test it on Debian, Suse, Redhat, Gentoo, and Slack? Why would they? They know that most distros can at least be configured to have the same things as Redhat so just test it on Redhat and let the linux users figure it out. Like you said, it did not deter you from trying it on Kubuntu. It is cost-benefit. The linux community likes the fact that
      • Re:Why RedHat only? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jrcamp (150032)
        Google should be smart enough to know that extensions work the same in Firefox on every operating system Firefox supports. It's not like we're talking about having to worry about ABI compatability here. It's just a bunch of javascript.
        • ... this was spoken from the mouth of someone who has never actually done commercial development.

          It does not matter if the toolbar does actually work in all versions of Firefox. Unless the Google QA team has test machines that encompass every possible version of Firefox across every platform, then they cannot test said platforms and thus can not sign off on the product actually working.

          Also, despite what you may or may not think, there *are* differences between Firefox on different platforms. Different vend
    • It's simple - they only want to have to support a given distribution. If you say "Linux" or even just "Red Hat Linux" without a specific version range, God knows what kind of weird rpm/dpkg/whatever problems users will get into that you're not equipped for. Granted, they're only going to "support" a toolbar to a point, but this concept is especially true for larger-scale projects.

      Companies just don't want to support 300 distros, or even 3.
  • Not for Deer Park (Score:5, Informative)

    by broothal (186066) <christian@fabel.dk> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:24AM (#13644120) Homepage Journal
    Please note, that the toolbar is incompatible with Firefox 1.5 (Deer park).
    • You can force it to the compatible with the Nightly Tester Tools [mozilla.org]. However, at least on my system, it broke the ability for form fields to have that little drop down with saved information. Unfortunately, that killed this extension for me, so I'm using the A9 toolbar instead (and as a bonus, now I have a small discount at Amazon).
  • Official (Score:3, Interesting)

    by michaelzhao (801080) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:26AM (#13644136)
    This is the only official Google release. Its really not that big of a deal when there are several other 3rd party Firefox extentions that add the same functionality. The only thing it does different, is add the Google suggest which I have found annoying to begin with. However, it is still a big win for Google as they have a bunch of happy Firefox users. If those happy Firefox users also happen to be stockholders, well... you get the picture.
  • by Sweetshark (696449) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:27AM (#13644146)
    Well, yes guys, there is a searchtool in Firefox. However, the googletoolbar ist more a google-Setup-GUI. Its even usefull when its hidden.
    • Contextmenu with "search for selected text", backward links, similar pages, and translation
    • google suggest in der searchbar
    • setup for hightlight colors etc.
    • etc.
    Its really pretty usefull.
  • Every time something pops up on my 'puter's screen the message is generally so off-base as to be laughable. ("We're sorry, your computer has commited an irrecoverable error," for example.)

    Google's "Similar pages" link found next to each and every hit from their search engine produces a ton of unusuable schlock. Google is gonna have to be pretty smart if they can come up with anything that gives even remotely relevant advice from a toolbar.

    I'll believe it when I see it.
  • by iamnerd (917614) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:38AM (#13644204)
    but am I the only one that thinks toolbars are a waste of space?
    • Depends of the features, I find the Web Developper extension is much more accessible and useable as a toolbar than a contextual menu (it does both), and some toolbars such as the StumbleUpon one can be hidden with a keystroke (CTRL+F9).

      Most Firefox toolbar builders are smart enough to at least include an on/off switch button to display/hide theirs even when they don't actually register keystrokes (both platypus and Web Dev Toolbar have one for example)

    • The biggest gripe I have is they (as a company) are coming out somehow as hypocrites: Every time I search something they add a big image banner at the bottom of the page telling me to download their toolbar. Why are they doing this? I have no use for their bar, I've already got Firefox.

      This would be normal at any other place, there will always be someone from marketing trying to promote their stuff that doesn't care about adding more senseless noise, but Google was supposed to be different. What happened to
  • by NineNine (235196) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:47AM (#13644240)
    I've been using the toolbar, along with Google Suggest in Firefox for several months. It ain't new. Marginally useful, but it certainly isn't "new".
  • by k3v0 (592611) <k3v0.k3v0@net> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:55AM (#13644297) Homepage Journal
    because they don't come out with linux versions:
    Windows XP/2000 SP3+, Mac OS X 10.2+, or Red Hat Linux 8.0+
  • by markh1967 (315861) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:09AM (#13644381)
    a is for amazon
    b is for bbc
    c is for currency converter
    d is for dictionary
    e is for ebay
    f is for firefox
    g is for gmail
    h is for hotmail
    i is for ikea
    j is for jokes
    k is for kelly blue book
    l is for lyrics
    m is for mapquest
    n is for news
    o is for orbitz
    p is for paris hilton
    q is for quotes
    r is for ryanair
    s is for spybot
    t is for target
    u is for ups
    v is for valentines day
    w is for weather
    x is for xbox
    y is for yahoo
    z is for zip codes
    1 is for 1
    2 is for 24
    3 is for 3m
    4 is for 411
    5 is for 50 cent
    6 is for 60 minutes
    7 is for 7th heaven
    8 is for 89.com
    9 is for 911
    0 is for 02
  • Spell Check (Score:5, Informative)

    by SumDog (466607) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:23AM (#13644473) Homepage Journal
    I think the most useful feature of the google toolbar is the spell check. Many places, such as slashdot, don't have spell check and some places, such as Livejournal, have spell check but it really sucks.

    I realize now that there are probably many other firefox extentions out there with spell check, but the first one I came across and used was in the google toolbar.

    I currently use it with Gentoo and on some firefox releases I had some trouble with the toolbar crashing/hanging as well as the spell check correction box appearing half way down the page. I am anxious to try out this new release and see if a lot of these issue have been solved.
  • Slow script warning (Score:2, Informative)

    by nonpareility (822891)
    I hope they've fixed the bug that caused "A script on this page is causing mozilla to run slowly. If it continues to run, your computer may become unresponsive. Do you want to abort the script?" to show up. Extensions that don't work correctly is one thing, but it's unacceptable when they affect other parts of the browser [mozillazine.org].
  • by mrklin (608689) <ken@lin.gmail@com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:36AM (#13644541)
    Try http://instant.search.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] Get answers as you type.

    I have also found that in Yahoo! advanced search (http://search.yahoo.com/web/advanced?ei=UTF-8 [yahoo.com]) you can now search for Creative Commons content!

    Google remains my primary search engine but Yahoo! is an extremely close second with results every bit as relevant.

  • by gaanagaa (784648) <gaanagaa@ g m a il.com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:41AM (#13644565) Journal
    I thought "Google Beta" was the full name and "Beta" was the surname for Google.
  • Isn't there anything more interesting going on?? When did simple toolbar software become big news? If we're going to be talking about toolbars, why not something on one of the other 1000 toolbars out there that do more interesting shit? I think Slashdot has a serious case of celebrity obsession (or greased palms). This reminds of the fucking 5th masturbation in an hour when only air comes out...
  • Oh joy, a story about a freaking toolbar. Yay. I thank you for keeping us informed of cutting edge technology like the google toolbar. It's an invaluabe resource for those of us too lazy to type in "google" or click on our booksmarks to bring up Google. The real bottom line is Google is a commercial entity. They're not here to help you. They're in business to make money. I'm not putting a commercial entities toolbar (or any toolbar) on my browser. If I want to use Google, and quite often I do, I'll go to t
    • Amusingly enough, this story is most likely simply an attempt by the submitter to significantly boost their Google pagerank by getting links to their website inserted into Slashdot. Both this story and the immediately preceding one were submitted by "wellington_map", with the submitter name linking to "http://wellington.iclod.com/". Just yesterday there was a submission by "christchurch_map", which linked to "http://christchurch.iclod.com/". Both websites appear to provide maps and business directories for
  • You know, I really HATE the Google toolbar for Firefox. Well, actually, it's not that I hate it at all, I really don't want to use it in the slightest, but that it exists shouldn't bother me. The fact that I have to see a DAMMED AD for it at the bottom of EVERY SINGLE PAGE OF SEARCH RESULTS, EVERY SINGLE TIME is what I HATE.

    I figured maybe there's be a preferences option to turn that god dammed repetitive ad off, but no. I either have to forge my user-agent, or switch to Clusty.com
  • Autocomplete doesn't work for me anymore now that I've installed the update toolbar. This has happened on 3 different computers...has anyone else seen this?

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