Monday, September 29, 2008

JumpStart - plan for next version

* Updated - Sorry about the delay. I have updated the plan for the next version. I'll try to include some screen shots today too.

Next version of JumpStart is planned for 5th 12th October. Here is the list of things I would like to do until then, and some preview of things already implemented. (I'll add screen shots as I finish each of these)

Showing JumpStart on browser start - DONE
Something that makes sense - if there is only one page and is either blank or homepage JumpStart is shown. This can be overridden through options dialog.
Button to show JumpStart on toolbar - DONE
Sometimes it is useful to show the content without opening new tab.
Menu item for setting options - DONE
In tools menu now there is menu option to show options dialog for the extension.
More thumbs - DONE
Thumbs can now fill the whole useful area of window, there are two sizes to choose from - small and large thumbs. Depending on resolution the number of thumbs will be offered to choose from.
Pin thumb - DONE
Pin your favorite thumbs so they will always appear at the same position
Exclude site from being shown as thumb - DONE
By one click remove site from the list of shown thumbs
JumpStart removed from the history - IN PROGRESS DONE
It won't show up on back button pressed, nor at closed items.
Refresh thumbs - PLANNED NEXT VERSION
At present thumbs are being refreshed after restart of Firefox. New refresh strategies are there now: on some interval, then all at the same time or one-by-one.
Improved search - NEXT VERSION
Search is currently searching only through the history, I want to make it work for all installed search plug-ins. In future I want to improve the whole feature. I'm still thinking about it.
New bookmark features - NEXT VERSION
Google bookmarks?

This all is something I will be working, it might not get into the 0.5a3 version but it will get into the final release pretty soon.

And I promise I'll work on the logo :) My wife absolutely hate it, and I didn't get much better feedback from others. I plan to deliver final 0.5 version at the end of October so by then I should change it.

As always, your feedback is critical. There is a Google group setup so please start a new discussion with ideas, critics or praise.

Monday, September 22, 2008

JumpStart - version 0.5a2

New version of JumpStart is available.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8914. If the site does not show New Tab JumpStart 0.5a2 in the name of the add-on then check out: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addons/versions/8914; sometimes it takes them some time to refresh it, but oddly it shows up in the list of all versions.
Some new stuff there, some fixes too, here is the list off top of my head:
Thumbnails are now clickable.
Delayed thumbnail update - refresh of the thumbnails is initiated about 1 minute after
the browser is started.
Recently closed list fixed and improved, now it shows closed tabs as they happen.
Added some basic preferences
Gmail support - there were issues with Gmail in previous version so it was filtered out, now is showing OK in thumbnails
Support for Firefox 3.1a1
Fixed problem with new window opened from JavaScript
Fixed unicode problem with extension's cache file
Thumbnail zoom - new feature, see screen shots - it has to be turned on from the add-on options.
Lots of other minor tweaks and improved quality.

I created discussion group for the extension where you can post your feedbacks, suggestions, report issues, they are all very much appreciated. The thread regarding the current version is there too so please let me know how do you find this version.
Next version is to be expected in two weeks time, I'll be blogging on what's planned for it soon, so stay tuned.

And now screen shots:



This looks similar to the previous version. But here is some noticeable difference:



It is a kind of zoom, so the thumbnail is better seen. It is turned off by default, you can turn it on by going to menu: Tools -> Add-ons, click Options button of the New Tab JumpStart add-on, check Zoom Thumbs option on the dialog and press OK. Simple :) Here is the previous sentence but in picture:



I'll probably make it by default turned on from the next version unless I get really bad feedback :) This is a step forward to make additional changes in future - more thumbs, more options, etc.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

JumpStart your web experience

New add-on available for Firefox - New Tab JumpStart. When you open a new tab you will get immediate access to your most frequently used sites, bookmarks, closed tabs, history search. Similar to Google's Chrome new tab feature.
Here are some screen shots:





Features are:
- Preview of your most frequently accessed sites (it has delayed load and thumbnails caching)
- Latest bookmarks
- List of recently closed tabs
- Search your history
All this on opening empty tab.

This is still fresh and thus still needs you to login to add-on site to download it. It is work in progress and expect improvements soon. As soon as I have code in good enough shape I will publish it on Codeplex.

Of course all feedback and comments welcome.


* UPDATE *
I have just got feedback that with Tab Mix Plus add-on the new tab is not showing. Tab Mix Plus is overriding some browser events that JumpStart is using. So if you wish both add-ons to peacefully coexist setup Tab Mix Plus to open: chrome://jumpstart/content/tabView.xul on new tab. Go to Tools -> Tab Mix Plus Options, here's the screen shot of what to do:


After that JumpStart works as it should.