Here we go again

In the recent past, Firefox has published another new Beta.  This time it’s version 3.5b4.  Slicker and seemingly faster, it is a perfect addition to anyone’s computer.

One of the intriguing features is the “Location Aware Browsing”.  I’m still trying to get a handle on what it means, it’s potential for better use of Firefox, and it’s impact on a user’s privacy.  My first instinct is that it will have the potential to provide more locally relevant results.  I think the concept is ingenious.

The other useful thing about an upgrade of this type is the maintenance of add-ons.  I’m an add-on junky and really like all of the extra functionality that they can provide to the browser experience.  But, the add-on needs to be compatible with the current release.  So, upon first run of the new browser, Firefox checks for compatibility with the new build.

If there are incompatibilities, then the add-on is disabled if it’s incompatibile and there is no upgrade currently available.

Image via CrunchBase

I use this as an opportunity to scan up and down the list that I’ve added to the browser.  It’s a nice opportunity to refresh my memory of the additional functionality that I’ve provided myself.  I find it’s also an opportunity to ask myself “Do I really need this?”

If the answer is no, then away it goes.

If the answer is yes, then I’ll start looking for an upgrade or, even better, alternatives to the original.  Often, what I’ll find is something even better than the originally installed add-on.

Case in point is an add-on called “Shareaholic“.

On one upgrade, my one tap Delicious bookmarks buttons became incompatible.  Now, this was a major strike against my browsing habits.  As I find resources, I use the awesome delicious service to bookmark it.  Delicious has become my “turn to first” search engine.  When I need a concept, rather than search the wild and woolly internet, I’ll look through Delicious first as I’ve already personally previewed a web site and determined that it’s worthy of hanging on to.

So, without the tools, I was ready to jump – or at least roll back to a previous service.  However, Shareaholic provides more than just access to Delicious and it was a keeper.  Even when the Delicious buttons were upgraded, I hang on to both of them as they both provide powerful functionality for whatever it is that I do.

I do like to think that I contribute back to folks that learn on the web with me by sharing some of the best resources that I’ve found.  Shareaholic allows me to do that at even higher levels.

Nothing is ever stationary in the web browsing world.  So, here we go again.  With 3.5b4, many of my add-ons are now disabled.  I’ll do some soul searching again about whether to keep them, let developers have some time to upgrade and then move on.

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