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Content update: Config update checker for Firefox (and now Thunderbird also)

I finally got around to updating my user.js-notify script for Firefox. The script can now do checks for Thunderbird also. This is a Bash script (think Linux) that produces a desktop notification with information about the user.js and the user-overrides.js files for both Firefox and Thunderbird as well as the latest versions of both the Firefox and Thunderbird configuration guides. Basically it checks for updates to the files.

The repo is here (script is in the /misc directory), the changes are here, and the script can be downloaded here.

Please report any bugs either here as a comment or on the repo.

Changes include...

* script works with both firefox and thunderbird
* script is now in more of a waterfall format so that checks that depend
on previous checks which fail no longer take place (this fixes erroneous
update notifications)
* path to firefox and thunderbird default profile folders is now
determined from profiles.ini files
* changed some default values for options
* changed the hyperlink for the firefox pro config guide
* misc. small edits

Content update: Firefox - user-overrides.js supplement for arkenfox user.js

I updated my user-overrides.js supplement for the 'arkenfox' user.js for Firefox. The repo is here, the changes are here and the file can be downloaded here. If you're completely lost, but curious, see one of my Firefox config guides here.


And now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Format Link - a sweet Firefox extension for copying and formatting page links, titles and text

Format Link, which i just now used to grab that link, is a really handy Firefox add-on that makes it super easy to copy a webpage title, link, any selected text, and format it for pasting in different formats such as Markdown, BB code, HTML and others. I used it to create all of my News Bytes posts which would have taken much longer without it.

Using any article in one of my News Byte posts as an example, they are of course built by going to the article source page, highlighting an excerpt, and pressing my assigned hotkey to activate Format Link. In one shot the add-on accomplishes all of the following:

  • copies the page title enclosed in h2 HTML tags and hyperlinks it
  • copies any text i have highlighted and wraps it in HTML blockquote and p tags
  • adds the "more..." hyperlink
  • replaces all fancy quotes with their plain equivalents
  • and it does all this using the proper mime type for pasting directly into the TinyMCE visual editor, such as is used for ClassicPress

The format i use to accomplish this is...

<h2><a href="{{page_url}}">{{title}}</a></h2>\n<blockquote><p>{{text.s("\\n+","</p><p>")}}</p></blockquote>\n<p><a href="{{page_url}}">more...</a></p>

The quotes replacement is done using a regular expression...


Even being familiar with regular expressions, It took a little fooling around to figure out the syntax for the search and replace stuff ( <variable>.s("<search string>","<replace string>") ), but Format Link makes the rest quite easy.

Granted there are several other Firefox add-ons that can copy page titles and potentially hyperlink them, but few can also copy highlighted text in addition, and fewer still have an option to set the mime type so that the text can be pasted into something like the TinyMCE visual editor, and fewer still provide options to replace text using regular expressions.

There's a couple small caveats to Format Link at present; 1) you can only create 9 formats and 2), there's no way to easily rearrange them, such as by drag & drop, however the developer is aware of these shortcomings and neither one is a show-stopper unless you must have more than 9 formats.

If you often copy web content for pasting on forums, social media or text documents, or compile news articles such as i do (on a very irregular basis), check out Format Link (GitHub repo) for sure. It's a great time saver.

Lastly, the developer, Hiroaki Nakamura, is a nice guy and responsive to feedback.