Google Chrome extensions

Moin Moin,

recently I stayed at home for two months because my second daughter Naya was born 20th January 2010. Here in Germany we have the possibility to take the so called “Elternzeit” which is badly translated as “parents time”. It gives you and your partner the chance to take care of the new born.

Most of the time I tried do be a good daddy and husband. Means I supported my wife as much as I could and carried Naya around while she was screaming like hell (due to 3 month colics a lot of babys have at the beginning of their life). But there was some time left I used to learn again some programming stuff like digging a little deeper into Rails and hacking JavaScript. Neat.

Doing so and due to the fact I am programming web based stuff, I likely use Firefox. But hey there is also that Google Chrome browser you installed few months ago. So why not using this one. And yeah - it’s really cool. I like the simplicity and reduced UI. But what about extensions? Ok there is the Google Chrome Extensions site I checked. And there are already some cool extensions I use.

Overview about the installed extensions

This is just a short hint. You can find the extensions menu under Window -> Extensions or you click the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button (tool icon) in the adress bar and then the entry Extensions in the menu. There is a list with all installed extensions and you are given the ability to change the options, enable or disable and uninstall each extension.

Firebug lite

The one I installed some minutes ago is Firebug lite for Chrome. Actually this version is just a smaller set of the one written for Firefox but hey, it’s a good start. When developing JavaScript stuff, the most used part is the Console and fortunately it’s already available. I did not know that this Firebug version is available for Chrome. So a big thank you goes to Markus Wolff (@mwolffhh) who pointed me to this.

goo.gl URL Shortener

Who does not use an URL shortener these day’s? Sure there are a lot of them available. Having one in your browser bar available is a good thing because you just need to hit it and have the shortened URL for the actual page. I like the goo.gl Extension a lot but it’s nothing very special.

Google Reader Notifier

First I was reading the RSS feeds I subscribed to in Mail. But this sucks a little bit, because it’s a mail client and not an RSS reader. So I started to use Google reader and I am really satisfied. So to quickly open the site and also seeing how many new feeds are available, I installed Google Reader Notifier which is made by Google. This is basically just a link to the Google reader site.

Speed Tracer

Speed Tracer is also a Google extension. It is useful to examine performance problems. You start recording all the pages you are loading. A lot of important metrics are being tracked. Actually I just used it a couple of times but it seems to be a good tool. To be able to run it under Mac OS X you have to download a litte application called Speed Tracer bootstrap application. Running this app will start Chrome with the flag

--enable-extension-timeline-api
which is needed to be able to record anything at all. It’s worth a check I think. You can get further info here.

Zootool Extension

Last, but definitely not least, there is a wonderful extension available for www.zootool.com which I strongly recommend to check out. Zootool (@zootool) is a web application for storing and managing your bookmarks running in the browser as a website. The cool thing about it is the fact, that it feels like using a desktop application. The extension is opening the save dialog embedded fullscreen in your current window. Really nice! (hey Bastian, I am still really excited ;-)

While developing

I don’t want to miss to point you to the developer tools shipped with Chrome. Under View -> Developer in the main menu, you can open the source code of the current page, the Developer Tools and the JavaScript console, and a task manager showing you the ressources used by Chrome. The Developer Tools and the JavaScript console are made in the manner of firebug for Firefox. They are doing a real good job what means, that you can easily use Chrome for developing JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Conclusion

This was just a small overview about some extensions for Google Chrome. I am using it under Mac OS X. Chrome is a real nice browser and damn fast. The V8 JavaScript engine is doing a good job under the hood. So why not using Chrome?

Published: March 25 2010