Born Geek
Posts Tagged "googlebar-lite"

Sunset of Googlebar Lite

April 6, 2017

As of today, I am officially withdrawing my development support for the Googlebar Lite Firefox extension. I’m aware that the extension no longer works well in the latest builds of Firefox, and I have absolutely no desire to fix them. Mozilla’s development environment has gotten pretty irritating as of late, and I just don’t have the cycles (or the drive) to fix the issues that exist.

The future of Firefox add-ons lies in WebExtensions, and toolbar support in that arena is pretty bare-bones (last I looked). The default Firefox search box meets most needs, which has motivated me to drop this extension.

For those that are so-inclined, I will accept pull requests at the official googlebarlite repo. Or, you can fork the project and roll your own.

Googlebar Lite Documentation Updates

February 17, 2016

I have updated several of the documentation pages for Googlebar Lite. A number of screenshots have been updated, and the documentation on Googlebar Lite options has been updated to reflect a number of new options that have appeared over the past few releases. If any of the existing documentation isn’t clear, or you feel that a specific topic is missing, let me know.

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Googlebar Lite 5.1.3

February 16, 2016

A new build of Googlebar Lite has been posted, adding a new preference:

  • Added a preference for collapsing search words when Googlebar Lite is placed on the nav-bar toolbar (enabled by default). Disable this preference to get the old search word button behavior.

Googlebar Lite 5.1.2

January 26, 2016

I’ve released a small bug-fix for Googlebar Lite:

  • Fixed a missing entity in all non-English locales
  • Commented out a couple of unused devtool JavaScript module paths preventing compatibility with Firefox 44

Googlebar Lite 5.1.1

January 19, 2016

Version 5.1.1 of Googlebar Lite is now available at the official Firefox add-ons site. This will be the final release of Googlebar Lite to include new features written by me. From here on out, my plan is to solely fix any problems that crop up, some of which have already surfaced for the upcoming Firefox 44. I do not have plans on porting this toolbar to the new multi-process Firefox that is coming down the pipeline.

If you have new features you want to see added to Googlebar Lite, or if you want to take on the task of making Googlebar Lite compatible with the multi-process builds of Firefox, feel free to submit pull requests at the official GitHub repo. I will happily merge any pull requests that are submitted, as long as they adhere to keeping with the “Lite” aspect of this extension.

It’s been a fun 11 years of development (can you believe it has been that long?!?), and I am grateful to all the many users who have made Googlebar Lite such an outstanding project. Nearly 30,000 people still use this extension every day, which boggles my mind. To think that something I wrote for my own use could be so useful to others is really terrific.

Here is the change log for version 5.1.0 (5.1.1 fixed a regression I inadvertently introduced):

  • Search words are now grouped together under one toolbar button when Googlebar Lite is placed on the nav-bar
  • Googlebar Lite options can now be exported and imported, making it much easier to migrate options from one install to another
  • Keyboard search modifiers (Ctrl+Enter, Shift+Enter, etc.) can now be toggled on or off
  • Keyboard search modifiers (Ctrl+Enter, Shift+Enter, etc.) now have the option of opening in a new tab
  • The basic web search type is now available for each keyboard search modifier
  • The “classic Maps” option has been renamed and now toggles “Lite mode” when performing Google Maps searches
  • Bumped the supported minVersion to 38.0
  • Simplified the extension’s about dialog
  • Removed a few deprecated code paths
  • Removed four locales due to their being very out of date: el-GR, hr-HR, pt-BR, and sk-SK
  • Minor locale updates
  • Googlebar Lite change history has been moved into a Markdown-flavored file at the top of the tree
  • Bug Fix: Removed a hard-coded tooltip, replacing it with the appropriate localized variant

Googlebar Lite and Firefox 43

December 16, 2015

Firefox 43, which was just recently released, now enforces add-on signing. Versions of Googlebar Lite that were distributed via this site were unsigned, meaning that they will be disabled once your version of Firefox updates itself. To fix this problem, simply install the signed version from the official add-ons website. You do not need to uninstall your previous version of Googlebar Lite to do this, and all your settings should be retained.

The Future of CoLT & Googlebar Lite

August 24, 2015

It has been quite some time since the last releases of either CoLT or Googlebar Lite, and a lot has changed in the land of Firefox extension development. In a few weeks, Firefox will require all extensions to be signed. At the moment, neither of my extensions (as available from this website, at least) meet this requirement.

The Firefox extension world is increasingly becoming a walled garden, much like every other browser today. As such, I’ve made the frustrating decision to release my extensions through the official add-ons site only. This policy will begin with the next release of each extension, which I hope to make available in the next month or so.

In addition, the next releases of both Googlebar Lite and CoLT are likely to be my last. I’m not as interested in Firefox development as I once was, especially given some of the frustrating plans they have announced for the ecosystem. This unfortunately means that support for the multi-process version of Firefox that is coming down the pipeline will not be implemented (at least by me).

If you’re a developer and want to contribute either bug fixes or new features for my extensions, you are more than welcome to do so (merge requests are always appreciated). The source code for both is available via GitHub:

Dropping Outdated Locales

February 18, 2015

I’m currently working on an update to Googlebar Lite, and I’m debating whether or not to drop some of the more outdated locales. I wrote a Perl script to gather some data about the locales, and this is what it reports as of my current development snapshot:

Locale   Matches   % Match   Missing   % Missing
 en-US       172   {Master Locale}

 ca-AD        24     14.0%         6        3.5%
 cs-CZ        12      7.0%         0        0.0%
    da         7      4.1%         0        0.0%
    de         8      4.7%         0        0.0%
 el-GR        32     18.6%         6        3.5%
 es-ES         4      2.3%         0        0.0%
 et-EE        14      8.1%         6        3.5%
    fr        13      7.6%         6        3.5%
 hr-HR        31     18.0%         6        3.5%
    it        23     13.4%         6        3.5%
 ja-JP         9      5.2%         6        3.5%
    nl         8      4.7%         0        0.0%
    pl         6      3.5%         6        3.5%
 pt-BR        31     18.0%         6        3.5%
 ru-RU        22     12.8%         6        3.5%
 sk-SK        32     18.6%         6        3.5%
    tr        30     17.4%         6        3.5%
 uk-UA         5      2.9%         0        0.0%
 zh-CN        30     17.4%         6        3.5%
 zh-TW        11      6.4%         6        3.5%

The 4 locales most out of date are el-GR, hr-HR, pt-BR, and sk-SK. Those are currently the ones I’m considering tossing out, but I also could make a case for tr and zh-CN. My non-scientific rule of thumb has been that I toss out locales that get to be more than 20% out of date (meaning that a sum total of 20% of strings either match or are missing). I’ll give this a few more days to think about it. Do you have any ideas as to what I should do? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.

Upcoming Change to Googlebar Lite

January 14, 2015

The “search words” feature of Googlebar Lite is a popular feature. But when Googlebar Lite lives on the same toolbar as the URL bar (the “nav-bar”), it doesn’t play nicely with everyone else. As you type words into the search box, everything to the left of the Googlebar Lite toolbar shrinks horizontally. This is a direct result of the search word buttons that appear as you type.

Starting in the next release, I plan on introducing a fix to this problem. When the Googlebar Lite toolbar is placed on the “nav-bar” toolbar, the search words overflow button will appear. As you type search words into the search box, they will appear as items in this button’s associated menu. Here’s a screenshot to illustrate this change in action:

Search Words in Googlebar Lite

This tweak should fix the associated problems that today’s design contains, while maintaining access to the search words for those who use that feature. Note that this mode will only activate in the aforementioned scenario (i.e. Googlebar Lite living in the nav-bar). When on its own toolbar, Googlebar Lite’s search words will appear today as they always have.

I’m interested to hear what everyone’s thoughts are on this change. I think it will be helpful, but I want to make sure I’m not breaking any scenarios that I may have overlooked. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

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Googlebar Lite 5.0.6

December 4, 2014

A small bug fix has just been pushed out for Googlebar Lite. Here’s the change:

  • Bug Fix: Performing an empty Maps search with the force classic Google Maps search option checked no longer results in a 404