Introducing: Click Sync

Photo of a link visited status syncing between two computers

Chrome’s syncing is pretty magical: you can see your browsing history from your phone, tablet, and computers, all in one place. When you install Chrome on a new computer, it automatically downloads your extensions. You can see your bookmarks everywhere, it even lets you open a tab from another device.

There’s one thing that’s always bugged me, however. When you click a link, it turns purple, as all visited links should. But it doesn’t turn purple on your other devices. Google have had this bug on their radar for ages, but it hasn’t made much progress. There’s already an extension that kind of fixes this, but it works by hashing every URL you visit and sending them to a server run by the extension author: not something I’m particularly comfortable with.

And so, I wrote Click Sync!

When you click a link, it’ll use Chrome’s inbuilt sync service to tell all your other computers to mark it as visited. If you like watching videos of links turn purple without being clicked, I have just the thing for you:

While you’re thinking about how Chrome syncs between all your devices, it’s good to setup a Chrome Passphrase, if you haven’t already. This encrypts your personal data before it passes through Google’s servers.

Unfortunately, Chrome mobile doesn’t support extensions, so this is only good for syncing between computers. If you run into any bugs, head on over the Click Sync repository, and let me know!

Introducing: Linkify for Chrome

In WordPress 4.2, a fun little feature was quietly snuck into Core, I’m always delighted to see people’s reactions when they discover it.

But there’s still a problem – WordPress is only ~26% of the internet, how can you get the same feature on the other 74%? Well, that problem has now been rectified. Introducing, Linkify for Chrome:

Thank you to Davide for creating Linkify’s excellent icon!

Linkify is a Chrome extension to automatically turn a pasted URL into a link, just like you’re used to in WordPress. It also supports Trac and Markdown-style links, so you can paste links on your favourite bug trackers, too.

Speaking of bug trackers, if there are any other link formats you’d like to see, post a ticket over on the Linkify GitHub repo!

Oh, and speaking of Chrome extensions, you might be like me, and find the word “emojis” to be extraordinarily awkward. If so, I have another little extension, just for you.

Tabs in Firefox 4 (aka, I can’t believe it’s not Chrome)

First up, if you’re not sure how, Lifehacker has a great reference on where to find your userChrome.css file.

One of the things I love about Google Chrome is that it shows all the tabs at once – even if it has to get really squishy. By default, Firefox limits them to 100px wide, then starts scrolling. Since Firefox 2.0, you’ve been able to use browser.tabs.tabMinWidth to disable this. As of Firefox 4.0b2, however, this functionality has been moved to userChrome.css. Add the following CSS to your userChrome.css to make it act the same as Chrome:

Another great feature of Chrome is having the tabs in the title bar, as it reduces wasted space. Again, you can get the same functionality very easily with Firefox 4, by adding the following to your userChrome.css:

Note that I’ve tweaked this for Windows 7 – you may need to alter the values for other platforms. Feel free to post your tweaks in the comments!

As a bonus, here’s a screenshot of these tweaks in action – lets play “guess which websites Gary has open”.

Firefox Tabs.png

UPDATE: 2010-09-08: Firefox 4 beta 5 changed how this worked a little bit, so I’ve updated the userChrome.css code.