Firefox Plug-in similar to Apple's Spaces?
January 7, 2008 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Are there any plug-ins for Firefox similar to the concept of "spaces" on Apple Leopard? For those not familiar with Spaces, I'm looking for a plug-in that will optimize my Firefox browser for different tasks, in other words, show certain bookmarks, plug-ins, etc.. while hiding others, depending on what task I'm doing at the time. Perhaps I have one set of plug-ins and bookmarks just for business tasks and another for entertainment, etc... This would be of GREAT benefit to me. I'm sure you all know how cluttered a browser can get when you do a lot of internet activities.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Firefox's profiles will do at least some of what you're looking for.
posted by box at 1:31 PM on January 7, 2008

What you want to do is use seperate profiles. This can be simplified by using different shortcuts. For example, the command "firefox -P Work" will start your work profile, and "firefox -P Home" could start your home profile. (Create the profiles first by running "firefox -p").

In addition, if you need more than one firefox profile open at a time, that's made possible by using the "-no-remote" switch in your command.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:38 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanx, I'll check that out. Any info on how I initially set-up those profiles with all the crap I already have? Is it just a matter of logging in to each profile and deleting the things I don't need for each, or do I need to go back and set them up from scratch?
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 1:43 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: Hmmm... well after reading further, it seems like this is a viable solution, however, switching between profiles seems a bit clunky (having to restart Firefox each time), and each profile needs to be built from scratch (i.e. I need to go and customize EVERYTHING all over again). I'll give it a try, but if anyone has other ideas please keep them coming.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 1:52 PM on January 7, 2008

however, switching between profiles seems a bit clunky (having to restart Firefox each time)

Like I said, by using the -no-remote flag, you can have multiple firefox windows with different profiles open at once.

Setup shouldn't be that hard.
1) make a copy of your current profile folder (presumably with work and play mixed)

2) use firefox -p to create a new profile, then select the copy of your profile as the folder to use.

3) Now you have all of your stuff in two different profiles, and you can go through each and delete the bookmarks that you don't need in that particular profile.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:17 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: Cool, thanx for the clarification chrisamiller. This side of Firefox is new to me. I'll give that a shot.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 2:37 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry to keep harping on this, but does this mean I need to use terminal to open Firefox from now on? I've gotten to the point where I've created my profiles, but I'm still fuzzy on how I go about launching the profiles each time I launch the browser. Also, not sure where or how to use this -no-remote flag you speak of. Sorry if I'm being basic here, but I never use command line items. The concept is very new to me.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 2:59 PM on January 7, 2008

I believe you can create a Firefox shortcut on your desktop and then right-click to edit it. There should be a place to add such commands in.
posted by DMan at 3:02 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: I can try attaching an automator workflow to the application icon in my dock. Not really sure exactly how to configure the Automator action though, seeing as how I have no experience in this matter. I'll fiddle with it though and see if I can't figure it out. That would be great if I can just execute the action every time I open Firefox and tell it to open both profiles. Thanx for the tip.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 3:16 PM on January 7, 2008

dman- on OS X you don't have the same options for shortcuts.

The command you want to execute in OS X's terminal is:

/Applications/ -P "User2" &

I am looking into a way so you can easily make clickable apps to launch different instances of firefox, but it wont exactly be easy.

Also, look at omniweb. As it has some advanced customization options in a non free web browser that is very kick ass for things such as this. (but there is a free complete version that just nags you about registering).
posted by mrzarquon at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: mrzarquon,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can attach folder actions which would allow you to put together an automator workflow when the app is launched right? Or can you not access terminal commands through automator?
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 3:47 PM on January 7, 2008

read up on the Do Shell Script command. It is stalling in my testing, as it is waiting for firefox to quit so the script can continue. I have tried making the profile launch a seperate shell script, that can be put in the background, but my brain is elsewhere right now. But terminal commands and do shell script are good starting points in your search.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:01 PM on January 7, 2008

Something like Platypus is able to convert a script/command into a minimal OS X app which you'd just double-click.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:31 PM on January 7, 2008

Someone may have answered some of your prayers with the Firefox profile switcher.
posted by lucidreamstate at 6:04 AM on January 19, 2008

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