Mozilla’s Home Dash

Mozilla Home DashHome Dash is the newest add-on from Mozilla Labs’ Prospector Project which is determined to re-imagine the Firefox interface for Firefox 4 on Windows, Mac OS X

and Linux. Home Dash removes nearly every defining feature from the interface in an attempt to emphasize the contents of the web page you are viewing at the time. No more status bars, bookmark bars, navigation buttons or URL bars with this. The only thing left is the dedicated Firefox 4 menu button from the upper left of the interface.

A translucent Firefox logo replaces all of these items which is located below the menu button. Click the logo or use the hot key Ctrl + T to enable the new dashboard. The new dashboard appears flush against the right margin of your browser. The top row displays your open tabs with all of your pinned tabs on the left. The cluster of preview windows below reveals all of your frequently visited sites. You can use the numbers on the opened tabs in conjunction with the control key to quickly bring them to the foreground and you can also make any tab an app tab by dragging it to the left. The bigger sites in the middle are the ones that you visit the most. Hovering your mouse over a thumbnail will show the full size of that site in the background. Simply click it to bring it to the foreground and hide the dash.

There is a search box in the upper left of the browser which uses an agnostic approach to your search query. The search goes through your history, opened tabs and the internet itself simultaneously. If you don’t want that then you can specify a search engine by clicking one of the icons below the search box. Home Dash is a restart-free add-on which means you will not have to close the browser in order to get it working. It also only works in Firefox 4 betas 9 and 10. In order to return to the default interface, you have to go into your add-ons panel and disable it. The developers plan on including a hot key toggle in version 2 in order to jump quickly between the two looks.

There are also a number of hot key combos that are there to minimize the mouse work in the menu. When your dash is closed, the hot keys function as they normally do. Ctrl + L will bring up your location bar, Ctrl + T opens a new tab and Ctrl + K opens your default search engine in the current tab. All of these also open the Dash as well. When the Dash is open, Ctrl + L will paste the current URL into the search box if it is empty or select the current text in the search box. Ctrl + T toggles whether or not the selected page opens in the current tab or a new tab and Ctrl + K activates the default search and then cycles through the search engines.

Mozilla has created quite a lengthy list of shortcuts for the add-on including some keys that are double-mapped allowing you to use either your left or right hand. The add-on is still in Beta form so do not be surprised if you experience a few problems with crashing or the rendering of thumbnails for the Dash. Follow the link to get the download for Home Dash now.

Source: cnet

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  1. By Featured: Tech Army Blog | Xponex Media on February 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

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