Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Transform Firefox into Google Chrome

image courtesy Lifehacker

The new browser Google Chrome from the stables of Google is out and both me and many others are raving about its speed, features and most of all its looks. There is no doubt that the web browser market is only going to get hotter with the upcoming releases of IE8 and Firefox3.1

But then Google Chrome will still have to work hard to reach the capabilities that Firefox has when compared to its rich collection of addons, themes and flexibility. Till then we can definitely try and get the same look of the new Google chrome in Firefox.

Just as I was getting hooked to Chrome I realized that I would like to get the same features in my current Firefox version too. I went around the blogs and yes found a huge amount of information on getting this done, but not one single place to round it all up together. Also there were a few issues with the existing suggestions for the conversion. After tweaking with existing implementations and reusing others I was finally able to get to the closest implementation of Chrome in Firefox according to me. This is how my final Firefox browser looks like after all the changes.


Theme:
To start off I hunted for a theme which would closely resemble Chrome and finally found Chromifox. Just the theme that I wanted but the tabs of the theme seemed upside down to me. Since it really is not a very difficult task to update the theme I went ahead and tweaked the theme to get the tabs flipped and oriented the way it is in Chrome.
This is how the actual Chromifox theme looks and if you observe somehow the tab orientation does not fit the real Chrome.

After the tweak though the tabs seem to be ok, but the gradation of the blue shade has also turned the other way. To get the shade fixed I would have to edit each of those tab images which would have required more time than a flip and had to be sidestepped. Maybe the original author would be faster on this issue.

I am attaching the updated/tweaked Firefox Chromifox theme jar here for you to download(please download and install it at your own risk) . You will have to drag and drop it to the themes(addon) window in Firefox. I would like to mention that I take no credit at all for this theme. This theme was designed and developed by falconer and he has designed a really beautiful and excellent theme for which all the credit should go to him alone.

Tab bar on top of the window, like Google Chrome:
Install the Stylish Firefox addon. The tab bar on top of the Firefox window is already included in this addon which will move the tabs to the top of the Firefox menu bar.

Hide the menu bar (similar to Google Chrome which has no menubar):
Install the Hide Menubar Firefox addon to hide the menubar. The menubar can be activated anytime by pressing the ALT key.

Autohide status bar:
Autohide Status bar addon will auto hide the Firefox status bar at the bottom of the browser window. The status bar will be displayed only when you hover cursor on a link or during page load.

The remaining:
The rest like highlighting the site name, displaying the download status of a file at the bottom of the browser window, speed dial etc... can be separately installed. More details on enabling Chrome's best features in Firefox can be found here.

A complete Firefox addon (Chrome Pacakge) is also available, but has a few glitches to it still, which I am hopeful will be resolved very soon.

Hope this brings you closer to both Firefox and Chrome. Both are wonderful open source browsers and both beautiful at that.

Let me know in case you have any suggestions for improvement.


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