Question Time: Spoon-saving Wee Web Widgets

I’m probably the last person on the block to find out there’s a better way to delete hundreds of old comment subscriptions in livejournal. I’ve been going to the Subscription Tracking page and deleting each one by hand – which then forces a reload of the page, sending Firefox to using 100% of one of my CPUs, and generally taking a whole lot of time, spoons, and aggravation.

Searching around, I now find that Afuna has a Greasemonkey script, Delete Multiple Subscriptions, that at least makes the job easier. You click on the little trashcan, it highlights with a red box, then when you’re done selecting the outdated subscriptions you click “Delete” at the bottom. Hoorah!

Now, if anyone finds a way to mass delete the oldest x00 subscriptions, or all those older than x0 days, please, please, please let me know.

I’ve also only just discovered YousableTubeFix, which makes my Youtube use much easier. YousableTubeFix allows you to customise a whole lot of interface stuff on Youtube:

Removes ads and unwanted sections (configurable), allows downloading and resizing videos, displays all comments on video page, expands the description, can prevent autoplay and autodownload, adds a HD (High Definition) select, etc…

I’ve been attached to Remove It Permanently forever, though it seems rather flaky these days and probably needs updating. It gives a different set of functions from Adblock. I see there’s a Yet Another Remove It Permanently, but I haven’t tried it yet.

There’s another one I use all the time, for websites with colour schemes I find unreadable (white on black, grey on black, pale grey on white, light green on medium green…): Black And White, a little bookmarklet, shift most pages to plain black text on a white background.

These particular scripts and extensions may not be accessible to all users – so I’d love to hear your tips and experiences.

What other wee web widgets make your life easier? Spill! Shar

By 16 December, 2009.    accessibility   



11 Comments

  1. I use NoScript in my Firefox, in addition to AdBlock Plus. On one level it’s a bit of a nuisance–I have to specifically allow scripts I want to run–but it keeps my computer safer from viruses (and annoying ads!) so I think it’s more than worth it.

    Not a widget but still a web-based thing that makes my life a lot easier: I use Google Calendar and have set it to send reminders as text messages to my cell phone. Scheduling is MUCH easier now, and I don’t have to carry around a planner! (And I also use it for things like “remember to bring vitamins home from work” and any other little thing I might forget to do.)

  2. I recently discovered Readability (http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/), which lets me change a a webpage’s text color to black and white, change the margins, change the font, and remove most images and headers. I don’t use it often, but I love it when I come across really busy pages.

  3. I hadn’t really thought of it as accessibility, but I guess it is – I love the Lazarus firefox extension which allows you to restore the contents of a form (including, say, a blog post or web based email) if you accidentally close the window or tab.

  4. I whole-heartedly second Readability, which has changed the way I use the internet. I’m also a big fan of Instapaper (http://www.instapaper.com) which is a bookmarklet that allows you to save a page for reading later, can turn pages into plain text or download them for later use. It’s iPhone app is also pretty great.

    And, though this might go without saying, Google Reader and RSS feeds are a must.

  5. In the Opera browser, shift-G switches between my custom stylesheet and the site author’s style. I’ve loaded my custom sheet with optimal fonts, spacing, and colors, and it also decomposes columnar/tabular material so the large fonts I use don’t overlap everything. If the one-column layout makes navigation confusing, I can toggle back to the author’s style to figure it out.

    Have searched for, but never found, a similar tool for Mozilla/Firefox, Safari/Chrome, or other visual web browsers. However, any web author could spend many a happy day reading this site:

    http://accessify.com/tools-and-wizards/

  6. I don’t really have any suggestions, but I do have a question: does anyone know how to access the audible CAPTCHA on sites like Blogger with Firefox? For some reason, I keep being unable to access it apart from a button that tells me “download the plug-in”. I’ve by now walked through the wizard that pops up then quite a few times and it’s still not working. I searched for possible extensions/add-ons that would let me listen to the CAPTCHAs, but all I found were self-acclaimed “CAPTCHA killers”, which are likely against the ToS of most sites.

  7. @Astrid: If I understand correctly, you’ll need to install QuickTime from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/ – that should give Firefox the ability to play embedded .WAV files, which is what Google uses.

  8. Firefox extensions I use constantly:

    Undo Closed Tabs, which adds a little button in the top of my browser when I accidentally close a tab.
    http://code.google.com/p/uctb/

    Ghostery, which blocks tracking scripts (like NoScript, mentioned above, but you don’t have to do anything).
    http://www.ghostery.com/

    Taboo, which gives you a one-click way to save a webpage you want to read later, but probably not keep forever. It even saves your position on the page (so if you scrolled down halfway it’ll remember that). Like Instapaper (mentioned above), but you don’t have to log into a third-party website to see your “temporary” bookmarks.
    http://overstimulate.com/projects/taboo

    Video DownloadHelper, which lets me “steal” (download) streaming videos and audio embedded in posts or from sites like Youtube, so that I can watch them or listen to them in a more controlled environment.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006

    Shooter, which lets me quickly take a screenshot/image of whole webpage (including down-scrolling) or just a selection of it, and save it to my computer. Not really an accessibility thing, but if you ever take screenshots it’s great.
    http://www.code-purity.com/shooter

  9. I’m surprised nobody mentioned Accessibar yet. Lets me change the colors and fonts of a page quickly, hide graphics, and on some sites it has been translating emoticon images into text for me. (I think.) Unfortunately, the “read aloud” function is rather flaky and not to be trusted, and I’m hoping they fix that soon.

  10. I have a firefox plugin called “NoSquint” which allows me to adjust the size of text universally, and not just ‘zoom in’. You can also have it increase the size of images, should you wish. I have all text on the internets increased to 115% so I can actually see it.

  11. i havent gotten lj notifications for ages because i cant find the damn page where i used to be able to deal with them 🙁 If someone can point me over to it i would be so grateful, because as it is, i have to either bookmark the things i want to get notifications of (which is limited to about 9 that show up), or remember them (and that just aint happening), so i lose track of conversations more than i normally would.