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How Many Plugins, Add-ons Are Too Many?


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#1 crzyallday0514

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 07:48 PM

Read a post that plugins can slow your system down. What is considered too many plugins, extensions, add-ons? I recently went to FF3 and love it but of course, it's all the cool stuff I can get too. After IE, FireFox is fun. But don't want to get carried away.

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:20 PM

It is very very hard NOT to get carried away considering all the stuff that is available. And some (not all) plugins can slow it down, not to mention make your toolbars look like a cheap arcade game.
You can certainly try many of them (preferably one at a time), and if they slow your browser too much, or you don't really NEED them, then you can delete them. Currently I have around ten, and only one effects performance (as I would expect it to, given what it does).
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 crzyallday0514

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 12:49 AM

:thumbsup: Thanks. I really don't understand the difference between extensions, plug-ins, add-ons. Appears that the plug-ins are like Flash Player, QuickTime, etc. If I already have those things on my system, why would I need any additional ones for FireFox or are those on my system only for IE? Also, since I am only using IE when I have to go into Microsoft or those sites that supposedly make you have IE, should I delete the add-ons that are in IE. Or do these work independent of each browser? I know I'm showing my ignorance but for the first 4 yrs of using a PC I only had everything Microsoft and didn't even know there were other choices. Thought everyone on the planet used IE. If I hadn't picked up a couple of PC magazines, I'd still be in the dark. Enlightenment is a wonderful thing.

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and on which it is impossible to be silent."
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#4 jgweed

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 10:37 AM

Quite often, the terms are used interchangeably. You do need to install Flashplayer and JavaRuntimeEnvironment (JRE) if you do not have them already on your hard drive. First Mozilla, then Microsoft, added small applications (currently called add-ons by the folks at Mozilla) that improve or expand the functionality of your browser.
For example:
IEVIEW allows you to open a page in IE directly from Mozilla (handy for some sites)
BBCodeXtra allows you to easily add formatting code to any forum using BBCode (such as BC)
Zotero allows you to save pages with your own highlighting and a formatted reference, great for people researching on the internet.
NoScript is an add-on that increases protection from Javascript malware.

The list keeps growing:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#5 crzyallday0514

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 11:21 AM

Thank you. I thought maybe they were interchangeable terms but you confirmed it. Let me get this straight, are you saying if I already have Flash Player and JRE on my hard disk I didn't need to download it from Firefox? I have downloaded both thinking I needed them but I already had them with IE. So I'm thinking I need to delete the duplicate files. So if I do a search, what should I look for to be assured that I delete the right files. Also, if I find I do have duplicate apps, then I'll copy the ones I don't need into a folder in My Docs and then wait/see if it causes problems before I delete. That suggestion was given me in a System Restore post. Good idea for me. I sure do hope that all of you at this site know how much your help has lifted a very heavy burden from us "newbies".

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and on which it is impossible to be silent."
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#6 jgweed

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 11:33 AM

There are Microsoft versions of Java and (I think) Flashplayer; as I remember they came preinstalled with IE (or Windows). You will need the "real" versions for Firefox.
You should be able to tell if you have actual duplicates by reviewing the add/remove programs in the Control Panel. As I remember from installing Firefox and then JRE and FP, they were not precise duplicates of what was already there.

It is always a good habit, by the way, to set up a folder (you can call it "download backups") and always download any application there first; saving the file there will allow you to install it, and you will have a backup in case you need to install it a second time. I always keep both the current version (say of JRE or Firefox) and the last prior version in that folder.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#7 mommabear

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 01:05 PM

:thumbsup: Thanks. I really don't understand the difference between extensions, plug-ins, add-ons. Appears that the plug-ins are like Flash Player, QuickTime, etc. If I already have those things on my system, why would I need any additional ones for FireFox or are those on my system only for IE? Also, since I am only using IE when I have to go into Microsoft or those sites that supposedly make you have IE, should I delete the add-ons that are in IE. Or do these work independent of each browser? I know I'm showing my ignorance but for the first 4 yrs of using a PC I only had everything Microsoft and didn't even know there were other choices. Thought everyone on the planet used IE. If I hadn't picked up a couple of PC magazines, I'd still be in the dark. Enlightenment is a wonderful thing.

Have you looked at what plugins you already might have in FF? You can do that by typing "about:plugins" (without the quotes) in any FF tab or window. It's possible some things you've got installed in Windows-IE may have automatically put the plugin into FF.

For the time being, I'd leave the IE add-ons alone. Some of them relate to Windows Update so you don't have to reinstall their Active X everytime you go to Microsoft. And others like Flash, Java, etc.

Also, as you get used to FF, there are a lot of custom things you can add by going into about:config (do it the same way as the plugins) and changing things there, and not need an extension. That's akin to editing the Windows Registry. It's a shame that the MozillaZine forum is such a bear to navigate and search. I usually just read the topic titles and eventually I find somebody asking a question about the same thing I'm trying to do. But if you have a question for them, just ask. It's easier that way. Their search function really blows. You don't have to register to post there.

http://forums.mozillazine.org/

#8 crzyallday0514

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 04:49 PM

I didn't realize that Add/Remove Programs would have a duplicate there. That's good to know. Thanks for all the information. :thumbsup:

"Music expresses that which cannot be said
and on which it is impossible to be silent."
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