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firefox add-onThe television has one slight edge over the browser. With the TV, we can directly switch on the channel you want. With the browser, we have to type in the URL or click on a bookmark. But that’s just an analogy.

Browsers these days are making it easier to get off the starting blocks with enhancements under the hood or startup page add-ons. The updated Google Chrome browser has some nifty features that make it easy to visualize what you have been visiting. The history thumbnails can be rearranged and hidden or neatly turned into a browser homepage.

It’s not often Firefox looks towards Chrome for inspiration, but the Firefox add-on called WebReview does exactly that and takes it further up the path. The WebReview Firefox add-on takes the history of Firefox and puts in several enhancements that make browsing and going back in time via the links in History, more intuitive.

WebReview can be configured as a centralized start page or it can be brought out into the open from the Tools menu of the browser where the WebReview sub-menu resides after installation. You can also put the WebReview icon button on the Toolbar button from View – Toolbars – Customize. WebReview utilizes the meta-data available with Firefox History to generate four statistics to cover all of your browsing.

The meta-data gleaned from your browsing history is generated by the program when it first starts up. It can also be manually generated later. This is what you will see when the add-on is installed.

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Four Types of Information Which Makes For Smarter Browsing

Use it as a start page (WebReview MyStart) or bring it up manually, WebReview gives a four sided perspective on your browsing habits. The screenshot below explains it at a glance ““

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  • Recently Closed
  • Most Visited
  • Visited Daily
  • Proposals for Today

All browsing activity gets bunched up into these four groups. Thumbnails and data-like frequency of visits further helps to sort it out visually. Beyond the visual data is a smart bit of technology which sees action in the Proposal for today section. WebReview tracks and sorts which sites you visit on which days. This bit of information helps it to bring up the very same websites as suggestions, on those corresponding days. WebReview recognizes your increase or decrease in visits and changes in tune with it.

Two More Tools Up WebReview’s Sleeve

Two additional tools in the WebReview menu help to give you more control over your browsing history.

WebReview Chronicle

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It’s behaves like an indexer and filter for all the URLs you visit. A set of filters help you get to any page you visited, if it’s recorded in the browser’s History. Website addresses are also grouped by domain/host and subdomain respectively. So you can dive down into a specific page of a website by selecting the domain and then the particular page.

WebReview Graph

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Browsers have a peculiar problem called the “˜back-forward problem’. As explained in the add-on’s documentation,

If you click on a link on page A, you get to page B. If you then use the Back button of the browser to get back to page A, and from there click on another link that brings you to page C, page B is lost. You can’t reach it anymore through the Back and Forward buttons of the browser.

WebReview Graph is a tool which solves this by displaying all pages you have visited in each browsing session. WebReview does this through a visual of connected nodes making it useful for getting to the “˜lost’ pages in between two link clicks. If you like details, you can also generate a HTML report from here.

WebReview isn’t so useful if you have a habit of cleaning your browsing history after every session. As a tracker, the Firefox add-on needs all the help it can get to understand your browsing habits.

We all have our browsing habits and sometimes we follow a pattern. WebReview helps to uncover that and makes our browsing more efficient using the three tools. Even if you disregard the tech chatter, WebReview does one thing very simply – it speeds up the search for an already visited page.

Do you think WebReview makes for a value added Firefox add-on? Download it from the Firefox add-ons page and let us know.

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