Okay, maybe “must-have” is a little strong. How about “works great with” or… “I really like.” Anyway, they’re really great extensions that don’t chew up a ton of memory and are (in my oh-so-humble opinion) very much A Good Thing.
But first, a little preamble. After several fairly smooth months of running Ubuntu and appreciating all the good things that came with that experience, I finally got sick of the troubles behind running Ubuntu with Gnome Shell. Why would I want to run Gnome Shell? Because though Unity has some really neat stuff going on, and as an interface I think it’s just great for some folks, I firmly believe that Gnome Shell is just amazing and only getting better. Unfortunately, I’ve run into a ton of problems running Gnome Shell in Ubuntu (it just doesn’t want to play well with Unity), and it got real frustrating real fast. So I looked to Fedora (again – I hop a lot between the two distros) to give me that plain-vanilla ‘pure’ Gnome Shell experience.
A few false starts and a whole lotta hammering later (especially on my laptop), and Fedora has proven to be everything Ubuntu is and then some. Very cutting edge, very fast, memory use is well behaved, YUM and RPM is excellent… I’m impressed. And the Gnome Shell experience has not disappointed (though I know and appreciate that not everyone agrees with me on that).
Gnome Shell’s got a great interface that is constantly improving and I can appreciate the directions it’s going. Unfortunately, not all the apps are quite there yet, and Firefox is among them. When maximized, Firefox still has this annoying titlebar in place (resulting in a kind of ‘double-titlebar’ that eats up vertical real estate and just irks my sensibilities.) Easily solved with the first of my suggested extensions:
PLEASE NOTE: Don’t use this extension with any other desktop environment! This is only intended for Gnome Shell!
Anyway, once the extension is installed you can maximize the window and voila! It works similarly to Chrome, maximizing real estate and looking just great. Now, you could do this by simply hitting the F11 key and going “fullscreen”, and that’s a legit solution for when I’m concentrating on one particular page. Thing is, when I’m ‘working’ (yeah, I single-quoted that) I often keep a bunch of tabs open and just like to have the top bar in place, so this extension is a happy solution for my needs.
The second extension is a pretty simple thing – it just makes the window look a little more “Gnomish”, specifically Adwaita. Personally I think it looks great (better than the default, for sure) and it looks nicely integrated into the rest of the environment. Here’s a link:
Again, this is just aesthetic, but it makes a difference to me as far the whole ‘user experience.’ Feels a lot nicer and just less obtrusive.
As with anything in this world, YMMV. Try it out, and if you don’t like it, knock it out. As to why I’m using Firefox instead of my usual love, Chrome, well… that’s a tale for another day.