Fernando Espinosa

fernando espinosa

freelance ruby & ios developer


I'm Fernando Espinosa, a developer based in Madrid, Spain.
I ruby and crafting beautiful apps with it.

Pentadactyl: the reason why I still use Firefox.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013

I’m a vim fanatic (vim neanderthal, say some of my colleages). I’m writting this post in vim, I code using vim, manage my tasks using vim and I wish I could do everything in front of my computer with vim.

I used to be a Chrome user, as the majority around here, I guess. One day, looking for an extension to Chrome, I ran into a extension called ”Vimium”. Probably it’s not the first of its kind, but is the first one I found. The idea behind Vimium is to be able to use the vim commands and key mappings in your browser. You can scroll down using j or d, scroll up using k or u, etc. The Vimium homepage explains it way better than me. I started using it and I fell in love instantly.

But I wanted more. Although my browsing workflow improved a lot, I felt that I was missing something. I started reading in forums and google groups until someone mentioned ”Pentadactyl” in one of those messages. He spoke so well of it that I had to try it right away. I opened Firefox and started downloading it.

I must admit that the first time I was overwhelmed. It has so many options is easy to get lost at first. But if you are a regular vim user you’ll get used to it really fast. For me, the “awesomest” features of pentadactyl are:

I think the best way to explain how pentadactyl has made me to switch back to Firefox and improved my browsing experience is to share some of my workflow. So, here comes some tips:

:set showtabline=never
:map timer :tabopen timer<CR>
:map db :tabopen dribbble 

This is just some of the posibilities of pentadactyl. Of course, this power doesn’t come without drawbacks: Firefox is way slower than other browsers like Chrome, and the debugger is not as good as Web Inspector in Webkit based browsers… But anyway, pentadactyl is so powerful that won’t make you miss your old browser never again. I promise you!