Pentadactyl in hinted mode with scope of hinting filtered
|Developer(s)||Doug Kearns, Kris Maglione|
|Initial release||July 22, 2012|
|Stable release||1.1 / March 15, 2014|
|Origins and lineage|
Pentadactyl is a Firefox extension forked from the Vimperator and designed to provide a more efficient user interface for keyboard-fluent users. The design is heavily inspired by the Vim text editor, and the authors try to maintain consistency with it wherever possible.
Once activated, Pentadactyl removes all Firefox's default user interface chrome (except for the tab bar) and adds a Vim-inspired command line at the bottom of the window. The key bindings and dialog invocation are also changed to those familiar to Vim users.
As the key mappings of the Pentadactyl differ significantly from those typically expected by web application developers, occasional conflicts of browser- and site-defined key mapping occur. Pentadactyl deals with such cases by providing a special "pass-through" mode, which passes all the key press events (except for Esc key) directly to the site. This mode can either be activated manually or enforced on a per domain basis with a configuration file.
Pentadactyl was forked from the Vimperator Firefox extension after the disagreement over the project directions and governance. After the split Pentadactyl differentiated itself with improved start timing, ability to use the extension without restarting Firefox after installation and some changes for consistency with Vim.
In June 2011, Chad Perrin of TechRepublic noted: "As a former Vimperator user who has spent substantial time in surf, Uzbl, and Vimium, as well as more cursory time trying out other browsers and Chromium extensions that offer similar interface options, I am much happier with Pentadactyl than any of the alternatives. Its command functionality, in-application help documentation, completeness, configurability, stability, and (for those using the nightly builds, at least) currency are all superior to the other possibilities for vi-like keybindings in a browser."
- Anthony, Sebastian (February 18, 2011), "Firefox 4's best restartless add-ons", Download Squad, retrieved July 26, 2012
- Zukerman, Erez, "Editorial Review of Pentadactyl", PCWorld, retrieved July 26, 2012
- Perrin, Chad (June 8, 2011), "Pentadactyl: Firefox for Vim junkies", TechRepublic, retrieved July 26, 2012