So Long, Roboform (biatch!).

Roboform screwed me, so I’m returning the favor.

It started off as a must-have addition to Internet Explorer, for anyone who enters a lot of form data. As a web developer I’m doing that all day long. Roboform lets you save that data you submit once, for one-click re-use later. It automatically stuffs all the form data you entered once back into the form the next time you visit that page. And it was beautiful.

Lately though, the developers are getting greedy. They used to complain if you saved 30 sets of info. The newer versions only save 10. You have to register it to save more. I had 21 sets. It wouldn’t offer me any help at all, until I registered it. Screw that.

Normally, I’d go find a serial number for it, and smile as it stops harrassing me. But I use at at home and work, and I don’t want to do that at work. So the search began for a reasonable replacement.

  • Google Toolbar – Only saves a limited set of personal data about you, not the random things most web forms ask for.
  • Auto Fill Browser – It’s a browser. I already have a browser. In fact, I have 7. That’s quite enough. Ditto for Maxthon, Gogo, Skywanderer, etc.
  • Easy Password Manager – Apparantly, like the Google Toolbar, it only saves a limited set of personal data.
  • 550 Access Toolbar – This comes sort of close, but I found that it won’t detect a form inside a frameset. Sadly, I deal with framesets, so this early find was eliminated from consideration

Finally after a frustrating couple of days, I found Handy Password. There’s a free version available as well as a $30 shareware version. HP creates a new toolbar in IE, recognizes pages under framesets, and offers auto-fill suggestions for forms you’ve visited before.

It differs from Roboform by not creating a popup window to fill in forms, or saving them. Roboform has moved away from this lately, to a toolbar that attaches to the bottom of your browser window. I think that’s just silly… who wants to go to the bottom of the screen to fill in data? I’ve started liking that since I installed HP. It doesn’t get in my way, but it’s not very far out of it, either.

So far, no limits have appeared, and it’s at least as good as Roboform was. I haven’t quite uninstalled Roboform yet, though. One feature that doesn’t exist is an Import system from Roboform, so I’m moving accounts from one to the other over time. As I visit a site Roboform knows, I go ahead and let it Fill (but not Submit) a form. Then I use Handy Password’s Save button, to save the info in HP, and then delete that passcard from Roboform.

So it’s not been an immediate switch… but just the same, I’m quite happy to say See-ya to Roboform.