Monday, December 11, 2006

What's in your Firefox?

Hey Stream Crossers,

One of the best features of Firefox is their Extensions feature (now under the "Add-ons" family). Basically it lets anyone create new, original features for Firefox. Users can then add whatever functionality they want ala-carte.

Most extensions are hosted at Mozilla Extensions, these extensions have been reviewed by Mozilla and are considered trustworthy, but not necessarily bug free. Some extension creators host their own files, and that's great you just have to put that site into you approved list (this prevents unwanted sites from sneaking stuff on your computer). You are prompted the first time you try to install an extension from a new site. Note: Mozilla's site is pre-approved, so you won't get prompted.

Additonally the "xpi" file can be saved to wherever you want and tinkered with. The file itself is simply a ZIP file (as are the "jar" files inside) and pretty much everything inside is a text file or an image file, so no fancy de/compilers or software needed, Notepad is all you need.

Here is a list of my favourite extensions that I commonly use, in order of preference:

Note: (Button) indicates that the extension lets you put a button on the toolbar, just right click on an empty spot in the toolbar and select "Customize".

Down Them All : (Button) Are there a bunch of pictures you want to save but clicking on each one individually is a pain? Are there a bunch of files you need to download, but each individual one has to be saved by hand? Not anymore with this link. Truly a strong showcase to the power of extensions.

text/plain : Ever come across an address that you couldn't click on but had to copy and paste it in your address bar? No more! Now just highlight the address, right click and select how you want to open the address. Simple!

Tab Mix Plus
: Lets you adjust the behaviour of your tabs. I used to use Tabbroswer Extensions, but it became horribly bug filled. Tab Mix Plus, while less featureful, is much more stable and more pleasant to use.

Yahoo and GMail notifiers : (Button) Automated mail checking and login. Pretty self-explanatory.

Four Fark Extensions : Visit the link for a graphic explanation on what these extensions do. Mainly used for viewing and posting onto

Slashdotter : Tweaks the viewing of

IE Tab : (Button) Some pages only look good in Internet Explorer. This extension lets you use IE's rendering engine while still in Mozilla. You need IE installed separately for this to work (Windows only).

User Agent Switcher : (Button) Website only allowing "Particular" web browsers access? Temporarily masquerade as another browser and go anywhere you want.

Chrome Edit Plus : Editing userChrome.css lets you make some customizations. Finding it and editing it is troublesome. This extension makes it easy to edit userChrome.css. Future posts will teach you how to edit this file using Chrome Edit Plus to get some really useful stuff!

And there you have it, my favourite extensions. Mind you, I haven't used all the extensions out there. These are just the ones that fit my needs. Future extensions will be updated in a future posting.

Until then, keep having fun.

"bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong"