Thursday, August 24, 2006

Firefox: Extensions and more

Here are some sweet Firefox extensions that I use (if this list isn't enough for you, there's more of them on the Extensions Download Page ):
  • Colorful Tabs An easy way to distinguish between tabs when you have a million open
  • Customize Google a MUST HAVE for frequent users of all Google services... ad blocking, encryption, etc.
  • Social bookmarking site button in your browser! For those of us sick of managing bookmark files. (The classic (worse) version is here)
  • FireBug If you develop web pages without this, you are either uninformed or massochistic
  • YSlow Yahoo tells you why your site is slow (runs on top of FireBug)
  • FireFTP: Why didn't someone think of this sooner? Great idea and execution of an FTP client within a browser.
  • FireGPG Use GPG to encrypt, sign and decrypt email (or any web page text)
  • Google Toolbar 3 Absolute bliss... allows you to add any arbitrary search box as a button in the toolbar and lots of other sweet features that I will not know how to part with
  • Greasemonkey Inject arbitrary Javascript into a page; a great vault of these scripts is found at
  • Nuke anything enhanced Ahh, the pure bliss of deleting something annoying off of a page. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to want to work with Flash...
  • Viamatic foXpose An OSX-style feature; puts all of your tabs into view at the same time when you hit a button in the chrome of your browser
  • Video DownloadHelper this extension + YouTube = Napster
Other extensions of note:
  • Forecastfox Have to put this one in; my buddy Jon wrote it: displays the local weather in your toolbar
  • Fasterfox Increases your browser speed a minuscule amount and has more popup-blocking capabilities; a good review of it here
  • Chickenfoot Greasemonkey++; saw this demoed... it's great, and only getting better; lots of applications throughout the interweb world
  • Bugmenot Great for getting past login pages that you don't have a login or password for. This activity is illegal, also, perhaps?
  • Adblock Does what it says. Allows contextual filtering of unwanted material from web pages
  • Showcase The same idea as Viamatic foXpose, different implementation.
  • SessionSaver Saves your tabs, text input, etc. from when firefox last closed and reinstates them in your next Firefox session
  • Flashblock: 99% of the time, when a web site uses flash, you don't want to see it. This replaces the flash output with a little button that, if clicked, allows you to see the desired content
  • WebDeveloper: Useful for those who need to debug web pages
  • DownThemAll Great for pulling large quantities off of one page (for me, I use this mostly before I know I'm going to be stranded without internet access for a while)
  • Chatzilla IRC client within the browser (FAQ)
  • MeasureIt For measuring pixels, etc. on your browser screen... simple, but useful
  • View Source Chart for visualizing HTML blocks in the code source
  • Vimperator vim-like commands for Firefox
  • BetterPrivacy prevents Flash cookies from being stored on your computer
Articles about Firefox extensions:
  • For tweaking Firefox 2 to your personal satisfaction: Lifehacker's top Firefox config tweaks (mostly deals with about:config) and Computerworld's guide
  • To search for something real fast, use the forwardslash key as in vi (or the single quote if you only want to search for links on a page). Ctrl+G moves you forward and Ctrl+Shift+G moves you backwards in searches.
  • Here are instructions for installing firefox 2 on older Ububntu distros (pre-Edgy) that have 1.5 installed by default.
  • For Google-Toolbar-like quickness built into Firefox, right click on your favorite search box and select "Add a keyword for this search"... you'll then be able to search, if you alias search to "g" for example, Google by typing "g <query>" in the URL box
  • Set a master password for logging into sites: instructions here
  • Get the source of a Firefox extension with these instructions

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