nmg: (Default)

Mainly for my own records, but I'd be interested to see what other Firefox users consider to be their must-have extensions.

Adblock Plus
Ad killer - must-have.
All-in-One Sidebar
Opera-style sidebar control for access to sidebar panels.
Firebug
Excellent set of Web debugging utilities, integrating a javascript console, markup validation, document inspection and others.
Fission
Safari-style progress bar in address bar.
Greasemonkey
Manager and environment for client-side scripts. Usefl for fixing web annoyances or shoehorning extra functionality into third-party websites.
Live HTTP Headers
View HTTP headers of a page while loading. Essential for debugging protocol-level problems.
Scrapbook
Utility for saving webpages in the browser. Useful for saving flight confirmation pages and the like.
Stop-or-Reload Button
Combined Safari-style stop and reload buttons.
View Cookies
Add cookie pane to page info window.
View Source Chart
Renders document structure in a nested hierarchical view.
nmg: (Default)

This is mostly for my own reference, but I thought it worth posting in case anyone else finds it useful. Now that Firefox 2.0 is out, I've noticed a number of changes in the default UI and behaviour from 1.5 that one can no longer change through the options dialogue, and which I find awkward. This is a list of the hidden preferences (visible through about:config) and their settings.

Opening a group of bookmarks in tabs overwrites existing tabs
browser.tabs.loadFolderAndReplace should be set to false (open bookmark groups in new tabs)
Close buttons on each tab make it harder to close several tabs, and more likely that you'll close a tab accidentally when selecting it
browser.tabs.closeButtons should be set to 3 (single close button at the right end of the tab bar)
Firefox accepts all cookies, regardless of originating server
network.cookie.cookieBehavior should be set to 1 (only accept cookies from the originating server)
Go button on url bar takes up extra screen real estate
browser.urlbar.hideGoButton should be set to true (hides the Go button)
Keywords in the url bar go to Google I Feel Lucky or Google Browse by Name, rather than a basic Google search
keyword.URL should be set to http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&q= (default for non-Firefox Mozilla products)
nmg: (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] sbisson got to this before I did - the first public beta of the Flock browser has now been released. It's a Firefox variant that integrates del.icio.us social bookmarks and blogging more tightly into the browser, but I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed by it. It is slick, even for a beta, but much of the functionality has already been present in the form of Firefox extensions:

  • The Shelf is equivalent to the Scrapbook extension
  • There are at least two extensions which integrate del.icio.us into Firefox's bookmarks
  • There are already blogging extensions, albeit not one which is properly cross-service (WordPress vs MT vs LJ)

I'm a little worried that this is opening the gates to a series of forks of the Firefox development; I'd have been happier if Flock were presented as a family of tightly integrated extensions (in a similar vein to the All-In-One extension, perhaps). As it is, I have no guarantee that developments on the main Firefox trunk will make it into Flock with any timeliness (if ever). For cosmetic enhancements this may not be an issue, but for security fixes this could be critical. There are also no guarantees of support in Flock for major new areas of functionality such as SVG or Canvas, even if those get into Firefox.

Fortunately, the Flock developers are concerned that existing Firefox extensions should work with Flock, which is some consolation.

(this post would have been brought to you by Flock, had the damned thing been able to post to LiveJournal)

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Nick Gibbins

August 2010

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