Software, extensions, sites, etc.

Firefox Extensions

I used to have a lot more extensions. Over 20, maybe closer to 30. I've found it's better to have fewer very good extension than lots of mediocre ones. I believe these are the best at what they do. Some of them I don't use very often (or maybe at all but I still like them enough to keep them around), some I use every day. Some are developer-specific and some are good general-use extensions.

I like to make sure these core extensions are up to the latest Firefox release before upgrading. Looks like all the ones that are under active development have been updated so I will have to try Firefox 3.5 (on a test machine) sometime soon. If AdBlock fails in 3.5 I will probably move to AdBlock Plus and learn to live with it. If CopyURL+ stops working I will cry.

Firefox 3.5 did indeed break AdBlock (original) but AdBlock Plus is great. I still manage my own blacklist rather than subscribing. Firefox 3.6 broke CopyURL+. I tried a couple of other extensions but they didn't feel right. Fortunately a few weeks after 3.6 came out, BTCorp (above under CopyURL+) located a version that works. Hooray for CopyURL+!

Here are instructions for manually updating an extension install file (.xpi) for potential use with a new Firefox version (Windows-specific). These instructions only bypass Firefox's extension version checking - they do not guarantee an extension will work properly with a new Firefox version. If your extension installs, test it to make sure it works (and hopefully doesn't crash the browser!).

  1. Save the extension to your computer: right-click and select 'Save link as' or alt+click
  2. Download 7-zip and install it
  3. Right-click on the extension (.xpi file) in explorer, select 7-zip > Open archive
  4. Right-click on install.rdf, select Edit. (You may need to configure 7-zip to use your favorite editor. I like Notepad++.)
  5. Change the maxVersion to something like 3.5.* (or 4.0.*, etc.)
  6. Save install.rdf and update the archive in 7-zip. If you just save the file and quit the editor 7-zip should detect that the file was updated and ask if you want to update the archive.
  7. Now you can drag the .xpi file to Firefox and install the extension. Note that this might keep Firefox from detecting updates to this extension in the future. Always try to update from the add-ons site first.