Software, extensions, sites, etc.
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.
- Aardvark :: Add-ons for Firefox - Developer + General - allows single-key selecting & removing of elements. great for cleaning up pages for printing, etc
- Adblock Plus :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - get rid of ads (or other unwanted elements)!
- ColorZilla :: Add-ons for Firefox - Developer - great color-picker.
- Cooliris :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - more of a toy than anything.
- Copy URL + :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - one of the best extensions ever. What I'm using right now to create these lists! Unfortunately it's been abandoned. Some other people are keeping it up to date for new Firefox versions. You can get links to these from here.
- Firebug :: Add-ons for Firefox - Developer - the best developer extension bar none.
- Google Notebook - General - Unfortunately Google had this to say in January 2009:
Starting next week, we plan to stop active development on Google Notebook. This means we'll no longer be adding features or offer Notebook for new users. But don't fret, we'll continue to maintain service for those of you who've already signed up. As part of this plan, however, we will no longer support the Notebook Extension, but as always users who have already signed up will continue to have access to their data via the web interface at http://www.google.com/notebook. In light of the above I will have to sign up for and slightly use every single product that Google puts out so I will always at least have access to it. (I lost this with Google Apps' Start Page on some of my sites.) Oh, and I've used Google Bookmarks and frankly I'd rather maintain my own lists of links, thanks. Google Notebook FAQ
- Html Validator :: Add-ons for Firefox - Developer - there are a number of validators available, this one seems to be winning.
- IE View :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - I like this one better than IE View Lite.
- MeasureIt :: Add-ons for Firefox - Developer - great pixel measuring utility.
- OpenBook :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - customizes add bookmark dialog.
- ScrapBook :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - I haven't really used this so don't know what all it can do. More information at the extension's home page.
- Session Manager :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - this is a life saver, back up and restore tab/window sessions automatically or manually.
- Text2Link :: Add-ons for Firefox - General - context menu to open selected address in same view, new tab or window. Broken in 3.6.2.
- Web Developer :: Add-ons for Firefox - Developer - One of the best and oldest developer tools. Still useful for its Information, Outline, Resize and Tools.
- Qute :: Add-ons for Firefox - Theme - Still my favorite theme after all these years. Simple, unassuming and unobtrusive.
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!).
- Save the extension to your computer: right-click and select 'Save link as' or alt+click
- Download 7-zip and install it
- Right-click on the extension (.xpi file) in explorer, select 7-zip > Open archive
- Right-click on install.rdf, select Edit. (You may need to configure 7-zip to use your favorite editor. I like Notepad++.)
- Change the maxVersion to something like 3.5.* (or 4.0.*, etc.)
- 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.
- 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.