Monday, August 6, 2007

Best Firefox extensions

Just wanted to list all the firefox extensions I use (or have used/tried in the past). There are a lot of good ones out there but it's sometimes hard to find good descriptions of what they actually do or a review of them. I will add to the post as I get time or from feedback I get.

Colorful Tabs
Alright so this isn't the most amazing extension but it grabs most peoples attention straight away and can be quite useful when you turn one of the few features on. You can have the colours done by doman. So if you have a few tabs from the same site open, they'll get coloured the same which helps grouping. Another tip that has nothing to do with the extension is that firefox allows you to drag tabs around to where you want them (at least in 2.0+, haven't tried in 1.5+). Just grab the tab and drag it to the other tabs of (similar) interest.

Download Statusbar
This extension places downloads on a little bar at the bottom of the browser (the size of the "find" bar). It is less in your face than the standard download manager and is pretty cool but it does fill up if you've downloaded many things and can have strange outcomes as it follows the active window. Not for everyone but give it a shot.

Firefox Showcase
Very cool way to quickly preview all your open tabs on one page. It will generate thumbnails of all the current tabs to show on one page, you can then click on the one you want to go to or close it from there. It's pretty quick and a great add-on. Bookmarks
If you're not using yet, what the hell are you doing??? Seriously though, is (AFAIK) a yahoo thingy to allow you to store all your bookmarks online. No more going from computer to computer without access to all your favourite bookmarks. It allows you to view all your bookmarks on one page and to categorise them using tags. Very powerful and useful. The Bookmarks add-on completes the experience, making it so simple to add and view all your bookmarks. This has to be one of the best product/extension combinations out there. Go sign up now if you haven't already and start using the extension!

Since I'm starting to get heavily involved in web development, it should be no surprise that a lot of my extensions are web dev tools. Firebug is one of the best. So powerful and not just limited to JavaScript (although much of it's best use is in debugging JavaScript and making changes on the fly). You can view the HTML and CSS of any page also and make changes which are rendered in real time right in front of you. It can highlight the CSS for you so you don't need to keep uploading/reloading etc. It's there right in front of you. Also the network monitor gives you an awesome breakdown of how the page loads, what takes the most time to download and how big each element is. A must for any developer or anyone that is curious and wants to have a play.

Web Developer
This is another really powerful extension. It allows you to turn off and on various things like JavaScript and CSS. So you can see how your pages degrade if viewed by browsers lacking support for various things (you could even browse this way if you're a security nut, although the NoScript extension is probably better for that). Again you can view the DOM as well as a mapping/visualisation of the CSS elements.

That's about all I have at the moment. Will try to add more soon. Stay tuned! If you've got any that I've missed, let me know!!


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Leon Victor said...

Firefox “Web Developer” is Fantastic add-ons. Web Development extension adds various web developer tools to the browser.