Mozilla Firefox is a very powerfull tool when working with web pages. One of the tasks I have at Market Monitor is to develop features for web-pages that we host for our customers, and to make web pages for internal use only, either at Market Monitor, or for our customers.

But one of the problems I have is to make pages that can be used in all operating systems, at least in all mainstream browsers. This includes Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. So why have I chosen Firefox as my main tool? I have several reasons for my choice, including but not limited to:

  • Browser Tabbing keeps my desktop clean
  • Pop-up blocking keeps my desktop even cleaner, and with carefull management I can control what and from where I want anything up.
  • Theming the browser for small screen sizes makes the browser controls as small as it gets without loosing functionality, and that includes the overall look of it.
  • The vast amount of extensions that add functionality and modifies the browser in many different ways.

My collection of used extensions is starting to be quite large by now. I have many security and ad-blocking extensions, as I have a lot of extensions helping me in my development (especially when it comes to web-pages).

I’ll make a list and review of the most important extensions, and explain how they help me, or why I like to use it.

Usability Extensions

  • Bookmarks Synchronizer:

    Adds the posibility to synchronize your bookmarks to an FTP or HTML respository. Is both secure and fast, but requires that you have a server available to synchronize with.

  • Mouse Gestures:

    Using mouse gestures for common browsing actions makes it possible to browse efficiently without using the keyboard at all. Fast and easy to learn.

  • Editus Externus:

    Edit the content of input boxes in mozilla with an external editor of your choice. Practical for writing blogs and templates for posting on the web.

  • SearchBar AutoSizer:

    Tired of having a large search bar taking place in the main toolbar when not using it, and that when you use it, it's always to small? The autosizer makes it very small per default, and extends its size when writing the search.

  • Download StatusBar:

    Keep track of current downloads while surfing. The small statusbar is placed by default right above the main statusbar, and contains the main functionality of the download sidebar or window.

  • Extended Statusbar:

    Adds more information to the default statusbar, like number of images downloaded, download speed and time, and percent of downloads complete.

  • Linkification:

    Converts plain text links to anchor tags. So I don't have to copy link, open tab and paste it there to open them. Some pages and especially where mailing lists or forum archives are shown have lots of plain text links.

  • Text-BgColor Fixer:

    A combination of having a dark-background theme to my desktop and a small "feature" in combination; input-boxes where backgound color is not set, but font color is. Fizes so the text is readable anyway.

Security and Advertisement

  • Clear Private Data:

    Clears data from cache, saved form data, cookies etc in a simple add-on to the right click menu.

  • FlashBlock:

    Replaces the content of all flash animations with a somple play-button. Keeps most of the worst advertisements from showing up. It's simple to watch those flashes I want to see, as it's just to click on the play icon.

  • JavaScript Options:

    Adds more options to the javascript option panel in the preferences.

  • NoScript:

    Blocks javascript from running, and with an easy to use interface for controlling the enabling and disabling of the downloaded scripts. Adds more or less complete security to the default Mozilla browser.

Web Services

  • GMail Notifier:

    Adds a small icon on the statusbar which shows the number of unread e-mails that resides on your GMail or Yahoo! Mail account. A single click is also needed to log in to the inbox-page itself.

  • WebmailCompose:

    Adds possibility to go directly to your GMail or Yahoo! Mail mail compose page when clocking on a mailto: link. Adds to usability of Mozilla as a mail program too.

  • BlogThis:

    Adds a "Blog This" option to the right click menu which takes you directly to your create post page on your blog.

  • BBCode:

    Adds BBCode formatting to menu when composing posts to forums and wikis and likewise places where BBCode is used.

Development

  • HTML Validator:

    A small development application of it's own. Checks and displays the various warnings and errors that comes on a page. Displays a small icon in the statusbar with a short summary, and opens a window that shows the specific warnings, with proposals for fixing, and can clean up the HTML code for better understanding and reading it. Really the most important tool for a Web Developer.

  • Web Developer:

    Adds a new toolbar with a lot of extra options and functions that can help with developing a good webside. Functionality includes to highlight table borders, formatting etc.

  • IE Tab: </p>Opens an Internet Explorer tab inside Firefox. Now I don't need to open IE in it's own windows anymore. Only drawback is that I have to use the IE context menu to control the page, as many firefox controls don't work for the IE Tab.</p>
  • ViewSourceWith:

    Lets you choose an external editor where you want to view the page source with. Especially good if you want to open the page source in your favorite HTML editor for looking at its structure and solutions for making the page (and finding bugs).

There are more extensions, but those are usially not very important. I have extensions for tabbing, more for bookmarks, talkback for htlping the developers of Firefix, and opening downloaded files. In total Mozilla Firefix has a lot of functionality that I can use for enhancing my development work.