Top ten Firefox extensions

Friday, 6 July 2007

Here are my ten favourite Firefox extensions. Firefox is an excellent web browser, but its best features are the ones that aren’t included: the huge number of add-ons that can make this good application even better.

For developers

First, here are six Firefox extensions that are essential if you’re developing websites or web applications.

Firebug
The web page debugger. Live HTML/CSS editing, DOM inspection and CSS debugging; network monitoring; JavaScript debugging and profiling and heaps more.

Selenium IDE
A simple IDE for writing automated functional browser tests. Record, edit, run and debug test scripts with autocomplete, assertions, breakpoints and more. You can also download the Selenium test runner, which can run tests in Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox and other browsers on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

Web Developer
A Swiss Army knife for Web developers. View information about a page, tweak CSS and forms, validate and about a zillion other features. As useful and full-featured as Firebug is, you still need Web Developer too.

FoxyProxy
Define which proxy to use (or none!) for arbitrary URLs using wildcards, regular expressions and so on. Essential if you using your own proxy for things like testing or traffic monitoring. The only thing missing is proxy auto-detection.

Live HTTP Headers
View HTTP request and response headers in real time.

Modify Headers
Add, modify and filter HTTP request headers. Modify the user agent string, add headers to spoof a mobile request (e.g. x-up-calling-line-id) and much more.

For everyone

Here’s a handful of extensions that make surfing the web much quicker. Without these, Firefox is just another browser.

All-in One Gestures
Control Firefox simply by moving the mouse. Use gestures to navigate, manage windows, tabs and browser chrome, scroll, zoom, print, validate, translate, you name it. Customise scroll wheel behaviour too.

Google Toolbar
Search and page utilities. Quick access to various Google searches. Integrate with GMail and other Google services. Spell checker and translator, RSS subscriber and more. Also available for Internet Explorer. Guaranteed evil-free.

LastTab
Enhanced tab handling. Control-tab displays a tab menu like Windows’ alt-tab. It also makes control-tab return to the most recently used tab, rather than simply cycling through all tabs — much better.

Add Bookmark Here
Quickly add bookmarks directly into bookmark folders. Simple but useful to keep your bookmarks organised.

More?

Have I missed any? If I have overlooked your favourite Firefox extension, please share it by leaving a comment here.

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8 comments

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  1. Thank you for your list! I like very much FF and I use very often the “Bookmark Bar” (already integrated functionality) … sooo useful :)

  2. If you have built up a library of bookmarks and use multiple computers, then you need FoxMarks to store them securely online. Integrates seamlessly to capture your bookmark list and synchronize the list with your other systems. No more exporting/importing my extensive bookmark list. Superb. The only thing missing is having multiple libraries.

  3. Thanks for that, Phillip. A friend of mine also recommended Foxmarks. I used to use Foxylicious but it got a bit unwieldy as my delicious bookmarks grew and multiplied… I need to give Foxmarks a try.

  4. Some of my favorites (in addition to a few you listed) are: Back IS Close, Galculator (love it for time and quick calculations), Gmail Space, GooglePreview, Searchbar Autosizer, Session Manager (a must have!)

  5. TamperData !
    A usefull tool when you want to survey you web exchanges with servers.

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