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Mozilla The Internet

Exploring Firefox Extensions 484

Posted by Hemos
from the learning-more-about-it dept.
Gary writes "If you haven't made the switch to Mozilla Firefox it may be because you aren't aware of the great benefits Firefox has over IE. Flexbeta has posted a nice HOWTO guide on Firefox extensions; my favorite is the Target Alert extension which displays a small graphic next to links that are not web pages. For example a mailto: link will display a small envelope, a link to a PDF file will display a small Adobe icon, etc."
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Exploring Firefox Extensions

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  • FireFox features I can't live without:

    1. Middle click to open link in new window/tab
    2. Find as you type
    3. Themes/Skins/Chromes
    4. Customizable toolbars
    5. Plugins that allow me to put just about anything on the toolbars
    6. Great development tools - javascript console, venkman debugger, live-headers plugin

    All that boils down to:

    1. Easier to use
    2. Easier to customize
    3. Broader advanced feature set
    • One feature I cannot work out is how to stop Animated gifs from animating.

      I've looked around and cannot find it, do I need to add a plugin to stop them, or am I just missing something really fundimental?
      • by qshapadooy (134224) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:50AM (#10167908)
        about:config

        Preference Name: image.animation_mode
        Value: once
        • Doh! Of course it would be there!

          Extremely straightforward and easy to find and understand!

          Theres me thinking it would be on the Options/Web Features dialog in the "Load images" area.

          Sorry for being sarcastic, and I do thank you muchly for the info, it has been something thats bugged me from day one.
          I just don't think a novice user could handle changing that.
          I wonder what other gems are lurking in the depths of the config area, I shall investigate later...
          • > I just don't think a novice user could handle changing that.

            Novices shouldn't be using pre v1.0 software. It's not done yet.

            > it has been something thats bugged me from day one.

            So ask for your money back.
            • Just because something moves to v1.0 does it magically become stable, feature rich, simple and user friendly?

              Anyway, I must be confused.
              Internet explorer is dire, so thousands of geeks start running wildly in the Firefox direction, shouting from the rooftops about this alternative, only to discover now that Threni says we shouldn't use it.

              On the mozilla site itself, they say it can be used as a primary browser, but don't rely on it for mission critical stuff.

              No software is ever complete.
              Every piece of so
              • On the mozilla site itself, they say it can be used as a primary browser, but don't rely on it for mission critical stuff.

                The web is mission critical?

                Relying on a public infastructure full of infected and unpatched computers operated by people who didn't realise they needed to install things on their computers to make them keep working? Ouch.
              • by Threni (635302) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:29AM (#10168516)
                > Just because something moves to v1.0 does it magically become stable, feature
                > rich, simple and user friendly?

                No - rather, it won't be released at v1.0 or above until it IS stable and more user friendly.
          • >I just don't think a novice user could handle changing that.
            I just don't think it would occur to a novice user that its something they could change. heck, most novice users dont even know how to change their homepage unless a website pops up and asks to do it for them
          • On the other hand, there are a hell of a lot of options in the about:config area. Exposing every one of them to the user in the preferences window would be quite burdensome. Apparently the designers felt that turning off animated GIFs was not important to make it to the limited space of the preferences dialog.

            (Though maybe they should add an 'advanced' button that would expose more)
        • about:config

          OK; that works for GIF animations. I learned about it a few weeks ago, and set it to "once".

          But, after a few days of watching Hurricane Frances on weather.com, I found that firefox was once again soaking up 90% of the cpu. And there were ads in the weather.com tabs that were busily showing me stupid pictures of fish swimming and butterflies flitting from flower to flower. They were flash animations.

          The "about:config" page only has one instance of the string "flash", and it doesn't seem to
          • " Flashblock [mozdev.org] is an extension for the Mozilla and Firebird browsers that takes a pessemistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves a placeholder on the page that allows you to click to view the Flash content." - flashblock.mozdev.org

            Works well for me but read the notes on the Installation page about known bugs. When you mouse over the blocked flash movies my cpu still shoots up a little, but not nearly as much as without thi
          • I used to think Weather.com was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Of course, it took Firefox's popup blocking along with the Adblock extension to make browsing it tolerable.

            However, since discovering the following resources, I don't even bother with Weather.com anymore.

            http://www.weather.gov/ [weather.gov]
            http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ [noaa.gov]
            http://weather.unisys.com/ [unisys.com]

            These sites offer much more in-depth technical information and are not funded by ad revenue.
    • Middle click to open link in new window/tab

      Someone should really change the code of this feature because it doesn't work with javascript links (you get a blank page when you middle-click on this kind of link)
      • by Anml4ixoye (264762) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:11AM (#10168035) Homepage
        Someone should really change the code of this feature because it doesn't work with javascript links (you get a blank page when you middle-click on this kind of link)

        Unfortunately there is no way to know what to change it to so it can be "fixed." Such a wide variety of actions could occur during onClick that it would be very difficult to parse that out and do the right action.

        For example, I have used javascript in an href to do the following:

        • Open a new window
        • Open a new window to a specific width and height
        • Change the location of the current page
        • Change the source of an image on the page
        • Interact with a Flash movie
        • Interact with form elements on screen

        And even with the location and window opens, sometimes it is done with the simple

        javascript:window.open()
        and sometimes through a function.
        • by jazman (9111) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:13AM (#10168419)
          * Open a new window
          - with contents referenceable by a URL, presumably

          * Open a new window to a specific width and height
          - which must also contain something pointable to via some sort of URL

          * Change the location of the current page
          - to something involving a URL at some point, perhaps?

          * Change the source of an image on the page
          - that image could be displayed in another window via a URL

          * Interact with a Flash movie
          - which might be referenceable via a URL

          * Interact with form elements on screen
          - OK, probably no relevant URL for this.

          So Firefox /could/ attempt to do something sensible in the majority of cases. Or at least pop up a message saying it can't figure out what to do (maybe presenting a few options?).

          Your point that a general solution is impossible is accepted; however, simply opening a new tab with nothing in it and no indication to the user that what they /expected/ isn't going to happen is IMHO something that could be improved with just a small amount of thought.

          Even just a warning would stop me, for example, browsing through interesting adverts in Loot.com, "Open In New Tab"-ing on all the interesting ones, then looking at the tabs to see nothing but (untitled) (untitled) (untitled) (untitled) which is damn annoying.

          And the behaviour of Wanadoo's email page to a control-click is just bizarre - you get the mail you clicked on in the current window, and the mailbox in the new window. It's probably quite clever how they managed to engineer exactly the opposite behaviour of what is expected.
          • Even just a warning would stop me, for example, browsing through interesting adverts in Loot.com, "Open In New Tab"-ing on all the interesting ones, then looking at the tabs to see nothing but (untitled) (untitled) (untitled) (untitled) which is damn annoying.

            Now this seems doable. I didn't check out the target alert extension, but if it already doesn't, maybe it could be modified to show a little script icon for JS links. Or maybe we could just have the href of an anchor tag point to the page, but do any

        • by Linknoid (46137) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:28AM (#10168511) Homepage
          Simple and consistent solution: The user middle clicking on any element is doing so because they desire whatever action they clicked on to occur in a new tab. The solution is to make an exact replica of the current page and its state in a new tab, and then act as if the button had been pushed on the replica page instead. Sure, there will be things that don't work right with it, but I think most of the time that will give the correct behavior. Oh, and open in new tab should work with buttons too, not just links.
    • The DOM inspector is also quite useful...
    • by otisg (92803) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:22AM (#10168097) Homepage Journal
      To add one more concrete example of a great development tool that I regularly use for development of web apps:

      Web Developer Extension [chrispederick.com]. This tool makes working with forms, CSS, images, etc. really really easy. I have been using 'View Source' or 'View Selection Source' much less often since I got this extension.

      Similarly, I like to be able to search various online resources directly from my browser. To full-text search my bookmarks stored in Simpy [simpy.com] I use browser search plugin [simpy.com].

      In addition to that, you can get a number of other useful search plugins over at Mycroft [mozdev.org] (I keep typing Mycrosft - how bad is that!)
  • Tabs (Score:4, Informative)

    by frankthechicken (607647) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:43AM (#10167867) Journal
    Tabbrowser extensions [sakura.ne.jp], to get the tabs reacting the way I want(i.e everything in the same browser window, middle mouse click on the tabbar opens an accidently closed tab).

    And for browsing Slashdot, this [beggarchooser.com] kind of helps.
    • by ari_j (90255)
      Can you get it set to everything goes in one window, except when you click on the program icon in Windows (or other OS's)? When I hit it on my quicklaunch bar, I want a new window in the foreground, not a new tab in some deeply-hidden browser window I had left minimized for later perusal.
    • Thank you for that link. I've been looking for something that makes the tabs behave more sensibly for a while.
    • Does anyone kow if the are there any plugins that stop target="foo" links opening in a new window? That really annoys me.
    • Re:Tabs (Score:3, Informative)

      by KernelHappy (517524)
      FYI you don't need to use an extension to do "linkification", you can use a bookmarklet. I somehow missed the memo on bookmarklets and only recently found out about them maybe 6 months ago. For those that don't know, bookmarklets are javascript snippets that you turn into bookmarks and then can be executed on any page you view. I use them primarily for linkification and for URL manipulation. I have one that removes all redirects from urls (if a url is present within the url it sends you directly there)
  • by huphtur (259961) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:45AM (#10167874)
    ...has to be Web Developer [chrispederick.com].
    A MUST for every webnerd.
    It even lets you edit CSS live on the web.
  • adblock (Score:5, Informative)

    by seanismdotcom (746929) <signup AT seanism DOT com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:45AM (#10167877) Homepage Journal
    adblock is one of the greatest extensions I must say. Adblock along with the following filter block 98% of ads..

    [Adblock] /[\W\d][Aa]d(server|s|remote)?[\W\d]/ /[\W\d][Bb]anner(s|id\=)?[\W\d]/ /[\W\d][Ss]ponsors?[\W\d]/ /amazon\.com.*\W(promotions|marketing|merchants|st ores|associates)\W/ /yimg\.com.*\W(a|flash)\W/
    • not only adblock is great. Custom hosts [everythingisnt.com] file greatly increases browsing sanity.
    • Re:adblock (Score:3, Informative)

      by glpierce (731733)
      Don't know whether anyone cares or not, but I keep my adblock settings available here [geocities.com]. My file is a bit more complex, but does an excellent job. If you find any problems or notice any ways it could be improved, let me know (email listed in the instructions file).
    • Re:adblock (Score:4, Informative)

      by glpierce (731733) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:55AM (#10168304) Homepage
      Text in Regular Expressions isn't case-dependent in Adblock - you only need "a" insted of "[Aa]".
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:47AM (#10167888) Homepage Journal
    The best thing I like about firefox is not that it has extensions , but that the extensions are done up in Javascript and XUL (most of them are). I can safely install most of these because I just take a peek at the code (*tinfoil hat*) to make sure there are no obvious backdoors in it.

    Thankfully most extensions are done up cleanly , so it's easy to understand that there is no "crazy" code or backdoors hidden.

    Lastly they run the same (almost) everywhere :)
  • by proxy2 (156777) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:49AM (#10167905)
    Firefox is the ultimate porn [squarefree.com] browser !
  • Adblock (Score:5, Informative)

    by strider44 (650833) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:50AM (#10167909)
    As extensions go, nothing beats adblock [mozdev.org].
  • by xaoslaad (590527) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:51AM (#10167912)
    The thing that has kept me away from Firefox and Mozilla is that each has very large menu bars when compared to IE. You have the Standard Menu bar, the back/forward/stop/etc bar, the address bar; it all adds up.

    With IE you could always throw them all up on one line with small icons and it took up very little space at the top of your window when you have the browser minimized.

    The Compact Menu extension for Firefox allows me to setup the menu bar very similarly; then just use a small icon theme and boom I have almost the same effect.

    Now that I can see the screen the way I want I have to admit firefox is indeed a very nice browser.
    • I'm sure I used to run firefox like that, but it doesn't seem to work anymore (0.9.3).
    • You installed an extension for this? Try following these steps:

      1. Right-click on any of the icons (say the home icon) and choose 'Customize'.

      2. Choose small icons.

      3. Then drag all icons and bars (such as the URL and Search) into the top menu bar. Everything should now be along the top. And if there are any icons you do not want or need, simply drag them onto the Customize Box.

      4. But you say, there are still two bars without anything in them. Correct. Solve that by going 'View' > 'Toolbars' >
  • I wish somebody would port mozex to Mac OS X. (And no, I don't think I could manage it myself)

    I introduced my step-daughter's girl friend to Firefox when she was complaining about all the pop-ups in IE, but after about 5 minutes she switched back to IE. The only reason: In IE you can copy an image to the clip buffer and paste it into Photoshop or some other graphic program (she was grabbing pictures to make her Livejournal icons), but in Firefox (and Mozilla) you have to save the image and then open it
    • So why not install the Image Toolbar extension [texturizer.net]?
    • 1. Right-click on an image
      2. Select 'Copy Image'
      3. Paste into mspaint, Photoshop, etc.

      This works fine in FireFox 0.9.3
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Actually you now can copy image directly from firefox, time to switch her back!

      I also held back for a long time for the exact same reason. There is an extension for mozilla that does it, but in Firefox 0.9 there is a "copy image" function built in when you right click on any image.

    • by wagemonkey (595840) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:01AM (#10168347)
      I introduced my step-daughter's girl friend to Firefox when she was complaining about all the pop-ups in IE, but after about 5 minutes she switched back to IE. The only reason: In IE you can copy an image to the clip buffer and paste it into Photoshop or some other graphic program (she was grabbing pictures to make her Livejournal icons), but in Firefox (and Mozilla) you have to save the image and then open it in Photoshop as an extra step. Evidently managing all those little files was more effort to her than dismissing all the popups.
      Here is an extension to let her do that too. [texturizer.net]
    • I introduced my step-daughter's girl friend to Firefox when she was complaining about all the pop-ups in IE, but after about 5 minutes she switched back to IE. The only reason: In IE you can copy an image to the clip buffer and paste it into Photoshop or some other graphic program (she was grabbing pictures to make her Livejournal icons), but in Firefox (and Mozilla) you have to save the image and then open it in Photoshop as an extra step. Evidently managing all those little files was more effort to her t

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:53AM (#10167922)
    I haven't switched [from Konqueror], and will not switch anytime soon because I find that: -

    1: Mozilla Firefox had terrible fonts on Linux. I know there is the possibility of using one compiled with xft. But where is it? Whenever a new release is announced, the version producing those bad fonts is what I find.

    2: I find that it is slower than Konqueror on most sites. My only use of Mozilla Firefox is on Gmail. I wonder why Google will not support Konqueror yet.

    3: Firefox keeps some important passwords long after I have logged out of my online baking site. It is not the problem of the site but Firefox. I have confirmed this.

    Please note that I am no expert in these matters. I just download stuff and use it as such.

    Cb..

  • Although I couldn't RTFA (slashdotted already) I feel compelled to comment on this. We are considering deploying a multiplatform version of our product developed on top of Mozilla, so I downloaded Firefox a few weeks ago to check it out. My intention was to download it, play with it and then go back to IE which I was perfectly happy with on my 2 XP boxes.

    Well guess what, I'm still using the damn thing and have become a huge evangelist for it. And 99.9% of the reason is the great extension mechanism and gr

    • Maybe they'd be less slashdotted if they hadn't split the article across six teeny-tiny pages just to force people to view more adverts. The ads are about three times the length of the body text!

      There isn't even a link for a printable version, so if you want to print the article, you have to waste half a tree.

      Perhaps Flexbeta should whack the marketroids over the head with a clue bat?

  • Wikalong (Score:5, Informative)

    by phUnBalanced (128965) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:54AM (#10167929) Homepage
    A little blatant self promotion. (I apologize)

    I've written up a little extension called Wikalong [phunnel.org].

    Basically, it puts a wiki in your sidebar, that is indexed off the current page you are viewing. The wiki is online so anyone using the plugin, that visits a page you make notes on will see your notes, and vice versa.

    It doesn't work perfectly yet, but I'm hoping to attract some smarter people than I to help get it straightened out.

    More details on the site I linked above.

  • by cloudless.net (629916) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:54AM (#10167930) Homepage
    I am quite interested in how the Mozilla team decide what goes into the browser, and what should be left as an extension. Many built-in features of Firefox can actually made made as an extension instead, which could make the browser more lightweight and start up faster. Yes it would require the user to download more extensions, and I think it could be solved by providing extension packs with several useful extensions put into one easy-to-install package.

    • Many built-in features of Firefox can actually made made as an extension instead

      Out of curiosity, what built-in features would you consider as good extensions? (This question is to everybody, not just the parent post). I would be interested to see a discussion here about the leanness of the Firefox browser vs trade-offs by abstracting built-in functionality into extension packs.

    • I agree. The best way, imho, would be to turn every possible feature into an extension, and then let the user select extensions during install. That is, you'd have a choice between a default install, which automatically installs a "standard extensions" package, or a customized install, which lets you choose exactly which extensions you want to have on your system.
  • by jdreed1024 (443938) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:55AM (#10167934)
    my favorite is the Target Alert extension which displays a small graphic next to links that are not web pages.

    I came across this a while ago and thought it would be useful for helping out some novice users who don't understand helper applications and the like. Alas, it's mostly useless. It uses the 3 digit extension, not the MIME type. So it's useless for content served dynamically via CGI scripts. It would also be trivial for a malicious user to create a website, post some .doc files, which would show up as Word Documents, and instead change the MIME type and serve up JavaScript or VBScript to do something evil.

    The right way to do this is to get the HTTP Headers and see what MIME type is being returned by the server.

    I'm a FireFox user - have been since it was Phoenix - but so many of the skins and plugins have too much of a "Oooh, shiny!" factor to them. How about more flexible X.509 configuration or a harcore Kiosk mode (that's the reason most kiosks run IE) or something like that. It has the same problem as WinAMP - there are far too many skins (40% of which have UI design issues; 40% of which are identical to each other, and 20% might be useful) and not enough technical plugins.

    To pre-emptively fend off trolls, yes I know it's free, you get what you pay for, if you don't like it go code it yourself, etc, etc.

    • You might fool the user with a wrong icon, but Firefox will still use the MIME type when it downloads the file, so it's hardly a major problem.

      Wouldn't getting the HTTP headers for every non-HTML file linked to on a web page be a bit bandwidth and processor intensive for an extension?
  • by tratten (783047) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:58AM (#10167957)
    'Apply new extension without Firefox restart'-Extension
  • by leomekenkamp (566309) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:00AM (#10167965)
    There is a problem with the database that is preventing the site from working.

    An email has been sent to the administrator notifying them of the problem. Please try again later.


    Is this a direct effect of the slashddos plugin?

  • Firefox Game (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matrem (806375)
    Linux users can select text in a webpage and middle-click: this will take them to the first hit in Google with the selected text as search term. This is amazing!

    So I propose a new internet game. Start from a page, e.g. slashdot, and try to reach a certain other page, say somethingawful.com, by just selecting text and middle-clicking. Clicking hyperlinks is not allowed! Have fun!
  • Maybe it's my installation, but every time I try to install an extension either it doesn't install or I have to reinstall firefox because it won't start anymore. I'm writing this in konqueror as I just tried to install adblocker and firefox won't start anymore after quitting.
    I'd say the extensions system needs just a bit more work. And mind you, I've seen a lot of mozilla bugs as I've been with mozilla since version 0.8.x
  • Some useful links (Score:5, Informative)

    by t7 (591821) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:05AM (#10167997) Homepage
    Texturizer.net [texturizer.net] has a nice collection of extensions you may not find on mozilla's dev site.

    Some extensions I'm currently using:
    Flat Bookmark Editing [bluweb.com]
    Add Bookmark Here [gorgias.de]
    CuteMenus [mozdev.org]
    Paste and Go [tecwizards.de]
    Gmail Notifier [nexgenmedia.net](Still works)

    Free iPods? Sure. freeipods.com [freeipods.com]
  • Nuke Anything (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:09AM (#10168019)
    Nuke Anything [mielczarek.org] is a favorite of mine. Right click an image, table, or even a frame, select "Remove this object" and it's zapped from the page layout. Quite useful for removing images or overly large margins.
  • Flashblock (Score:4, Informative)

    by Artichoke (34549) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:09AM (#10168021) Homepage

    Flashblock [mozdev.org] replaces Macromedia Flash animations with a button you have to click to download and run the animation. Most uses of Flash are abominations to me; I like to choose when to consume it.

    Gripe wrt Macromedia: a couple of days back I installed the latest and greatest Flash player from Macromedia on my WinXP box and it uninstalled Flashblock for me.

    Better yet: it also prevents subsequent (re-)installation of Flashblock.

    Solution: download Flaskblock.xpi, unzip it, mod so that it installs under a nom de guerre, rezip and install.

    Anybody at Macromedia, if you're listening: STOP BEING NAUGHTY.

    • by obtuse (79208) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:34AM (#10168553) Journal
      Uninstalling user-installed software? That's unforgivable. Too bad. I used to think Flash was annoying. I guess it's not just flash that sucks, but all of Macromedia.

      Here's a rule of thumb: How much can you afford to annoy your customers? That's exactly how much flash you want to inflict on visitors to your site.

      What proportion of people sit through a flash movie, versus the number who click "skip intro?" I've asked that question a lot, and never gotten an answer. Web developers aren't tracking it. They aren't about to point out that an expensive feature only drives customers away. Nobody is actually looking at those statistics. These irritating time wasters are just put up without any concern for whether they are an asset or a liability.

      Only a few people are so dumb that they are impressed with an online movie that they didn't choose to watch. "Ooh! Looky! Stuff on the screen is MOVING!" Maybe those people are the ideal targets for marketing.
      • Flash as DOS (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
        The Flash plug-in on Mac is such that under Mozilla it causes high CPU usage. A webpage with several Flash ads on a G3-class Mac will peg the CPU at 100% effectively DOS-ing your browser. You lose any browser context you have, hence dataloss.

        So, flashblock is mandatory on these computers.
    • Re:Flashblock (Score:5, Informative)

      by fishdan (569872) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:48AM (#10168665) Homepage Journal
      Yea, I must agree -- macromedia employs the same tactics as most spyware companies to install stuff without your permission, and with the same excuses. I've stopped allowing Flash on our 300 workstation computers here, and I've banned Flash from the sites we host until I can see Macromedia showing higher level of ethical programming -- namely, I should not need an extension to selectively disable flash.

      I talked to a Flash evangelist about this, and he essentially told me " our real business is showing you ads that you cannot avoid. "

    • Re:Flashblock (Score:4, Interesting)

      by base3 (539820) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:04AM (#10168766)
      Is that uninstallation addressed in the EULA (which I know no one reads) or is Macromedia engaging in violation of computer fraud and abuse statutes?
    • by bogie (31020) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:27AM (#10168935) Journal
      Flashblock has received a ton of complaints about it not working or Flash sites stopping working etc. Many people seem to think its a buggy extension. Plus considering 90%+ of users use IE I'm surprised they would go to that length for a minority used browser and an even more minority used extension.

      Anyway if what you said is true that's aweful and probably illegal to boot. I'd verify what you think is happening is really happening or at least get someone else to verify it. Then file complaints with Macromedia and then spread the word to the big tech sites. Start with the Mozillazine forums first though and make sure that you can get others to reproduce this.
    • RETRACTION (Score:3, Informative)

      by Artichoke (34549)

      I've investigated this further and can't reproduce my results.

      My best guess is that Flashblock is not hooking all the possible ways of triggering a Flash object, and I mistook this for untoward behaviour by the latest Flash Player.

      Abject apologies to Macromedia.

  • ...signed XPI?

    I mean before all those bells and whistles. As a plugin developer i greatly miss them
    (not this [mozilla.org], but one that really works).

    And pleaaaaaaase before you tell me it's useless, go ahead and try to convince some Joe user to install "unsigned hence possibly dangerous" plugin.
  • by ubiquitin (28396) * on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:37AM (#10168188) Homepage Journal
    Pssssst. What really revolutionized my browsing and will make it very hard for me to switch away from FireFox is AdBlock [texturizer.net]. Right-click on any image, flash animation, or iframe, and you can permanently add it to a block list. (Sshhhhh Don't tell anyone, but I don't see ads on slashdot, CNN, NYTimes, or any of my favorite periodicals any more.) If there was a way to keep a centralized list of blocked sites or an easy way to import and export the lists, then you'd have a real-time distributed content-blocking system.
    • by OneFix (18661) on Monday September 06, 2004 @03:07PM (#10170360)
      Try the filters listed here [aasted.org]. They block most ads for most people and very little else. The only one I've found a problem with is IMP...it has a "redirect.php" script that it runs on login which triggers one of the filters. I think there should be an adblock exclution list. It's actually interesting how popular adblock has remained even though there hasn't been a major update since at least Firefox 0.7...

      I would think someone would have designed a new extention with more bells and whistles.
  • My extensions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sunspire (784352) on Monday September 06, 2004 @09:37AM (#10168194)
    Here's some extensions I like that I haven't seen mentioned yet:

    Magpie [bengoodger.com]. Those who've used FlashGet with IE will love this little thing. It'll snatch all the files pointed to by links from a page according to some pattern, for example *jpg, and save them to disk or open them up as tabs. Great for collecting "nature pictures".

    Firefox's bookmark dialog's "Create in" feature pisses me off. It never, ever, has the folders you need in it's puny little drop down. OpenBook [chuonthis.com] removes it and replaces it with the full bookmarks folder tree.

    You can reorder tabs with MiniT [mozdev.org] using simple drag and drop on the tab bar. I think this should maybe be added to Firefox itself, it's pretty basic functionality.
  • BugMeNot (Score:5, Informative)

    by Takkuri (806654) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:36AM (#10168571)
    I'm surprised no one's mentioned BugMeNot yet. It connects to a database of usernames and passwords, allowing you to log in as the public BugMeNot account.

    This is especially useful for a one-time posting on a site, or to read members-only newspapers and things like IGN Insider.
  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:58AM (#10168727) Homepage
    One thing to be careful with...Firefox doesn't handle upgrades well when you have extensions. For example, if you had the Flash blocker (which makes it so you have to explicitly click to play Flash) installed in 0.8x, and upgraded to 0.9x, and let it import your settings, it also imports whatever it is that tells it that Flash is handled by that extension. But you no longer have that extension, so you simply cannot see Flash.

    And since you don't have that externsion...you can't conveniently uninstall it to restore Flash, and since that externsion wasn't available for 0.9x you could not reinstall it (it may have since become available). What you had to do was poke around in Firefox's files and figure out what to delete to remove the extension. Yuck!

    So, before doing a major upgrade, uninstall all extensions.

  • I like how I have everything set up in Firefox. All of my favorite extensions, rss feeds, booksmarks, etc. Is there an easy way to back this all up? I'd also like to configure a single install package that install all of the extensions I want. Possibly by saving the extension files in subfolders?

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