A few months ago I decided to start a blog. I told a friend about my decision.
“I’m going to start a blog,” I said.
“Oh, what type of blog are you going to do?” my friend asked.
“Whaddaya mean?” I replied.
“Well, you have to decide on a niche. If it’s a technical blog, you have to post your list of favorite Firefox extensions. If it’s a personal blog, you’re required to show pictures of your cat or else your blogging license could be revoked. If it’s a blog about blogs, every third post has to mention either RSS, tags, XML, the semantic web, APIs, or folksonomy.”
“What’s a folksonomy? Is that a music band, like the Mountain Goats or Chumbawamba?”
“No, it’s not a band. It’s like a taxonomy, but made by regular folks.”
“Where’s the fun in that? It sounds almost like work.” I asked.
“I’m not sure, but a lot of people folksonomize.”
I thought about it a bit. I do have really cute cats, but what if I didn’t post cat pictures often enough? I’d hate to have my blogging license revoked. And whenever people talk about XML around me, I suffer from MEGO (my eyes glaze over). So I decided to go with the technical blog. That means that I’m required to list my Firefox extensions, but so be it. Here we go.
One thing I love about Firefox is the easy ability to add new functionality with an “extension.” For example, one extension called Forecastfox will add a little three day weather forecast down in your status bar. It looks like this:
There’s dozens of neat extensions like this. Here’s a few that I’ve enjoyed recently (hover over each link for a description):
About site 0.1.1
Auto Copy 0.5.4
Bookmarks Synchronizer 1.0.1
Disable Targets For Downloads 1.0
Download Sort 2.5.3
Find in Stutesbar 0.8
Google Pagerank Status 0.9.4
Live HTTP Headers 0.11
miniT (drag+indicator) 0.5
Resizeable Textarea 0.1a
SessionSaver .2 0.2.1.028
Slim Extension List 0.1
SwitchProxy Tool 1.3.2
If I had to pick my favorites, they would be
- ListZilla. Documents your Firefox extensions. Collect them all! Trade them with friends! Impress your boss! Or just store your extension list somewhere safe in case your computer crashes. The list above was created with ListZilla, for example.
- SessionSaver. Should Firefox crash, SessionSaver will remember what tabs were open and reload them when you start Firefox again. SessionSaver also has a “Snapback Tab” feature to remember recently closed tabs so that you can open them again.
- Resizeable Textarea. The text area for composing emails in Gmail is kinda small. Get this extension and you can just drag the borders of the textarea to make it as large as you want.
- Auto Copy. Select any text on an html page and it’s automatically copied to the clipboard. If you’re used to Linux or X, you’ll want this.
- miniT. Once you get used to tabs, you can’t go back. This extension lets you rearrange tabs with a simple drag and drop. Very nice.
- Greasemonkey. I love mashing up my web pages and annotating them with extra links or otherwise mucking with pages. For example, you could rewrite every image link as you surf so that it’s a picture of your cat! You can probably also do practical things.
- Linkification. If a url is written as just text and not a hyperlink, this extension makes it clickable.
Okay, I’ve told you some of my favorite extensions–what extensions do you have installed?
Update: Crap, I would get dugg and delished on a post with broken links; I fixed up several links above. Truth be told, I was using this post as a backup so I could load my home computer with the same extensions as my laptop. Does anyone know a way to sync extensions between computers? That would be pretty wicked cool.
Someone on digg wondered why I didn’t mention the Google Toolbar or CustomizeGoogle. I do have the toolbar installed on most of my machines; my laptop by chance didn’t have it. I have internal scripts that I prefer over CustomizeGoogle (e.g. Greasemonkey code to modify my Google search page and add links to Ask Jeeves, Yahoo, MSN, plus various debugging tools).