Indispensable (okay, maybe not) Firefox extensions

September 14, 2005

One of the greatest features of Firefox is it’s extensibility. The project drivers have ensured that they are shipping a lightweight product by default through the approval flag, and so the horrific feature bloat of Opera 6, the Mozilla Application Suite, Netscape 8 (gah! triple-nested tabs!), etc. is avoided. But unlike proprietary software, the vendor doesn’t have the last word in how you use the product. For almost any functionality that’s not there in the default install, there’s an extension. This also allows users to, in effect, have their cake and eat it. Everyone can have their pet feature with extensions. Many Firefox users would have a minor stroke if they had to browse without their favourite extensions. So my favourites are:

  • Adblock Plus An enhancement of the original Adblock, improvements include whitelisting, to make sure legitimate content gets through without sacrificing any ad-blocking, the ability to block DIV sections, and a workaround for that irritating iframe crashing bug. Used with an effective filterset (like Filterset.G), you will see almost zero ads. If that’s not 1337, I don’t know what is.
  • Adblock Filterset.G Updater. This extension automatically updates Adblock with the latest version of Filterset.G and the whitelist if you’re using Adblock Plus. It also lets you set custom filters that persist across updates.
  • BBCode This adds options for inserting BBCode, HTML, and XHTML to the textarea context menu. Very useful on message boards.
  • BugMeNot 0.7. Tired of websites requiring registration for the slightest thing? BugMeNot will give you a username and password on 86 980 websites.
  • CookieCuller 1.2.0. Want to clear all your cookies but a few? CookieCuller lets you protect certain cookies from being cleared.
  • FlashGot FlashGot lets you pass of downloads to an external download manager – a great extension if you’re not satisfied with Firefox’s simple integrated download manager.
  • Greasemonkey 0.5.3. Greasemonkey lets you run user scripts on a page to make it behave the way YOU want it to behave. Especially powerful when used in conjunction with Platypus.
  • NoScript This extension gives you the ability to allow JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other plugins based on a whitelist. This pre-emptive blocking is the best way to go as far as safety is concerned.
  • ReloadEvery 0.6.1. Waiting for a site to update? Tired of hitting ‘Reload’ every few minutes? ReloadEvery will automatically reload a page at specified intervals.
  • Resizeable Textarea 0.1a. If you’re irritated by too-small text boxes, this is for you. It allows click-and-drag resizing of textareas. Nifty.
  • Tab Mix Plus 0.2.4. This is the single greatest extension out there. It adds a prodigious number of preferences for tabbed browsing. A must-have for obsessive tweakers.

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