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Firefox Extensions I Use

posted under category: Browsers on September 28, 2006 by Nathan

I'm a huge Firefox fan, by the way. Here's a rundown of all the extensions I use at work for my day-to-day work. The reason for posting this is actually to be a reference for my co-workers, who never can remember the name of "that one cool extension Nate had".

  • DOM Inspector - Install firefox in advanced mode to get this
  • Adblock - Essential for any browsing. I don't block everything, just the annoying ones. Innocent and helpful ads (google) or ads on sites I like always get to stay.
  • HTML Validator - Leave it off when you're not using it, as it can slow you down. Shows you live when pages validate and when you view source, why they don't.
  • ColorZilla - Perfect for grabbing colors. SO nice to have when working on HTML & CSS.
  • MeasureIT - Good for troubleshooting broken float and table designs. I wish it would remember boxes inbetween uses and allow changing box sizes after you draw it.
  • IE Tab - See what you're looking at in IE without searching for the blue -e- shortcut that you've probably deleted. Caveat: won't log you in if you're in a password-protected area.
  • BugMeNot - Skip logins for sites that you don't care about. New version automatically keeps trying until it finds a login that works.
  • Tabbrowser Preferences - Not sure if I still need this since Firefox 1.5, but it tweaks the tabs to work just the way I like.
Lots more after the jump...

  • Platypus - WYSIWYG editing of other people's sites. Delete and move parts of pages until the site works how you like. Fix sites with awful background colors. Then use Greasemonkey...
  • Greasemonkey - Save scripts (like those generated by Platypus) to re-modify a site every time you visit it. Google for greasemonkey scripts to see what you can do.
  • Web Developer Toolbar - The single most useful tool for any and every web developer. An obvious required must have. If you make web sites, you need this, period.
  • Gmail Space - This XUL application lets you use your Gmail account to store and transfer files.
  • FireBug - Great tool for inspecting and debugging HTML and javascript, and tracking AJAX requests.
  • Live HTTP Headers - Lets you watch raw HTTP headers - very valuable for debugging things like caching, cookies and load balancers
  • Google Notebook - I use it for sharing bookmarks between systems (I don't want to snyc bookmarks) and noting them, as well as jotting down some ideas when I want to finish the thought somewhere else.
  • ErrorZilla - On HTTP errors, this gives you options to check the google cache, ping the server and so on.
Bonus! Here's some extensions that I like and have, but leave disabled.
  • Reveal - Makes surfing and using tabs more visual. Also eats your memory.
  • CSSViewer - When you turn it on, it attractively shows all the CSS properties for whatever you put your mouse over. Disabled because I hardly ever used it.
  • ScreenGrab - Makes an image of your entire web page. Disabled because I don't use it very often.

Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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