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06 July 2007

My list of Firefox extensions

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since I have written anything on my blog, as unfortunately it is becoming a habit... But believe me, I have about 10 half written/in research posts to put here, so by all means, it is not over.

Although it may have plenty of flaws, Mozilla's Firefox is clearly one of the best, most ubiquitous browsers of today's offer. [This can be seen as an almost religious, unjustified sentence, but while I respect other people's opinion, I also expect mine to be respected.] It is open source, multi platform, actively maintained, does what it was designed to do very well and widely used - just to name a few of the key features that make it such a good browser. Its API allows companies and the community to design extensions that change/add/remove any functionality you might dream.

My post today may seem like "deja-vu"... it is... sort of. There are maybe thousands of ".* firefox extensions" posts around the internet, mostly in blogs. However I could not care less, I tend to forget things pretty easily, so I decided to list the firefox extensions that I use, divided by categories (for your convenience, and mine). Of course such topic is not at all static. Some extensions dissapear (stop being developed by whatever reasons), some change names and new ones eventually replace other older extensions due to improved design and funcionality (a perfect example of this is FireBug vs Web developer). This list was gathered on Firefox 2.0.0.4 and is/was up to date in July 2007.

Generic / essential:

Generic/essential extensions are the ones that I fetch and install before browsing any website, just after installing the browser on a host that I will be using.
  • British English Dictionary: The British English Dictionary.
  • DownThemAll!: A download manager for Firefox.
  • Tab Mix Plus: Extra features for tabbed browsing.

Not essential:
Not essential extensions make the browser more visually pleasant, maybe less cluttered and perhaps with some extra (useless for common users) information.
  • Personal Menu: Replaces some menus and/or sub menus by easily accessible buttons on the address bar.
  • Server Spy: Indicates what brand of HTTP server runs on the visited site.
  • Fission: Progress bar in the address bar (Safari style).
  • Shazou: Tracks the geo location of the current page, displays it on a separate window with google maps and supplies some extra information about the domain and ip block owner.
  • ShowIP: Shows the IP address of the current page on the status bar.

Security / privacy:
Security and/or privacy extensions help keep your privacy, to get around simple and elaborated data mining techniques and to help avoid XSS and phishing attacks.
  • Passive Cache: Retrieves a cached Google page of a link, as well as an Archive.org page, with no images and no connections to the remote site.
  • Redirect Remover: Removes Redirects from Links and Images.
  • RefControl: Control what gets sent as the HTTP Referer on a per-site basis.
  • SafeCache: Defends against cache-based web privacy attacks.
  • SafeHistory: Defends against visited-link-based web privacy attacks.
  • Firekeeper: Intrusion Detection and Prevention System for Firefox.
  • FireGPG: An extension that acts as an assistant for using GPG. The main purpose of this tool is to sign and/or encrypt emails with GPG on the gmail interface directly.

Web auditing:
Web auditing extensions provide means to access and/or modify cookies and requests/replies made to/received from web servers.
  • Add N Edit Cookies: Cookie Editor that allows you add and edit session and saved cookies.
  • Tamper Data: View and modify HTTP/HTTPS headers etc. Track and time requests.
  • HackBar: A toolbar that helps you find and test SQL injections. (not good for generic browsing - takes too much space).
  • FoxyProxy: A proxy server manager. Can route requests to different proxies according to specified URI patterns. Allows quick selection/change/edit of different proxy servers and/or corresponding settings.

Web development:
Web auditing extensions are essential if you happen to do any (X)HTML/CSS "coding", javascript, or any other form of web development. These allow you to analyse different parts of the in-development or deployed static or dynamic websites. Firebug is absolutely unavoidable.
  • Firebug: An incredibly good HTTP profiler, Javascript debugger, (X)HTML/CSS designer aid. Web developer was good, but does not compare to this.
  • View Source Chart: Creates a Colorful Chart of a Webpage's Rendered Source.
  • User Agent Switcher: Adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser.
  • Total Validator: Validates web pages in numerous ways. Supports uploading the displayed page instead of passing the link to the online validators. Particularly useful to test internal/in development websites.

For blog posts:
To help me build this list automatically, I used the following extension, temporarily.

This set of extensions enables a far more comfortable, private and secure browsing experience. Additionally, it supplies some advanced tools for my auditing work. And in case you are wondering, yes, I fully admit that I use far too many extensions.

Cheers, PJ.

6 comments:

rui covelo said...

That is a very good list and I'm sure I'll add some of those extensions to my browser. I remember talking about some of these with you but I forgot their name afterwards.

Like what happens to other lists posted on the Internet, this list also needs comments from users that want to talk about the extensions they use too ;). So here are a few of mine must have extensions (without link associated - too lazy):

- Nuke Anything Enhanced (remove any object from the displayed page. useful for printing a page without some pictures, ads or banners or removing anything annoying)
- Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer or Google's Browser Sync (for synchronizing bookmarks of different Firefox installations)
- IE Tab (for those of you who use Windows and have to access some websites they only work with IE)


I usually also like to have extra search engines like Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary.

rui covelo said...

PS: ShowIP, or at least version 0.8.03 which seems not be the current version, says it wont work with firefox 2.0.0.4 :(

pjvenda said...

Thanks Rui!
That Nuke Anything looks pretty nice!

My version of ShowIP is 0.8.05. It works well on my Firefox... perhaps that was not the best link.

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rui covelo said...

Yes you're right. I replaced the 3 with 5 in the link to the xpi file and installed version 0.8.05. It works!

carlos silva said...

A good list indeed, but forget not AddBlock Plus.
Kind of like Nuke Anything but I think this one is nicer to use.
Oh... and ReloadEvery is also very nice when you want to keep reloading some page (think about a page with expiring cookies for instance).

pjvenda said...

oh yes, ReloadEvery is cool for people that leave their browsers open for long periods of time (either unattended or not). thanks for the comment!

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