In case you still use IE (and you’ve been living in a cave for the last year, which seems a likely combination of circumstances), why not get Firefox before you experience one of those “I’ll get me coat” moments in polite company? It’s only a 5Mb download. It’s faster than IE, has more features (e.g. tabbing), doesn’t carry a huge “Hack me” sign, highlights bullshit in huge orange letters and … it’s extensible … extendable … expandable. Whichever.
Previously, I was using Mozilla with Multizilla and I was very happy with it. But Firefox includes a built-in RSS reader, the one standard that until now still didn’t have an acceptable cross-platform client implementation. Hence my quest to make Firefox behave exactly like Multizilla (in lieu of a Firefox-compatible release of the latter, which is under development). It turns out to be mostly achievable if you download another hundred or so extensions from obscure corners of the Internet. Yes, I’ve successfully spent hours replicating something I already had in the name of running with the crowd - who says Open Source people can’t market?! In the process, I came across a few other useful extensions so here’s my current list of killer XPIs:
- Extends RSS features, mainly by displaying all feed items within a normal page. This finally gives you a half-decent RSS reader. (In BB’s Techno-utopia, everyone who creates “cool” new standards will be forced to supply at least one usable implementation.)
- Tabbrowser Preferences
- Extends tabbing capabilities so that you force all popups to load in new tabs, etc.
- Very popular extension that I didn’t see much use for until I realised you can use it so block Flash ads and those additional frames that ISPs sometimes add to home pages to ensure that no content goes unmolested by adverts.
- Tab X
- Adds a close button to every tab. Inconsequential but useful little extra that suggests the Firefox people are taking the extensibility thing to extremes.
- Toolbar extensions
- Adds most of the remaining Multizilla toolbar functions.
- Saves and restores open tabs and windows on restart. Something else that you might have thought would be in the base release.
- Miscellaneous URL functions, including changing image or popup blocking options.
Web developers and administrators will also find these useful: