DIY Firefox extension version 2.0

Update: It’s beter to change it to a flexible number so it’s future prove
So I changed “2.0” to “2.*
like this

0.7
2.*

You just installed FireFox 2.0 and enjoying it!
You want to use one of your favorite extensions but you can’t: it’s not compatible with FireFox 2.0.
You want to install a new extension, and you can’t: it’s not compatible with FireFox 2.0.

Sound familiar?

I found the solution:
It’s possible to update some extensions to FireFox 2.0 (this doesn’t always work… I know this from my own experience so be careful!)

Most of the time it’s a version number that has to be changed… And it’s not difficult.
But remember, some code may not work,
In most cases this will work: most programs are backward compatible which means that is can handle old code.

So here a step by step walk through this process.

Source: comment on BBCode by Nic Chilton.

xpi files are just zip files, so you can update any extension to work with the latest Firefox yourself by following these instructions:

Continue reading

Flash tools of the trade: flash-plugin switcher

Very recently I wrote about a Firefox extension: the FlashTracer written by Alessandro Crugnola. This extension will only make the hearts of Flash developers go faster, which it did in my case: I love this plugin! And although this is a relative new Firefox extension, it already helped me debug a application that I build.

Alessandro Crugnola is also the guy that gave us SE|PY (this is the editor I use for Flash programming)

Screenshot of Flash Switcher extension for FirefoxAlessandro created another Firefox extension: Flash Switcher extension for Firefox


Flash Switcher extension for FirefoxFlash Switcher – This extension comes with all the currently published flash player plugins (from the version 2 to the most recent 9,0,16) and allows you to easily switch from one plugin to another, or also to remove the currently installed plugin (maybe for testing the express install).

I used to use KewBee Plugin Switcher. Which is now for free, but if I remember correctly will be a commercial program. The big plus of that program is that it also works for IE, but who cares…. (and windows doesn’t like that you install / uninstall something without their knowledge, so it creates lot of ERRORS).

Firefox 2.0 installed

Yes I did, 2 days ago.
That not really hot news… (although Firefox promotion is always good!).
It has some very nice new features so check it out.

Although this is not why I talk about Firefox; I created a Firefox extensions series to explain why I use them. And the coming of Firefox 2.0 has some effect on my extensions.
Some of them are obsolete: Spellbound and Tab Mix Plus (it’s integrated in Firefox 2 ), which is a good thing.
Update #2: Tab Mix Plus is not entirely obsolete, some features are integrated, but it’s still very useful!

But some don’t work en the new version: my Resizeable Textarea doesn’t work anymore, which is a pain in the butt. I found the new version for FF2.0: install Resizeable Textarea 0.1c directly.
Strangely enough “Bookmark this page” doesn’t work (and this is not a extension). Update #1: I have no idea but it works again!.
And last but not least, ListZilla thinks that all extension are installed and they are not.
Some are • uninstalled by me, some just don’t work

Update #3: I stopped using Listzilla and changed to Infolister because it has more features.

Update: 27 November 2006 the new list extensions generated by InfoLister:

Extensions (enabled: 48, disabled: 47):

Flash tools of the trade: debug

I try not to regurgitate info from other blogs…
But I have to talk about a entry from Alessandro: because it makes me “extremely” happy.

The creator of SE|PY: Alessandro Crugnola has created his first firefox extension. Good for him, but what it´s to me?

FlashTracerWell… it’s one of the first tools that makes it possible to trace / debug in Firefox.
While running any .SWF Flash file in your browser you can see all the output generated by the “trace” flash functions in this sidebar component. This is very useful especially working with server side technology.
You can debug without anyone knowing this, even with on a live site: only people that have this extension installed will know this.

You just need to install the debug version of the flashplayer and the Firefox extension and you’re ready to go!

It made me painfully aware that we Flash-developers leave a lot of “traces” behind in the .SWF’s.
But this can be fixed: just check ‘Omit trace actions’ in the publish settings.

FlashTracerFlashTracer – While running any .swf Flash file in your browser you can see all the output generated by the “trace” flash functions in this sidebar component.
You *NEED* the flash player debug version to run this extension correctly: flashplayer_9_plugin_debug

Update #1: A colleague found a “funny” trace at youtube: it has something to do with the play button not wanting to appear….

Helpfull blog Firefox extensions

I am investing way to much time in explaining my frequently used Firefox extensions collection. So to speed this list up, I will dump a group of extensions a once. It’s possible I wrote about it before, but who cares….

[mck] very useful if you need to set a signature or something else you often submit in a textfield.
SignatureSignature – Can be used to insert something in the address bar, on a text box on a web page.

update #1: I replaced signature with clippings because of it’s superior interface, management of clippings.

Clippings – Saves and manages frequently-entered text for pasting later. Text can be pasted from Clippings into forms and input fields without the hassle of retyping or repetitive copying and pasting. Perfect for forms, web mail, blog entries, wiki editing and forum posts.

[mck] spelling / translation tools.
Update #2: Spellbound has been integrated in Firefox 2.0, so only if you use a Firefox 1.5 or so you should use the Spellbound extension.

  1. SpellboundSpellbound – This allows you to spell check forms (e.g. message board posts, blog entries, wysiwyg, etc.) before submitting them. Download directly
  2. RiteOfTongueRiteOfTongue – Right-click on a typed word inside a web form to check if the word is spelt correctly and get alternate suggestions if it is wrong.
  3. Translate PageTranslate Page – Translate Page passes the current page to Google’s Translation Service and was made upon request to directly mimmick a feature of the Mozilla suite within Firefox.
  4. ImTranslatorImTranslator – ImTranslator provides additional multilingual capabilities to Firefox for more efficient communication in foreign languages.

And some I haven’t tested enough to say something about: gTranslate, Translate and translator.

[mck] resize the textarea if your not using the “EditorMonkey” plugin.
update #3: Resizeable Textarea extension 0.1c can be used for Firefox 2.0
Resizeable TextareaResizeable Textarea extension 0.1bResizeable Textarea extension 0.1c (for Firefox 2.0) – A lot of forums and boards provide very smal textareas for new postings.
If you type a longer posting, you have to scroll up and down, to read, what you have writen and to proceed. Download Resizeable_Textarea 0.1c directly.

[mck] very usefull if you find descriptions you don’t know (example: polymath)
WikiPedia Lookup Extension (WLE)WikiPedia Lookup Extension (WLE) – Extension for the Firefox webbrowser which looksup the selected text in Wikipedia encyclopedia and presents the results.

[mck] handy for saving images into different folders.
Save image in folderSave image in folder – This extension helps you to quickly save images into different folders without having to click through your folder structure again and again.

[mck] take screenshots of webpages

  1. Save As ImageSave As Image -Adds the ability to save a page, frame, or part of either as an image.
  2. Pearl Crescent Page SaverPearl Crescent Page Saver – Lets you capture images of web pages in PNG format. The entire page or just the visible portion may be captured.
  3. miscScreengrab – It saves webpages as images by scrolling around and stitching the result together. In particular it also will save just a frame as an image.

Happy blogging!

Spelling Firefox extensions

As I said before… I’m not a great speller in my native tongue, and I’m even worse in a foreign language!

And I suggested to use tinySpell for people who recognize this problem. The problem with this program is that it only works on Windows and at this moment I’m working on Linux….

So I started to look for a Firefox extension solution.

And the first extension works almost the same as tinySpell:
RiteOfTongueRiteOfTongue – Right-click on a typed word inside a web form to check if the word is spelt correctly and get alternate suggestions if it is wrong. Then select the word from the pop up menu to change it. The words are obtained in real-time over the Internet using the dictionary service from Dict.org.
Downside of the extension is that it checks realtime, so if your internet connection is slow or Dict.org is, your answer (correct or wrong) will come slowly.

The other works like the on line translators like AltaVista Babel Fish, Worldlingo, Systran etc….
ImTranslatorImTranslator – ImTranslator provides additional multilingual capabilities to Firefox for more efficient communication in foreign languages.
Downside of the extension is that is a slow extension with al lot of advertisement in it and when I selected a word I wanted to translate used right click to translate, it disappeared from the textfield….

And one promising extension which doesn’t seem to work with Firefox 1.5 … there is a trick to get “old” extensions to work but I haven’t tested it (read read explanation from ffextensionguru. or perhaps tech.thicke.org)
Wow this is a powerful extension, thx ffextensionguru for helping me on my way.
SpellboundSpellbound – This allows you to spell check forms (e.g. message board posts, blog entries, wysiwyg, etc.) before submitting them.
What even more interesting is the ability check in different language. This extension can also be used to check in my native tongue (Dutch) so check out the language dictionaries available.

These extension are submitted to my frequently used Firefox extensions collection.

Resizeable Textarea firefox extension

Very quickly after I started writing for my blog, I stop using the “EditorMonkey” plugin.
This plugin is a default install with WordPress, which turns the normal WordPress textarea into a WYSIWYG editor using TinyMCE or FCKeditor.

And the that’s the reason I stopped working with it, WYSIWYG editors don’t work like I want them to.

But if you stop using the visual rich editor when writing, you also lose the ability to resize the textarea where you write your post. And that means if you write a long post, you have to scroll up and down, to read what you have writen…. very annoying

I found a nice Firefox extension which fixes this problem:

Resizeable Textarea
Resizeable Textarea extension

A lot of forums and boards provide very smal textareas for new postings.
If you type a longer posting, you have to scroll up and down, to read, what you have writen and to proceed.

Original Resizeable Textarea extension (Firefox 0.9 – 1.0.1)
http://www.extensionsmirror.nl/index.php?showtopic=2796

Same extension but for Firefox 1.5 (0.1b)
http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/005752.html

Another extension that is part of my frequently used Firefox extensions collection.

Firefox Extension Backup Extension

Another extension that is part of my frequently used Firefox extensions collection.

FEBE
Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE)

FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up — It will actually rebuild your extensions individually into installable .xpi files. Now you can easily synchronize your office and home browsers.

FEBE backs up your extensions, themes, and (optionally) your bookmarks, preferences, cookies. and much more

There is realy not more to say about this extension. I find it very usefull to have the same tools that I use at work, also at home.

Firefox extensions, the list becomes bigger and bigger

I’ve written about the Firefox extensions that I use. Some new extensions are added and some not so usefull extensions are deactivated.
So I desided that the new extension should be added to the list.

PDF DownloadFirst I want to talk about PDF Download. But why use it? I use it because Firefox freezes up when I open a PDF, this because the Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin takes al lot of time to start up. So to make this plugin work even beter, I advise to download Foxit PDF Reader (sadly only for Windows…. I’m currently working on an Apple because my PC is dead…) which works exactly as Acrobat Reader but is smaller, faster, portable and free.
Read more about this extension at www.pdfdownload.org.

Mouse GesturesThe second extension is Mouse Gestures which only works on a PC. With Mouse Gestures you execute commands by mouse “drawing” over the webpage. For now I only use the gestures for forward/backward (draw a horizontal line from left to right / right to left) but for only two gestures it is also very usefull.

Bookmarks cleanup

I’ve been collecting bookmarks for about 7 years now. I started in IE and imported them later in Firefox.
Started to make categories to make it somewhat managable… But it seems that some of the sites I collected 7 years ago are no more… sadly.

So I wanted to clean up my bookmarks (it must be the time of year with spring and all….)
But before I start check 1500+ bookmarks by hand, I search for some help:
and this is what I found:

Firefox

extensions:
bookmarkddClean up dublicate bookmarks:

bookmarkdd is a very useful extension that helps you manage your bookmarks. (homepage bookmarkdd)

It not only helps you to clean up dublicated bookmarks but notices also when you bookmark if it’s already bookmarked
Check your bookmarks for broken links

Bookmarks LinkChecker detects updated, redirected, and broken links in your bookmarks list by adding icons within the drop-down bookmarks menu.

More Firefox extensions I use.

Freeware:

For Pc and Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla and Firefox users:

AM-DeadLink detects dead links and duplicates in your Browser Bookmarks. If a Bookmark has become unavailable you can verify it in the internal preview and delete it from your Browser. Additionally you can download FavIcons for all your Favorites and Bookmarks.

I like this program a lot: it does the same thing as the two firefox extension but can be used for different browsers. Its very easy to use and has some other useful features like creating a backup for your bookmarks.