6 Firefox Extensions for Web Workers

87 Comments

I can’t help it. Even though Safari has a nicer looking UI, and the most recent Windows update is leaking memory like a sieve, I keep running Firefox as my primary Web browser. Why? Because no other browser has managed to give me anything like the extensibility story that Firefox extensions bring to my daily web working experience. With thousands of extensions out there, your list may vary, but here’s my own selection of half a dozen essentials:

Faviconize Tab – If you’re like me, you run with a lot of browser tabs open (I try to make time for a cleanup session when I get to 40 or 50 open tabs) and the first eight or ten are always the same. Why waste real estate on titles for those tabs? Faviconize shrinks those tabs down to just the width of the favicon.

Firebug – I feel silly even recommending this one. I don’t see how you could do modern web development without it. I turn to the JavaScript and CSS debugging tools here every time I’m working on a web page. Perhaps it’s less essential to people who write better JavaScript and CSS code than I do.

FoxClocks – This one makes it much easier to work with distributed teams. FoxClocks understands time zones, and can put as many little clocks as you like in your browser status bar, so you can see at a glance what time it is for team members in Bangkok, Bolivia, and Berlin. A great aid to scheduling and figuring out who’s likely to be online.

MenuX – If you’re a fan of maximizing your actual web site real estate, take a look at this one; it gives you toolbar buttons for a raft of things. It’s sort of like running Firefox in fullscreen mode but with access to your toolbars. You can also just grab individual buttons from it to have on your main toolbar; I use it to give me one-click access to “View Source” because I’m too lazy to memorize keyboard shortcuts.

Nightly Tester Tools – Don’t let the name scare you. There’s one good reason to grab this even if you don’t test alpha and beta versions of Firefox. Too many other extensions are coded to assume a maximum version number even though they don’t break on higher versions of Firefox. The Nightly Tester Tools adds a “Make all compatible” button to the Add-Ons dialog box that will tell all of your extensions to ignore version checks. If you’ve ever lost a much-loved extension due to a Firefox upgrade, this may get it back for you.

View Source Chart – A great little extension for understanding the structure of a complex web page through a nested, collapsible chart using color and graphics. If you use a framework that generates complex HTML (and who doesn’t, these days?) this is another indispensable debugging aid.

87 Comments

Tyler

I am sad to see you have not included Web Developer. If you are building websites of any sort the three most useful extensions you could add are Web Developer, Firebug and thirdly probably FireFTP.

@Brad, Firefox 2.0 already has an option for that, why would you download an extension for that?

@WayneP, Why do you have colorzilla when you can use information on Web Developer for color information?

@John, Web Developer has tools to find colors and a ruler to find distances, I used to always take screenshots and use colorpicker and the selection tool in Photoshop, but I don’t need to anymore.

Hope this can help some people, I feel like a salesman for Web Developer but it has saved me countless hours. The greatest tool I ever picked up, hands down.

Judi Sohn

Keep in mind that Mike wrote a post about Firefox extensions for web workers, which doesn’t always mean workers of the web…as in not every web worker is a web developer. :-)

Miles

Firebug is also a beautiful thing if you’re writing an AJAX-based webapp, with the ability to track all the back and forth communication.

That, and it’s really quite useful when your site makes use of some complicated formatting, since it lets you fiddle with css, etc. on the fly

Elizabeth Thomsen

There are two by Kevin Freitas that I use all the time.

Linkchecker runs quickly down the page, colorcoding links to help find problems with either internal or external links. I not only use it on pages I’m working on, I use it on pages that I link to or am just looking at. If I link to a page that’s mostly a list of links, running this will often quickly reveal whether or not that page is being maintained or if it’s now just a list of mostly dead stuff.

Measure It pops up a little ruler that you can use to measure in pixels any element on a page.

Michael Harrison

You sure that it’s Firefox that’s leaking? I’m not using those extensions and am using the latest update 2.0.0.5 and I’ve not seen any leaks.

Emused

Hey thanks for the tips,Faviconize is a great extension, snatched right away, works fine.PS IE SUX, long live FireFox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tophchurch

FxIF allows additional properties to pick up EXIF information when right click on pictures (and only a minor development hack to go before pick up IPTC and geo as well)

Alphomega

Don’t forget the screengrab extension which allows you to take a screenshot of the page so you can show otheres what you are seeing eg display errors

Ankur Patwa

Colorpicker is a nice one to grab colours you like

Pp

Do not forget about FoxyTunes I know this does not have anything to do with web development but having the comfort of controlling your music from your browser is a plus!!!

Micahville

Thanks for the list. I really enjoy the “tab faviconizing plugin” that you recommended. I liked it so much that I wrote a <a href=”http://www.micahville.com/2007/07/21/firefox-list/” post just for you.

W.B. McNamara

I don’t know how you can survive without Web Developer. The incredibly understated description is “[a]dds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools,” but I expect that’s just because it defies description. Just go install it now.

George Mandis

I’m also a big fan of the fireFTP extension. Some days it seems a little overkill having an FTP client in my browser, but other times it’s actually quite convenient.

View Source Chart is interesting – I’ll have to check that one out.

Zee

Does anybody know of a faviconize type extension for Safari…it’s the only thing i really really want…and i just can’t find anything…

Brad

Session Fix is a must have for me. You know how when your browser crashes, it will automatically restore the windows you had open before the crash? Session Fix will let you do that every time you close Firefox. When you hit the close button, it adds a menu between the Close tabs and Cancel buttons that says Save Session.

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