Monday, September 12

Mozilla Firefox Project (Firefox 1.5 Beta 1)

I've done a bit more testing of Firefox 1.5 beta (in fact, I'm writing this blog entry in it). It's more useful than I thought at first. I just had to take the time to re-engineer a few extensions to work with the new version. As many people already know, .xpi files are really .zip files in disguise, and there is a text file called install.rdf inside then that includes a minimum and maximum version on which the extension will work. Some extensions can be made to work by modifying this file and re-compressing the extension. Here are the results of my tests with the extensions I commonly use.

The following extensions are unnecessary in 1.5 (their functionality is now a part of Firefox's core, or can be duplicated easily with a user.js file):
x (Paranoia) - Firefox now has a customizable "Clear Private Data" item in the Tools menu that can be invoked by hitting shift-command-delete (Mac) if desired.
miniT - Firefox can reorder tabs through dragging by default.
QuickTabPrefToggle - The "force links that open new windows to open in new tabs" is now available by default in the preferences. Also, "open new windows for requested resized popups" can be invoked by placing the following in your user.js file:

user_pref("", 1);

These extensions worked (as far as I can tell) with a modified install.rdf file. I changed the maxVersion to 1.5+ to make these work in 1.5 Beta 1. I'm not the extension author, so I make no guarantees, but they seem to work for me:
Super DragandDrop - Open searches and plaintext URLs with "throws."
BlankLast - Make last tab blank when issuing a "close tab" command instead of discarding the whole window.
CookieCuller - Whitelist individual cookies and get rid of unprotected cookies in one click (or automatically on browser startup).
Ook - Add your bookmarks to the right-click context menu.
Stop_and_Reload Button - Combines Stop and Reload into one button, depending on context.
TextZoom - Enlarges all text by a custom percentage. This one seemed to work once the install.rdf was modified, but after restarting the browser I'm not sure if it still had any effect. This one's a "well, maybe it worked..."
LinkToolbar - Sets up page navigation (forward, backward, up, etc.) in a toolbar and provides keyboard shortcuts. This one installed even without a modified install.rdf, but it didn't add the toolbar once it was installed. I figured out that it was just that the latest version was actually newer than the one I had had, and it installs the buttons individually in the "Customize..." section of the toolbar and not all at once in the status bar like it used to.

These extensions didn't work, even with a modified install.rdf:
Bookmarks Synchronizer - Sync your bookmarks to a central FTP server so they are available to Firefox on every machine you use.
Greasemonkey - My most-used extension; allows individual pages to be modified by using "user scripts."
LiveLines - Subscribe to RSS feeds via online (Bloglines) or offline (NewNewsWire) news aggregators by bypassing the Firefox Live Bookmarks.
LinkToolbar - Sets up page navigation (forward, backward, up, etc.) in a toolbar and provides keyboard shortcuts. This one appeared to install even without a modified install.rdf, but it didn't add the toolbar once it was installed.

I think I'm going to stick with 1.5, because it renders a lot faster than previous versions and apparently the OSX version has a lot of under-the-hood Mac-flavored enhancements.

My the way, you can find download/install links for all of these extensions (and even a couple more) at my "extensions" tag.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.