My favorite Firefox extensions

One of the great thing about the Firefox browser are extensions.

Here are my favorite extensions so far:

  • SpellBound: adds spell checking to web forms. Hard to install, very easy to use.
  • UserAgentSwitcher: when you want to pass Firefox as another browser. Not a great implementation since you can’t configure it to spoof the user agent only on certain sites, it is an all or nothing thing. I wish there was an alternative, but it is easy enough to use and install.
  • Web Developper: I wish this wouldn’t take up so much screen real estate, but if you ever do HTML or PHP or any other web work, this plug-in is a must. It will do clever things like outline all ID tags in a page, perfect for the CSS geeks working on complex pages.
  • SessionSaver: Beautiful tool, when you shut down Firefox and bring it back up, it comes up just as you left it, reopening the same tabs and windows. If Firefox crashed, which it doesn’t, this tool would be a must.
  • TextAreaTool: when filling out web form, this will allow you to search for text or even regular expressions, it can also automatically export the content of a form to a text file. It is not very user friendly: it goes off the impression that it doesn’t work, and there are way too many menus to choose from. It is no longer available anywhere on the web.

What is most needed, I feel, is to have the power of a text editor in forms. Having to copy and paste the content of forms in an editor is really awful. Our children will make fun of us. I spend as much time writting in a web form than I do writting in vim.

You want to get famous? Write a Firefox extension that solves this problem. Turn forms into real text editors and I’ll be really grateful. I might even send a check!

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

One thought on “My favorite Firefox extensions”

  1. I understand your desire for embedded or external editors. Being a vim user myself, it is disconcerting to switch between some heavy web editing in firefox and vim. Doing anything of length in firefox is just painful. Perhaps the Viewsourcewith extension would be of interest.

    It allows opening any page source in a text editor of your choosing. This also allows editing textareas in an external editor. So for example, just pressing the shortcut when in a textarea opens the editor and you type away and when finished save and switch back to firefox the field updates itself. I hope this was somewhat clear. Not a perfect solution, but nice for long comment entries, wiki editing and the like.

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