One of the greatest things about Firefox is its enormous community of people working to make new extensions and themes. Without this community, I would just use Opera. I’ve been a Firefox user since before version two came out, and I’ve seen things come and go a lot, but some extensions just can’t be shaken. These are the top five Firefox extensions:
— But first, just a little rant: why did they have to rename extensions to “add-ons” in Firefox 2? If they wanted to get a more descriptive name, they could have done that. Instead, they went with a pure synonym of “extension” for no real reason. Remember that extensions/add-ons don’t always extend or add to the browser: sometimes they remove features or just alter them. But anyway —
#5 – Linkification
Linkification is an extension that will turn plain-text URLs into hyperlinks. You know when you see a link that should be clickable, but instead you have to copy it into the URL bar? That problem is gone. The truly nice thing about Linkification is that that’s all it does. Not like some other extensions that try to do a million things and end up being mediocre at them all. That’s a trend you’ll notice in all my favourite extensions, actually. Oh, and you can customise the link colour. Go download it right now!
#4 – Download Statusbar
One of the things that annoyed me the most when I started using Firefox was the downloads window, but this extension fixes all that by compacting downloads into little tab-like icons at the bottom of the window. Awesome! Unfortunately, I can’t get those icons to show up unless the regular statusbar is enabled, but I still use Download Statusbar to play a sound when my downloads are complete. Useful when you want to download enormous files, forget about them, only to get reminded by the sound effect you told it to play. If you choose to show the statusbar itself, you can customise all the colours, icons, and whatever else. It’s great. Download it here.
#3 – AdBlock Plus
This one shouldn’t even be on the list, the way people abuse it so much. Many websites use ads to fund their operation, and blocking all ads without regard to their contents does nothing but harm to sites like that. The only thing you’re supporting is proprietary software — and who wants that? Regardless, AdBlock is a great extension for blocking the obnoxious ads. I use it to block Flash ads, audio ads, splash ads, etc. Things that are so annoying that the person who chooses to use them doesn’t deserve the money. Using AdBlock to block text ads and simple image ads is just cruel, though. Grr. Download it today, you responsible citizen.
#2 – Gmail Notifier
Granted, most people won’t have a lot of use for this one. You can just as easily use Gtalk to get notifications when you get new Gmail emails. However, one flaw in Gtalk is that you can only ever keep yourself posted on updates to one account. If you’re like me, you have several different accounts for different purposes. I use Gmail Notifier to keep me up to date on all of them. It’s really simple to use, never crashes, and allows you to pick your own sound to play when you get an email. If you have a need for it, it fits that need perfectly. Add it today!
#1 – Mouse Gestures Redox
Imagine a browser with no navigation buttons at all. Everything you do is done by holding down the right mouse button and swinging the mouse in a certain way. Drag left to go back, drag right to go forward, drag down to reload, etc. If you’ve never used mouse gestures before, that probably sounds really strange to you. Once you get into the swing of things, however, mouse gestures become second-nature and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. Mouse Gestures Redox allows you to create your own gestures to do pretty much anything you want — you can even have a gesture that opens a certain bookmark, or one that will copy something to the clipboard for you. It’s all very simple and incredibly useful. Download it now, or else.
So now that you’ve seen my five favourite Firefox extensions, what do you think of them? What are your favourites? I want to hear from you. Considering I opened this blog two days ago, I’m not likely to hear very much… Aw…