My Firefox 7 extensions

November 3, 2011

If you use Google services, you may have noticed that they recently yanked around the design of pretty much everything. Part of that work basically forced me to upgrade from a self-compiled Firefox 3.6.2x to a self-compiled Firefox 7, because Google carefully broke my workaround to their previous search design issue by degrading the HTML returned when you visited in Firefox 3.x from a <div>-based layout to a table based layout. Since I can't stand the stock Google search results layout, it was either switch search engines or update to Firefox 7 to get a fixable, <div>-based layout back. I opted to do the latter.

(It helped that since I upgraded to Fedora 15 at both home and work, my testing instance of Firefox has been Firefox 7 so I've already partly acclimatized to it. I might have been very grumpy with Google if I had been forced into Firefox 7 cold.)

I am not entirely fond of Firefox 7's interface, but I can live with it. However, now it's time to update my list of essential extensions from the Firefox 3 version:

  • NoScript continues to be one of my two core extensions. It works. What more can I say?

    With the effective disappearance of the bottom status bar in Firefox 7, I now put the NoScript menu button in the top bar.

  • All-in-One Gestures (or more specifically my tweaked version of it) is my second core extension. It too works fine. As is by now standard, I turn off A-i-O autoscroll in favour of native autoscroll.

    (I experimented with FireGestures at one point but at the time it had an odd bug where font size changes didn't persist and would revert back to the default sizes very easily. I can't remember if this was in Firefox 7 or Firefox 3.6.)

  • Stylish continues to work and to be essential for suppressing horrible design decisions that sites I feel compelled to use keep trying to stuff down my throat.

  • It's All Text is rapidly becoming essentially for any browser instance that I use a lot, because it handily deals with how browser make bad editors. Now that I actually run a current version of Firefox I can actually use it, unlike earlier.

  • I had to switch to CookieMonster for suppressing cookies, because my old standby CookieSafe doesn't seem to work under Firefox 7. Since I just switched I don't know how well CookieMonster is going to work, but it seems acceptable so far.

    (See my original entry for an explanation of how I handle cookies in general.)

I no longer care about the Nightly Tester Tools extension. The relentless march of Firefox version numbers has created a situation where running the bleeding edge Firefox means doing without extensions relatively frequently, and I'm no longer willing to do that. At the moment I'm running a patched and self-compiled version of the current release version of Firefox 7 and I expect to continue doing so in the future; if anything I'm likely to lag behind the official releases (as I did recently, when I was still running Firefox 3.6.x well after Firefox went past that).

My list of extensions that I don't use from 2006 (and why) continues to be applicable. The only extension I'll add today is:

  • Firebug: I only need this once in a blue moon to analyze site structures so that I can write a Stylish rule to defeat their attempts at bad layouts. In a spirit of minimalism I don't keep it installed at other times.

(I write these entries partly so that I can come here on a new machine and immediately have links to all of the extensions that I want to install in order to civilize my Firefox.)


Comments on this page:

From 212.13.194.93 at 2011-11-03 03:44:40:

Thanks for the tip on Stylish, that was new to me. I use Google Reader and since the redesign, have found it unusable. I was delighted to find a style on userstyles.org to fix many of the issues (http://userstyles.org/styles/55666).

-- Dominic

By gsauthof at 2011-11-03 05:22:42:

Hm, why don't you use the Firefox 7 package from the distribution repositories?

Keeping up to date with security related patches on your own seems like a lot of work.

Btw, sometimes you write about trust - recently I looked into NoScript and found this incident: http://adblockplus.org/blog/attention-noscript-users http://hackademix.net/2009/05/04/dear-adblock-plus-and-noscript-users-dear-mozilla-community/

(The noscript author basically programmed and adjusted his extension several times such that it would modify an installed AdBlockPlus-addon to fight the blocking of ads on the noscript-webpages; after a few days of fighting he admitted that this was stupid and he apologized.)

I am also using CookieMonster, it does what it should and I can't complain so far.

If you are a vim user I can't recommend the Vimperator addon enough.

If you don't like sending referer information to everyone and your ad filtering proxy does not cover it, the RefControl addon is quite handy.

From 194.168.32.194 at 2011-11-03 06:39:19:

Bottom status bar (now called the Add-On bar) can be displayed with CTRL+/ or via the Options submenu. I need it for ForecastFox and Echofon.

From 66.134.136.66 at 2011-11-03 07:13:08:

Man, I've been wishing for something like It's All Text for eons. I am pessimistic about it working with Sharepoint, though.

- Smarry

From 141.84.9.6 at 2011-11-03 08:21:33:

You can re-enable the statusbar with "Status-4-Evar".

--chris2

From 24.6.87.74 at 2011-11-03 10:19:09:

You should really look at ghostery if you like no script. No script is an all or nothing deal. It's. It a security measure when you whitelist a domain that you most likely didn't inspect yourself. Ghostery blocks certain known bad elements without breaking every page.

From 207.67.92.30 at 2011-11-03 12:46:53:

For cookie management, I use Permit Cookies (http://mfe.gorgias.de/#pcookies).

It's just an interface to Cookie Exceptions, so I have a statusbar icon to add the currently-viewed site to the list. I set Firefox to accept all cookies (including third-party), but only keep until "I close Firefox." Putting domains in the Exceptions list as 'Allow' means that the browser-close deletion will still keep cookies from the domains I've chosen. This way all sites work as designed, using whatever cookies they want, but the non-whitelisted ones get removed fairly often.

The extension, as distributed by the author, has a maxVersion still set at 3.*, so I have to either edit the install.rdf or set "extensions.checkCompatibility.7.0" to "false" in about:config (or prefs.js, of course).

By cks at 2011-11-04 01:37:53:

My replies to a number of things here got long enough that I put them in a new entry, Firefox7ExtensionsII. Thank you to Dominic for the Google Reader related style and chris2 for the Status-4-Evar pointer; they're both great and I'm glad to have them.

On the whole NoScript vs AdBlock (and so on) issue(s): I'd heard about the AdBlock thing, and at the time it got me to turn off NoScript's 'show news page on updates' option. I didn't think it was a good thing but at the same time there's no real alternative to NoScript and it's just too valuable to me for me to give it up unless something major happens.

(Why I have a custom-compiled Firefox is a sufficiently involved thing that it's going to need an entry all to itself.)

Written on 03 November 2011.
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Last modified: Thu Nov 3 01:02:35 2011
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