A new Google-funded study of browser security by security research firm Accuvant Labs crowned Chrome the champion of security features, and ranked Firefox below Internet Explorer in terms of protection available from web-borne threats. Predictably, Microsoft and Mozilla have different opinions on what makes a browser secure, and why Accuvant's findings are off base. All of this got us thinking about which browser is the most secure, and whether the security features listed in studies like this even matter to the rest of us. More »
I’ve been branching out to try and pick up some “real” programming skills. The more I delve into Firefox or Chrome extensions, the more I realize I need a solid understanding of fundamental coding. So, I’ve decided to learn Python. To help me reinforce what I’m learning, I’ve started up a new site called “Let’s Learn Python,” in the hopes that others will benefit as well. Come learn it with me.
firefox extension development
Google Chrome is the latest browser to let users add, edit and contribute their own coding efforts. Extensions or plugins are what makes web browsers so handy and extendable. Firefox users have long known this– Google Chrome’s extension capabilities are so far not as well known, but hopefully will soon have a synergistic effect on both applications. More publicity for competing products ensures a wide array of choices.
Google has their own “Getting Started” tutorial which is extremely helpful. You can get your feet wet here:
Note that at this point, you will need the Developer version of Chrome. You can grab it here:
The Chrome extension’s backbone is the manifest file. Specifically, manifest.js. It describes what will be packaged in the extension and describes the name, a brief description, whatever explicit permissions you grant it, and other details. The fields in full are described here:
I’m selling my iBook which currently does not run like a champ. You can not play games on it, surfing the web is is also impossible, and there are numerous office applications that will also fail. What’s not to like?
This has been used to craft some Firefox extensions you love and/or hate. Buy a piece of history today!
*seriously, it is a giant turd.
This is just a little quickie that I find handy to use. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but life kept getting in the way.
Prefsearch is an easy-peasy way to search the names of preferences in about:config via Google. There are a million preferences scattered about in there, and I found myself repeatedly copying a preference name, opening a new tab, going to Google, and searching for said name. This is just a simple hack that lets you right-click on a name, select “Google Name,” and you can figure out what happens next.
If you can’t, I’ll let you in in the secret: a new tab is opened in focus or in the background, whatever you have your preferences set as, and Google tells you what’s what regarding the name you just selected. Groovy.
Install Prefsearch 0.1
(Size: 8kb Release Date: January 19th 2008)
Tested on Firefox 18.104.22.168
To develop a Firefox extension, you need certain tools. One of these essential tools is a text editor. You need something that should feel intuitive, be powerful, adaptable, load quickly, and be a pleasure to use. Which programs are the most suitable for developing web applications with?
It’s a fine line to walk. Text editors are a programmer’s bread and butter, and they need to have everything you want, and not anything you don’t need. If an editor is lacking features, then it is considered not complete, and if it has too many features, people call them bloated. People are so damn picky. This is why I’ve done the leg work for you and definitively decided the best damned text editors for Windows. Why Windows? My answer is “because, that’s why.”
If you have a Mac, then buy TextMate. If you have Linux, then use Emacs or vi, because you know you’re special, and that’s what you should use. Windows users have a little more choice in the matter, so let’s dive in.
First things first: just how do I consider the programs to be “best,” or “bloated?” Excellent question. I’ll tell you: I don’t want them to be my FTP program, or Microsoft Word replacement, or anything a “text editor” is not supposed to be. WYSIWYG is an acronym for “Well, You See, I Want Your Genitals.” I hate generators that add more bloated code than necessary.
Okay, okay, before you say, wait a minute- there’s no reason to install a tab extension on Firefox. It can do everything right out of the box, and all of those are way too bulky and they mess up my other extensions.
I say, “Nay.” This beauty adds features that are simply not available in the default Firefox setup. There are some things it can take care of that are a short tweak away in your about:config page, but there are many, many options it adds. I only use a few, but the few I use are indispensable.
My favorite thing that I love to do is inadvertently close tabs. Well, let me re-state that. I inadvertently close tabs from time to time, and I cry if I can’t remember where I was or if I am unable to retrieve them. This extension will let you undo a series of tabs so that you shant have to shed a tear.
I know there’s a separate extension that does just that, but that’s all it does. If minimalism is your thing and that’s the only thing you need, then that would be perfect for you. But you’re not. You’re a Firefox junkie and you need it to survive, to feel young again. To feel free, to feel the blood rushing through your veiny paws. Wait, where was I?
I’m a poet and I kind of know it. RetailMeNot, brought to you by the perspicacious minds of BugMeNot, is both a service and a Firefox extension. The extension is new and will be the main focus of this mini-review. It sits invisibly behind Firefox’s exterior, waiting to pounce on any web site that will try and make a buck off of you. As soon as it detects a web site that has possible coupon codes, it lets you know:
A slider bar indicates that there are coupon treasures that await you. If you’re not interested, you can close the bar or simply ignore it. Once you surf away, the bar discretely closes.
I have used the web site for quite a while now, usually as a last check for saving me a little bit of cash. The extension is great because if you forget to check online, it’s no big deal- it will let you know from the get-go if there’s deals to be sliced and diced.
It’s an unobtrusive little gem of an extension that I recommend. Go check it out for yourself.
IE Tab has saved me from ever using Internet Explorer on its own again. Now, don’t assume that I’m a rabid anti-Microsoft hater / sheep-like Mozilla fanboy, although you’d have good reason to assume so. After all, this site is about Firefox extensions, something you can’t really mirror with Internet Explorer. My only beef with the big blue E is that there are a lot of web sites out there that force you to use it. I like having one browsing program open, and I don’t really want to have to switch back and forth. That’s just a pain in the ass.
So, IE Tab saves me the trouble of opening multiple applications for one purpose, which is grand. Here’s a sample screenshot:
The icon in the tab lets you know that the Internet Explorer engine is being used on that page. Nice, simple, effective notifications- that’s what makes a great extension great. It doesn’t pop up in your face, yet it lets you know exactly what’s going on.