So last week I promised Stig, a Norwegian living in London, that I'd get off the political blogging this week. Haven't achieved that yet, so here's a start.
I use the Firefox browser constantly and one of the reasons is that you can install useful extensions that add functionality. Some of these are incredibly valuable to me, helping enormously with my work. Some are just a nice convenience. Here's the extensions I use. What ones do you use?
Plus and Adblock
Advertising never really bothered me until the day some bright spark at Hotwired discovered the animated GIF. Ever since, I've filtered them out. I just can't stand having some annoying, flashing animation beside something I'm trying to read. I don't filter out static ads like Google, as they're often quite relevant. Just the annoying ones. I used to use Craig's Squid filtering system but doing it in the client, particularly when Filterset.G automatically gets most of them, makes more sense. What's more, I can turn it off if there's a false positive.
I use this nearly every day for my work. It's just invaluable if you're developing web stuff. There's more features than you can imagine, but the ones I use most are:
- Edit CSS: edit the stylesheets live, see the result immediately
- View Generated Source: shows the HTML after any scripts have run.
- Display Element Information: shows all kinds of details about any object you point at.
- Display Div Order: outlines all the divs on the page, so you can see what they look like.
Australia has bandwidth charging, so most ISP plans have a quota of downloads. This extension downloads your usage for the current month and displays a handy graph.
Shows the weather. Handy, and does what you'd expect.
Shows you all the traffic going on between the server and the browser, which is absolutely essential when doing some web work.
A really cool proxy server manager. Sometimes you need to have your browser session come from a different location, so you can set up a rule for which requests go through which proxy. When diagnosing problems (like our lousy MS ISA proxy servers at work) it's really handy to be able to push all content through a particular proxy. You could also use this to get around filtering proxies, but that would be naughty and possibly career-limiting.
We Sydney people are obsessed with the amount of water in our dams. Comes from living in a dry country. Doesn't help that we get plenty of rain in the city, but not a lot where the dams actually are. This extension shows the latest data.