As previously mentioned, I am a huge Mozilla fan and an active Firefox (Nightly) user since Firefox 3.7 alpha 2. And as all Firefox users must be aware of, add-ons are extremely helpful in our daily life. They make browsing easy, convenient, useful and sometimes knowledgeable. I have also been using many add-ons since Firefox 3, but the first add-on that got my attention so much that I wanted to get involved was Mozilla Labs: Prospector – Speak Words. It was the first add-on that had such a huge impact on daily browsing. So when I wanted to get some new features in it, I visited its github page and contributed to the code. Since then I have contributed to the source code of Speak Words, Instant Preview and AwesomeBar HD .
Around last August, I came up with an idea for an add-on. I have a widescreen monitor, so I did not want to keep my Bookmarks Bar in a separate row, but at the same time I did not want to halve the Location Bar’s width. This need was beyond CSS, so Stylish did not seem helpful. The only way to do this was by an add-on. Initially all the add-on did was to move the Bookmarks bar to the right of location bar and handle the hover, focus and click events on both. I named the add-on UI Enhancer hoping that I will incorporate more User Interface related changes to the add-on later.
Along with the development of Location Bar Enhancer, I also came up with three more add-ons:
- Auto Complete: Based on Speak Words and Instant Preview, it auto completes words as you type in the Location Bar tactfully and also previews searches and domains instantly. Visit the home page or install directly from here.
- User Style Manager: If you like Stylish, you will love this add-on. This add-on is light weight, restart-less, feature rich and easy to use. Install any of your favorite styles from userstyles.org, or write a style from scratch. The editor uses the powerful built-in source editor in Firefox which has been uplifted by additional features like auto suggest CSS property completion, color picker, color previewer, image previewer and fully functioning Find and Replace. Give it a try, from the add-ons home page or this direct link, if you like customizing your Firefox or your favorite website.
- Magnifier: This add-on is a very handy developer tool that lets you examine each and every pixel of your Browser in a magnified way. You can zoom in, zoom out, change the size of the zoomed view and also know the color of the pixel in the zoomed view. A must have for designers and developers. Here is the direct link to install it.
I have a few more ideas in my mind which have been there in my mind even before the idea for UI Enhancer (now, Location Bar Enhancer) came up. I hope to get some time to convert those ideas into even more useful add-ons in the future.
After the initial writing of this page, I have created three more add-ons:
- Graphical Timeline of Events: A developer tool for Firefox built to visualize various activities of the browser in a graphical manner. You can inspect network calls in a waterfall manner, or garbage collections, or any DOM event in the page. Give it a try by installing it from its homepage or this direct link.
- Sort Tabs Command: This add-on adds a command in Firefox’s Developer Toolbar Command Line to quickly allow you to sort all or specific tabs in the visible tab group based on their addresses. Give it a shot by installing it from the homepage or this direct link.
- Custom Standalone Image Backgrounds: This add-on allows you to change the background color of the image when viewing it directly in Firefox, a.k.a. standalone image. You can choose from the 3 default colors, or add or delete and new color/gradient/image/url in short, anything that goes in the CSS property ‘background’. Try it out from its home page or this direct link.
As always, all the add-ons are restart-less so that they are convenient, open source because code should be free and hosted on github so that you can file any issue on their corresponding issues page.