Mozilla Extensions

Craig M. Buchek

St. Louis Linux Users Group

September 16, 2004

"Open is always better than closed"
                                -- radio ad for Mini Cooper Convertible

What is an Extension?

  • Adds some sort of functionality
  • Most work in Mozilla (the suite) and Firefox (the stand-alone browser)
    • Firefox now has an Extensions Manager
  • Built using JavaScript and XUL
  • Most work in Windows and Linux
  • Contained in an XPI (Cross-Platform Installer) file
    • ZIP file containing files: JS, XUL, CSS, XBM, JAR, etc.
  • Installs locally (in profile in .mozilla) or globally

Where Can I Find Extensions?

My Favorite Extensions

Other Popular Extensions

  • AdBlock
  • Google Toolbar
  • BugMeNot - bypass compulsory web site registration
  • Image Toolbar - access to common actions for images (save, zoom, etc.)
  • EasyGestures - pie menus, tons of actions
  • EZNav
    • Middle-click forward button to increment numbered URLs
    • Middle-click home button to open home page in a new tab
    • Middle-click reload button to go up in the URL hierarchy
  • SwitchProxy Tool

Extensions to Try

  • Mozilla Archive Format - save web page as a single file
    • Uses RDF for meta-data, ZIP for archiving
  • Bookmarks Synchronizer - store bookmarks in XML file on FTP server
  • mozCC - displays Creative Commons license info
    • Gets license info from RDF within the web page
  • Menu Editor (Firefox only) - edit your context menu
  • DownThemAll - download all links on a page with a pop-up selector

Non-Browser Extensions

  • Enigmail - OpenPGP message encryption and authentication for Thunderbird
  • Mozilla Calendar - calendar client based on iCal standard
  • StockTicker - show favorite stocks in status bar
  • QuickNote - take notes in sidebar, separate window, or tab
  • Mozilla Amazon Browser - direct access to Amazon catalog
  • Sage - RSS feed reader
  • Cards - card games
  • BlockFall - game like Tetris

Creating an Extension

  • Requires a lot of files
  • Packaging is difficult
  • Requires knowledge of JavaScript, XUL, and Mozilla
  • A few books available to help:
  • A few tools to help build the XUL:

Presentation Info