Friday, October 29, 2010

Firefox 3 Beta

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I run three browsers on my computer with Opear the most frequently used one. Firefox sometimes consumes too much memory, either because of the memory leak problem or its cache implementation.

Firefox betas are out for quite sometime and I tried its latest 3.0pre from nightly build trunk. It is much faster and polished and I really love it. The only problem is that most plugins are not officially compatible with Firefox 3 betas right now.

There are several FF plugins that I cannot live without:


this animal allows you to write customized scripts to control the actual rendering of any page. One most useful script is Linkify ting, it automatically turns text URLs into clickable links by adding <a> tags. But the original script has bugs that it cannot handle many types of URLs. So, what you can do is to open that script and replace "var regex = blah blah" with the following:

"var regex = /\b([\d\w\.\/\+\-\?\:]*)((ht|f)tp(s|)\:\/\/|[\d\d\d|\d\d]\.[\d\d\d|\d\d]\.|www\.|\.tv|\.ac|\.com|\.edu|\.gov|\.int|\.mil|\.net|\.org|\.biz|\.info|\.name|\.pro|\.museum|\.co)([\d\w\.\/\%\+\-\=\&\?\:\\\"\’\,\|\~\;]*)\b/gi;".

There are also many scripts on including many hacks on iGoogle and Gmail. There are also tutorials like Dive into Greasemonkey and books like Greasemonkey Hacks if you want to write your own scripts. It is really a lot of fun.



this is the ultimate toolbox for Web developers, it includes many powerful features to detect JavaScript errors, and design your XHTML and CSS files. There is another addon to Firebug called YSlow! from Yahoo extreme performance group that evaluates a Web site based on several performancing-improving guidelines.

this is the Web-based bookmark solution. Although they have a new version that integrates with Firefox bookmark manager, I still like the classic version that adds to buttons on the browser toolbar better.


So, how to make these plugins working with FF3.0 betas? It is quite straightforward actually.

1. Manually download XPI file: Instead of click install button on these plugin website (actually, those buttons are greyed out and you cannot click at all), you go to the bottom of a plugin page where there is a link for "advanced details", expand that section and click on "complete version history", then download the xpi file manually using "save as…".

2. Open XPI file with WinRAR and edit install.rdf file: in target application element, there is an element called <em:maxVersion>, just change the value to 3.0pre. Save the install.rdf and put it back to the XPI file.

3. In FF3, use "open file…" to open the modified XPI file. Bingo! You got those old buddies back ;-)

For plugin, there is a bit more extra work due to the signature files. FF3 will have some error for "signing could not be verified" error. Simply open the XPI file with WinRAR and delete META-INF folder and save the XPI file. Here we go, buttons back too!

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