My Add-ons

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 requirement was beyond CSS, so Stylish did not appear 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 of them. I named the add-on UI Enhancer hoping that I will incorporate more User Interface related changes to the add-on later.

Then I added to the features list, another feature by changing the look of Location Bar to look and behave like Windows Explorer Address Bar. I started adding up in UI Enhancer and soon the code grew from 350 lines of JavaScript to 3000 lines of JavaScript. Then slowly my add-on started getting noticed, more feature requests started to come to my github page and the add-ons AMO home page. And since then I have changed the add-on drastically. The bookmarks shifting feature is disabled by default, the name is changed to Location Bar Enhancer and the design of the breadcrumbs can be modified in 4 different ways. It can also show status of the page, hovered link and the load progress of the page in Location Bar. Try the add-on by installing from this link.

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.

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