My favorite FireFox add-ons for MacOS

13 January 2009

Peter Kaas

by Peter Kaas

Although as a company we deliver most stuff to run on Linux servers, I see more and more Macs show up in the office. Our developers either [line-through]*blackmail*persuade us to get them these new toys or they decide to make the investment themselves.

Now, apart from some extensive abuse ten years ago, I have always been a big Apple fan. I started coding for the Macintosh prior to System 7 and released several applications through the years. After Steve Jobs cancelled the Newton, I tossed all my Apple stuff into a corner and fully switched to Linux. I did not come back for more abuse until MacOS X 10.1.

At that time, for browsing, I used Camino exclusively. Mozilla just didn’t feel like a MacOS application. Then, when Apple release Safari I switched almost immediately. I can’t remember exactly what swayed me, but it must have had something to do with the level of integration with the OS. But, since a few months now, I exclusively use FireFox.

Firefox 3 is great, but doesn’t yet totally cut the mustard out of the box. So, here is my list of Firefox add-ons that make it work really well on the Mac:

  • GrApple Yummy (blue):
    This makes Firefox look like Safari.

  • System Proxy:
    This nice little extension makes Firefox look at the MacOS proxy settings instead of its own. Ideal for people like me that make extensive use of the MacOS locations.

  • Quartz PDF Plugin:
    Out of the box Firefox does not have the ability to view a PDF file in the browser. This is one of the things I really liked about Safari. Both the Schubert and Acrobat plugins do not work in Firefox (on Intel). Just when I was about to start developing my own, I found this plugin that does exactly what I need.

  • Fission:
    A plugin that will use the address bar to show progress, just like Safari.

  • Resizeable Textarea:
    Somehow those textarea’s are always the wrong size. This little add-on makes it possible to resize them, just like Safari.

The above are just a few of the plugins I use daily, but they’re definitely the ones that made me switch from Safari to Firefox.