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Firefox webdeveloper survival kit

Today and probably the rest of the week I’ll have to work on a loaner. The trusty laptop has to go into shop for scrutiny and hopefully some repairs. :-( In the meanwhile I’m looking at this barren desktop of a semi-fresh Windows XP. I’m wondering, how am I going to cram Photoshop, Dreamweaver and the rest of my stuff on this 10Gigs of HD. Not mentioning the 256Megs they will be fighting for. ;-)

Laptop trouble Well, the first thing I installed, you’ve guessed it right, was <blink>Firefox</blink>. :-) How else am I gonna survive? It took me a whole 10 minutes to get up and running. Including installing the much needed extensions to complete the survival kit.

So here’s what I define as the ‘webdeveloper survival kit‘:

1. Install Firefox.

Firefox logoGet Firefox. Download and run the installer.
Hold it! Make sure you choose ‘Custom‘ as we definitely want to have the ‘Developer Tools‘ like the DOM Inspector and JavaScript Console.

2. Set the right options.

Out of the box Firefox is ok. But I need to check a few preferences first to make it even better.

Under ‘Tools‘ > ‘Options‘ …
‘General’-section: Check ‘Default browser‘ and set my proxy.
‘Download’-section: Check ‘Download folder’ > ‘Ask anytime’. I don’t like cluttering up the desktop just yet.
‘Advanced’-section: Check ‘Accessibility‘ > ‘Begin finding as you type‘. It’s the killer, especially when going through source. Just type what you want to find and the cursor will jump to the spot.

3. Get Extensions.

We definitely need Extensions and not a lot of ‘em. These are the ones I cannot live without.
(BTW what’s up with Mozilla Update? FF shows no top and IE no bottom… :-S)

Gmail Notifier Gmail notifier.
A notifier that sits nicely in the statusbar of Firefox. The beauty? When mail arrives it’s just one click away. Especially nice if you set it to open in a background tab (right-click > preferences). Who needs Outlook or Thunderbird anyway?
Too bad it doesn’t support multiple accounts.
You may want to take a look at GMailCompose as a companion to make FF a complete (g)mail-client.

IE View IE View.
Somehow, the people we develop for still use IE. Don’t ask … Anyway, now and then you probably need to check that your work isn’t becoming too standards compliant. This extension simply offers a ‘View this page in IE’ in your right-click menu. No hassles with copying URL’s.

Html Validator Html Validator (based on Tidy).
Just open up a page and see if it validates. An icon in your statusbar tells wether there are errors, warnings or you just did some great work.
Best of all, when viewing the page source you’ll get extra info about the errors/warnings. There is even an option to automatically clean up your source in the flavours HTML or XHTML with any DocType you can throw. Great for converting old pages to XHTML.

Web Developer Web developer.
Need I explain???
Alright for the 0.001% of you who don’t know. The quick description says: “Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.” I could not have understated it like that myself. In fact what it CAN do takes a weblog on it’s own. Just install it and enjoy. (Or weep)

Furl Tools Furl Tools.
If you use Furl, like me. You definitely need this one. It is a lot better than the default bookmarklets.

Tabbrowser Preferences Tabbrowser Preferences.
In fact, just this morning I tried to live without it for about … 5 minutes. But when I popped open one window after another it was ‘back’ in no time. It’s one time set & forget. Now all external links are slammed back in the tabs they belonged in the first place.

Oh, just click install at the respective page. Restart Firefox and your set.

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7 Responses to “Firefox webdeveloper survival kit”

  1. Fred Says:
    July 27th, 2005 at 2:39 pm

    Great post! Thanks and GreetingZ to your room mates ;-)

  2. Caspar Says:
    July 27th, 2005 at 4:15 pm

    ThankZ Fred :-)

    Although there seems to be a problem with the Gmail Notifier. Apparently Gmail decided to alter their URL’s *again* so the login for the notifier is currently broken. I’m waiting for the update by the extension maker. Pretty frustrating…

  3. Caspar Says:
    July 27th, 2005 at 6:14 pm

    OK. The Gmail Notifier has been fixed & extended. Yay!!!
    But you need to get it from the maker’s site. Mozilla Update hasn’t been updated yet.

    Go get it at

  4. Arnoud Says:
    July 30th, 2005 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks for the “Tabbrowser-plugin”.
    Fred: never got the GreetingZ :-(

  5. Caspar Says:
    August 2nd, 2005 at 1:40 pm

    Yes you did!

  6. ThinkLemon » Blog Archive » Small is better Says:
    August 2nd, 2005 at 2:47 pm

    [...] As you may or may not know currently my trusty workhorse is in repair. Unfortunately it doubled as my ‘personal’ laptop. During the day I worked on it for my clients and in the evening I did some personal stuff (mostly browsing). The past week I had to rely on e.g. my girlfriend going to bed early so I could abuse her system. [...]

  7. ThinkLemon » Blog Archive » Apple iBook. On Second Thoughts. Says:
    September 5th, 2005 at 12:51 pm

    [...] As for default browsers. Safari RSS is not all that. So I’m sticking with Firefox + extensions. I could not imagine living without. [...]

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