Ever since Firefox started making waves, one of the major questions peopled asked and continue ask are “What makes Firefox so popular?”. Many people have many answers. Personally I think one of Firefox’s strengths is the community behind it. Many people who use the browser everyday contribute various add-ons and improvements, thereby making it a prime example of open source at work. The community doesn’t contribute just by adding source code to the final release, but more importantly by contributing small tools called Extensions which extend Firefox beyond just a simple web browser.
A few months ago the Mozilla Foundation announced the winners of the Extend Firefox contest, i.e. the best Firefox extensions available on the web. If you use Firefox, and you should be, then this is one things that you should probably check out. Now Firefox extensions are one of Firefox’s major features and the main reason why non-open source browser like Internet Explorer or even Opera will have a hard time winning over Firefox users. Extensions add extra functionality to the Firefox. With the right combination of Extensions it is possible to make Firefox into something much more than just a simple browser.
In the old days before Firefox, when Internet Explorer was unquestionably the King of the Hill, one of the premier open source browsers was Mozilla. But Mozilla was much more than just a browser. It had an integrated email client, an HTML editor and an IRC chat client all wrapped together. In fact, it was not unlike the old Netscape suite. Of course now, the Mozilla suite has been officially shelved and its parts have been divided up. The browser became Firefox, the mail client became Thunderbird and the HTML editor is now Nvu (all these after numerous changes and improvements though). For most people having these applications separated makes sense. After all less people use email clients than they do browsers and even fewer use an HTML editor. But what if you do want to combine your internet activities into one program? Going back to the old Mozilla is not recommended, especially since there is a far better option: use Extensions.
The following posts will show you how to use the correct extensions, and a few online services to turn simple Firefox into a powerful internet utility: A Superfox! Stay tuned folks.