Firefox 3 and addons

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 08:53:56

I’ve finally taken the plunge and upgraded to Firefox 3, although through the route. This has the benefit of being able to run both FF2 and FF3. Having tinkered with FF3 when it was first released I was impressed by the speed at rendering sites; noticeably faster than FF2. IE7 appears glacial in comparison! The address bar has some really neat features and we finally getting tagging for bookmarks which nicely does away with the need for folders.

The problem?? The fact that I run around 30 add-ons. Perhaps not best for stability but they all serve a specific purpose and really do extend the functionality. Much to my surprise nearly all of them were FF3 compatible, although a few key ones weren’t (Copy Plain Text, Auto Copy, Minimize To Tray). Add-ons are downloaded as XPI files, which are simply ZIP files with the requisite additional files to add to your profile. FF does a compatibility check against install.rdf to see which version is supported (against the maxVersion field). So for these addons they can be got to work, rename the XPI to ZIP and extract the RDF file. Simply change this field to version 3, put it back in the ZIP and rename it to XPI. Clearly you don’t want to do this for all addons (particularly complex ones!) as FF3 clearly has changed. However for simpler addons this will get them working again.

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