What are your favourite browser plugins?


Macslocum over at O'Reilly Answers is asking people to submit their favourite browser plugins and extensions. No prizes for guessing which one I chose!

First Macslocum's recommendations:

Firebug (Firefox) — I can’t believe this thing is free. It’s hands-down the best HTML/CSS testing tool I’ve ever used. It’s also incredibly handy when I can’t remember my own CSS naming conventions.

ClickToFlash (Safari) — This automatically disables any Flash-based elements. But unlike strict ad blockers, ClickToFlash gives you the option of activating Flash on a piece-by-piece basis. So if you want to watch a movie on a web page but you don’t want to see the Flash ads, just click the movie element and that Flash-based part of the page will load.

How about you? Which plugins/extensions do you use?

For what it's worth, I also highly recommend ClickToFlash to all my Mac friends using Safari, it improves performance and reliability so much it's as if you've just shoved an extra few gigs of memory into your system for free.

My predicable answer

Without a doubt it’d have to be NoScript for Firefox. The fact no other browser has such simple blocking and whitelisting for dynamic content and Javascript ensures I won’t be switching browsers anytime soon.

Frankly, given all the thousands of exploits using Javascript as a vector I’m surprised (and somewhat dismayed) it’s such an unusual extension.

[For some reason text fields on the O’Reilly Network always correct JavaScript as Javascript!]

As I've enumerated here many times, I can't use a browser without NoScript anymore, I feel as though I'm in a car without seat bealts, a war zone without a bulletproof vest or a conference without pants when I don't have it. How people think they can be responsible internet users without such software in 2010 baffles me more than… attending a conference without pants. I suppose some people wear business skirts, just not me, surprising though that may sound. Chuck Peddle wears pants, I can tell you that much. And he invented the 6502 for heaven's sake!

If you have an O'Reilly account, go over there now and voice your opinion. Tim O'Reilly, the good O'Reilly, not the sleazy news guy ;).


If you haven't seen my other posts on this subject, I also talk about my other favourite Firefox plugins in these posts: More Firefox extensions and Firefox extensions. I put way too much effort into those pages! Of all the extensions, most are security related.

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