Monday, November 20, 2006

Nightly Tester Tools

I love Firefox. It's tabs, flexibility, and extensions have made it irreplaceable. When I heard that Firefox 2 was under development naturally I was very excited. The only concern I had -- verified by Alpha testers -- was the issue of plug-in compatibility. Armed with this knowledge and prepared for the unwelcome absence of a few extensions, I threw caution to the wind and downloaded Firefox 2 as soon as I heard it had been uploaded to the Mozilla servers. The built-in spell-checker alone was worth the installation. Yet, as time wore on, I began to miss my beloved tools. Oh, the functionality. The lack of one extension in particular was driving me crazy, Aardvark.

I was checking the Aardvark homepage religiously after the release of Firefox 2 to no avail. Withdrawal is painful and the time soon came when I tried re-writing the xpi file in the hopes of making it compatible. Needless to say, all of my efforts proved fruitless. And then came an article on entitled "50 Best Firefox Extensions for Power Surfing" in which an extension called Nightly Tester Tools was mentioned and touted as being able to coax older plug-ins to work with newer Firefox builds. Could it be? The feature set read as follows:
* Allows you to force the application to believe an extension is compatible with the current version and enable it.

* Allows copying the build identifier and a list of installed extensions to the clipboard.

* Adds a toolbar button to let you insert the build identifier into the current text box (Not supported in the Application Suite).

* Lets you customise the title bar to include the build identifier and other information.

* Provides talkback integration allowing you to quickly view recent incidents as well as a sidebar that shows all incidents still on your machine (you may be surprised at just how many there are).
* Adds a simple interface for parsing nspr log files for leaks.

* Lets you take a screenshot of any open window and save it as an image, copy it to the clipboard or submit it to Imageshack (not yet fully functional in cairo builds).

So far I have tried it successfully with Aardvark, the Rikaichan dictionary, Mozilla Archive, and Quicknote. A godsend.


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