The Best Firefox Extension Ever?

by Preston Gralla

Here's my vote for the best Firefox extension of all time: IE Tab, which lets you run Internet Explorer right in its own Firefox tab.

It's the biggest time-saver I've come across in a long time. After you install it, when you're viewing a page in a Firefox tab, right-click the page, select "View Page in IE Tab" and it loads the page into IE, right in that tab.

Up until now, I've had to run both Firefox and IE at the same time, because some Web sites still only work properly in IE. But now, I just run those sites right inside Firefox.

It's run every page I've tried, without a single problem. So if you're tired of having to run IE and Firefox at the same time, check this one out.

What's your favorite Firefox extension?


2006-01-31 06:18:26
best ffx extension
Depends on your browsing habits really. IE Tab is undoubtedly very useful. If I were to pick the best one, I'd say "Adblock".

Other good extensions in my view [in no particular order :)]... NoScript, dotComplete, DownThemAll, FasterFox, Flashblock, Greasemonkey, Menu Editor, Paste and Go, PDF Download, SuperDragAndGo,, Organize Status Bar, Tab Clicking Options, All-in-One Gestures.

2006-01-31 06:31:25
cool... well wait
My first thought on reading this was "cool"... This seems like one of those hacks that makes me smile and say "well done".

Then I realized the (not so) sad fact that this does not apply to me anymore at all. I have completely switched from Windows to a combination of Mac and Linux. This was really an organic process where I realized one day that I don't use Windows anymore. I may still use a Windows VM or two when doing development work for some clients, but web browsing is done on the host (Linux) not on the VM.

And I am genuinely curious... What sites have you experienced that don't work in Firefox. Seriously, in the several months since my transition, I cannot recall a single one. I have run into numerous sites that don't work quite right in Safari but they all seem to do fine on Firefox... which has led me to stop using Safari on my Mac.

Now, I know that drawing conclusions from my personal experience like this is tantamount to saying that there is no such thing as global warming because it is cold at my house. Still, I can't help but wonder... how big of a problem is the IE-only site these days?

2006-01-31 06:46:09
cool... well wait
There are still quite a few sites that work best, or only work with IE. The most notable one, of course, is the Windows Update site. But there are plenty of others out there as well.

In addition, there are quite a few Web-based applications in use at private corporations that are IE only, or that work best in IE.

So the problem hasn't gone away, and this extension is a great way to solve it.

2006-01-31 07:13:19
cool... well wait
I think that the in-house apps are probably the biggest challenge in this area. I have experienced more than my share of them that work just fine if the browser detection logic (which seems to invariably redirect to a "Download IE 4 Now" page) is circumvented or removed. In my experience, maintenance of these apps falls to a single web developer/designer who marveled in the glory of IE back in the 4.0 days and is yet to allow for anything different. In many cases as well, I have seen 3rd-party apps that should be cross-platform which were simply installed wrong and therefore rendered inoperative on non-IE browsers.

Anyway, your point is taken.

2006-02-01 17:15:34
IE Tab is great, also try FireBug

However, there is a bug in Firefox:

That causes otherwise great FireBug to report wrong errors in certain conditions.

I switch back and forth between Firefox engine and ie using IE Tab, and miss FireBug in IE tab =)

2006-02-02 01:50:49
cool... well wait
App I'm currently working on is IE only because it uses IE only constructs (in the form of HTCs).
It also uses some W3 certified CSS and Javascript code that Firefox can't handle (that part I created, and ran the W3 validators against which approved of it).
Firefox will just act like that code isn't there at all, which prevents the main menu of the application from working under Firefox...
2006-02-02 01:51:46
best ffx extension
How can you not include the Web Developer tool bar! A must have for me.

For me it is the extensions that make Firefox the must have browser. As a standalone browser, I think Opera is better, but when you add the flexibility that the extensions provide to Firefox, it pushes it above Opera.

As for IE - I would not go back to it if you paid me. Pants!

2006-02-02 07:28:27
cool... well wait
I've had the same problems going the other way. In my experience if you develop a non-trivial app using a single browser platform, it doesn't matter how careful you are to write cross-platform code... you are going to have to tweak it when you get it to the point where you start using other platforms. All browsers have their quirks and "Brand X" only constructs.

I tend to like the development tools available with Mozilla (admittedly, I don't have VS installed, so the IE equivilents are somewhat crippled for me) so I usually start there and have to tweak for IE, et al.