I first tried the Phoenix browser back in 2003, a daring offspring from the bloated Mozilla suite which was a breath of fresh air compared to the horrible Internet Explorer 6. It was later renamed Firebird, then Firefox, and finally version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004.

Today it’s a popular alternative to Internet Explorer, which has become infamous for its inadequate web standards support. Extensions are arguably the killer feature of Firefox, providing superior tools for web development. They will greatly reduce the time for creating standard compliant, accessible sites. Here are some of my favorites for developers.

  1. Firebug: For many developers this is the main reason to use Firefox as primary browser during development. You may also extend it with FireQuery for some cool jQuery features.
  2. Web Developer Toolbar: A golden oldie with a lot of sweet stuff in the toolbox. You may also want XML Developer’s Toolbar and DOM inspector to view and edit live DOM.
  3. HTML Validator: Instant validation is better than sliced bread.
  4. Live HTTP Headers: An easy way to inspect HTTP headers.
  5. YSlow: Performance analyzer.
  6. View Source Chart: A nice improvement to the default source viewer. You may also want Json view for pretty-printing of JSON content.
  7. Dustme: Find unused CSS selectors.
  8. Greasemonkey: Extend the browser by running custom scripts (browse at userscripts.org).
  9. Fangs: Screen reader emulator.
  10. Ubiquity: Dynamic commands.

Happy coding!


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