Firefox and plugins

I prefer Firefox as my web browser on Windows. There are three add-ons I consider absolutely necessary: NoScript, Adblock, and the Adblock Filterset updater. Some that I find nice to have: All-in-one Sidebar, Web Developer, DownThemAll, Tab Mix Plus, and Greasemonkey. And the theme I prefer, Littlefox. I’ll probably want some plugins, too.

It’s easy enough to perform these steps manually, but I’d like to at least consider my options for automation.

The standard installer doesn’t seem to support much, just an ini file. To be fair, I didn’t pursue that thread very far because I found this long discussion which details the community’s MSI efforts.

FrontMotion provides an MSI file. They also provide a roll-your-own installer system for a subscription fee. I’m sure there are corporate admins who can really benefit from that, but for my personal use, I’m not only lazy, I’m also cheap.

There used to be a nifty extension called Mass Installer that would install all the other extensions you listed in a text file. This has been discontinued, but clever folks outlined a similar method that would work later in the same thread. That seems to fit my need well enough.

The html file is a script to read the text file and launch installs. The text file contains URLs for the extension installs. Save them in the same directory, with the same basenames, extensions .html and .txt, and view the .html in Firefox. Simple, yes?

The only problem I see is that the install URLs contain version information. So, at some point, the file may “roll off” when enough later versions are released. I’m not concerned about out-of-date extensions, since it’s one click to update all extensions.*(or is this part of All-in-one Sidebar?)

Ideally, the script would take the extension homepage URL and discover the xpi link on it. This could be perilous to script if separate extensions exist for major Firefox releases. Whether or not I try that, I’ll eventually put these files where I can hit them directly via HTTP (but this requires changing the code, too.)

Advertisements
This entry was posted in automation, firefox, freeware, windows. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Firefox and plugins

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you tried the Firebug extension?

  2. Matt Hicks says:

    No, but I will now. The Firebug extension looks very good. Thanks for the tip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s