As this blog is about development I am not going to discuss too many plugins that don’t directly deal with website development. Instead, I want to highlight the plugins I use that I think help me a great deal depending on the circumstances.

Development Plugins

  1. Web Developer Toolbar - quite simply, if you develop webpages and DON’T have this - your doing something wrong. It is super handy and has tons of useful features.
  2. Autofill - replicates the google toolbar’s ability to automatically fill in a form. Not only is this useful to me when I shop online but also when testing online forms on my own sites to get things prepopulated. However, keep in mind that Firefox remembers what you typed into a form if you hit “refresh” so make sure you test your forms in IE/Opera as well or that may bite you.
  3. ieView - Since I just told you to test in IE too - you need a quick way to load the current page in ie. This plugin gives you a right click menu option to do just that. Very handy!
  4. Fangs Screen Reader Emulator - If you aren’t thinking about accessibility then you are ignoring a decent sized user base and opening yourself up to potential litigation. Plus, its the right thing to do. We can all afford JAWS or other top of the line screen readers so Fangs comes in nicely to help fill that gap.
  5. View Source With - I like the built in source viewer, but I use EditPlus and I haven’t bumped into a better text editor so anytime I can use EditPlus I do. View Source With lets that happen!
  6. Colorzilla - I am not a designer. I can’t draw, I can’t pick out color palettes very well, and I definitely can’t come up with an original color to start with. Colorzilla helps me find inspiration in other peoples color choices by letting me “pick” the color from the screen. Am I a bad person for this?
  7. HTML Validator - I think the necessity of this one is pretty obvious. It saves me trips to the W3C validator and helps me make sure my generated code is all correct; or at least to standard. This is a slick and super nice plugin. Other Plugins

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about too many non development plugins but these others are so handy I figured I should let you know about them anyway.

  1. Sage - this is an rss aggregator that creates a new sidebar. It is MUCH easier for me to use than RSS bookmarks and generates a nicely styled view of the feed entries. Very, very cool.
  2. LiveLines - Works in conjunction with Sage to help you quickly add new feeds to the aggregator by overriding the default “live bookmarks” feature in Firefox.
  3. Forecast Fox - my cube is in a corner of the building with no windows so I never know what the weather is like outside. This saves me from being surprised.
  4. Spellbound - my spelling often sucks. This helps double check my entries so that they make some sense. Pretty nice! The only caveat is when an editor steals the right context menu (then this isn’t available).