With the full release of Mozilla Firefox 4 just around the corner, and Firefox 4 RC 2 already available to the public, there are many new add-ons that play around with the new framework that Mozilla is introducing. Many other extensions and themes are being ported over from older versions of the open source web browser, but here we will just be focusing on the add-ons only available for Firefox 4.
First up is one called Moveable Firefox Button. As you may have noticed, Firefox 4 has gone the way of Opera in having a menu bar all contained under one button, the “Firefox Button”. This add-on simply allows you to place it wherever you want, and even make it available while in full screen mode, or still to have it even when you choose to show the menu bar.
FabTabs is the next add-on that you should get for Firefox 4. It makes handling multiple open tabs much easier by calculating the most used color on a website, and coloring the tab and the browser bar when that tab is open accordingly. The tabs not being viewed are also noticeably fainter, so you can still tell which tab is open. You may not think you need something like this, but once you actually try it out, you’ll notice that you can find the tab you are looking for much faster than you did before.
The removal of the RSS Icon in the browser bar when a page had available feeds was a huge bummer for me when I first loaded up Firefox 4, but RSS Icon In Awesombar replaces that exact functionality. It really did not make sense for Mozilla to remove it in the first place, but this is the reason that open source and add-ons are so great.
Barlesque is another add-on that modifies a questionable design decision by Mozilla. The add-on bar that resides in the bottom is a pain to use. Sometimes you want to be able to use something like ColorZilla to see the exact color scheme of a website, but you definitely do not want a whole bar taking up precious screen real estate. You can close the bar by default, but have to go back into a menu to open it up. With this add-on, the buttons for the add-ons that reside in the bar will only be displayed as buttons, no bar, and they can easily be hidden and redisplayed thanks to an arrow. In my opinion, this is how the browser should have been set up from the start, and is another great example of why add-ons are great.
The last add-on that you should install when you first download the Firefox 4 RC is Vertical Toolbar. It can be set up on either the left or right side and functions as any other toolbar in Firefox does. Almost any functionality can be moved there, and it can be set to automatically hide, and then reappear upon mouseover of the area. This is a great way to save your browsing space, yet keep advanced functionality in an easy to access space.
Since Firefox 4 is not released yet, there are sure to be more killer add-ons to come, but for now, these are definitely the top five that are exclusive to this latest iteration of the open source browsing giant. While Mozilla is changing up their browser a great deal, these add-ons allow for a great deal of customization right away, and can help you transition into this new browsing experience more smoothly.