By July 13, 2006

Nightly Tester Tools for Firefox

I love Firefox’s extension/plugin scheme. I use free extensions like GDirections, Wikipedia Lookup Extention, and my beloved Googlebar.

Unfortunately, upgrading Firefox might leave certain extensions technically out of date. Firefox disables all extensions by default unless they are explicitly compatible with the version of Firefox you are running. There is an automated way to check to see if your extensions have been updated to be current-rev compliant. However, projects with smaller development teams (such as Mnenhy and Googlebar) may not be quick to release updates. Googlebar, for example, took months to release a 1.50 compliant extension, and as of December 2005 hasn’t released another current-rev complaint version.

So what do you do if your favorite extension is obsolete? You have a few options.

  • The most passive (but least effort) is to just wait, and hope that the extension author will release an update.
  • You can edit each extension by hand and change the version number, thereby enabling the extension again. I’ve done this once with Googlebar, and it was a pain in the ass.
  • Download Nightly Tester Tools, which allows you to flag extensions as “compatible,” even if they are not officially designated as working with your version of Firefox.

Since I run lots of weird ass extensions, the Nightly Tester Tools are a godsend. I don’t use most of the NTT’s capabilities, like any of the Talkback/bug reporting tools.

Using the NTT to make extensions compatible is easy: go to Tools -> Extensions in Firefox, then click the “Make all compatible” button at the bottom:

Easy, and highly recommended 🙂

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