Extension ideas

I have a bunch of ideas for extensions. I'll blog about a few in detail, but here are the ideas I can describe in one or two sentences.

Find and search

  • Improve Find by showing the locations of matches on the scrollbar (like some IDEs) (bug 259640).
  • Automatically turn frequently used "I'm Feeling Lucky" address bar searches into keyword bookmarks, which are faster and don't change unexpectedly.
  • Highlight Google search terms in a page you reached by clicking a Google search result.

Removing web annoyances

  • DisableAutoRefresh (like RefreshBlocker) but only for refreshes to the same URL or refreshes longer than 30 seconds.
  • Disable insecure connections to certain hostnames (e.g. mail.google.com), redirecting to https if possible.
  • Show onclick events (bug 229055).

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Make Alt+D always work to focus the address bar (ignore accesskey="D").
  • One-handed shortcuts (single-key shortcuts, or not).
  • Assign keyboard shortcuts to bookmarklets.
  • Ctrl+Alt+click to save images.


  • Patch manager for installing patches to browser chrome or JavaScript components.
  • Show favicon in title bar for trusted sites.
  • Edit this page with NVu.
  • Warn me if I load Slashdot too many times in an hour.
  • Caps lock warning (oops, already exists).
  • QuickLaunch: stay in memory even after the last window is closed on Windows.
  • Dump all open urls to clipboard or text file (bug 33328).
  • Tab Manager (list of tabs and windows) (bug 159853).
  • Back to previous site (like "Rewind" in Opera) (bug 182138) (DomNav sorta something like this but with a user interface I don't like).
  • User stylesheet manager (like Greasemonkey but for user stylesheets) (hint: use user stylesheet API and site-specific rules). Stylish
  • Planet-like view of feeds to which I am subscribed.
  • Right-click any form control, "Set as default". (For example, I should be able to set a default departure city on southwest.com and a default zip code on weather.com.)
  • Automatically correct dumb typos in the address bar (e.g. "google.cmo") (bug 175634). URL Fixer
  • Automatically back up text typed into textareas. Built into Firefox 2.
  • Ajaxify Bugzilla.

For more ideas, see the comments on my October 2004 post, Request for extension ideas. Feel free to base extensions on these ideas, but I'd appreciate a mention on the home page for your extension if you got the idea from me.

Update 2007-06-01: Crossed out three of the ideas, since I've seen extensions that do those things or Firefox now does those things.

19 Responses to “Extension ideas”

  1. Jon Wright Says:

    A couple worth noting: URI id, Copy All Urls

  2. brewthatistrue Says:

    “Automatically back up text typed into textareas.”
    already done by session saver

  3. peakshysteria Says:

    Yeah, love some of your ideas. Especialy the one with keywords in the i’m feeling lucky field. Maybe we can finally get keywords for folders/sub-folders/groups in adition????? No point in it not being activated.


    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.2; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051103 Firefox/1.5

  4. Mark Says:

    The find functionality that I’ve been desiring is to highlight all matches in the page as many programs I’ve seen accomplish (similar to how a google cached pages is displayed). Highlight the first hit with the default green and all the other matches with a less obtrusive color (grey?)
    Given the (possibly intensive) nature of incrimental find it may be necessary to wait a second or more to kick in with the matches displayed (or after the user hits enter).

  5. Mark Says:

    > Assign keyboard shortcuts to bookmarklets.

    already there! well, kind of: keywords.
    right-klick a bookmark => properties => assign keyword.

    alt-d/ctrl-l to go to the location-bar, type keyword, enter, enjoy :)

  6. Ben Basson Says:

    “User stylesheet manager (like Greasemonkey but for user stylesheets) (hint: use user stylesheet API and site-specific rules).”

    See np’s “Stylish” extension: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=327735

  7. Daniel Cater Says:

    “Highlight Google search terms in a page you reached by clicking a Google search result.”

    That’d be very cool. Probably not too difficult either.

  8. Patrick Hall Says:

    Single-button to toggle *all* toolbars on the screen. And I mean all: navigation bar, bookmarks, google toolbar, web dev toolbar, the status bar, the find bar, everything.

    Maybe F12?

    This would be so great for the new onslaught of “web applications” with built in editors and such.

  9. gandalf Says:

    http://bugzilla.flock.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1480 – this one may make your last idea.

  10. Harpreet Singh Says:

    Another idea for you list, display thumnails of sites in the back button drop down list.

  11. Jonah Bishop Says:

    The link to your October 2004 posting is (for me at least) broken. It looks like that post doesn’t even exist!

  12. Nÿco Says:

    Syntax highlighting in URL bar :
    – one color for protocol part i.e. http, https or ftp, ftps, sftp
    – one color for optional user part i.e. username@
    – one color for (sub)domain part i.e. (developper.) or (ftp.)mozilla.org
    – one color for path i.e. /path/to/file.php
    – one color for get parameters i.e. ?article_id=007&status=published
    This could prevent phishing for example or help read URLs.

    Export bookmarks to and import from XBEL format :

  13. Brian King Says:

    “Planet-like view of feeds to which I am subscribed. “
    An excellent extension.

  14. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    Jonah, looks like I accidentally marked that post as private. Oops! Fixed.

  15. craig Says:

    In browser AJAX Web Widget Workspaces! I’ve written about how to do something like this in a simple way, with mockups of how I see it happening, on my blog here.
    Not sure if an extension would be adequet though. I’m not a programmer…

  16. Streyeder Says:

    How about a Tab-in-Tab option?

    This could be used to see multiple tabs at once. The idea really came to me when I installed the script that supresses new windows into tabs and I then opened the AIM-Online. It would be great to have the list to one side and all of your open conversations in one tab.

    Just an idea.

  17. Veeven Says:

    “Restart Firefox Now” button on Extension & Theme manager windows. So, whenever we install a new extension or theme, it would be easier to click a button than closing all Firefox windows and then restarting.

  18. Caerbannog Says:

    I got two ideas of extensions but cannot code them :
    – Add the possibility to automatically search in bookmarks when typing in the address bar.
    – Add a “source replace” menu which would automatically replace parts of the source acccording to regular expressions specified for each domains by the user.

  19. as days pass by » What’s going on Says:

    […] Jesse has listed some cool ideas for Firefox extensions, a goodly proportion of which need implementing. […]