Independent Status Reports (11 April, 2005)

Firefox is still in the ascendency. One gauge is to look at the number of books just published or in the pipeline about Firefox. Some of these books are targetted to the end user, but some certainly contain useful information for the extension author. At, we are averaging about 2-3 new project requests every day, and this number will likely rise as the knowledge on how to make extensions spreads. In this months reports, there are some projects that we haven't seen here before (Petname Tool, Russ Key) and the return of an old favourite (Googlebar).

Note: If anyone has an update that they would like included in the next report, go here, or have any feedback on the reports in general, feel free to contact us.

Previous Reports

MozManual — v1.+

(Introduction to Mozilla — A Manual for First Time Users)

  • For: Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

Just out: Ukrainian translation now available.

Googlebar — 0.9.5/0.9.91+

(Bringing the Google Toolbar to Mozilla)

  • For: Mozilla, Firefox
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

In the past year, development has been a bit slow — but on the other hand, two of our members are new fathers and a third is a new husband. Lately, however, there's been a lot of new work on the project lately, mostly thanks to talented team member Robert Fernandes. As a result, we released version 0.9.5 a few weeks ago, our first "official" release in more than a year, and work has now brought us all the way up to version This contains a total cleanup of our codebase and many bugfixes from the 0.8 and 0.9.3 releases that people were using previously. Our default stylesheet has also been rewritten — this will break themes that skin the Googlebar, but they can be easily fixed by changing the theme to match our new style IDs, and we think that removing theme and extension conflicts is worth it. On the administrative side, we are looking to add a user forum soon to replace our outdated feedback pages — see below for information on this and other ways you can get involved with the project.

Notable Highlights

  • New version 0.9.5! Both the official and experimental installers now work in recent versions of both Firefox and Mozilla Suite.
  • A new website design! The new layout and new logo were both developed by Jonah Bishop.
  • Google Inc. now links to us if you visit with a Mozilla-based web browser. (Thanks to our inside contact Fritz for his hard work in convincing the legal folk to go ahead with this.)
  • ...And longtime fans will be happy to know that our disclaimer got longer in the process.
  • Removed some old Google Labs features that Google no longer supports.
  • ...And added support for new ones.

Plans for the future

  • For some thoughts on features we want to see in our big 1.0 release, feel free to join the discussion at bug 8567 (development uberbug) and bug 9806 (project discussion and feature requests).
  • Our user feedback pages are very painful to use, and we'd like to replace them with new forums such as this one. If someone knows of a free host that won't bombard users with ads, we'd welcome suggestions or offers of hosting. In particular, we want to make it easier for users to help each other and find answers to questions that have already been asked. And maybe even find a better way to connect developers than our uberbugs.

We're recruiting!

  • Our implementation of the new site design is still a bit kludgy. If you're familiar with the ins and outs of mozdev site design, we could use some help.
  • Given all the code changes, please test our experimental releases and tell us if you find any problems.
  • The GooglebarL10N project needs translators for the new release.
  • As mentioned, the team has very busy lately, and we're recruiting new talent to keep the Googlebar moving forward. If you're familiar with anything from mozdev site maintenance to XUL or customizing toolbars to work in Firefox, drop in to our uberbug and audition. This is a project with a huge number of users (and growing fast!), and a great chance to gain experience and exposure while creating something that many people will enjoy.

As a last note, we've noticed that there are a few new projects out there, like the GooglebarLite, that modify the Googlebar. This is great news, but if you do find a way to fix a common bug, please let us know about your side project personally! Our free time is rare, and we'd rather not kick ourselves later for spending hours duplicating your work... the project depends on the efforts of volunteers to move forward.

Petname Tool — v0.6

(Name your online relationships to avoid phishing attacks)

  • For: Firefox
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

Need help avoiding phishing and spoofing attacks? The petname tool can help you keep it all straight by clearly distinguishing your online relationships.

Telling the difference between a spoof and the real thing can be as simple as:

The word 'untrusted' on a yellow background vs The phrase 'small payments' on a green background

InFormEnter — v 0.2.3

(Helper for form filling in semi-automatic mode)

  • For: Firefox
  • Platform: Windows

New version published.


  • Added password generator (#GP:[N]#[Text] & #RLP#[Text] macros)
  • Fixes a bug with page opening in background
  • Fixes a bug with Firefox 1.0 PR compatibility

PasswordMaker — 0.4.1

(Why use the same password over and over again when there's PasswordMaker?)

  • For: Firefox, Mozilla
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

Why remember dozens of passwords when there's PasswordMaker? Now you only need to remember a "master" password, but you can generate the same, unique password for any website over and over again using any of 7 hash algorithms and 9 different levels of l33t speak. For added security, nothing is stored anywhere or sent over the internet. There's even an on-line version for when you don't have access to Firefox.

v0.4.1 was released on April 8 2005.

Notable Highlights

  • Long-awaited support for domains which require subdomins; e.g.,, etc! PasswordMaker comes with hundreds of predefined subdomains by default, but you can add/remove to the list as you like.
  • Two minor GUI fixes: alert boxes displayed empty messages when importing or exporting preferences

Caminol10n — 0.8.3

(Localization of a fast and native Mac OS X browser based on Gecko)

  • For: Camino
  • Platform: Mac OS X

Camino 0.8.3 has been released, also as an international multilingual package.

Notable Highlights

  • Camino 0.8.3 release notes
  • Introducing Swedish and Norwegian translations
  • Updated AppleGlot how-to and added new tools/scripts to ease l10n

Calendar Help — 0.4

(Help documentation for Calendar and Sunbird)

  • For: Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

New chapters on basic tasks and advanced customization have been added, in a restructuring of the text.

An experimental online version now provides access to the help for readers who don't want to install the extension.

Notable Highlights

  • Experimental online version
  • German and Japanese translations in progress

Russ Key — 0.3.1

(Type in phonetic Russian and transform translit into Cyrillic)

  • For: Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

The extension is usable in FF/Mozilla for typing in Cyrillic with different keyboard layouts/transforming translit into Russian. In Thunderbird the extension can be used to transform translit in any window/form and to use Cyrillic for typing in any window/form except of the compose-window main text area, which does not behave like any other window for some reason. Trying to figure out why.

Notable Highlights

  • Can use different keyboard layouts and build layouts for different alphabetic left-to-right languages.
  • Can transform translit (Russian typed with English letters) into Cyrillic/Russian quite well.
  • Working on Thunderbird support.

InfoRSS — 0.8.7

(RSS feed in the status bar)

  • For: Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

Notable Highlights

  1. Multimedia support with enclosure tag: podcasting...
  2. Better cohabitation with other extensions
  3. Improve in fade in/out
  4. Pause scrolling when mouse over headlines
  5. Resize headlines bar in static mode
  6. Drag and drop a feed onto a group in the menu
  7. Mark all current headlines as "read" at once
  8. Improve HTML parser
  9. Sort feed/group menu in option dialog
  10. Swedish update
  11. Edit icon's URL
  12. Cycling feeds within a group
  13. Unconstrained value for # of item and # of char/item
  14. Netscape 7.2 compatibility

Bayes Junk Tool — 0.2.1

(Analyzes bayesian spam data)

  • For: Mozilla, Thunderbird
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

The project has a new maintainer and has made a maintenance release (0.2.1) to address issues with Java 5.0.

Flashblock — 1.3.1

(Blocks Flash content from showing on webpages)

  • For: Mozilla, Firefox, Camino, K-Meleon
  • Platform: All

Lots of new stuff.

New in 1.3.1:

  • New locales es-ES, ru-RU, ro-RO, de-AT.
  • Support for nsIStylesheetService.
  • Allow port numbers in whitelist entries.
  • No flickering when inserting placeholders.
  • Catch additional broken Flash objects.
  • Fix for sites that try to disable Flashblock.
  • Experimental support for Netscape 8.0 (untested).
  • Fix compatibility problems with the Diggler extension

Previously on Ghost in the Shell, the Tachikomas get new flashblock abilities:

  • Fix for a bug that let through several Flash objects previously blocked.
  • Workaround to avoid triggering Gecko reflow bugs that cause the browser to crash.
  • Site whitelisting.
  • All strings localised and multiple locales and languages now supported.
  • Improved compatibility with other extensions (e.g. TextZoom, ForecastFox).

Previous Reports

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