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Firefox Hacks: Tips & Tools for Next-Generation Web Browsing Paperback – March 11, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596009281 ISBN-10: 0596009283 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Hacks
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009281
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nigel McFarlane is the author of Rapid Application Development with Mozilla (Prentice Hall, 2003) and Instant JavaScript (Wrox, 1997). As a freelance technology writer and an active member of the Mozilla community, he has also written over 50 articles and tips on Mozilla and related technologies and has written or contributed to a number of books.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Firefox Hacks is a great collection of information about the Mozilla Firefox browser.
akempo
Outside of just general use of the book for learning what Firefox is capable of, the book has great appeal for web developers.
dpeach
If you've made the move to Firefox and want to start learning how to get the most out of it, get this book.
Thomas Duff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Cochran on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have a little sideline in repairing computers, and one day a customer asked if I could help him recover all his bookmarks from the installed Mozilla version he had on his old hard drive and move them to the one on his new hard drive. Hack 25 in this book, "Migrate Firefox Profiles", told me what to do since Firefox is based on the Mozilla code base. Over several more days, I referred to other hacks in this book to guide the customer with greater skill. This book made me look like a greater expert than I really am -- which pleases me.

This is just one of several times I have quickly reached for Firefox Hacks in order to rescue either a customer or myself. It is very common for customers to want to migrate their browser data. Some consider it important enough to pay for my help to get that job done. Browsers are the most important unit of software on the internet. Buying this book is a good investment in working with Firefox as a tool.

For myself, I'm interested in the fonts I can use (Hacks 30, "Insall Fonts and Character Support", and 61, "Make MathML Content"), reviewing the basics (Hacks 1-10) and installation (Hacks 22 through 32.) I want to play with Scalable Vector Graphics which are now natively supported in Firefox 1.5. I never tire of rendering the cubic spline tiger on Croczilla: [...]

If you want to develop with Firefox (and Nigel McFarlane has written a related book on Mozilla development). check out the getting-started Hack 93, "Make Firefox Software". Enjoy the thrill of compiling your own flavor of Firefox.

My point is that Firefox Hacks has something for everyone. If you are just starting with web browing, look at Hacks 1 through 10. I learned something from most of these -- and I thought I was an expert web surfer.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wuehler on April 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have found that Firefox - beyond just being a great browser - is a great development tool. I use Firefox for JavaScript and DOM debugging, but didn't realize how many Firefox "hacks" are out there to help you debug and develop web applications.

From using XMLHttpRequest (Hack #48) to displaying live http headers (Hack #51) to XUL (several hacks) - there are plenty of great tips and tools for development and debugging.

There are also quite a few "hacks" for admins - such as remote user configuration management (Hack #29) - however, I think the most useful stuff comes from the hacks that show how flexible Firefox really is as a development tool.

Another reason to give the authors a nice pat on the back is the fact that (for the most part) the "Hacks" avoid spending a lot of time with the basics of browsing that have nothing to do with Firefox. Once you get past the first 30 pages (first 10 hacks) it's all great stuff.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jase T. Wolfe on April 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'll start this review with my conclusion: get this book. General users and network admins alike will find great benefit in this title. It is the missing manual that serves not only to introduce you to the product, but teach you the ins and outs of actually taking control of the browser and all of it's actions for not only yourself, but if your in a deployment position - for distribution to, and remote management of, others. Separated in to two parts, the entire text completes the FireFox picture for both developers and end users.

When it comes to how inclusive this title is, I'm not talking about the half-hearted attempts other like-books make for applications, where the reader is shocked to realize that 80% of it is graphical hand holding of the native menus and dialog boxes, rewording the tool-tips and associated help file when needed - this book really delivers. The first 100 pages are dedicated to making sure the reader understands the browser's makeup, understands, identifies, and can edit the configuration settings for native behaviors (quite often, when applicable, showing the one to one relationship with the graphical dialog or interface and the configuration setting), and setup / manage FireFox within a network environment. The remainder of the book deals popular browser extensions for both users and developers, CCS and DOM development, XML development, and the interaction with third-party tools and utilities one comes to expect from the "Hacks" series.

Don't think that just because FireFox is free and comes as trimmed down as possible, that there is nothing to it other than the obvious. A development goal was to make the browser's actions as transparent and accessible as possible, and the information available to the public. This title proves they succeeded, and you will find that this is the only book you will need to read to get the absolute most out of the browser.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've heard about the Firefox browser and how powerful it is. But how do you learn to harness all that power and make it work for you? Get a copy of Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane (O'Reilly). It's the technical manual that doesn't come with the download...

Chapter List: Firefox Basics; Security; Installation; Web Surfing Enhancements; Power Tools for Web Developers; Power XML for Web Pages; Hack the Chrome Ugly; Hack the Chrome Cleanly; Work More Closely with Firefox; Index

The Hacks series from O'Reilly takes the particular subject matter (in this case, Firefox) and explores 100 tips, tricks, and "hacks" that allow you to do cool things with the software. Firefox Hacks follows the same format, but it seems to transcend the semi-randomness of other Hacks books and moves towards a solid reference manual for power users, web developers, and techno-geeks. And that's a *good* thing...

Because Firefox is open-source, there's a focus on making sure that the user can tweak and change things to suit their needs. McFarlane does a very good job explaining the general structure of Firefox and how it configures itself. Knowing these basics, the typical power user can do an incredible amount of customization with the about:config URL command. That part of the book could be worth the price alone. But we're not done. Under Web Surfing Enhancements, the author starts going into a number of the extensions that can be downloaded and added to Firefox to add to the base functionality of the browser. Want to completely change the way the tabbed browsing works? #34 - Modify Tabbed Browsing. Do you live to search the web? #36 - Get More Search Tools. Just want to waste time? #43 - Waste Time with Toys and Games...
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