It's been a good week for lovers of Firefox - version 1.5 was finally released, with a bundle of neat new productivity features. As a user, I particularly like the more descriptive error pages, drag n drop tab reordering, and improved popup blocking. As a developer, I appreciate the ongoing support for open web standards, and hope that IE7 makes similar advances when it's released (though I fear I'll be stuck developing for IE6 and even quirky old IE5.5 on the corporate desktops for a long while yet).

Not content with the out-of-the-box functionality?  There's a wealth of excellent third-party Firefox extensions out there, which I annoyingly keep forgetting to install when I rebuild my work or home PCs (this happens more often than you would believe). Here are some that I particularly love:

  • del.icio.us extension. You already use del.icio.us to store your bookmarks, right?  Right?  Well, get rid of those large bookmarklets on your toolbar that you've been using to add sites - now you can integrate del.icio.us right into Firefox with this fantastic why-didn't-they-do-it-sooner extension. A must.
  • SessionSaver. "restores your browser -exactly- as you left it, every startup, every time. Not even a crash will phase it. Windows, tabs, even things you were typing -- they're all saved."  Sounds weird?  Well, initially I found the behaviour a little counter-intuitive, but pretty soon it became natural, and now I can't imagine my browser behaving any other way.
  • SwitchProxy. Kudos to Jez for telling me about this one a few minutes ago. If, like me, you find yourself using a laptop through multiple proxies (say home and work), you'll appreciate a slightly easier way to switch FF between them. This extension does just that. IMHO the toobar is overkill for this job - hide it in the preferences to save on screen real estate and use the options in the status bar instead.
  • ShowIP. Maybe I'm getting a little geeky here, but I think it's kinda cool being able to see the IP address of a site in my status bar, and get quick right-click access to WHOIS details. Maybe that's a little sad, but it's not harming anybody, right?
  • IETab. I mentioned this one last month, but it bears repeating - IE tab allows you to embed Internet Explorer in Firefox tabs. Very handy for running IE-only website (hissss!), or for web developers to test how their site will appear in the Other Browser.

OK world, time for me to hit the hay. What other Firefox extensions should I install when I awake from my slumbers?