Firefox 1.5 was released late last night and according to some sources
is not any different to the RC3 version. I had waited for the official
release so this is my first look at the new version.
There were quite a few extensions that didn’t work with 1.5 but for most
of them it was just a case of editing the install.rdf so that the max
version was greater than 1.0
If you don’t know how to do this it’s really easy so here’s how:
- Download to your desktop the extension you wish to get working
- Rename the .xpi file to .zip
- Open the zip file
- Either unpack the install.rdf file or open it for editing within
your zip application if that is supported.
- Change the maxVersion to 1.6
- Repack the zip file or update the zip if you are editing within your
archive app (should happen automatically – double check the file has
- Rename the .zip file to .xpi
- Test the extension. To install drag the xpi file onto an open
Fixing Broken Extensions
For convenience here are the web development related extensions that
needed to be fixed to work for Firefox 1.5. I have included the PR
Googlebar updated and working for Firefox 1.5 (The syntax of the
install.rdf file had to be modified in addition to the maxVersion).
1.5 has gained a few interesting features such as auto updates, a new
caching mechanism for the the back and forward buttons, usability
enhancements and improved support for Mac OSX. For web developers the
key differences of note are the support for SVG, CANVAS a new
element for programming graphics, Xforms parts of CSS3 including
automatic column layouts and new accessibility features including
DHTML accessibility and support for Window eyes 5.5.
As a web developer it’s hard to get too excited with the new standards
features because until there more widespread support for them they are
unlikely to be utilised fully. However, it’s good to see Mozilla keeping
Firefox to the fore of these advancements. In my first day of use
overall it does seem to be a touch faster, hopefully some of these speed
enhancements will have found their way into the Mac OSX version.