Skip to main content

Firefox Add ons

How to make Firefox addons compatible with the newest release.

Everybody likes to try out the newest version of Firefox. At the time I was writing this Firefox 3.1 beta 1 was available. When you install it you will find some of your existing Firefox add-ons may have already been updated to work with the new version. Others won’t install at all.

Don’t be surprised if some of the add-ons you modify to be compatible, bring Firefox to its knees. They don’t let you install older versions for a reason. But so I’ve had no problems at all.

Step 1 – Downloading the add-on


Locate the add-on you want to install. If it’s on the official Firefox add-on page you’ll have to click “See All version” to be allowed access to the .xpi. Right click on the now clickable “Add to Firefox” button and choose save target file as.

Step 2 – Extracting the add-on.

Locate the add-on you just saved. You should be able to open the .xpi file with your favorite compression utility. I use Power Archiver and it seemed to work just fine. Other compression utilities compatibility may vary. Extract the add-on to the folder of your choosing. I usually recommend extracting it to its own folder on the desktop.

Step 3 – Modifying install.rdf

Open the folder you just extracted the xpi file to. You’ll see a file called install.rdf. By default windows will have no idea which program to use to open the file with. You can either use notepad or WordPad.
Once you have the document opened do not get intimidated by the amount of text that you see. I find it’s easiest to just do an edit / find and look for the word max. That should take you directly too

3.0”.

All you have to do is edit what is between the > <. In this case it says 3.0. Change the number to the current installed version of Firefox. In this case I have Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 installed. Which is written out as 3.1b1. So when I get done, it should say

3.1b1”.

I guess you could also plan ahead so you don’t have to edit this for every new release. You could probably change it to 3.1b4 or something in that nature.
Once you have that change made, save and exit the file.

Step 4 – Recompressing the xpi file.

The method of recompressing it into a file will vary by the software you use. If you use power archiver or winzip, I would recommend you open the folder containing the extracted contents of the xpi file and do a select all. Once all the files are selected, right click anyone of them and click “Add to zip”. When you’re done you should have a file ending in .zip. All that is left is to rename the zip file (in XP you’ll have to make sure you can see file extensions) to the name of the xpi file you downloaded earlier. Just make sure when you are done that the file ends in .xpi and not .zip.

That’s it. Now just open Firefox and drag the xpi file you just created into Firefox and choose install. Once you reboot Firefox your add-on should now function properly (hopefully).

Popular posts from this blog

LibrePlanet 2017: Liberating your open source experience

LibrePlanet is a yearly gathering of free software activists, users, and contributors—and, it's my favorite conference of the year. Here's why.
LibrePlanet is run by the Free Software Foundation, and has steadily evolved from a yearly members' meeting with presentations from staff and board members to a full blown two-day conference with speakers and attendees from all over the world. The event brings people who care about free software together to talk about the future of the movement, address current challenges, and celebrate successes.
Prelude I was invited to give a talk at LibrePlanet 2017 on 25th March at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts representing Mozilla as a Tech Speaker. I reached Boston on 25th early morning. Around 1 AM. The journey itself was awesome till I realized that you don't get Uber or Lyft at Boston Airport.

Not that the apps don't function there. They work! Just no driver will be ready to pick you up from Airport at that time. After trying t…

Bringing the Focus back : Firefox Focus (Builds) for Android

Firefox Focus – A Free, Fast Private Browser for....android! On 17th November 2016 Mozilla announced Firefox Focus. A free fast and easy to use private browser for iOS. Firefox Focus was filled with goodies. From inbuilt tracker blocking, content blockers to making privacy the first class citizen. It was all of that. Wrapped in a nice package, but only for Apple Ecosystem. The argument for having focus was to make privacy dead simple and default experience for most people out there. An excellent read is this article "Privacy made simple with Firefox Focus".
And while this was all fine, a lot of us were severely disappointed that we don't have an android version. That all changes now.
Mozilla has released a port of the Firefox Focus source code and I decided to build a port from it. And this is how it looks in my One Plus One.
If you notice it looks almost similar to its iOS counterpart. Focus blocks tracking cookies by default in its system. But there are small design c…

TechSpeakers Ahoy! : A Berlin Meetup

Mozilla Foundations is a curious organization. Though most of us have grown up getting acquainted with it by using Netscape and later Firefox, Thunderbird. There is also the foundation part where it undertakes a lot of projects to make the openweb and world as a whole a better place.
Among many teams that help volunteers, budding developers dip their toes into code, help in evangelism, code contribution, advocacy is Developer Relations (DevRel) and they came up with an ingenious plan to come up with a team of volunteers passionate about these to come forward represent Mozilla DevRel. Havi Hoffman (from Mozilla Labs), Dietrich Ayala (From Platfrom Engineering, Firefox OS) and many others handpicked a group of people who eventually came to know as Mozilla TechSpeakers. (If you want to read more about it, this lovely piece by Havi is a must read!). I was fortunate enough to be in the first group (knows as pilot pilots). And eventually ended up being facilitator to the last group which gr…