Tag Archives: Security

Top 10 Firefox plugins for web developers & designers

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Firefox is my favorite browser for creating and testing website design and functionality. On the one hand you have big share of visitors using Firefox (Wiki: Usage share of web browser)  and a rapidly growing user base. The reasons for the success of Firefox are speed, stability and a strong open source community behind it.

And then you have IMHO the most important part: an endless range of great plugins

Although there exist hundreds of absolutely great plugins I’d like to share with you today only these plugins that helped me best while working on web projects in the past:

1. Web Developer

web-developerA must-have plugin for any web developer. It will add a new toolbar to Firefox with a lot of great tools for displaying page information, request headers, CSS element information, disabling/enabling Javascript, Cookies, Images and CSS, validation and displaying Javascript generated content. I just named some of the features but there is a lot more inside this tool. So make sure to have it.


2. SearchStatus

seachstatusThis one is great helper for SEO work. It includes a better PageRank information (forget the original – problems with cached values), Alexa Rank and the essential NoFollow link highlighter.


3. HTML Validator

html-validatorI would say 20% of SEO work is On-Site optimization. This tool will help you in locating every validation problem of your HTML code. And I guess most of you will agree: Google loves valid content.


4. Javascript Debugger

javascript-debuggerWorking with Javascript can get very tricky, especially when you are loading dynamic content via Ajax requests. Just looking into the code won’t help you a lot. The Javascript Debugger allows you to set breakpoints in your script and inspect variables and objects.


5. Live Http Headers

live-http-headersAs the name already says this plugin will show you all Http headers while browsing a website. Sometimes a valuable source to understand the redirection mechanism of a website and how data is sent across.


6. Leet Key

leet-keyA very useful tool for quick transforming encoded data. Sometimes when I need to check if a Base64 encoded parameter was transferred correctly I can decode it with this plugin to plain text. Apart of the transforming for Base64, Bin, Hex, Morse and others, there is even a functionality for encrypted contents in AES and DES.


7. JS View

js-viewWhen you want to have a quick look on a JS or CSS file from some other website you need to view the page source and copy the file path. But it can be so much simpler. JS View provides you any given JS/CSS file of a website with the easiness of a mouse click.


8. Duplicate Tab

duplicate-tabSometimes you need the currently open page in a second tab. But if it’s javascript generated content you cannot just copy and paste the URL in another tab. But Duplicate Tab can.


9. Add N Edit Cookies

add-n-edit-cookiesThis tool allows you to manipulate and add cookies and can help you to test the security of your website.


10. Clear Cache

clear-cacheVery simple and useful. While you are changing elements on your website you want to make sure to see the changes and not a cached version. Things like that can end up in frustration.


As mentioned before, these plugins helped me a lot. I know there are a lot more useful plugins out there, so feel free to share your list with us.


Update 2009-06-10:

Firebug

firebugAnother essential tool for web developers that allows you live editing of CSS, HTML and JS on any website.


Fixing the HTTP error problem while using WordPress Flash Uploader

The reason for the upload error lies within the mod_security module which is basicly a web application firewall that protects your website from a range of attacks. So you shouldn’t turn off this module as it protects you but you can add a special rule for the flash uploader.

The Solution:

Open the .htaccess file in your website document root and add the following lines:

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<IfModule mod_security.c>  
  <Files async-upload.php>
    SecFilterEngine Off
    SecFilterScanPOST Off
  </Files>
</IfModule>
<IfModule security_module>
  <Files async-upload.php>
    SecFilterEngine Off
    SecFilterScanPOST Off
  </Files>
</IfModule>
<IfModule security2_module>
  <Files async-upload.php>
    SecFilterEngine Off
    SecFilterScanPOST Off
  </Files>
</IfModule>

This should do it.

7 essential must have applications for Mac OS X

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This is my list of essential little helpers every Mac should have installed. These tools are not very expensive and can improve productivity on a Mac a lot.

1. Little Snitch

little-snitchThe Firewall that comes with Mac OS X is a very simple one. That’s because Apple tries to keep the user’s life simple. That firewall doesn’t allow much of settings and handles only incoming traffic. As long as you are a “normal” user it’s great, but if you would like to control outgoing traffic too you need to find another solution. Looking for a better firewall I came across a lot of apps and Little Snitch turned out to be the only one that would handle outgoing traffic as well. Furthermore it integrates perfectly with your Mac as a small tray icon. After having installed Little Snitch I was shocked about all the applications that where trying to connect to some strange servers. It’s really a must-have security tool for every Mac.

 

2. iFreeMem

ifreememiFreeMem can help you in optimizing your Mac’s memory after having a long session. It will clean up all memory blocks that are not in use anymore (typically after quitting memory intensive applications) and rearrange others that are in use. After installation you will find a new tray icon in your toolbar which will show you the currently consumed memory. A click will open a small box with a more detailed memory allocation and an “Optimize Memory” button. So from time to time when you need a little bit more memory just run this tool and you won’t need to reboot at all.

 

3. 1Password

1password1Password can store all your passwords used on websites. Moreover it can handle full forms as well. This is very useful during web development when you need to test extensive web applications. All your passwords and forms can be protected with one master password so you want need to remember all the others anymore. 1Password integrates directly as a toolbar in your browser and will give you the easyness of “one-click-login”.

 

4. AppDelete

app-deleteWhen I was new to Macs I fell immediately for the simple install/unistall process. But sometimes applications leave a lot of useless trash on your system. AppDelete will help you to clean up your Mac from all associated files of any software. It’s a great tool to keep your Mac healthy.

 

 

5. iArchiver

iarchiverBeing used to Zip and Rar files iArchiver became a very good friend of mine. Of course there are more professional solutions out there like StuffIt, but this one is really cheap.

 

 

 

6. KeyCue

keycueEspecially for Mac-beginners this tool can be a lot of help. By simply holding down the command key it will show you a window with the most important hotkey combinations. After a while using it I remembered more and more hotkeys. Great for productivity.

 

 

 

7. AirGrab WiFi Radar

airgrabApple’s AirPort can give you only limited information about the quality of your wireless connection. With AirGrab you can find out exactly how good or bad the connection in reality is and what other networks surround you.