Writing my first Firefox extensions

Firefox logoOkay, if you’re tired of hearing me tell you that you should get Firefox, don’t worry… that’s not what this post is about. However, if you do use Firefox, you probably know that its rendering is only a part of what makes it so great; the Firefox community has developed thousands of plugins and add-on tools to enhance the Web experience.

Among these are hundreds of search engine plugins. Besides Google, IMDB, and Amazon searches, I constantly use the Wikipedia search plugins. To aid in searching foreign-language Wikipedias, there are plugins available for most. (I’ve been using the Catalan, Spanish, and Esperanto Wikipedia search plugins for months now.) However, one huge problem with Wikipedia is that the Wikipedia search engine truly sucks. A slight misspelling of a word (even an accent) generally returns no results, and searching for a word or phrase that doesn’t match the actual title of the article usually returns nothing helpful.

Fortunately for English readers, there’s a wonderful plugin that allows you to use the Google engine to search the English Wikipedia. This makes searching for relevant articles in the English Wikipedia a breeze.

Tonight, I finally wondered: why doesn’t someone do the same for the other Wikipedias? Well, I’m someone, so I did. It was extremely easy; the guys at the Mozilla project did a wonderful job in making it a piece of cake to create them. Check out the list of Wikipedia search plugins, and note the big green ‘N’ for new by three of them, made by yours truly.

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