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Firefox 1.5 - How to repair broken Extensions

The latest version of Firefox - Firefox 1.5 is released for the public. I have just tried it - but had to revert to the older version(1.0.7) because it broke many of my most necessary extensions. The broken extensions are...

The extensions that stayed intact were...
  • Sage
  • Web Developer

Some of the extensions like TabMix, PrefBar and Greasemonkey were too critical for my browsing that I could not sacrifice them - even for the latest version of Firefox. But I really liked the new version - so I made a last ditch effort to try whether I could repair the extensions - so that it may work with the latest version. As I have recently tried my hand at creating Firefox extensions, I set about the task with great hopes. I am providing a small note of what I have done so that you can try this out - if you too, like me, want to keep the latest version of Firefox - but is unwilling to sacrifice many of you beloved extensions for that.

First I installed Firefox 1.5 and removed all the extensions that did not work. Then I downloaded the latest versions of all the extensions I needed - you can download the extension by going to their websites and choosing 'Save Link As...' option from the right click menu of the Install link for that extension. For example lets say I want to repair the extension PrefBar - I go to their website and download the 'prefbar.xpi' file. Next I renamed the file to '' - I changed the extension to zip. You can do this by running the dos command 'ren "PrefBar.xpi" ""'. Now extract the contents of this file using any compression programs - like winzip. Now find the file 'install.rdf' and open it in a editor like notepad. Then find the Firefox section for the <em:targetApplication> tag. If only one is given that will be for Firefox. See the below example...

<!-- Firefox -->

NOTE: I just created the above example - the code of the extension you are are working on may not be the same as given - except for the contents of the id tag - <em:id>{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}</em:id> - that will be the same.

Now you have to change the value of the <em:maxVersion>1.1</em:maxVersion> to <em:maxVersion>1.5+</em:maxVersion>. This will make Firefox think that the extension is compactable with the latest version of Firefox.

Finally, save the file and add this file to the previous ZIP file. Then rename it back to <Extension_name>.xpi from <Extension_name>.zip. There - you are done. You have hacked the extension. Now all you have to do is fire up a Firefox window and drag the xpi files from their location to the Firefox window. This will ask the Firefox to install these extension. Just install them as you install any other extension. With some luck, your hacked extensions will be working in no time.

Before you try this out at home, I have to warn you that my attempts at this hacked have failed. I managed to install the extension - but they did not work properly like they did earlier. Greasemonkey was functional - but some of my most used scripts failed to work with the new version. PrefBar appeared, but it did not prevent Flash files from loading. So I was forced to revert the the earlier version.

Anyway, why don't you try it out - you have nothing to lose. If you do, let me know the results of your experiment - just leave some comments. Hope it works out for you. If it does not, wait for the extension writers to update their extensions.

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