Happily, one of the best things about the Mozilla Foundation’s flagship browser Firefox, is the sheer breadth of additional functionality provided by an active development community in the form of addons or plugins. There’s a great range in terms of ease-of-use, function and stability, some which are so useful as to almost warrant standard inclusion, others merely worth playing with from time to time. It should be noted of course that adding plugins can cause problems with Firefox’s stability and security, though many of those listed are fairly mature projects and should not pose much of a risk. Here are a few I’ve dabbled with from time to time:
Adblock or Adblock Plus – There’s fair advertising, and then there’s frankly unreasonable advertising. I can see the merits of allowing sites to earn funding through the placement of adverts related to their products, whether they come from Google or elsewhere, but some web adverts go too far. The popup plague of yesteryear might have been largely beaten back, but that doesn’t prevent wiley coders from placing wholly obtrusive flash adverts in every nook they can find. Unfortunately their actions can only serve to give web advertising a bad reputation, and drive people to finding ways of blocking adverts wholesale, obtrusive or otherwise. Of course there will always be a small minority of web users who cannot stand to see web adverts in any form, but for their purposes, and the folks seeking refuge from the advertising bombardment, Adblock/Adblock Plus will fulfil their every need.
To tell the truth, the history of these two projects confuses me, save to say that at one time or another one or both of these plugins has been under development. As I understand the current situation, Adblock Plus is the more highly recommended, as it’s more heavily featured, comes with some default filters to subscribe to which can get rid of most adverts with the minimum of fuss for the end user, and has a much reduced resource footprint to boot (pardon the pun).