Contest Winners Announced in "Extend Firefox 3" Competition

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 25, 2008

One of the keys to the success of Firefox, the popular open-source browser produced by the Mozilla Foundation, is its extensibility. Developers have created a variety of add-ons to Firefox, ranging in scope from alternative menuing systems to download monitors to the popular Firebug JavaScript debugger. Earlier this summer, the Mozilla Foundation sponsored a contest, dubbed "Extend Firefox 3," that offered prizes to the best add-ons that developers would submit. Last week, contest judges announced the winners. These add-ons might not all appeal to you, but they do demonstrate the versatility of Firefox as an application platform, along with the large number of developers worldwide willing to work on it.

According to the contest Web site, applications were due by July 4th -- except for participants from Brazil, who were given until the end of July to complete and submit their entries. Contest categories were "best new add-on," "best updated add-on," and "best music add-on." (If nothing else, this demonstrates interest in the use of Firefox for musical purposes, something that I hadn't considered seriously before I saw these contest rules.)

In the "best new add-on" category, the judges announced three winners. Interestingly, two of these three combine tagging and bookmarks:

  • Pencil, a drawing program built on the Firefox infrastructure, using SVG for its diagrams,
  • Tagmarks, which makes it easy to add tags to bookmarked URLs, and
  • Handytags, which provides keywords for bookmarks.

In the "best updated add-on" category, there were also three winners, again with an emphasis on tags and bookmarks:

  • Read It Later, which saves pages for later reading without using bookmarks,
  • TagSifter<,/a>, which makes it possible to browse bookmarks according to their tags, and
  • Bookmark Previews<,/a>, which provides thumbnail images of the bookmarked pages.

Finally, the add-on was awarded the prize for best music add-on. makes it possible to listen to music, but also to find other users with similar musical tastes.

This contest not only demonstrated the power and popularity of Firefox as a platform, but also the continued interest that users have with bookmarks and tagging. Does this mean that Firefox users aren't taking advantage of Firefox's "smart location" bar, and are still using bookmarks and tags? Or are these being used in a complementary fashion? Regardless, it would seem that many developers continue to see Firefox as a cross-platform application delivery mechanism, and will continue to write for it.