Firefox the Open Source Platform

When most people think of open source software they usually think of programs like Linux, MySQL or many other decentralized programs. What many people often overlook when they are talking about Open Source Software are programs like Firefox.

What makes a program an open source program goes beyond the ability of just editing the source code of the operating system but how open the program is for developers.   In an era when Microsoft controlled 90% of the browser market share, Firefox was one of the first browsers to open its self up to developers and in doing so it opened the way for developers to make Firefox Add-ons and software Plugins.

What is a Firefox Plugin?

A Firefox plugin is a piece of software that helps integrate a different standalone software with the Firefox browser. For example when Microsoft released Office 2010 they included a Firefox plugin which helped users of Firefox open Microsoft Office document files on websites, via the Firefox browser. No longer did you have to download an excel file to open it. You could do it write in the browser.  A fantastic resource for Firefox browsers is http://latestversionplugin.com they have numerous articles on different Firefox plugins, their functions along with links and where to download them.

What is a Firefox Add-on?

A Firefox Add-on is an application which enhances the Firefox browser; it’s built specifically for the browser. There are many, probably thousands of Firefox Add-ons which do a number of different functions. Some of the more popular Firefox Add-ons are GreaseMonkey,  Adblock Plus, YSlow and many others. The Add-ons are so popular that they have been downloaded over 2 Billion Times. The Add-Ons can be discovered and downloaded through Firefox’s website.

At a time when Microsoft Interest Explorer controlled 90% of the browser market share, Firefox was able to come along and grab a substantial part of it. Largely in part my improving the browser experience and one way they did that was by allowing developers to make programs that improve the browsers function and by integrating other programs with the browser.

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