Mozilla Labs announces the winners of their official Extend Firefox 3 Contest, and they're an impressive crop of new and updated extensions for your favorite browser. I was honored to serve on the judging panel for this year's contest (alongside some huge names in the browser biz), and we rated the entries based on how easy they were to use, and how well they took advantage of new features in Firefox 3. Let's take a look at this year's best new and updated add-on grand prize winners.
Note: There are gadzillions of indispensable and innovative Firefox extensions out there, but this is the Extend Firefox 3 contest. Therefore, you'll notice the winners' entries primarily involve new Firefox 3-specific features, like bookmark tags and web page preview capabilities.
Best New Add-ons
The best new add-on grand prizes are "awarded for entries that make use of new capabilities being introduced in Firefox 3 and that demonstrate excellence in user experience, innovativeness, and use of open standards." Here are your best new add-on contest winners.Pencil (Install)
The Pencil extension for Firefox adds a full-featured sketching and prototyping tool that lets you design web pages and make diagrams right inside Firefox. Once you install Pencil, from the Tools menu choose "Pencil Sketching" to launch the Pencil editor. There you can literally design software, web pages, or just sketch out diagrams using the menu of prefab shapes and widgets Pencil provides. Drag and drop annotation tools, shapes, lines, text boxes, labels, buttons and more onto the Pencil canvas and save your work as a Pencil document in its tabbed editor.
Firefox 3 comes with the blue star icon at the end of the address bar for quick, one-click bookmarking. The Tagmarks extension takes this concept further with more one-click icons that bookmark and assign frequently-used tags to the current URL. Here's more on how Tagmarks works.
Just can't think of the right tag to describe a new bookmark? Want to get into the habit of tagging your bookmarks but feel kind of lazy about the whole thing? HandyTag suggests applicable tags for a given bookmark, pulled from various sources. With HandyTag installed, when you bookmark a URL, HandyTag adds buttons below the Tags field that present checkboxes for tags that apply—from your current list of tags ("Perso"), the web page's author ("Webmaster"), KGen, and Delicious. Click on any button to see that source's suggested tags for the page, and check off the ones you want to add to your bookmarks.