Why Firefox Hacks?
The term hacking has a bad reputation in the press. They use it to refer to someone who breaks into systems or wreaks havoc with computers as their weapon. Among people who write code, though, the term hack refers to a "quick-and-dirty" solution to a problem, or a clever way to get something done. And the term hacker is taken very much as a compliment, referring to someone as being creative, having the technical chops to get things done. The Hacks series is an attempt to reclaim the word, document the good ways people are hacking, and pass the hacker ethic of creative participation on to the uninitiated. Seeing how others approach systems and problems is often the quickest way to learn about a new technology.
The Firefox web browser is built on the extensive and comprehensive engineering effort that is the Mozilla Project. Although the web browser's primary task is to display web pages, it is in fact a remarkably flexible, configurable, and complex environment. It is this broader view of Firefox that leads to many fruitful hacking opportunities. You need not accept Firefox exactly as it is without compromise. There is much you can do to tweak the browser to make working with the Web more pleasant, creative, and time-efficient. Feel free to hack Firefox.