Firefox extension: shorten9tc



1   Overview
2   Documentation

1. Overview.

As of 2010, hat0 of Brick Engine fame ran a URL shortening service at He expressed interest in seeing how a Firefox extension that used might work, so I forked the standard Shorten URL extension and created a new version that supported his site (

The version is simple and may be a useful starting point for people who'd like to create XUL-based browser extensions. If you're interested, you can download a copy at the following link.

Important: Use right-click and not left-click, or your browser may try to install the extension. Additionally, if left-click is used, buggy MS-Windows browsers may corrupt the file.

Link for shorten9tc XPI file  — Use right-click only

As mentioned above, this Firefox extension started out as a fork of Shorten URL, but it's been restructured and largely rewritten. Additionally, the UUID code has been changed, so it won't conflict with the original extension.

For more information, see the next section.

2. Documentation.

2.1. This extension provides basic support for operations, including:

  • Shorten URL and copy to clipboard

  • Shorten URL and send to Email

  • Shorten URL and send to Facebook

  • Shorten URL and send to FriendFeed

  • Shorten URL and send to Twitter

In most cases, it should be relatively easy to add support for other social networking sites.

2.2. Presently, this extension is for Firefox only. However, it could probably be made to work with other Mozilla-based browsers.

The minimum Firefox version supported is presently set to 3.5. However, older versions might work. If you'd like to try them, change the minimum-version setting specified in the extension's install.rdf file.

2.3. After the extension is installed, you should be able to use it as follows:

(a) Go to a web page and right click in unused space. Or right-click on a link. Or right-click on an image.

(b) In the context menu, you should see a list of commands related to If you execute one of the commands, it'll be performed for the current page, or for the selected link (if you right-clicked on a link), or for the selected image (if you right-clicked on an image).

2.4. Toolbar icons are provided for each operation (shorten URL and Twitter, shorten URL and Email, etc.). By default, the icons aren't added to any toolbars. If you'd like to add them, use:

View -> Toolbars -> Customize

2.5. Presently, the icons are very simple (just text). However, it would be easy to replace them with new versions.

2.6. This extension started out as a fork of ShortenURL, but has been restructured and largely rewritten.

2.7. If you'd like to work on the extension, Linux is recommended. You'll probably need at least the following tools:

unzip -- To unpack the extension's .xpi file.

zip -- To repack the .xpi file.

jar (or fastjar) -- To unpack and repack the .jar file included in the extension.

uuidgen -- To generate new UUID codes.

2.8. If you fork this extension to create your own, remember to do three things:

  1. Use uuidgen (under Linux) to generate a new UUID code

  2. Edit install.rdf and update the UUID code

  3. Change the extension name (in install.rdf) as well

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