How to Manually Update any FireFox Extension XPI File
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Copyright 2006

OpenSource is perhaps one of the greatest things about the
web.  Using OpenSource programs, however, can sometimes be
frustrating because when some programs are updated, others
are not. Usually, you will have to either wait for updates
of your non-workable programs or delay the updating of
other programs to retain functionality. With FireFox
extensions, however, you can usually update yourself.  Let
me tell you how.

1. Download the extension you want to update to your hard

2. Rename the extension from *.xpi to *.zip

3. Open the file with your .zip application.

4. Open "install.rdf" with your favorite text editor.

5. Change the "maxVersion" setting as in the following

REPLACE maxVersion=1.0+ WITH maxVersion=1.5.*

6. Replace the "install.rdf" file with the one you just

7. Rename the extension from *.zip to *.xpi

8. Install your updated extension.

Congratulations! You just updated your extension, which in
most cases will work with the higher version. It is that

By now, you have figured out (correctly) that an XPI file
is just a modified ZIP file.  It is not exactly the same,
however.  You will notice that this does not work if you
create an entirely new zip file.  You must edit the
original one.  In addition, you will also notice that the
file "install.rdf" is actually an XML file, which also
makes sense.  Many OpenSource applications put installation
settings and other important instructions in XML files.

Without a doubt, the best way to learn about how things
work on the web is to jump in and do things yourself. 
Updating your non-workable FireFox extension is a great
David Picella is a Family Nurse Practitioner and PhD
Student at UW Milwaukee who studies women's health issues
and NaProTechnology. He also writes computer technical

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