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The name Lazarus has a Biblical connotation. Also in medical science, the Lazarus phenomenon is the ‘miracle’ when the heart starts beating again after a person has been given up for dead.

In the world of web apps, the name refers to this Firefox add-on which just might save you a few cusswords and more than a few joules of energy if and when your browser goes down with all your typed data in it. And sometimes it’s like a breath of new life.

Oh well there are a lot of add-ons with a five star rating. Why do I choose to write about this minuscule 99KB application? Simply because I think the attribute of this add-on should be a default function in all browsers.

Imagine the chore of filling out a lengthy web form and submitting it, only to see your browser crash or some error message pop up. Our choice name callings won’t bring the data back – but Lazarus will. Lazarus lets us recover all that data with a single click.

The 99KB Firefox add-on saves whatever we type in any text field within the Firefox browser- blog entries, blog comments, online email, forum posts and online forms, etc. It automatically saves the data we enter into a form field during the process, and also saves the entire form with the hit of the submit button.

If some accidental error happens and the data needs to be resent, we just need to go back to that page again, right-click in one of the fields in the form, or just within the part of the web page that the form occupies, and choose Recover form from the menu. Lazarus restores the data in the form and we are on the go again.

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Is the form data secured?

The best thing is that all the data is stored locally on the hard drive. Lazarus uses a SQLite database which encrypts and stores the data. This database is stored within the default Profile (C:\Documents and Settings\<username.\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profile) folder in the system.

For extra protection there’s a master password which has to be given before Lazarus can save or restore any web form. An additional setting can be configured to delete the form data after a set period. Lazarus also gets added in the Clear Private Data options box of Firefox. As Lazarus can also save passwords, this triple barrelled security is always desirable.

Lazarus configuration settings can be accessed from Menu – Tools – Add-ons-Extensions OR from the Ankh icon on the lower right of the Firefox browser. Version 1.0.5 is available for download from the Firefox Add-on site or from the developer site here. It is compatible with Firefox 2.0 to 3.1b3.

Even as web forms get better at auto-saving entered fields, losing our just entered data is a situation we encounter often during our web surfing. This is where Lazarus comes in handy with its one click headache curer. Do you think this Firefox add-on is a must have in our browser arsenal? Add your opinions below.

  1. Dylan
    March 30, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Nice. I've been getting the same functionality from a Greasemonkey script for awhile now. It's been kind of buggy though, so I'll give this Lazarus thingy a try.

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