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Adding your comment from the Pivotal Blog here as reference material:
There's two ways to do what you want using WebDriver APIs:
Selenium::WebDriver.for :firefox, :profile => "capybara"
Hooking this into Capybara should be simple using the new API to configure drivers:
Great info here: http://waltersmith.us/articles/using-firebug-with-capybara
@eirc: That post has an "ignore this post" update at the top. The info about patching the XPI is pretty bad, since the same thing can be done by simply setting a preference:
profile['extensions.firebug.currentVersion'] = "9.99"
Warning blindness has surely set in...!
Sorry for the miss-information and thanks for the info.