The Inside Track on Firefox Development.

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May 2, 2005

Changes for Extension Developers

Last week I landed some important changes to the Firefox Extension management system. These changes involved almost a complete restructuring of the Extension system and offer the following benefits (briefly):

  • For developers: You can now have Extensions that live outside the profile and application Extensions directories. This may make development easier, because you can have your Extension source code live somewhere else, use the flat chrome packaging (instead of .jars) and place a file in the profile "extensions" folder whose name is the {GUID} of your extension that contains a path to the location of the Extension.
  • For users: You can install extensions by dropping their XPI into the profile or application Extensions directory.
  • For developers: You can install extensions by expanding the XPI into a folder whose name is the {GUID} of the extension, and drop it into the profile or application Extensions directory.
  • For developers: Before 1.1 (not yet, but soon) you will be able to install extensions by setting a registry key.
  • For users and developers: You will be able to uninstall an Extension by simply deleting its folder from the profile or application Extensions directory, or removing the text link file.
  • For developers: XULRunner applications will be able to specify their own special kinds of Extension install locations in addition to the profile and application directories, e.g. a special kind of registry key mapping, etc.
  • For developers: More comprehensive logging of installation and updating.
  • For users: Move Up/Move Down should now work properly.

The new architecture for tracking how Extensions are installed is much improved over the one used by Firefox 1.0 and will allow us to do many new and interesting things, make our build and release processes more efficient, make application install easier, and allow for other types of items to be more easily tracked by the Extension system.

I want to dish out thanks to Benjamin Smedberg and Darin Fisher for the excellent and prompt feedback on a 5600-lines-added-or-changed patch and helping get this checked in as quickly as possible for the Deer Park Alpha.

Posted by ben at May 2, 2005 12:52 PM



Posted by: reza at May 12, 2005 12:12 PM

Perhaps Apple chose KHTML because they knew that production browser code combined with frequent updates and deadlines was going to mean quick and dirty additions to the codebase over time. Knowing this, perhaps they felt it was best to start with the smallest and cleanest codebase, rather than starting with something already mucked-up. If this was in fact their reasoning, then none of this should come as a surprise.

Posted by: Mac at May 13, 2005 9:03 AM

Mac perhaps that wasnt the question here and maybe u dont have any clue at all

Posted by: at May 17, 2005 4:59 PM

i am an idiot and i am lead by richard simmons

Posted by: idiot at May 22, 2005 3:43 AM

!! Hey, is there someone, who is able to clean that MESS ? This page is more about pen1s and S€X than Firefox :-)

Posted by: Mark at May 26, 2005 10:11 PM

Nice blog. How are you?
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Posted by: aleksanders at June 1, 2005 3:39 PM