Recent Changes - Search:

wiki Start

main page




edit SideBar


Some of my software projects are "addons" ("extensions") for Mozilla projects, such as Firefox, Thunderbird & Seamonkey. Here are some words about why and how.


  • Software nowadays relies on a lot of predefined code: if I need an "Open File"-dialog, I do not program that from scratch, instead I write some lines of code to call a preprogrammed dialog. That's why it looks the same on many applications. There are frameworks that ease programming in such a way - and the Mozilla engine "Gecko" is one of them. Although it is mostly connected to networked internet applications you are free to use it for other stuff.
  • The code written for a Mozilla extension will run on any platform that supports those extensions. That is: the same code will work on Windows, Linux, Mac, (...?) - I don't have to worry much about the differences.
  • There is an automatic update feature available. As soon as a new version is completed I upload it and soon the users will get notified about that, given the possibility to update with "one click". (Users might configure this and also disable the update checks.)
  • It is lightweight. A Mozilla application is installed on almost any PC nowadays. So all the libraries are already there. The download size of an addon is quite small.
  • Easy install/uninstall - this is provided by the "AddOn Manager" contained in the latest Mozilla applications.


  • The extension comes as XPI-file. This is an abbreviation for "cross platform installation" - again: one file will install on all supported platforms. When the download link is clicked from a Mozilla application it will ask you if you want to install the extension. You may also download the file using another application and install it from your harddisk.
  • To "manually" install it you can chose to either drag&drop the xpi-file onto a browser window, "open" the file using the menu: File / open or using the "AddOn Manager" included in all the latest Mozilla applications.
  • If you need to uninstall an extension use the "AddOn Manager".
  • Offline: my extensions are "offline", they do not need or use any network connection. They do not send or receice any data. The only data transferred is to check for updates, but that is handled by the Mozilla application.
  • Security: The updates are loaded from my webspace but they are secured by a cryptographic key, so it should be hard for hackers to change the code and let it run as my extension.
  • "author not verified" - during installation you will be shown this warning. The only way for me to get rid of it is to buy a SSL certificate from a commonly trusted CA. Don't kow yet if I ever will do that.

open source

  • Like the Mozilla project the extensions are open source (using different licenses...). If you want or need to inspect the code just open the xpi-file using a zip archiver. Most of the code is using Javascript, CSS and XML - Mozilla people called that XUL, if you want to learn more visit Mozilla developer network
Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on April 01, 2014, at 09:58 PM