[Project_owners] Extension Updating Code

Doron Rosenberg doron at nexgenmedia.net
Mon Jan 5 12:30:19 EST 2004

I've written some code for an Mozilla extension to upgrade itself.

The class (nsExtensionUpdater) is at 
http://nexgenmedia.net/nsExtensionUpdater.js.  What it allows is to 
update the .jar file your extension added to Mozilla.  Obviously, the 
user still needs to restart mozilla for the update to take effect.

The code should work no matter where the extension was added 
(profileDir/chrome or mozilla/chrome), as it checks to see where the jar 
file is currently installed.

A progress function has to be passed to the JS "class" so that you can 
write your own UI.  The progress function is called at certain 
conditions (error occured, no updated available, new update available, 
update installed).  If an update is available,
the progress function gets called and must return true for the update to 
be installed.  This allows an "Do you want to proceed" dialog (say using 
the confirm() dialog) to be used.

An XML file is used to store update information such as the latest 
version and where the latest version of the jar file can be downloaded 
from.  The location of the XML file is passed to the constructor of the 
class.  An example of the XML structure:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

The code is still somewhat ugly, but wanted to share this since I 
haven't seen anything similar out there.  I tested on 1.5, should work 
in FB/TB as well.

Mini example of how its used:

var updater;
function bluepagesAutoUpdate(){
  updater = new 
nsExtensionUpdater("http://goat.austin.ibm.com:8080/update.xml", "0.1", 

   -1      An error has occured
    0      No new update available
    1      New update available.  If we are to proceed and install
            the update, return true, else return false.
    2      New update installed

function progressFunc(aProgressNum){

  var rv = true;

  switch (aProgressNum){
    case -1 :
      alert("An Error Has Occured")

    case 1 :
      // here is where you should ask if the user really wants to 
install the update
      // return true to do the update, false to not.
      rv = confirm("An update is available.  Do you want to install it?");

    case 2 :
      alert("Install Successfull")
  return rv;

progressFunc gets called during certain conditions, basically a hacked 
up progress listener.

More information about the Project_owners mailing list