[Project_owners] Quick Guide to Firefox's new Extension API

Jed jedbro at gmx.net
Sun May 30 23:59:31 EDT 2004

Karsten Düsterloh wrote:

> Matthew Wilson aber hob zu reden an und schrieb:
>>>You just forgot to warn that with the ignorance of the install.js by the
>>>new extension manager, it is impossible to install anything with the
>>>requirement of an installation process more complicated than sliced bread.
>>>Mnenhy, for example, has an install script that allows for an user
>>>defined selection of subpackages to install - all that will be broken.
>>>The new extension manager is far too inflexible to be of any use to me,
>>>*taking* user-friendlyness away...
>>What other limitations have you found?
> Look, I'm not against the extension manager as such - when its first
> docs were available, I thought "Hey, nice idea!" and was looking forward
> to it. But then the backward compatibility was broken and that renders
> the whole concept useless (for me, at least).
> The idea of a formalized way of installing, updating and uninstalling
> addons is good, killing flexibility very definitely isn't.
>>It seems to me that the new manager has the same kind of rationale as 
>>the rest of Firefox: to make the vast majority of tasks easier to do. 
I agree.
Yes, the new EM is a lot LESS flexible that the old .js method.
Unfortunately, for Firefox to become a the "mainstream" browser that my 
Grandma can use, this needs to happen. Extensions need to be limited so 
as not to break my grama's browser.

Ben is offering more complex installation via the command line, which is 
OK for experiences users.

Yes, this needs to improve, but I think it is a great solution for the 
time being and for Firefox 1.0.
In the meantime you still have the suite, and hopefully post-1.0 this 
can be addressed.

Just my 2 cents

> Easier for whom?
> It should be easier for Joe User, but it should not hinder developers.
> If someone's addon can make use of the new installer - fine. It should
> be even easier now to create certain kinds of addons now.
> But if some addons still need different ways of doing things, these
> should be possible. There's no use in crippling the possibilities.
> How about an em tag like this:
> <em:installScript>myInstallScript.js</em:installScript>
> This script would be run before the actual install and, depending upon
> its return value, installation would be cancelled or continued.
> Karsten

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