[Project_owners] problem with first time extensioninstall(Windows)

can can at ecpcorp.net
Fri Nov 14 10:22:12 PST 2008

Neil wrote:

> Yes, but once you agree to the install it then goes and unpacks it
> into your extensions folder so that it can actually use it.

Please forgive me if I'm missing something, but I don't see the point you 
are making.  What I had in mind was that Firefox could do this very same 
thing when it sees a new .xpi to load in the registry.

Perhaps the Mozilla people see there is some security worry with this 
approach, but I don't see it.  They could add the same warning that is there 
in the File->Open interface.  (Though I'm not certain this is absolutely 
necessary since the Windows Registry can't get modified without user 
approval anyway.) Besides, this is how Java handles .jar files.  In fact, 
since my last response to this thread, I realized that the reason I ran into 
confusion in the first place probably has to do with expectations set from 
using Java.  (This is no excuse for misreading instructions of course, just 
an observation.)

Maybe the root problem here is that I don't fully understand the Mozilla 
vision of the install process.  So if don't mind, I'd like to take a step 
back and ask an even more basic question.

What is the "best" way to distribute and install Firefox extension from a 
third-party server?  I looked around for this, and the best instructions I 
found were on that "Install from Registry" page I cited.  Can you point me 
to a better source?

I know that it is possible to distribute a third-party extension through the 
Mozilla site (Tools -> Add Ons...) Maybe some day I'll want to do this.  But 
for now, (a) I don't know how one goes about putting one's extension up on
the Mozilla download site, and (b) even if I did, I probably would still 
want to be able to distribute the extension from a
third-party server.

I also have read that one can distribute an installer that copies files to 
Firefox extensions directory.  In principle, this is
clean and straightforward, but one has to worry about getting registry 
strings right for cases where Firefox was not installed to the default path. 
It seems more desirable to use an install mechanism that is managed entirely 
by Firefox itself.

I actually have a guess about this now that I know about the File->Open... 
install method.  (I am going to give it a try unless someone on this list 
tells me it won't work.)  Maybe all I have to do is get the mime type right 
on the server and then the extension will be installed if the user selects 
"Open" during the download.

Please remember I am new to all this.  I get the feeling that there is some 
overview document that I have failed to find.  If anyone knows of such a 
thing, please feel free to point me to it.


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