Feeds

Mozilla to breed prepubescent add-on developers

Straps on Jetpack

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Mozilla has unfurled a new API designed to expand the worldwide population of Firefox add-on developers.

The open-source house boasts that over the last four years, more than 8,000 developers have built more than 12,000 add-ons for its Firefox browser. But with its new API, dubbed Jetpack, it hopes to breed many more.

"We want to enable more people to participate in the creation of browser functionality, following the Mozilla mission of making the browser yours, making the web yours," Mozilla's head of user experience Aza Raskin told The Reg. "What if any eighth grader with a little skill could change the browser? What would that mean for the web?"

The idea is to give anyone who can build an ordinary web page the ability to write add-ons, as well. If you know a little html, a little javascript, or a little CSS, Raskin says, you can code with the Jetpack. "If you're a web developer normal, you can now change the browser around."

Or at least a short time from now. Jetpack's initial release is merely a prototype, and Mozilla is still seeking input on the API design. Truth be told, the 0.1 release isn't for the hoi polloi. It's for hardcore developers interested in building something for the hoi polloi.

The prototype includes both the API and, well, an add-on, which provides a simple development environment, a test suite, demo, tutorials, and more. If you like, you can also integrate Jetpack with Bespin, Mozilla's online code editor - and yes, you can debug with Firebug.

Eventually, Mozilla will roll the platform into the shipping browser. Raskin expects to complete a 1.0 release within the next six months, and it could reach the hoi polloi with Firefox 3.6.

You can download the Jetpack API and add-on from Mozilla Labs here. The source code is here. And you can report bugs here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.