Feeds

Mozilla to breed prepubescent add-on developers

Straps on Jetpack

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.