Feeds

Mozilla kicks rebel coders to kerb with Firefox 3.6 'lockdown'

Components directory to become Firefox-only playpen

Boost IT visibility and business value

Mozilla plans to debut a "lockdown" feature in Firefox 3.6 to force third party application developers to toe the line by preventing them from adding their own code into the browser's components directory.

"Firefox is built around the idea of extensibility - it’s part of our soul," proclaimed Mozilla's Jonathan Nightingale in a blog post earlier this week.

"Users can install extensions that modify the way their browser looks, the way it works, or the things it’s capable of doing. Our add-ons community is an amazing part of the Mozilla ecosystem, one we work hard to grow and improve."

However, the open source browser maker has proved it isn't averse to slamming the door on rebellious coders.

Nightingale said from Firefox 3.6 onwards - including future beta releases of that iteration of the browser - it would prevent third party applications from adding code directly to the components directory.

"There are no special abilities that come from doing things this way, but there are some significant disadvantages," noted Nightingale.

He said such components are added via a stealth installation making them invisible to the user, which prevents them from being able to manage or indeed disable the extensions through the add-ons manager function.

"What’s worse, components dropped blindly into Firefox in this way don’t carry version information with them, which means that when users upgrade Firefox and these components become incompatible, there’s no way to tell Firefox to disable them," he said.

"This can lead to all kinds of unfortunate behaviour: lost functionality, performance woes, and outright crashing – often immediately on startup."

Effectively, from hereon in the components directory will be a Firefox-only playpen. Mozilla hopes this lockdown will make the browser more stable for the user. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.