Writing Firefox/Thunderbird Extensions

This document describes how to create extensions for Firefox 0.9 and newer, and Thunderbird 0.7 and newer.

The next generation of extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird is going to take a whole different approach than the current ones. Currently the extensions developers, like myself, have to provide an install script to install an extension. This will now change.

When you write extensions for Mozilla Firefox 0.9 and Mozilla Thunderbird 0.7 the build-in extension manager will take care of the installation. This is great news! I hope this will also get rid of the dreaded -239 error which I sometimes get when installing extensions.

Extensions are now made unique by using a GUID. It used to be just a name. It will also be possible to specify that a extension only works for a specific version of an application, fx Mozilla Firefox 0.9.5 or later.

All in all this will make the installation and management of extensions much more easier and consistent. There will be a central place where you manage your extensions (the extensions manager). From here you can also check for updates and disable extensions.

A nice new feature is to be able to start Mozilla Firefox without any extensions firefox.exe -no-extension

You can read much more about how to develop the next generation of extensions here or follow this thread.

I can promise the both Launchy and Linky will soon be available as Mozilla Firefox 0.9 extensions.

By the way: You can see the the theoretical DB table layout for the update.mozilla.org system.

May 04, 2004 11:34 AM | Posted in Mozilla


Back Next


I'm assuming that the extension manager includes an uninstall facility but I've yet to hear that for sure...

Comment by Colin Ramsay at May 4, 2004 12:32 PM | Permalink

There will be an uninstaller!

Site icon Comment by Henrik Gemal at May 4, 2004 12:49 PM | Permalink


Comment by Colin Ramsay at May 4, 2004 04:37 PM | Permalink

My big question is when will we be able to start testing the new installer system?

I'm writing my first extension, but would perfer not to waste time on the old system, if it's being redone. What builds will be able to install using the new system?

Site icon Comment by Robert Accettura at May 4, 2004 09:30 PM | Permalink

Actually, that article you linked to, had you read it, only shows how to package an extension, not how to write it.

Site icon Comment by brian at February 27, 2005 10:26 PM | Permalink

Post a comment

Remember Me?

Please enter the security code you see here

You're here: Home - Writing Firefox/Thunderbird Extensions
Get the Mozilla Firefox browser