Developing a Fx Extension

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 by El Guru in Add-ons, Firefox

If you have ever thought about building a Fx Extension, here is a comprehensive guide that can help you not just build an extension, but one that will get used.  The Developing a Firefox Extension That People Actually Use: 32 Essential Tools and Tutorials is very informative (but not overwhelming) with most of the steps containing external links.  The opening paragraph sums it up well..

Over the past few years, Mozilla Firefox has dramatically increased in popularity, largely because of its ability to incorporate extensions. The extensions developed for Firefox range from simple calculators to complete application replacement, and their popularity is causing developers everywhere to consider making their own. Despite the popularity of Firefox extensions, however, the vast majority of the add-ons that are created are rarely used. In this article, we provide you with the vital resources you need to not only create a Firefox extension, but also to help you create one that is actually used by other people.

There are a few of the tools/tutorials I wanted to discuss in more detail:

  •  #14 Greasemonkey. I don’t think Greasemonkey gets the attention it deserves.  It is a very powerful tools which use JavaScript to create ‘min-extensions’ which allow on-the-fly (no Fx restart needed when installing a Greasemonkey Script/Extension) changes to specific web pages.  The first time I saw what Greasemonkey could do was over at the Go Firefox! Forum. This forum is part of  Prospero’s, Delphi Forums which has a nice WYSIWYG Editor, if you use Internet Exploiter.  The forum’s hostess came up with a solution using Greasemonkey.  She built from scratch a complete WYSIWYG Editor that Firefox users could use anywhere within the Delphi Forums community and a couple others for similar forums.  There are a few other ‘annoyances’ on Delphi that have been fixed by a Greasemonkey script.  All the end-user needs to do is install the Greasemonkey extension, restart Firefox.  After that, it just a matter of locating and installing the Greasemonkey script they need.  As soon as the script is install it is ready to go.
  • #28 10 Useful Firefox Extensions That Don’t Get Glamorized.  I took a look at this list and I am using 4 of the 10 which include Download Statusbar, Colorful Tabs, PDF Download and MediaPlayerConnectivity.  Important to note this list was complied back at the end of January 2006.  There was one extension, WebmailCompose that sounded useful. which was suppose to automatically open an associated web based e-mail composer when an e-mail link is clicked.  I was going to try it out, only to discover it is the sandbox and for good reason too. The author claims on the extension page that it works with Fx 0.8 – 3.0a1.  For one thing the latest build (nightly) on Fx 3 is m7 and more importantly, the extension does not work in Fx 2.
  • #29 Top Useful Firefox Extensions. Another list that has some of the same as that in #28, but also I saw IE Tab and FoxyTunes along with Yahoo!Mail Notifier (which I used when I had Yahoo!Mail).
  • #32 Top 10 Firefox Web 2.0 Add-ons. I looked through the list and none of those extensions I am using.  Most of them look like they involve social networks/bookmarks such as StumbleUpon, delicous, etc.  Also included was the Wizz RSS News Reader which I had looked at a long time ago, but still prefer and use the one the comes with Flock 0.7.14

If I ever head down the extension building road, this will be a very handy reference article with a comprehensive list of tools and resources in one place.  I’ve also found some other things I want to check out (and my be write about) by visiting some of the links here.

Tip Source:Rich McIver via Contact Us.

Comments
  1. Ellie says:

    I use a version of Webmail Compose that I found via Google. It works great. The URL is: http://tinyurl.com/37zhhq

  2. […] Developing a FireFox Extension – Firefox Extension Guru’s Blog […]

  3. […] Developing a Fx Extension – a comprehensive guide that can help you not just build an extension, but one that will get used. […]

  4. Amit says:

    Hi that a great post with a lot of information.
    Thanks you for your time.
    Amit

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