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06 May 2011, 10:57

Last beta of Mozilla's Add-on SDK

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Add-on Mascot
Mozilla's Add-on Mascot
Source: Mozilla
The fifth beta of the Add-on SDK – formerly known as Jetpack – has been released by the Jetpack developers and will be the last beta version,1.0b5, before the final 1.0 release. The Add-on-SDK is Mozilla's alternative to the XUL extension architecture currently used by Firefox. The new Add-on SDK eliminates the creation of C code and directly linking at a low level to the Firefox browser and replaces it with a more web-standards-based combination of HTML, JavaScript and CSS. This switch also does away with the need to restart the browser when an add-on is installed or removed.

The final beta of the Add-on SDK has added a new Hotkeys API to allow for the creation of browser-wide keyboard shortcuts, a new WidgetView object which enables window-specific widgets and new APIs for content scripts. As Mozilla moves towards a model where add-ons are run in their own process, content scripts run in the same process as the web page and are used to communicate, over the new APIs, to the add-on's script running in a different process; this reduces the communication down to a more manageable process of emitting events and acting on the reception of events.

Other changes are detailed in the release notes. The Add-on SDK requires Python 2.5 or 2.6; Python 3.x is not currently supported. The SDK can be downloaded(direct download) from the Mozilla Labs FTP server and documentation is available online.


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