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23 February 2012, 15:07

Mozilla announces new Add-on SDK as Add-on Builder reaches 1.0

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Mozilla Add-ons mascot Mozilla's Jetpack team has released version 1.5 of its Add-on SDK for the open source Firefox web browser. According to Mozilla Add-on Product Manager Dave Mason, the update to the SDK adds two major new features and includes several "important bug fixes" that address memory leaks and other issues.

With version 1.5, developers can now create add-ons for the mobile versions of Firefox. The initial mobile support includes the page-mod API which allows add-ons to modify web content; this can be useful for, the developers say, "creating mobile versions of website that do not have a good mobile support". However, they note that support for the mobile version of Firefox is only available for versions that use a native Android UI; these currently only include the Nightly builds and Firefox Aurora for Android.

Initial support for localisation has been added. With it, users can translate JavaScript embedded strings – support for HTML strings will be added in future release. The code base has also been upgraded to use version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public Licence. A full list of changes and new features can be found in the release notes and in the updated Add-on SDK documentation.

At the same time, the developers published version 1.0 of the Add-on Builder. Previously only available as a beta, the Add-on Builder allows users with knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS to create add-ons using a web-based development environment.

Formerly known as Jetpack, the Add-on SDK was first announced in May 2009. The SDK provides developers with APIs and tools for building, testing and packaging Firefox add-ons written using standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Previously, developers had to create add-ons using the XML User Interface Language (XUL) extension architecture.

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