Build Your Own Firefox Add-On

By James Edwards

Build Your Own Firefox Add-On. If you want to build custom extensions for Firefox, then this is the book for you! With a little JavaScript know-how, author James Edwards will show you just how straightforward it is to build your own Firefox add-ons. One of the main reasons for the explosive and continued popularity of Firefox is its framework for custom extensions. What many web developers don't realise is that they're so easy to create and implement — anyone with a minimal understanding of JavaScript and XML can build a Firefox add-on. After reading Build Your Own Firefox Add-On, you'll be able create simple Firefox extensions with extremely powerful functionality.

With James's sleek new ebook, you'll:

  • learn about the folder structure and file types that comprise an add-on
  • develop your user interface using XUL, and style it with CSS
  • build functionality and advanced features with JavaScript
  • add keyboard shortcuts and other accessibility features
  • utilise the Jetpack API to easily interface with web services
  • learn how to publish the finished product

And much, much more!

What's in the book?

1, 2, 3, 4, A

Chapter 1: Making a Start

The first chapter introduces you to the concepts behind a Firefox Add-on. It talks about setting up your development environment, discusses how chrome addresses work, and shows you the steps necessary to create the bare-bones of your add-on.

Chapter 2: Developing and Testing Your Extension

The second chapter dives into to the meat and drink of add-on development, discussing the core technologies you'll be using — XUL, CSS and JavaScript — and providing examples for each one to get you started. This section also introduces some of the key areas of development, such as opening dialogs, working with the content document, and using the preferences systems.

Chapter 3: Adding Accessibility and Internationalization

In Chapter 3 you'll learn about improving the accessibility of your add-on, with accesskeys and other keyboard shortcuts, and providing a framework for internationalization by externalizing language data into separate files.

Chapter 4: Publishing Your Extension

In the fourth and final chapter we look at how to publish your add-on for others to use. This section covers packaging your development version into a distributable XPI, creating an install-trigger for easy installation, and submitting your add-on to the Mozilla Add-ons Directory.

Appendix A: Introducing Jetpack

In this appendix we look briefly at a brand new API for extending Firefox, called Jetpack. Like Greasemonkey on steroids, this API promises to attract a whole new niche of developers to Firefox development.

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