Tag Archives: XUL

Gorazd Golob – Firefox extensions and what we have to do with them [firefox 3 release party notes]


Image by alx_chief via Flickr

Gorazd Golob - Firefox extensions and what we have to do with them.

Who are we

  • Developing local search engines
  • The most visited website in Slovenia
  • Present with Pogodak, local search sites in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedoni

Their servers are runinng 99.5% open source software. They are mostly Linux users in-house, so they use Firefox as the only real option.

Firefox usage numbers for Interseek:

  • June 2005  – 5.1%
  • June 2007 – 15.2%
  • June 2008 – 26.9%

Third one is always Opera (not Safari). In June 2008, Opera has 1.2% usage base.

We have Firefox users

We have a lot of Firefox users, and we must offer them a full service experience. We have to give them goodies like toolbars and Firefox search plugins. Publishing these features is good for us but also helps to expand the general Firefox user base.

Our story

in the first half of 2007 we launched Firefox toolbar and search plugin for Najdi.si and Pogodak (.hr, .ba., rs.) search engines.

What is so cool about Firefox extensions?

It’s mostly cool because XUL is cool. If you know how to make a dynmaic client side web application then you will probably know how to do XUL application. If you know how to program using XML, JavaScript and DOM you know XUL. XUL is supported by the Gecko engine.

Only XUL?

XPCOM components written in C++. Integration of other libraries into Mozilla.

Why would be ever need this? Things we can’t do with Javascript, we can do with an XPCOM component (e.g., usage of tcp socekts, etc.) and then use new functions from Javascript.

XUL extension

If you are planning an extension like toolbar or an ultra cool addon for uploading pictures to your new social network web site..

If you don’t have an idea what is possible – check http://addons.mozilla.org

Building UI applications based on XUL. Two popular applications/examples are Songbird and Komodo.

Is your plugin working in Firefox 3?

Secure updates of your application with files hosted on secure http servers or signed xpi files. If you don’t have https server, it’s also possible to sign them with help of McCoy to create keys and fingerprints.

Resources for you extensions

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