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Mozilla The Internet

Mozilla Jetpack, an API For Standards-Based Add-Ons 42

Posted by timothy
from the now-hand-me-that-metric-screwdriver dept.
revealingheart writes "Mozilla Labs have released a prototype extension called Jetpack: An API for allowing you to write Firefox add-ons using existing web technologies to enhance the browser (e.g. HTML, CSS and Javascript), with the goal of allowing anyone who can build a Web site to participate in making the Web a better place to work, communicate and play. Example add-ons are included on the Jetpack website. While currently only a prototype, this could lead to a simpler and easier to develop add-on system, which all browsers could potentially implement."
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Mozilla Jetpack, an API For Standards-Based Add-Ons

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  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:14PM (#28044211) Homepage
    Not some software thing!
  • Google, you listenin'?
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:15PM (#28044221)
    What are these web-standards of which you speak?
  • got xul? (Score:2, Insightful)

    What about xul (xml, css, js)?
  • Standards... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z_A_Commando (991404) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:31PM (#28044475)

    This is great for Firefox. I really hope this takes off, pardon the unintended pun. I'm just a little leery about the other browser makers picking this up and running with it. It will need to at least be a de facto standard before Google, Apple, Opera or Microsoft even consider using it. If it's controlled by Mozilla, they're not going to want to.

    Also, (at least to me) the fact that it's difficult to write an add-on for a browser if you don't have anything but basic web development skills is what add-ons so useful. You know they're probably not going to be half-baked and have someone who (hopefully) knows what they're doing supporting it. Jetpack could lower the skill set bar too low. So to sum up, great for Firefox, but I don't think this is something that will be used across browsers once it's fully implemented, which it's not (yet)

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It will need to at least be a de facto standard before Google, Apple, Opera...

      Isn't this very similar if not the same as Opera's widgets?

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @04:03PM (#28044987) Homepage

    I think they just re-invented Greasemonkey. But not well.

    At least with Greasemonkey, there's a well-defined language. It's all Javascript. This thing seems to have some horrible mess of intermixed Javascript, CSS, and HTML. Plus it has JQuery built in, and a special symbol ("$") for it. (For a moment, I thought I was reading Perl.)

    Having done some non-trivial work with Greasemonkey [sitetruth.com], I'm not sure this thing is a step up.

    • by sr. bigotes (1030382) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @04:15PM (#28045163)

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Calling a mix of HTML, CSS, and JS a "mess" is uniformed FUD. The vast majority of the visible web is based on these three technologies, and at least in their current form, they are designed to work together pretty well. I'm not sure how you could have written any scripts in your life and not come to this conclusion. What exactly did you do with GreaseMonkey if you weren't using it to manipulate HTML and CSS?

      Also, jQuery is terribly popular. Not including support for it would have been a huge oversight. Did you just step out of a time machine from 1999?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dreemernj (859414)

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Calling a mix of HTML, CSS, and JS a "mess" is uniformed FUD. The vast majority of the visible web is based on these three technologies, and at least in their current form, they are designed to work together pretty well. I'm not sure how you could have written any scripts in your life and not come to this conclusion. What exactly did you do with GreaseMonkey if you weren't using it to manipulate HTML and CSS?

        Also, jQuery is terribly popular. Not including support for it would have been a huge oversight. Did you just step out of a time machine from 1999?

        Not trying to be a grammar nazi, but damn I want to see what Uniformed FUD looks like. I'm thinking hiking boots, bermuda shorts, maybe one of those weird mailman safari hats...

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ...they are designed to work together pretty well. I'm not sure how you could have written any scripts in your life and not come to this conclusion.

        I'm not sure how you could have written any scripts in your life and actually come to this conclusion, short of never having programmed in anything other than PHP and the various "web" languages. But language diatribes aside, even if you concede that web languages are the best thing since sliced bread, this "standard" is still pretty crappy.

        Also, jQuery is terri

      • Also, jQuery is terribly popular. Not including support for it would have been a huge oversight.

        Bollocks.

        Specifically including "mozilla developer favorite javascript library" is not the right thing for them to do AT ALL.

        By basing this around jQuery (and it looks like the jetpack code is dependant on it rather than just "supporting" it), I believe it is is fair to say that you pretty much say to developers using mootools, or prototype or any other library (and there are many) "my way or the highway", owing

        • by AlXtreme (223728)

          The correct way to do this, would have been to write it in bog standard javascript, do not pollute the dom or javasacript objects any more than absolutely necessary, encapsulate everything you need in a single object.

          All you'd have to do is run:

          jQuery.noConflict();

          and your DOM/JS scope is clean. So if you want to use bog standard JS or any other library, the above is all you need to know about jQuery.

          The reason the Jetpack dev's probably went for jQuery is because it is small, plays nice with other librar

          • by asdf7890 (1518587)

            The reason the Jetpack dev's probably went for jQuery is because it is small, plays nice with other libraries and is easily extensible.

            And, for the above reasons, it is common for web oriented devs to be at least a little familiar with it already (which should reduce the severity of the average learning curve, making the new feature more likely to gain a critical mass of followers).

        • by maraist (68387) *

          jQuery solves a totally different problem than prototype.. prototype is a bucket of widgets, whereas jQuery is more like a ruby-extension to javascript. It allows you to program in an expressive meta-language. This happens to make widgets easier to build as well, but the key is your custom API on top of library X,Y,Z can be coded using jQuery. I do this with Yahoo YUI all the time, for example.

          Can't speak to mootools. But with a few exceptions, jQuery can work in conjunction with other javascript framewo

    • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @04:29PM (#28045307) Homepage Journal

      1 Mozilla uses Javascript for all addons, so I guess they have some idea of it.

      2 You can't program native UI-Elements with Greasemonkey, and even if, they would live inside the website as Greasemonkey is more for "patching" existing websites.
      Browser addons should survive a website navigation.

      This thing seems to have some horrible mess of intermixed Javascript, CSS, and HTML.

      This is called the web.

    • by JPortal (857107)

      Uhm, "$" is not a "special symbol". It's a valid symbol that can be used in any Javascript variable names.

      • Poster is talking regards jQuery, and other javascript libraries, which typically use a function named "$" to select & augment elements from the dom.

        By using jQuery and thus polluting the global function namespace in this manner, they exclude the ability to use other javascript libraries.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by JPortal (857107)

          That may be a valid criticism, but "For a moment, I thought I was reading Perl" indicates ignorance of JS in general?

        • by maraist (68387) *

          Just enable jQuery.noConflict() then use jQuery.foo() like I do.

  • Oh great... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Thantik (1207112)
    So now I can have a badly coded addon that spans 5 horizontal widths, has tons of flash advertisements, and a <blink> tag?

    THATS GREAT!!!

    • by Tokerat (150341)

      So now I can have a badly coded addon that spans 5 horizontal widths, has tons of flash advertisements, and a <blink> tag?

      THATS GREAT!!!

      You see, the reason it's an add-on is because it's OPTIONAL!!!

      Idiot.

    • Don't install it.
  • obligatory (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    my backpack's got jets!

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