Monday, November 12, 2007

Browser-extras: great project even with all issues.

Better than surfing on the Web from everywhere is doing it all on your way ! On that regard, Firefox is really a pioneer: its robust Addon backend and online support make possible to customize your browsing experience in a few clicks. think that Browser-extras project is a way to go in order to get MicroB closer to Firefox.

From an user point of view, I see it as a really great and promissing initiative but how about from a MicroB extension developer's prospective ?

Some differences between MicroB's Addon system and Firefox' one make extension development for MicroB a bit more painful then it should: Firefox counts on some built-in mozilla technologies that are disabled in compile time in microb-engine:

  • XBL (XML Binding Language): "an XML-based markup language used to declare the behavior and look of XUL Widgets and XML Elements".
  • XUL: Firefox' UI language.
  • Overlay: "XUL files used to describe extra content in the UI".
  • XPI support: only .deb

We lack manpower to improve this development environment specifically ... =/ But the project is on regardless that, work is being done, and some results are already out there.

--Antonio Gomes
tonikitoo at gmail dot com