Friday, March 19th, 2010

Jetpack SDK: The reboot of the extensions

Category: Firefox, Mozilla

The Jetpack project over at Mozilla Labs has been rethinking what it is to extend the browser (as has Chrome Extensions). They both move us to using Web technologies and skills rather than having to digg into XUL or C++. The project has gone through a reboot, and shed the original experiment as Jetpack Prototype.

We now have Jetpack SDK with a brand new architecture.

Two videos really show off the thinking.

Firstly, Atul Varma, tech lead for the project, talks through the update and how you go about using Jetpack SDK. There are some cool new tools revolving around developer ergonomics. These tools help with the packaging of code, developing of code, documenting code, and the management of code. The screencast below shows you how to create a module, using CommonJS at the heart of it.

The next video is from Aza and is typical Aza. It is creative. He walks through the architecture…. why the reboot happened, and what has changed, but instead of a talking head, we get Aza’s hands and pencil drawings. Oh, and he has some glasses on the top right, showing us that he has thought hard about this. :)

Exciting to seeing Jetpack come up for air again, and I can’t wait to see it quickly iterate from here. For more information check out the release notes, the FAQ, and download the SDK and write an extension.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:16 am

4.3 rating from 21 votes


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I developed a Jetpack recently and wondered why I found two different ways of packaging my Jetpack. This explains it all!

Comment by RoryH — March 19, 2010

Jetpack is not simply an easy XPI packaging tool, it is an SDK that is aiming at building out flexible, Mozilla-platform-version-independent browser APIs to securely wrap the Moz platform’s powerful functionality. With it developers will be able to crank out extensions more quickly and not have to worry about constantly updating their code when Firefox or the other Moz apps changes something on the platform side.

Give them some time to add APIs, by the middle of this year Jetpack is going to really rock the casba.

Comment by csuwldcat — March 19, 2010

Jetpack is becoming more awesome by the day! It will kill all the buzz around Chrome extensions once the project reaches maturity.

Go Mozilla folks! Keep the good work!

Comment by Irae — March 23, 2010

Thank you for the information and the great introducing to Jetpack SDK..
Keep on doing!

Comment by 1stJoJo — April 1, 2010

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