Mozilla Application Development and the New Roadmap

Tuesday July 1st, 2003

The O'Reilly Network Mozilla DevCenter has an article that discusses the implications of the new Roadmap for developers of Mozilla-based software. The report examines the changes made to the xFly application to convert it from a Mozilla Application Suite package to a Mozilla Firebird extension.

#1 Direction

by Racer

Wednesday July 2nd, 2003 12:39 AM

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I find it perplexing that the "Mozilla Firebird" method of installing extensions is not at least compatible to the method used by Mozilla 1.4 (and consequently, Netscape 7.1). As it is, the Netscape suite is going to be considered the more "commercial" and end-user oriented browser package for some time. Those individuals (and, more noticably, companies) who want to install Gecko will likely turn to Netscape for the official method that is used with the hope that it will have professional support and stability over time. Given this assumption, Firebird developers writing extensions for the XUL/Gecko system will either have to 1) target Firebird only, 2) target Mozilla 1.4/Netscape 7.1 only, or 3) develop on one and then when its time to release, spend time converting to the other format when releasing.

In short, what I'm saying is that I hope a simpler method of normalizing installation and usage of extensions across browsers is implemented. If not that, then perhaps a very simple conversion utility designed to let extensions compatible to both systems be easily ported between the two. Otherwise, I fear one of the systems will be left behind...with those who chose the wrong one holding an empty bag.