Developing a Firefox Plugin

And by Mozilla/Gecko/Firefox plugin, I don't mean extension, but an honest-to-goodness, C++ application embedded in the web browser.

First off, let me tell you, it's a huge pain in da patookis. Making a very simple plugin isn't that big of a deal. Even scriptable from the original HTML page. Oh wait, but you want a user interface? Oh, now we'll have to haggle.

I'm very glad now that extensions and wonderful there-is-only-xul have been developed. Not to mention JavaScript. Kids (by kids, I mean programmers) today have no idea how easy they have it developing pretty slick, cross-platform tools, built on the backs of Netscape.

Here are some great resources for XPCom, the modular design that Firefox and it's bretheren are built on which allows plug-ins and add-ons to the browser without having to recompile the browser.

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.