Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

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

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-hand-me-that-metric-screwdriver dept.

Mozilla 42

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."

cancel ×

42 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I want a real jetpack (4, Funny)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044211)

Not some software thing!

Re:I want a real jetpack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28044327)

You want a backpack with jets? Who do you think you are, Boba the Fett? Do you bounty hunt for Jabba the Hut to finance your 'Vette?

Re:I want a real jetpack (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#28045823)

You want a backpack with jets?
Who do you think you are, Boba the Fett?
Do you bounty hunt
for Jabba the Hut
to finance your 'Vette?

Say, not bad, but your scansion kinda falls apart on that last line. Maybe, "to get money to finance your 'Vette"?

Also, I'm not sure about rhyming "hunt" with "Hutt".

Re:I want a real jetpack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28045455)

Best. First. Post. Ever.

I salute you, sir.

  -AC

Re:I want a real jetpack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28045529)

How the Heck was this marked as "insightful' and not funny?!?!

Cough*Chrome*cough (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044215)

Google, you listenin'?

Re:Cough*Chrome*cough (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044437)

Google, you listenin'?

Agreed!

I use IE you insensitive clod! (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044221)

What are these web-standards of which you speak?

Re:I use IE you insensitive clod! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044441)

There are 3 ways to design a standard: the right way, the wrong way, and the Microsoft way (which is kinda like the wrong way, only with greater vendor lock-in.)

Re:I use IE you insensitive clod! (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047739)

Or to implement a standard -- see ODF the Microsoft way [ibeentoubuntu.com] .

Re:I use IE you insensitive clod! (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054835)

IE IS standards-compliant, just a different set of standards...

Re:I use IE you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28133919)

Once upon a time (about 15 years ago), Microsoft was making internet standard non-compliant products. From indifference, incompetence, and for competitive advantage. It's the culture.

Bill came to town, gave a talk, and was asked what Microsoft's position on internet standards was.

He got a really goofy grin, stared up at the ceiling, paused, and replied "Well, it depends what you mean by "staanndards"".

-----
Microsoft - crippling web programming for more than a decade. Currently fighting off canvas.

What? More ways to hack a browser? (0, Flamebait)

djnewman (1318661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044297)

Just what we need - more ways to mess up a browser. I thought we were supposed to be working towards standards not adding more extensions!

Re:What? More ways to hack a browser? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044323)

Theoretically, JetPack's API could be implemented by multiple browsers, so you could write one cutesy little extension for all of them.

Re:What? More ways to hack a browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28129789)

I was just thinking about that. I think should be considered Web 3.0; don't just reinvent the webpage, but the interface as well.

Re:What? More ways to hack a browser? (4, Insightful)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044339)

Just what we need - more ways to mess up a browser. I thought we were supposed to be working towards standards not adding more extensions!

The idea *is* to use standards! People already make add-ons, they might as well be interoperable too.
Does this not make sense to you?
-Taylor

got xul? (2, Insightful)

mikedeanklein (1052254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044351)

What about xul (xml, css, js)?

Re:got xul? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044591)

I guess they will have to fix the xmlns, as there is not only XUL [mozilla.org] anymore. :-)

Re:got xul? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28045421)

"Standard-based". XUL isn't.

Standards... (5, Interesting)

Z_A_Commando (991404) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Standards... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28046677)

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?

Re:Standards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049021)

If Google, Apple, Opera, and Microsoft don't adopt this because it's not "de facto standard", that leaves Mozilla. Their current plugin interface might as well be called a standard, implemented by one. This won't be a "de facto standard" until after Google, Apple, and Microsoft implement it in addition to Mozilla.

They just re-invented Greasemonkey (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#28044987)

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.

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (4, Informative)

sr. bigotes (1030382) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (2, Funny)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 4 years ago | (#28045787)

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:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28046363)

...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 terribly popular. Not including support for it would have been a huge oversight.

There is a difference between supporting jQuery and codifying jQuery into the specification. Allowing jQuery to be used by extensions or even implementions of the specification would be acceptable, but requiring jQuery to be used by implementors is just stupid.

What they've produced is a specification, and a fairly-incomplete one at that. They haven't produced a standard since it appears that they haven't gotten input from other potential implementors. You can't just create a specification that meets your own needs perfectly and call it a standard. Standards are about hammering out the differences between many sets of interests to provide a common interface to a common domain.

As it is, I can't see this as anything more than Mozilla announcing its willingness to explore a common extension API with other browser vendors.

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28048325)

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 to the pollution caused by all common javascript libraries making it inherently incompatible.

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.

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050843)

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 libraries and is easily extensible.

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28051523)

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).

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

maraist (68387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28126829)

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 frameworks (zero namespace collisions at least - unless you want to use jQuery as a global in your library)

I assert that raw javascript + CSS + DOM == PITA. I know that some people disagree, but I think they're massochistic (quirks == spice v.s. quirks == productivity-obstacle).

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (3, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28045307)

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.

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

JPortal (857107) | more than 4 years ago | (#28046527)

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

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28048351)

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:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (2, Insightful)

JPortal (857107) | more than 5 years ago | (#28048433)

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

Re:They just re-invented Greasemonkey (1)

maraist (68387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28126649)

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

Oh great... (1, Funny)

Thantik (1207112) | more than 4 years ago | (#28045199)

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!!!

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28045401)

You know you don't have to download that poorly coded addon, right?

Re:Oh great... (2)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 4 years ago | (#28046545)

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.

The solution: (1)

Tiles (993306) | more than 4 years ago | (#28046713)

Don't install it.

obligatory (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28045299)

my backpack's got jets!

Re:obligatory (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#28046595)

But does it call home (a la Chrome)?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?