Announcing Jetpack 0.5 & The Jetpack Contest

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Jetpack enables Firefox feature development for everyone.

We are happy to announce the launch of Jetpack 0.5, the bootstrap edition. This release adds many more features, API, an updated Twitter library, and improves the installation experience.

What’s New

Boostrap: Streamlined Installs

Before this release, if as a developer you wanted people to use your jetpack, you’d first have to get them to install the Jetpack add-on and then come back to install your functionality. This meant that most jetpacks were meant used only by early adopters. With Jetpack 0.5, we’ve greatly simplified the process. You can now provide a one-line install link which will, if the user doesn’t already have Jetpack, both install Jetpack as well as your feature. With bootstrapping, the install experience for a jetpack is now easily accessible to everyday users.

Read the instructions on how to link to your jetpacks to take advantage of the new streamlined installation.

Try it out by installing the voice-memo app

Music

We’ve been living in a digital music divide, where web applications could only play music in the cloud, and desktop applications can only play music on a local harddrive. Jetpack.music is the first step towards unifying those two, by allowing the browser to easily interact with the music you already have. For now, this makes media control features for Firefox easy to implement (think Foxytunes). In the future, we’ll be working on giving this ability to web content.

For example, if you want a feature that tries to find and play “Thriller” everytime Firefox starts up, you could write:

let tracks = jetpack.music.search('thriller');
jetpack.music.playTrack(tracks[0]);

For more information on what you can do, see the documentation.

Audio

Starting in Jetpack 0.4, you could record sound to disk and play it back. Now you can manipulate the streaming audio data as it comes in. This is useful for realtime audio applications such as voice chat.

jetpack.audio.recordToPipe(myCallback);

Right now the data is raw PCM float stereo samples, but we’re working on adding support for re-encoding this byte stream back into an OGG/Vorbis file. Check out AudioEncoder.cpp if you want to help.

For example applications and documentation see JEP 18.

The Contest

As part of Jetpack 0.5, we kicked off a competition a couple weeks ago. It ends on the 15th of September. For making the coolest or most interesting Jetpack, we are offering a brand new netbook (the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE). For the runner-up, we’ll send you a big package of Mozilla swag. Special kudos for Jetpacks that use the latest features in Jetpack 0.5.

Get Involved

Mozilla Labs is a virtual lab where people come together online to create, experiment and play with Web innovations for the public benefit. The Jetpack experiment is still in its infancy and just getting started. There are many ways to join the team and get involved:

We’re also looking for a full-time product manager and software engineers to join Labs and work on Jetpack! What title is better than Jetpack PM? Check out the career opportunities available.

— Aza Raskin, on behalf of the Jetpack team