Firefox Add-ons Developer Guide (beta release) – Calling all Add-on Developers!

Summary: The Firefox Add-ons Developer Guide is  now released in beta.  We are now  searching  for  contributors,  if  you want  to  help,  please  see instructions below.

Firefox Add-ons Developer Guide – beta release

It’s with  great excitement that we  announce today the beta  release of the Firefox Add-ons Developer Guide. This  guide, is based on an earlier tutorial written and printed for  an Add-ons conference organized by our colleagues in Japan back in June 2007,  and has now been updated for the Firefox  3.5  release.  The  document  will  guide  and  assist  add-ons aficionados around the world, eager to develop their own Firefox add-on. Its catered  to all types  of user,  from the experienced  developer who needs a little push in the right  direction, to the new beginner keen to get his hands dirty, but not sure where to begin.

The content of the guide

The guide is divided into 6 chapters and one appendix:

Top page

  1. Introduction to extensions
  2. Technologies used in developing extensions
  3. Introduction to XUL: How to build a more intuitive UI
  4. Using XPCOM: Implementing advanced processes
  5. Let’s build a Firefox extension
  6. Firefox extensions and XUL applications
  7. Appendix: What you should know about open-source software licenses

State of the document

As  described, this  is a  beta  version of  the document.  The text  of the  guide has  been  thoroughly revised,  and is  now  open to  further contributions, corrections  and modifications. Paul Rouget  of Mozilla’s evangelism  team  is coordinating  the  project  and will  be  regularly reviewing  and integrating  contributions from  the community.  Feedback will be incorporated, ready for final release a few weeks before Firefox 3.5.

How to contribute

If you  would like to  help, first, please  read through the  task list. The guide is hosted on MDC, which is a wiki, so feel free to add content and fix mistakes. If you would  like to provide comments and suggestion, or if you want to ask questions, please do so through the MDC forum.

If you would like to propose a deep modification, please, first, discuss it via the forum.


Thanks a lot to the original authors:

  • Hideyuki Emura
  • Hiroshi “Piro” Shimoda
  • Taiga Gomibuchi
  • Taro Matsuzawa
  • Yutaka Kachi

… and Erwan Loisant, Andrew Williamson and Brian King for their useful reviews.

The license of the guide is Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan.

Calling all Add-on Developers!

Mozilla Add-ons developers out there, if  you would like to help improve

this guide  and make it become  “the” reference for those  interested in developing a Firefox  add-on, take a peek  at the guide, drop  us a line and tell us  what you would change, add, delete  or improve. The Firefox Add-on Developer Guide will always be a work in progress, so please help

improve it today !

5 responses

  1. Brian King wrote on :

    I think an appendix with best practices to get on AMO would be useful.

  2. Paul wrote on :

    @Brian: it’s in the task list:

  3. LouCypher wrote on :

    You forgot to thank Sheppy, MDC admin.

  4. Tristan wrote on :


    Mozilla is the positive side of globalization: content invented in Japan, reworked in the Paris office (Paul, Delphine and William) with the help of people from many countries, then published on the Mozilla Developer Center in the USA! And this is just the beginning 😀

  5. vinny2020 wrote on :

    It’s a good article, however your javascript functions are “global” and so the extension would not be approved. The javascript functions should be “namespaced”.