Mozilla's Jetpack builds on Firefox's top strength

The move comes as Google is pushing developers to create add-ons for its Chrome browser

Ask people what they like most about the Firefox browser and the answer is almost unanimous: The add-ons. Though blamed for slowing browser performance, the downloads allow users to customize the Firefox experience. Jetpack, announced yesterday, hopes to make these extensions easier to create.

The move comes as Google is pushing developers to create add-ons for its Chrome browser, which yesterday got a performance bump. Mozilla Labs hopes Jetpack, an API for applications developers, will help continue its add-on dominance.

"We want to grow our community of developers by orders of magnitude through making add-on creation much more accessible, and yet more powerful by developing it as an extensible platform for innovation itself. Many useful Jetpack features can be written in under a dozen lines of code," wrote Aza Raskin, Atul Varma and Nick Nguyen in the Mozilla Labs blog.

Jetpack allows users to create add-ons using technologies they already know, lowering barriers to would-be developers.

"Specifically, Jetpack will be an exploration in using 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," the Mozilla team wrote.

Significantly, Jetpack will allow new features to be added to the browser "without a restart or compatibility issues, resulting in little to no disruption to the online experience."

Currently in v0.1 release, Jetpack is "unpolished, unfinished, and still highly prototyped" admitted its developers. More information for users is available on the Mozilla Labs site, where demos are available for download as well as a tutorial.

Over the last four years, more than 12,000 add-ons have been created for Firefox, generally available as free downloads. Included are ad blockers, translation utilities, site monitors, security enhancements, and many other user-created new features for the browser.

David Coursey researched this story using Firebox and has several add-ons he uses everyday. He tweets as dcoursey and can be reached via email using www.coursey.com/contact.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags firefox add-onjetpackGoogle Chromemozilla firefoxmozilla

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?