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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mozillaGoogle Chromefirefox add-onmozilla firefoxjetpack

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?