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Chapter 16. Writing an Extension > Extension Writing Secrets for Power Users

Extension Writing Secrets for Power Users

Here are a few ideas from the experts:

  • To prepare for extension developing, it is important to set up the development environment. A clean (new) installation of Firefox, with a clean (never used) profile, can make debugging much easier.

  • Some preferences make extension development much easier. These, used in conjunction with Firefox command-line options, make testing easier.

  • A number of extensions have been created just to help others create their extensions. One notable extension is the Extension Developer extension.

  • Firefox has a debugging console that is displayed when Firefox is started with the -console option.

  • Developers can set an environment variable to allow multiple instances of Firefox to run. Normally, Firefox runs only one instance (copy) at a time.

  • Programs and objects are uniquely identified using a GUID. There are programs to create GUIDs and websites that will create GUIDs online.

  • Understanding Firefox command options is important for developers. Having shortcut icons on the desktop preconfigured for these options lets you easily launch Firefox with an option.

  • Extensions have a basic arrangement and names for the extension’s folders. Following these conventions makes an extension’s development easier.

  • The chrome.manifest file is new to Firefox 1.5. This file is designed to replace the contents.rdf file with a file that is easier to work with.



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