Mozilla Delivers Firefox Add-on SDK, Builder

Mozilla releases a new software development kit and the beta of a new builder for developers to create add-ons for the Firefox browser.

Mozilla has introduced two new ways for developers to create add-ons for the Firefox browser: a new Add-on SDK and the beta of an Add-on Builder.

In a blog post, Dan Horner, product marketing manager for add-ons at Mozilla, said Firefox offers users complete control over the look and functionality of their Web browser with a gallery of hundreds of thousands of add-ons. With the launch of Add-on SDK and Add-on Builder Beta, Web developers need only knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS to create great add-ons for Firefox that are restartless by default, Horner said. Restartless means users do not have to interrupt their browsing to begin using the new add-on right away.

The Add-on Builder and the Add-on software development kit (SDK) provide APIs and tools that enable developers to create add-ons for Firefox using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. And Mozilla helps make it easy for developers to share their add-ons with the more than 400 million Firefox users around the world.

The Add-on SDK enables local development of add-ons through a command-line interface, while the Firefox Add-on Builder Beta provides a hosted online build environment.

The Add-on SDK is set of APIs bundled with a command-line utility that allows you to develop add-ons with your own tool chain. The SDK enables developers to choose their own code editor, access their development files locally and gain greater control over SDK build steps. The Add-on Builder is a Web-based development environment that provides additional functionality for working with the Add-on SDK. The Add-on Builder enables developers to edit code in a feature-rich environment, test their add-ons instantly, and use built-in version control and sharing.

"If you're familiar with JavaScript, HTML and CSS, then you already have the necessary skills to build add-ons using these tools," Horner said. "We've carefully selected a common set of JavaScript APIs to help you perform the most common tasks in add-on development so that you can build a user interface, interact with the browser, and access and manipulate Web content."

In short, Horner said the Add-on Builder Beta is a hosted, online build environment, and provides a robust code editor with built-in revisioning, module selection, testing tools and build tools. And the SDK is downloadable for developers who are comfortable with a command-line interface and prefer to use their own development environment.