Google Chrome Extensions / JetPack AddOn -- Has anyone attempted this?

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tazz_ben

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Feb 5, 2011, 6:34:40 PM2/5/11
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So, I've been playing with the idea of building a "universal"
extension which works on both Chrome and as a JetPack/Add-On
extension. Basically there would be one code base with a python
script that has build procedures for each platform. The two platforms
are not as close as I would like, but I still think it might be worth
the effort. I really like the idea of having a single blob of code
because it it is two separate projects, one platform is prone to get
behind. Anyhow, I'm wondering if anyone else has attempted this? If
so, is there problems to be aware of?

Atul Varma

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Feb 5, 2011, 6:46:38 PM2/5/11
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Actually, this was the original reason I started the 'cfx' command-line
tool: as a build-time abstraction layer that could compile a single
Jetpack-style directory structure into a Mozilla XPI, a Chrome CRX, or
even a native application. Of course, I never got around to doing most
of the non-XPI stuff... And unfortunately 'cfx' was made in a bit of a
hurry; its internal architecture isn't something I'm terribly proud of,
so I can't really say adding CRX functionality to it would be a breeze.

Conceptually, though, I don't think it'd be that hard to start out
small: for instance, just make it possible to write a page-mod that
exports to both an XPI/Jetpack and a CRX at first, rather than making it
possible to write any kind of extension. The APIs that rely most on
existing Web APIs are probably the lowest-hanging fruit, since they mean
less work for you but more power for the developer.

If you start working on this, I'd love to know how it goes. It's
unfortunate that developers have to figure out all the extension
platforms for the major browsers to create something that can work for
everyone!

- Atul

Christian Sonne

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Feb 5, 2011, 6:48:42 PM2/5/11
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A few months back, we (a few jetpack related developers) were considering creating an addon that would let Firefox install Chrome and Safari extensions by writing wrappers for the jetpack sdk that would provide the relevant interfaces.

As far as I know, there is no specific technical reason we never got anything up and running. More like time constraints, etc.

Basically, I think it would be hard to port addons from Firefox to anything else (programatically), because no other platform gives you the same freedom and access to browser internals. The other way shouldn't be too hard though.

-- cers / Christian Sonne



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Rezwana Karim Nawrin

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Feb 9, 2011, 8:13:09 PM2/9/11
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Though not strictly relevant, but I would like to bring into your notice this work http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/141971/tr.pdf. This addresses developing cross-browser extensions. Initially though it claimed that the extensions developed in  'Fine' language would run also on firefox apart from Chrome and IE, but the later sections in the paper does not elaborate much on that. However, this work does not deal with Jetpack environment.

- Rezwana
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