Building a firefox plugin – part four

July 4, 2011 28 Comments by Richard

The traffic going to my “Building a firefox plugin” series over the last year or two has been incredible. Granted, I knew that the other documenation was poor, but in recent times I have encountered links to my previous posts in all sorts of strange places — even in the comments in a project I ended up reviewing for an employer where the original author had not previously met me. I never inteded those to be the end of the series, but it has been quite some time since I last posted an update.  The main reason for this is that for all but a few uses — android in particular — I no longer recommend anyone write a NPAPI plugin from scratch. The reason for this is that the popular FireBreath framework makes all of this so easy and fixes so many edge cases in different browser versions that it isn’t worth doing it by hand anymore.

Yes, I wrote FireBreath. A lot of others have contributed.

A different approach to learning NPAPI

Now that I have a good example already up and running, it seems pointless to keep trying to describe things with words and code snippets when I can simply walk you through what I have done — what is in use and works well. To that end, and in hopes that it will foster more capable NPAPI developers to help with FireBreath development (we still don’t support printing, for example), I have created a series of 5 minute screencasts providing a brief overview of FireBreath’s NPAPI framework.

I don’t expect that this is as comprehensive as it should be; I’m hoping that comments will help me see what future segments I should create.  I have posted these screencasts on youtube and will link to them from here. You can also find a more complete series that includes this one on the FireBreath website.