Call for plugin Developers

September 17, 2009 53 Comments by Richard

Call for help

Update: See what is happening with FireBreath a year later

I hereby issue a “Call for Plugin Developers” to the readers of the site. I know we are as of yet few, but I hope that some of you may be willing to help me.

I am quickly realizing that I need a plugin project from which I can quote source code; one that does the things that I am attempting to explain, and one that is not made up of code that is owned by a specific company or project.

Thus, I introduce to you all: FireBreath.


FireBreath is intended to be a cross platform browser plugin.  Currently, I plant to license this under the new BSD license.  This way, it can be used for commercial projects.  The targetted browsers are:

On windows:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox (3 and up; we may add support for 2.x as well)
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • Apple Safari

On mac:

  • Mozilla Firefox (see above note on versions)
  • Google Chrome (when it is released)
  • Apple Safari (3.x and up, intel only for now)

On linux:

  • Anything that supports NPAPI plugins and Gecko SDK 1.9 or above (no firefox 2 for now)

What needs to be done

This is an ambitious project; I can help with development, and I can coordinate tasks.  I don’t have time to do it all myself, however, unless a company sponsers me; there is one that has shown interest so far, but nothing is certain.  Even if that happens, and a company wants this project enough to pay me to develop it, it will be far more successful if there are other contributors — you see, I don’t know everything.

In particular, I could really use a “strong right hand” who would be willing to head up the linux-specific part of the development, which despite 10+ years of linux experience is still my weakest point.  If there are others who wish to take ownership of other parts, that would also be great; for now, I will retain the final say on what goes in, because, well, I can.

If you look, you’ll find that there is no code up on the repository as of yet (at least, as of the time of this writing.)  I just started an ActiveX control this evening with the intent to implement FBControl, the ActiveX control portion of FireBreath.  As soon as I have a rough skeleton ActiveX control project done (which will happen sooner if I get a lot of developers wanting to help), I will start on the NPAPI portion of the DLL.  Even before I have that done, there are several small, relatively simple tasks that I could use help with.  In particular, I will not be using any code directly from the mozilla source tree and the plugin samples, so I need someone to write from scratch the NPN_ wrappers for all of the browser functions.

How you can help

For this project to succeed, we need all the help we can get.  If you would like to help, please send me an email at [email protected] and introduce yourself.  Tell me:

  • Who you are
  • What you consider your strengths in this area are
  • What interests you most about this project
  • How you want to use FireBreath yourself (if at all)
  • How much time you may be able to put in

I’ll take nearly anyone right now, though I will be carefully monitoring the code submissions to start out with; my project goals are:

  • Reusable and modular
  • Cross-platform (both in the browser sense and the operating system sense)
  • Cleanly written
  • Free and useful

I by no means want to be a dictator on this; I welcome help and suggestions from everyone.



  1. taxilian
    12 years ago

    I've chosen to answer your comment on this thread instead of the other one, and I deleted it from that; keeps things cleaner. I don't know why you would be seeing the issue you are seeing; I do know that if it's crashing, you're probably not doing something right.

    Honestly, I'd recommend taking a look at FireBreath, which has a wrapper for the stream functions built in and working. My guess, though, if it's crashing, is that you aren't cleaning something up correctly. Since you're on a mac, you should be able to get a stack trace if you disable the mozilla crash reporter, and that should tell you where you crashed. Probably a bad pointer.

  2. taxilian
    12 years ago

    I probably missed replying to this earlier, sorry; if you're still interested in helping, it's pretty close to working but really needs some support from someone more familiar with Linux. Drop in on the mailing list and we'd love to have your help!

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  1. […] also posted my Call for Plugin Developers here on colonelpanic and links to it on the NPAPI […]

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