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This seems interesting. A couple of points:

  • Please do this in a Toolkit way, not in a Browser way. That is, I should be able to use the same simplified API in Thunderbird and/or any Toolkit (XULRunner) app. If this is not possible, extension devs will keep relying on existing (complicated) APIs because those do provide that compatibility.
  • Have a look at some existing implementations. For example, ChatZilla/Venkman wrap preferences in a way much like what you describe, though there's more of a sacrifice made there to achieve ease of use by doing a less lightweight implementation. See

I'm also curious on how you would implement the Service thing. AFAICT, it would be impractical to keep all existing services around on an object - that is, it'd create a bunch of them the JS probably never needs. Implementing this using getters means you keep re-getting the service if you use the API like the example does. (ie, Service.Foo.stuff(bar); Service.Foo.unstuff(bar); ) This would probably be slow(er). Or so I'd presume, I haven't tested any of this.

Good luck whatever you do! :-) GijsKruitbosch 23:38, 7 January 2007 (PST)

Re:Preferences Lightning just wraps the getting/setting of prefs, if you're looking for something more lightweight: (You could even typeof(aValue) to avoid an extra argument for setPref().) -jminta

Regarding the services, I was thinking about a singleton pattern to cache the service after the first "get":

// somewhere in the impl
  _os : null,

  Observer() : function() {
    if (_os == null) {
      // get the service from XPCOM
    return _os;

Thanks for the feedback and ideas. Keep it coming! MarkFinkle 19:30, 9 January 2007 (PST)

this should work without any mess:

function tempProxy(obj, prop, fn){
   obj.__defineGetter__(prop, function(){
       delete this[prop];
       return this[prop] = fn();});

--Jasonson 02:50, 17 July 2007 (PDT)