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Future of Jetpack

The SDK will build an XPI

-If you're overlaying secondary add-on youll have to restart

will add a path to (AMO)

will include disclosure (user readable) layer

  • the degree to which the developer is engaging with the user's private information
    • can read history
    • can read hard disk
    • can read passwords

Mission of Jetpack was to look back into security


  • an addon will have two sets
    • user code
    • libraries
      • file read, file write
      • included when developers write code and the user will read them
      • will be "signed" (verified) by Mozilla

Now: Jetpack is layer on top of Firefox giving you APIs

Soon: Jetpack won't be a layer but rather the libraries and user code will be the layer on top of Firefox

Developer friction is a secondary goal to security issues

You can write you're own module in the libraries

  • can get signed by Mozilla to get distributed
    • if not signed, developer can self-distribute but users will get warning that it isn't signed

The difference between add-ons and jetpack will be muted

Libraries might be versioned and ask you update

If you host at AMO, it may repackage your addon for you if there's a security update to one of the libraries

why don't the libraries live in firefox? -by putting them in the add-on themselves you give developers ability to work with different versions of the SDK and allow them to update and change add-ons in much more partial ways

where will jquery live? most likely in the libraries so you would have access to other jquery libraries

but they try not to make jquery essential because many developers saw it as an obstacle for those who only knew javascript but not jquery

amo reviewers look for pulling javascript from an external site

  • very very dangerous

How do we create the "Apple walled garden" when we want to?

Practical implications


  • the only thing that would change is the invocation method

Developers can suggest JPs

How many new features will be released in the first release or are we back to square one with hardly any features?

Sometime in the summer, new features should be a their current level again

In the homepage for the jetpack, link directly to for installation rather than the old jetpack site because it's changing

What is the place to be to stay up to date on the changes to Jetpack? mailing lists?

  • the team is mostly new to Mozilla so a lot of comm
  • mozilla labs jetpack mailing list and the google group
  • post to the wiki, mailing list, file bugs, request for enhancements, leave comments about how they're implementing

Andy - Figure out if Slidebar/sidebar the right UI for your tool. If it is, let us know so they can work hard to keep it in the new jetpack.

  • tell us how it was useful
  • tell us what was missing

Limitation of sidebar: if you are using the sidebar for your extension but then the user opens up their history or something else in the browser that uses the sidebar, it goes away

Planning meetings for jetpack are open to the public. Andy will post to the list.

All the decisions are open.

There will be panels in the new Jetpack. Consider whether your UI will work better in the panels before bemoaning the loss of the sidebar

In SDK 0.2 (slated for end of March) simple storage, no restart updates, first-run experience, set of APIs

In SDK 0.4 we get many of the features talked about (slated for May) toolbar drawers, awesome bar interaction, single UI

End of 2010: Gadget

  • Concept of an extension that has to have a running instance of Firefox, but has an instance in the taskbar;
    • kind of controversial because Firefox isn't in the business of creating a required platform for applications like an OS
    • will probably work offline

Is it worth pushing our current jetpacks to users if they're going to have to uninstall it later? Better to wait until the end of the summer with the new Jetpack SDK?

It would be cool to coordinate some kind of effort to come together as a group to take our jetpacks to the new SDK.

Brian - Take home point:

All your jetpacks are going to break BUT we were early adopters and we hope that you'll become good open source citizens. We don't think it will be too hard to port the jetpacks to the new SDK. Jetpack won't succeed without developers like you.