Firefox/Projects/Extension Manager API

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The Extension Manager has been extended repeatedly to add new features. There is now large scope for cleanups and improvements with refactoring the core code and APIs as well as integrating the other add-on types into a unified API that the frontend can use to display the UI.

  • Project lead: Mossop
  • Project members: Boriss, Unfocused
  • Potential reviewers: sdwilsh, bsmedberg, robstrong
  • QA contacts: hskupin (lead), tchung


  • Implementation in progress in a user repository
  • Running performance testing, looks like a minor loss but not unexpected. Going to be getting ready for reviews this week


  • Replace extensions.rdf with a sqlite based datastore
  • Implement a new API for accessing all types of add-ons
  • Implement a type of XPI extensions that can be installed without restarting
  • Create a clean separation between the UI and the backend of the add-ons manager
  • Lay the groundwork for supporting different types of install manifests in XPI extensions
  • Lay the groundwork that will help us give startup performance improvements
  • Reduce the number of unecessary EM restarts


  • Improve startup time
  • Make current XPI extensions install without restarts


  • 2009/10: [Complete] API Design complete and reviewed
  • 2009/12: [Complete] Implementation usable enough for UI work to proceed
  • 2010/03: [Complete] Land on a project branch to monitor performance impact
  • 2010/03: [Complete] Preliminary security review
  • 2010/03: Test review with QA
  • 2010/03: Land on trunk with near feature parity
  • 2010/04: Complete feature parity and additional metadata
  • 2010/04: Final security review

Delivery Requirements

  • Requires an add-on compatibility changing application version increment
  • Requires messaging to add-on and application developers to explain how to switch to the new APIs
  • Must be complete before the first beta of the target delivery vehicle



  • Majority of tests will be xpcshell based with some mochichrome testing for ssl support.
  • Existing add-ons manager unit tests will be replaced, ported or no longer applicable to the new API.
  • QA have put together a test plan for manual testing.

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