CCK Wizard Beta for Firefox 4

Update: Beta 2 available to fix a bug with adding prefs

Have you ever needed to customize Firefox for deployment with in your organization or even to your family? That's what the CCK Wizard is all about. It allows you to create an add-on that customizes Firefox. You can learn more about what it does at addons.mozilla.org.

I've recently updated the CCK Wizard for Firefox 4 and have made a beta available. You can click here to install it. Once everything looks good with the beta, I'll put it on AMO.

So what's the future of the CCK Wizard?

Opening Web Pages in Your Add-On

You might not realize it, but Firefox has some mouse shortcuts for when you are opening a web page from the bookmarks toolbar. If you hold down Shift when you click, the link opens in a new window. If you hold down Command or Ctrl when you click, the link opens in a new background tab. If you hold down Command or Ctrl plus Shift when you click, the link opens in a new foreground tab. So how do you honor these different options when you are opening web pages in your add-on? You use the function openUILink.

Writing a Firefox Protocol Handler

So my plan for this year, in addition to posting more, is to alternate posts between Firefox related and non Firefox related. This one is Firefox related. Hopefully you'll find it interesting either way.

Have you ever thought about the things you type before the colon (:) in your browser? Like http, https, ftp or file? These are called schemes or protocols. Firefox add-ons can add new schemes or protocols to the browser. This post will show you how to do that. We're going to assume you have a basic knowledge of JavaScript, but have never written a Firefox add-on.

Won't Someone Think of the Add-on Developers?

I have been biting my tongue watching all the changes that add-on developers are being required to make for Firefox 4, but the various theme changes that are going in which are going to cause toolbar icons to be scaled up and/or down has put me over the edge. (See bug 583231). A lot of work is going to be required by add-on developers (and artists and others) to work around these and other issues. It doesn't help that these Firefox "betas" are no where near beta quality, and involve major changes with each beta update, which means add-on developers are having to do rework with every "beta."