We’ve been pretty busy around here with various sorts of things, but we finally got enough time to get XUL Explorer (XE) 0.4 out the door. XE 0.4 has some neat features that we hope will help Mozilla platform developers (extensions and applications) be a little more productive. The highlights include:
- DOM Inspector and Venkman (JS Debugger) extensions are integrated into XE. You don’t need to mess around trying to install them. They are pre-packaged for your debugging enjoyment.
- Extension project wizard walks you through the process of creating a Firefox extension. The wizard has options for various types of extension UI’s so you can support toolbar, menu, sidebar and context menu overlays. The extension files are generated using a simple template system, so it should be easy to tweak and add more features.
- Simple extension testing allows you to pick an extension source folder and quickly run/test the extension in Firefox. No need to manually package and install the extension.
- A simple XML/XUL formatter helps cleanup your code and there are a few more links to online documentation at the Mozilla Developer Center.
The extension wizard and extension tester are definitely not finished (see roadmap). The extension tester has a few planned usability improvements. The extension wizard has some general improvements coming and many new features. One improvement is support for more targets, including Thunderbird and XUL Explorer. Only Firefox really works now. Another feature is stubbing out handlers for common events, such as when a page loads in the browser.
Once the template based stabilizes for extensions, wizards are planned for XPCOM components and XULRunner applications. We’re very much interested in your feedback as well. So if you can stand using alpha software, give XE a spin and let us know what you think. What’s good, what stinks, what would make a good feature – whatever.