Archive for November, 2008

Adblock Plus comes to Prism

Wladimir Palant announced yesterday that Adblock Plus 1.0rc1 will ship with support for Prism 0.9! Pretty cool stuff. Many Prism users have asked about getting support for popular Firefox add-ons. Adblock Plus has been at the top of the list. Thanks Wladimir.

For those add-on developers out there wondering what changes need to be made to Adblock Plus to support Prism, here is the patch. Wladimir does a great job keeping the code clean. He also worked around a bug in Prism 0.9 that has been fixed on our trunk.

Lucky Disasters has also been collecting some useful information for Prism add-on developers.

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Adding Mochitests to a XULRunner Application

Last weekend I decide to add some Mochitest unit testing to XUL Explorer, one of my XULRunner based applications. Luckily, this is something Dave Townsend already did with a different XULRunner application, McCoy. It was pretty easy to use Dave’s McCoy patch as a basis for getting things working in XUL Explorer. I used XULRunner 1.9.0.4 for building XUL Explorer and, amazingly, my unit tests ran on the first try! Here’s the changeset.

Next, I started working on adding the same support to Fennec. I hit a snag because of changes in Mozilla 1.9.1 to support new types of testing. I made a patch (reviewed and waiting to land) that makes things work again. We are hoping that some of the tweaks needed by Dave’s patch can be rolled into the mainline Mochitests system.

Now that I have some experience under my belt, I plan to add some docs no MDC. I also plan to add the necessary code templates to XUL Explorer and FizzyPop application generators, so anyone making a new XUL application automatically get Mochitest support.

Thanks Dave :)

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Mozilla Developer and User Groups

I started working at Mozilla Corporation as a platform evangelist and was able to get up to speed fairly quickly, in a large part because of help from various community members. In my evangelism role, I really enjoyed getting to travel around and talk about Mozilla technology to anybody who wanted to listen. The Developer Day meet-ups were especially fun. I’m on the Mozilla Mobile team now, but still like to do evangelism work when I can.

One problem we had with Developer Days was trying to figure out where “concentrations” of Mozilla developers, or people interested in Mozilla development, were located. It made it hard to plan locations for Developer Day events. Recently, someone on IRC asked about Mozilla User Groups and if there was anyone located near him (Rayleigh/Durham area in this case). I couldn’t give him any definitive answer, but it did get us talking about how we could start collection information about where Mozilla developers are located and if they meet periodically. The only such group I know of is the NorthWestMozDev group.

What other groups are out there? Perhaps using Meetup might be a good way to can track of various Mozilla groups. There are already Mozilla and XUL categories on Meetup. Hopefully, this could help other interested developers meet people and get involved with Mozilla. It can also help Mozilla find great locations to have Developer Day events.

You don’t need to be a hard core Mozilla developer. Developer Days are focused on anybody with an interest in Mozilla projects, products or technologies.

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XULRunner 1.9.0.4

The newest official XULRunner has been released. XULRunner 1.9.0.4 matches the Firefox 3.0.4 release. For XULRunner developers, most of the changes in 1.9.0.4 are related to security fixes.

Runtimes
SDKs
Source tarball

For those interested in the mobile versions of XULRunner, nightly builds of XULRunner for Maemo can be found here. The mobile tinderbox is also up and running.

Want to get started building XULRunner applications? We have an article for that.

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XULRunner at MozCamp 2008

I decided to take a detour in my XULRunner session at MozCamp. I have done several XULRunner talks over the last few years. I usually focus on the functionality built into the platform and discuss the benefits of using Mozilla technologies to develop applications.

This crowd was very Mozilla savvy and many had at least experimented with building XULRunner applications. So, instead of my normal slide deck, I went with a “walk-through” of using the Mozilla build system to create a XULRunner application. I did the same with setting up an auto-updating XULRunner application. I think the Mozilla build system is something any XULRunner developer should learn and setting up auto-updating always seems to frustrate developers.

The talk went very well. Thanks to Robert Kaiser for helping me fill in some blanks. We had some good discussion and I could have spent a lot more time covering some of the smaller details. I think I might look into expanding this “walk-through” format.

Another topic we talked about was the potential of XULRunner on mobile devices. Many developers are excited to see XULRunner become available for mobile platforms. The ability to move XUL applications from desktops to mobile devices is fairly powerful. Fennec, for example, runs just fine on any supported XULRunner platform – without any changes.

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