WebExtension API Ideas

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  1. 390 votes
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    • Make sure Add-Ons that completely change the UI (like Pentadactyl or Vimperator) remain possible

      Add-Ons like Pentadactyl [1] or Vimperator [2] allow to completely overcome the UI and keybindings of Firefox, basically allowing to get a completely different browsing experience, the one of a niche browser, without loosing the advantages of a mature product.
      These Add-Ons exchange everything that is userfacing, it is therefore important, that they can do this in a consistent manner, without breaking their user experience by returning to the normal Firefox UI.
      An API allowing Add-Ons like Pentadactyl and Vimperator would be a great boon for future work on how people use a browser, even though in the short term…

      360 votes
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      • Fork Firefox, apply the planned changes to the fork, leave Firefox as is

        The fork would be what Mozilla currently plans Firefox to become. However the current Firefox would remain available so users can choose.

        If the fork goes as planned and XPCOM- and XUL-based add-ons are no longer significant in 2, 3 or 4 years, Mozilla could leave Firefox to the community in a similar way as SeaMonkey.

        If the fork doesn't work out well and users keep preferring the old Firefox, nothing would be lost because Firefox is still there.

        155 votes
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        • Ability to extend standard controls (e.g. locationbar)

          Please preserve ability to extend standard controls. It's a mandatory feature for extensions like Advanced Locationbar / Locationbar² / Omnibar / Tab Mix Plus / Classic Theme Restorer etc.
          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/advanced-locationbar/
          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/locationbar²/
          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/omnibar/
          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-mix-plus/
          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/
          Firefox without extensions like this isn't the Firefox, it's Chrome. And we don't need another unextendible and inflexible Chrome clone.

          116 votes
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          • 111 votes
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            • keep both XUL and Webextensions

              Keeping both XUL/XPCOM based extensions and Webextensions (the standardized version) would be a great benefit:
              * the existing add-ons keep working
              * new addons using XUL/XPCOM can be developed, thus not preventing innovation
              * Webextensions would have a great benefit for extensions developpers: portability accross browsers. This should be sufficient for them to switch to Webextensions whenever possible. Optionality the review by Mozilla for signing could check that a new XUL extension should be rewritten using Webextensions. Also no reboot after installing them would be a very good incentive.
              Best of both worlds, with a great incentive to switch to…

              95 votes
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              • Provide method (about:config) for users to use unsigned extensions...

                There are plenty of valuable and well liked extensions written by less than expert programmers that work now but will be killed by signing because those who maintain them do not have the skill to upgrade to the new model. imagehost-grabber.eu

                Our original author has left and I'm doubtful we have the skills to upgrade the code. Users should be able to decide if they want to chance unsigned add-ons.

                86 votes
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                • Support DownThemAll

                  https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2015/08/21/the-future-of-developing-firefox-add-ons/comment-page-1/#comment-218580

                  Whatever it is that is required for DownThemAll to work with WebExtensions needs to be added.

                  84 votes
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                  • Allow invoking external applications

                    Even if it hasn't been updated in years, I still use the extension Launchy on a daily basis to open links in other applications such as downloaders, different browsers, FTP programs, image viewers, audio players, video players and so on. Also, I'm using a button created with Custom Buttons to launch my local web server. It would completely break my daily work flow if this functionality got removed.

                    67 votes
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                    • Add a sidebars API

                      Opera already supports sidebar functionality; Chrome may soon. We would like to be able to implement Tree Style Tab or Vertical Tabs by hiding the tab strip and showing a tab sidebar.

                      66 votes
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                      • Make it compatible with Stylish!

                        *A lot* of people use Stylish to change the look and feel of Firefox. Please don't forget about makign the new web extensions compatible with Stylish.

                        65 votes
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                        • Provide DOM manipulation hooks for browser chrome

                          This would allow add-ons to move/extend/style toolbars/buttons as they wish. Add-ons like CTR or Tab mix plus would then be supported.
                          For this, I'd suggest creating a new DOMNodeWrapper interface (which wraps DOM nodes into a more sustainable and limited interface) :

                          - (existing APIs).getNode() --> Returns DOMNodeWrapper
                          - browser.dom.createNode() --> Creates a new DOMNodeWrapper
                          - DOMNodeWrapper.style getter/setter
                          - DOMNodeWrapper.insertBefore()/insertAfter()/appendChild() which accept DOMNodeWrapper's as argument

                          DOMNodeWrapper is more sustainable, since manipulation is limited to what the API provides (the only way to get a DOMNodeWrapper is through WebExtension APIs (An example : chrome.tabs.getCurrent().getNode()). Also, the manipulation properties can only take…

                          57 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Admin →
                          • Poll the add-on developers and re-establish trust

                            After the recent changes to signing and the announcement https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2015/08/21/the-future-of-developing-firefox-add-ons/ I've seen reactions ranging from "working with Mozilla on the future APIs" to "I'm not going to spend a minute of my time on Mozilla add-ons".

                            The add-on ecosystem can only be strong if enough developers feel it's worth their time to participate (build add-ons, help shape the APIs, file bugs, contribute to the docs, answer each other's questions).

                            If only a few developers of niche extensions are upset with the way this has been handled -- all is well. If, on the other hand, active contributors and/or a long…

                            56 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Admin →
                            • Support OS.File, or at least chrome.fileSystem

                              Ideally, provide full unsandboxed access to the file system. If sandboxing is deemed necessary for security purposes, provide support for reading/writing to entire directory subtrees if selected by the user, and allow access to be persisted across restarts (so the user doesn't have to keep selecting the directory).

                              54 votes
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                              • Add an API to monitor and alter existing about:config prefs

                                Being able to link a UI button to about:config preferences to indicate and change their values, for example global cookie settings, would be great to do without having to require('chrome') which is currently the case.

                                42 votes
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                                • Allow extensions to define new API

                                  Sometimes there are extensions that extend another extension. They might provide their own API, it should still be possible to do this in the future.

                                  41 votes
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                                  • Add an API to unload tabs

                                    I would like to have add-ons that can unload (not close) tabs automatically based on some conditions: if they take too much memory, or if they haven't been used in several hours, or if I'm playing a game and I need all the CPU power, etc.

                                    36 votes
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                                    • Support HTTPS Everywhere's SSL Observatory

                                      The SSL Observatory reports certificate chain information during browsing in order to help find misissued or malformed certificates. Right now it relies on ctypes access to NSS. It would be great to have a proper API to access this information.

                                      33 votes
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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                      • Leave XUL/XPCOM unless you provide COMPLETE alternative without any loss of functionality or freedom for addons

                                        Addons and inside-addon scripts like in CustomButtons or userChrome.js must have limitless access to Firefox internal code and structure without any limitation like IT IS today. Please don't restrict our FREEDOM

                                        32 votes
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                                        • Implement runtime.connectNative to support interaction with native

                                          Since our XPCOM plugin is defunct, as per noted APIs likely to be supported in https://wiki.mozilla.org/WebExtensions

                                          It would be handy to be able to use https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/nativeMessaging
                                          in a similar way as Chrome to access content local to the host.

                                          32 votes
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