Firefox is a browser that is very well known and popular for its immense library of available add-ons, from themes that change the look and feel or the browser to extra functionality in general. One gripe that users have, though, is that the software needs to be restarted for changes to take effect; this isn't much of an issue for casual users, but for people constantly browsing the collection of modifications, it can become very tedious. Mozilla is well aware of this, and is stepping up the game to make for a better user experience. How? By announcing a new API called Jetpack.
What does Jetpack do, you ask? Simple: it allows developers to construct their add-ons with the functionality that allows them to come into effect without requiring a restart, saving a vast amount of time in some cases. Now, keep in mind that, as it stands, Jetpack is at version 0.1 and is still under heavy development, but it's certainly progress. Currently Mozilla is just after feedback from developers, especially about bugs and about the API design itself.
According to Mozilla, Jetpack should be the following:
-- Have the full power of the open Web: AJAX & multimedia capabilities.
-- Streamed & accessible via a URL, just like the rest of the Web
-- Debugged in the browser without restarting using common Web development tools like Firebug
-- Provides access to only the privileges needed, with security issues always be presented in social-terms, and not technical-terms
-- Short and easy to review code ensures that potential security issues are shallow, and review times short
-- Versioned APIs so that you won't have to update & revalidate your code for every new version of Firefox
-- Lightweight but full featured, enabling simple and complex applications that add to the Web experience, just like Firefox add-ons do today
-- Archiecture will allow for the easy inclusion of reviewed & versioned third-party toolkits (e.g. jQuery, Dojo, etc.) and API libraries (e.g. Twitter, Delicious, Google Maps, etc.)
Feel free to check out Mozilla's video about the new API that is handily embedded below:
If you are a developer and are interested in this, please head to the official Jetpack website, and post some feedback in the comments below.