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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Firefox extensions can behave like stand alone applications.

XUL Solutions: Creating an uninstall script for an extension
XUL Solutions: Creating a post-install script for an extension

This is one interesting thing that I found today. One of the most common things done when an application is installed is to verify that the installation has been proper and things are where they are. Also the very basic requirement for any "clean" application is to leave no traces of its presence when it is uninstalled. This is easily possible in case of stand alone applications which are either straight forward executables or else have standard installers and uninstallers. They can set registry values, hook up with Program files (or package managers in Linux) and finally do the cleaning when time comes. But things are not as simple with Firefox extensions, because the platform, i.e Firefox, is not as extensive as a full fledged operating system. So I was always under the impression that these extensions are installed and run in the controlled environment constantly monitored by FF. But as it appears, I was wrong. Firefox indeed provides install and uninstall events which you can hook on to and do the necessary cleaning up.

The technical details are in that blog posts. Read it up and have some clean extensions. :-)


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