Jetpack API Debuts From Mozilla Labs

May 23, 2009

Mozilla has announced a new Mozilla Labs offering called the Jetpack API. Jetpack is from the virtual lab development team within Mozilla Labs. Jetpack is described as a browser enhancer using open web technologies.

EWeek reports that the new API allows developers to write Firefox add-ons with security as a main focus. The API is listed as an experiment by Mozilla and uses a foundation based on web development languages and scripts like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Those will be other only tools required to develop using the API.

The core principal of Jetpack is "develop once, run anywhere" reports eWeek. Add-ons build using the API are intended to be run on Firefox Mobile, Thunderbird, and in other browsers.

Mozilla states, "Add-ons will work through a version’ed facade-pattern so that you won’t be in a constant struggle to keep your extension working with the latest FF edition."

Security is a big focus with the API and to help make code more secure, only access to the privileges are provided. Possible security issues are presented in social terms as well rather than more complex and difficult to understand technical terms.

A blog post by the Jetpack development team states, "Short and easy to review code ensures that potential security issues are shallow, and review times short."

The architecture of the Jetpack API allows for the inclusion of reviewed and versioned third-party tool kits like jQuery or Dojo to be added as well as APIs like Twitter, Delicious, or Google Maps. The development team does point out that the third party applications could pose potential security hazards.

A warning page about third-party features of Jetpack states, "The features referenced here have not been reviewed by Mozilla. They may contain malicious code, so use them only at your own risk."

Internet Explorer is still the top browser in the consumer and business market, but Mozilla’s Firefox browser is steadily gaining market share.

This post has been written by Shane McGlaun on May 22, 2009 12:09 PM couresy of


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