By Deane Barker on May 21, 2009

Introducing Jetpack, Call for Participation: This should make writing Firefox extensions even easier.

[…] Jetpack is an API for allowing you to write Firefox add-ons using the web technologies you already know.

Jetpack will be an exploration in using Web technologies to enhance the browser (e.g. HTML, CSS and Javascript), with the goal of allowing anyone who can build a Web site to participate in making the Web a better place to work, communicate and play.

I watched the video, and it looks promising.  Essentially, they’ve reduced plugin development to jQuery, which lowers the barrier to development, and made them instantly installable (no restart required), which lowers the barrier to usage.

(I don’t need to go over the speech about how our plugin API is probably the most important thing in your software, right? It’s the reason I can never seriously consider something like Chrome or Safari or IE8 — if you don’t support the plugins I’ve grown accustomed to (looking at you, Firebug), then you’re dead to me. Your browser is a total non-starter.)

I installed Jetpack, and I got a handy little GMail Notifier-ish tool, built into the browser, rather than running as a separate app in the system tray.  Handy.

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  1. Hate to be the fun hater here, but Google I’m pretty sure already did it. But I agree, this is pretty dang sweet! I remember when I first saw it I had one of those…”I didn’t even know I wanted that, but now I do!” kind of moments.

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