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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Writing plug-ins for Mozzila Gekko engine

Writing Plug-ins


  1. Once you decide what you want your plug-in to do, creating it is a simple process. A basic overview of the plug-in development process is given in the following steps.

  2. Plan your plug-in: decide on the services you want the plug-in software to provide and how it will interact with the browser and the special media for which the plug-in is created.
  3. Decide the MIME type and file extension for the plug-in (see Registering Plug-ins).
  4. Set up your development environment properly. You can use a variety of environments to create a plug-in, but make sure that you have the necessary files from the mozilla source or from the plug-in SDK.
  5. Create a plug-in project.
  6. You can either start from one of the samples provided for your operating system in the mozilla source directory, where plug-ins samples are already being built, or you can construct a new plug-in project in your own development environment using SDK-provided files. See the README in the plug-in SDK for more information about using the SDK and using the samples provided there.
  7. Write your plug-in code and implement the appropriate Plug-in API methods for basic plug-in operation. You'll find an overview of the Plug-in API methods in this chapter, as well as separate chapters for all of the major functional areas of the Plug-in API. Also see Making Plug-ins Scriptable for more information about making plug-ins accessible from the browser.
  8. Build the plug-in for your operating system. See "Building Plug-ins"
  9. Install the plug-in in the plug-in directory for your operating system. See Installing Plug-ins.
  10. Test your plug-in and debug as necessary.
  11. Create an HTML page and embed the plug-in object. For information about the HTML elements to use, see Using HTML to Display Plug-ins. To see your plug-in in action, simply display the HTML page that calls it in the browser.

Registering Plug-ins

Gecko identifies a plug-in by the MIME type it supports. When it needs to display data of a particular MIME type, the browser finds and invokes the plug-in object that supports that type. The data can come from either an object element in an HTML file (where the object or embed element either specifies the MIME type directly or references a file of that type), from a separate non-HTML file of that MIME type, or from the server.

The server looks for the MIME type registered by a plug-in, based on the file extension, and starts sending the file to the browser. The browser looks up the media type, and if it finds a plug-in registered to that type, loads the plug-in software.

When it starts up, the browser checks for plug-in modules for the platform and registers them. It determines which plug-ins are installed and which types they support through a combination of user preferences that are private to the browser, the contents of the plug-ins directory or the registry on Windows.

A MIME type is made up of a major type (such as application or image) and a minor type, for example, image/jpeg. If you define a new MIME type for a plug-in, you must register it with IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). Until your new MIME type is registered, preface its name with "x-", for example, image/x-nwim. For more information about MIME types, see these MIME RFCs:

RFC-2045: "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies"
RFC-2046: "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types"
RFC-4288: "Media Type Specifications and Registration Procedures"

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